A cholesterol-lowering diet usually focuses on cutting back on creamy and fatty foods like butter and cheese. These naughty saturated fats are usually replaced by their unsaturated counterparts like olive oil, soya products, nuts and more.
However, there are still some creamy foods that you can enjoy as long as they are enriched with plant stanols and sterols. What’s more, they are considered “the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol”, according to Heart UK.
Plant sterols and stanols are chemicals, similar in shape and size to cholesterol, naturally occurring in plants.Plant sterols and stanols are chemicals, similar in shape and size to cholesterol, naturally occurring in plants.
When these foods get into your body, they compete with dietary cholesterol for absorption in your intestines. As a result of this competition, less cholesterol gets absorbed into your bloodstream.
Heart UK explains: “We get a small amount of sterols from plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but it’s not enough to lower cholesterol.
“So, food companies have developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yoghurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yoghurts.”