Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Natural Cholesterol Lowering with Plant Sterols

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, How can I lower my Cholesterol Naturally?

A. Plant Sterols is one way!

Many individuals are looking for ways to safely and naturally lower blood cholesterol. People with diabetes face an even tougher challenge since the current guidelines for cholesterol levels are even more stringent for those with blood glucose issues when compared to the general population. These tighter guidelines are in place because people with diabetes have nearly the same risk of heart disease as those who have already experienced a heart attack or stroke.

You may be wondering how you can get an extra edge on your cholesterol when you already keep your intake of fat and animal protein low and avoid trans fats. Enter plant sterols. As fancy and new as they sound, these natural compounds have been known of since the 1950s.

Plant sterols, sometimes known as "plant stanols," occur naturally in small quantities in soybeans and several other foods. Because these compounds are shaped like the cholesterol found in the body, they compete for absorption. The more plant sterols you ingest, the less cholesterol you absorb from your diet.

The typical daily American diet only contains an estimated 150-350 milligrams of plant sterols. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that eating foods with 400 mg of plant sterols twice a day with meals (800 mg a day) may reduce the risk for heart disease if consumed with a diet low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.

Even higher amounts are needed to see significant changes in blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the addition of supplements or foods fortified with plant sterols is needed to achieve an effect. A few tips should be considered for achieving optimal cholesterol lowering when supplementing your diet with plant sterols:

  • Aim for at least 2,000 mg a day of plant sterols for optimal results;
  • Consume with food for best absorption;
  • Divide the dose instead of consuming at one sitting. For individuals with diabetes, the currently recommended LDL (“bad”) cholesterol goal is below 100 mg/dl for those without heart disease, and less than 70 mg/dl for those with heart disease. Research indicates that the 2,000 mg daily dose of plant sterols can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 15 percent. This means that for a person with an LDL level of 115 mg/dl, just adding plant sterols can potentially lower their level to within the suggested healthy range.

  • Not only have plant sterols been proven safe, but they can also be utilized along with the widely used category of cholesterol-lowering medications known as "statins." In fact, using plant sterols along with statins seems to produce a synergistic effect in which greater reductions are seen than when considering each therapy by itself.

    How can you incorporate plant sterols into your diet? Currently, just a handful of foods exist that add these compounds to them. If these foods are not available or preferred, the pill or chewable version of plant sterols can be purchased and easily incorporated into one’s daily routine. Here are some products that contain plant sterols, with amounts listed in parentheses:

    Nature Valley® Healthy Heart Chewy Granola Bars (400 mg each); Minute Maid® Premium Heart Wise™ orange juice (1,000 mg per 8 oz); Lifetime low-fat cheese (650 mg per serving); Benecol Smart Chews (850 mg each); Metagenics UltraMeal Plus protein powder (1,000 mg per scoop); Promise™ Activ Supershots™ (2,000 mg per 3 oz serving); Benecol or Take Control spread (850-1,000 mg per tablespoon).

    If you still need that extra edge to safely lower your risk for heart disease or lower your cholesterol, put plant sterols on your list of new therapies to try. You might just find bringing them into your existing diet is even easier than you imagined.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    No comments:

    Insanity Are you committed?

    P90X Men Now it Begins!

    P90X Women Now it Begins!

    Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT40 FT60

    Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT80

    TRX Suspension Training Now offered at Fitness Builders 4 Life

    Proform Better

    About Me

    My photo
    Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
    Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Any Questions? Ask Glen!