Usually we hear “don’t eat this, don’t eat that” when it comes to health.
However, a new study just published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases found that eating 4 specific foods drops cholesterol by 17% and reduces your risk of heart disease by 13%.
In addition, they lower blood pressure and kill inflammation.
David Jenkins a Toronto-based clinical scientist at the forefront of nutrition reasearch in Canada and across the globe. He is credited with the development of the glycemic index in the 1980’s and in the early 2000s his novel reasearch venture led to the identification of a specific dietary pattern that helps reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) levels. He referred to the pattern as a Dietary Portfolio, although many people know it as the Portfolio Diet.
Introducing The Dietary Portfolio/ Portfolio Diet
Dr. jenkins research found that a specific group of foods, consumed together, had the potential to significantly reduce an individual’s cholesterol levels.
The study authors examined previously published studies that compared the portfolio diet with other diets in which dieters consumed no more than 2,000 calories per day. This is the same amount portfolio dieters must consume.
Compared with these other diets, the portfolio diet reduced LDL cholesterol by 17% and also cut the risk of developing coronary heart disease by 13% 10 years.
It was also better than the other diets at reducing other fats in the blood like non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglycerides.
In addition, the portfolio diet had a greater effect on reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
Therefore, people who follow the portfolio diet enjoy substantial benefits over people who follow the other diets that were studied.
So, in addition to cutting down on saturated fats (red meat, cheese, full-cream milk, and cream), and eating no more than 2,000 calories daily, how do you follow this diet
The portfolio diet consists of cutting down on saturated fat and limiting calorie intake to 2000 calories per day. And then loading up on four types of foods:
Firstly, eat foods artificially enriched with plant sterols. These are compounds like cholesterol, but they occur in plants.
It is hard to obtain enough of these from food, which is why foods like cereals and beverages like juice are often fortified with them.
There are a fair amount in oat bran, whole wheat, brown rice, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, apples, avocado, and pretty much any leafy green vegetable.
Secondly, eat soluble fiber in the form of oats, barley, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, asparagus, avocado, apples, pears, oranges, figs, seeds, and nuts.
Thirdly, eat any tree nuts.
Fourthly, eat plant proteins derived from legumes, soy, and nuts.
However, there is a simpler way to completely normalize cholesterol and clear clogged arteries. Just cut out the one ingredient – you might not have known you were consuming – found here…
Depending on how cloasely you are able to follow these guidelines, the portfolio diet has the potential to lower your cholesterol by over 20%. If you do a reasonable job of following the dietary pattern, you may be looking at closer to a 10-20% reduction. Consistency and regularity in consuming these foods is critical to maintaining an optimal cholesterol lowering effect. I also apperciate that once of the limitations of this dietary pattern is that it includes several alternative food items that may not be regularly consumed, or that may be hard to consume on a consistent basis. As a result, the portfolio diet can be difficult to commit to in the long term. Do keep in mind that each of the individual components of the diet have their own unique cholesterol lowering potential, which means that you do not necessarily need to follow the diet paerfectly to experience a cholesterol lowering effect. However, the more closely you follow the dietary pattern, the greater cholesterol lowering effect you are likely to experience.
Indivduals who prepare theri own meals and eat at home more often are more likely to have success following this dietary pattern. With that being said, the Portfolio Diet is not the only way to reduce your cholesterol levels thorugh dietary means. The Portfolio diet is one of the 4 eating styles currently recommended by the Candian Cardiovascular Society for reducing elevated LDL choleterol levels and/or reducing cardiovascular risk. The other eating patterns in this category include the DASH, mediterranean and the Ketogenic diet. Those who feel the Portfolio Diet is not the right fit for them then they must consider The Ketogenic Diet (it is highly recommended).
I wish you the best of luck on your healthy eating journey.