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 four specific foods slashes cholesterol by 17 percent and reduces your risk of heart disease by 13 percent.
In addition, they lower blood pressure and kill inflammation.
The portfolio diet consists of cutting down on saturated fat and limiting calorie intake to 2,000 per day. And then loading up on four types of food:
1. Soluble fiber;
3. Soy protein;
4. Margarine enriched with plant sterols.
The study authors examined previously published studies that compared the portfolio diet with others in which participants consumed no more than 2,000 calories per day — the same amount that portfolio dieters must consume.
Compared with these other diets, the portfolio diet reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 17 percent and also cut the risk of developing coronary heart disease by 13 percent over 10 years.
It was also better than the other diets at reducing additional 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 those 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?
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 our diet, which is why foods like cereals and beverages like juice are often fortified with them.
There are fair amounts in oat bran, whole wheat, brown rice, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, apples, avocadoes, and pretty much any leafy green vegetable.
Secondly, eat soluble fiber in the form of oats, barley, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, asparagus, avocadoes, apples, pears, oranges, figs, seeds, and nuts.
Thirdly, eat any tree nuts.
Fourthly, eat plant proteins derived from legumes, soy, and nuts.
And if you need to get your blood pressure under control, click here to learn how…