Eating more nuts and oats – rather than simply avoiding fatty foods – could boost efforts to reduce cholesterol, say scientists.
They found a diet rich in foods known to lower cholesterol levels was more effective than cutting out saturated fats alone. The diet that worked best in the study also included soy products such as milk, tofu and meat substitutes, while eating more peas, beans and lentils was encouraged.
Canadian researchers discovered that a six-month change to the diet could result in a ‘meaningful’ 13 per cent reduction in blood levels of LDL cholesterol, often known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Following the diet for longer would give a predicted reduction of almost 11 per cent in heart disease risk over a ten-year period.
In the study, 345 patients, all of whom suffered from high cholesterol, were split into three groups, one of which was merely recommended to adopt a low-fat diet that included fruit and vegetables.