By PATRICK HOLFORD and FIONA MCDONALD JOYCE
The combination of eating oats, high in beta-glucans, and beans, nuts and seeds, high in plant sterols, helps to lower your cholesterol naturally. In a study designed by Professor David Jenkins (the man who invented the glycaemic index (GI)), 34 patients with high cholesterol were placed on a series of diets – low-fat, low-fat diet plus statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs), and high in plant sterols and soluble fibres. Each patient had to do each diet for a month, although the diets were assigned in random order. On the high plant sterols/soluble fibre diet, the patients ate the equivalent of 2.5 g of plant sterols in the form of: 50 g of soya (a glass of soya milk, a small serving of tofu or a small soya burger); 35 g of almonds (a small handful); or 25 g of soluble fibres from oats and vegetables (the equivalent of five oatcakes, plus a bowl of oats and three servings of vegetables).
Both the statins and the plant sterols/soluble fibre diets significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol – to the same degree, but nine of the volunteers (26%) achieved their lowest LDL cholesterol while on the plant sterols/soluble fibre diet, not the statins. However, while statins lower levels of LDL cholesterol, they are relatively ineffectual at raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the ‘good’ type of cholesterol. So, to sum up, eating the kind of superfoods used in the recipes in this book is likely to lower your cholesterol more effectively than any drug.
One of the most prevalent myths in nutrition is that eating eggs raises your cholesterol and therefore increases your risk of heart disease. This is not true. Eggs are an excellent source of both protein and brain-boosting phospholipids. Eggs are at least half fat, however, and whether that’s good fat or bad fat depends entirely on what you feed the chicken. For this reason we strongly suggest you avoid any non-free-range eggs and ideally choose eggs labelled as high in omega 3. We recommend you eat six eggs a week.
Holford P, McDonald Joyce F. Delicious, Healthy, Sugar-free: How to create simple, superfood recipes to increase energy and lose weight.