Happy Fun & Flexible Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend?
Time for our NUTSO-SWEET post answering YOUR MORSELICIOUS questions!
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If you eat a primarily plant based whole food diet, should one
be concerned with cholesterol and getting plant sterols?
A largely plant-based diet would be beneficial in keeping cholesterol levels in check. That is because, while the body produces some of its own cholesterol, plant-based foods won’t add to it. So most likely, the concern over getting enough plant sterols to control cholesterol is not an issue if you eat a highly plant-based diet (without much red meat or dairy).
In fact, altering the diet to include more plant whole foods and decrease red meat (and dairy consumption) is beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels. However, because a large majority of Americans are carnivores, expecting a change over to mostly plant foods is not likely so relying on sources of plant sterols and stanols in cholesterol lowering products
– including certain yogurts spreads – may be of help. In addition, those needing to reduce their cholesterol would benefit from including more whole food nutrition in the form of vegetables and fruits, and whole grains such as oatmeal. So while re-training the taste-buds and working toward a more healthful diet, seeking out concentrated sources of plant sterols may be beneficial in the interim.
Concerned about GMO’s
hidden in cholesterol-lowering spreads?
The key here is the weigh the benefits over the risks. Everyone is different and while I don’t recommend GMO products, if you do your best to avoid them and a few sneak in, you will benefit over the long run if you concentrate on eating healthier, rather than obsess over everything that can possibly contaminate. Though I highly recommend some more natural ways to help lower cholesterol.
Again, the key is to work toward a more plant-based diet, but we’ve all got our learning curves and it may take some longer than others. Research
has shown promising benefit for lowering cholesterol over the long-term with spreads like Promise, Smart Balance
and Benecol, despite that fact they may contain GMO’s. But probably best to go natural and not rely so much on more highly processed-foods.
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