There is hope for people who want to reduce their cholesterol level without taking any medication. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients who had borderline or high bad cholesterol or LDL were able to reduce their LDL by changing their diet. People were able to reduce their cholesterol by 14 percent by eating foods that helped in lowering their cholesterol.
According to Dr. David Jenkins, the leader of the group that conducted the study, the foods that helped lowering the cholesterol level in people were:
- Viscous Fibers including barley and oats
- Plant oils or sterols like margarine
According to Jenkins, people will not have to put in much effort to increase the consumption of cholesterol reducing food. People who want to adopt cholesterol reducing food can try drinking soy milk instead of normal milk and try eating oats or psyllium cereals instead of their regular breakfast.
The study conducted by Dr. Jenkins was the first study that looked at the impact of natural diet on cholesterol level. The researchers did not provide the participants of the study with the food they had to eat. Instead, they were counselled on the food that they should eat. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group was given two counseling sessions of about an hour each and other group was given seven intensive counseling sessions.
At the end of six months both groups showed an average drop of 25 mg/dL in their LDL levels. Also, the reduction in LDL was same in both groups which suggest that people were able to make changes in their diet by attending just two counseling sessions. According to Dr. Jenkins, people who paid little attention to their diet showed impressive drop in their LDL levels. He also noted that since more people who participated in the study were hired through advertisements, they had pre-existing desire to lower their LDL levels.
During counseling sessions, participants were advised to eat 20g of fiber, 2 g of plant sterol, 40 g of soy and 40 g of nut products. However, only 40 percent of the participants were able to reach the target. Most participants found it difficult to increase their soy intake as they were not accustomed to this diet.
Dr. Jenkins also plans to conduct a study that will study the effect of diet on the arteries of people.