Sterols and low-fat foods


As you may have read in BN, plant sterols have been proven to reduce both total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, levels. That's why sterols are now being added to some highfat foods such as margarine. But do they have the same effect when added to low-fat food items?

Scientists added plant sterols to low-fat foods — 2 percent milk, yogurt, bread and breakfast cereal — so that test subjects received 1.6 grams of sterols per day.

They reported in the May 2004 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that low-fat foods fortified with plant sterols lowered LDL levels. However, dairy products with added sterols have a greater effect on lowering both LDL and total cholesterol.

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