What are Plant Sterols?
Phytosterols are phytosteroids, similar to cholesterol, that serve as structural components of biological membranes of plants. They encompass plant sterols and stanols. More than 250 sterols and related compounds have been identified
Sarah Ware, B.Sc.(Hons), RD, CDE, discusses the benefits of plant sterols in your diet.
Diana Steele, BSc, RD, discusses how plant sterols can reduce cholesterol.
Sarah Ware, B.Sc.(Hons), RD, CDE, discusses How Can Plant Sterols Help with LDL Cholesterol?
What are Plant Sterols?
Plant sterols are a cholesterol-like compound, and there are about 44 sterols known to exist in a variety of plants.
Sterols are known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and they do that by inhibiting the dietary cholesterol through our diet during digestion. According to most nutritional studies, the North American diet contains roughly 250 milligrams of plant sterols.
To get the benefits of the LDL cholesterol-lowering effects of plant sterols you need at least 2,000 milligrams or 2 grams per day, which is recommended.
If you have questions about plant sterols, speak with your local dietitian for visit your local food store for more information.
Video shot in conjunction with Sarah Ware, B.Sc.(Hons), RD, CDE, and Healthchoicesfirst
Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian
Plant Sterols and High Cholesterol
First of all, try to reduce your saturated fat intake and that comes from high fat animal products such as high fat dairy and high fat meat products.
You can also increase your polyunsaturated fats from liquid oils and nuts and seeds. You can also add more fish oils by eating fish at least three times a week.
Eating more fruits and vegetables and sources of soluble fiber can actually lower your cholesterol as well, so choosing foods like barley and eggplant as well as oats can be a really good choice.
You also want to make sure that you’re eating a lot of antioxidants and antioxidants come from brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
You can also try to add more plant sterols, which have been shown to lower your LDL cholesterol. You can get that from eating more nuts and seeds, liquid oils, and adding foods that have been fortified with plant sterols, such as certain margarines.
If you’d like more information about how to lower your LDL cholesterol, contact your local doctor or your local registered dietitian.