Lower blood cholesterol levels
Dealing with high cholesterol often means taking medication. Sometimes, you can reach your goal by changing your diet.
The Portfolio Diet, developed by researchers at the University of Toronto, takes a two-pronged approach. You limit foods that raise blood cholesterol, such as meat and other saturated fats, and add foods that lower it.
“And there’s science behind it. People who follow this diet do lower their cholesterol significantly,” said Dr. John Swarztberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, who is a big fan of the Portfolio Diet.
“It’s heavy in plant protein and it’s moderate in nuts. It has a lot of viscous soluble fiber in it, such as oats, barley, eggplant, okra, apples, etc.,” he said.
And there’s 2 grams a day of plant sterols in fortified foods, such as spreads, juices and supplements.
Because it’s restrictive, some people have trouble staying on the Portfolio Diet.
“But you don’t have to follow it perfectly,” Swartzberg told me. “You can switch your diet to having more of these things and less of the foods that we know aren’t very healthful, like saturated fats. So, you can modify the portfolio diet and that will help. It won’t help as much as if you stay on the rigorous one, but it will help.”