High Cholesterol

Lowering Cholesterol With Plant Sterols And Stanols

You need not seek help of cholesterol lowering medications to bring down your cholesterol levels. There are natural ways to deal with the problem as well. Using plant sterols and stanols is one of the best options you have to bring down your cholesterol levels naturally.

In simple words, plant sterols and stanols can be described as naturally occurring substances that are found in plants. You can find them in small quantities in several natural foods such as cereals, fruits, vegetables and the like. These days, plant sterols and stanols are also added to margarine spreads, orange juice, cereals, and even granola bars because of their cholesterol lowering abilities.

Regular use of plant sterols and stanols can bring down your LDL or the bad cholesterol by as high as 15 %. These natural substances reduce your cholesterol levels by blocking their absorption in the small intestine. They ensure that the cholesterol is not absorbed by the body and is eliminated from your system. While, plant sterols or phytosterols bring down your LDL levels, they have little or no effect on the HDL and triglyceride level.

Safety status
Being natural substances, plant sterols and stanols do not cause any unwanted side effects. They are absolutely safe to use and do not interfere with the natural mechanism of the body. Besides, they do not interact with any cholesterol lowering medications. So, it is safe to use them along with other medicines.

2 to 3 grams plant stanols per day is the recommended amount to lower cholesterol levels. If you are considering using them to lower your cholesterol levels, you can switch to sterols and stanols supplements available in the market. However, experts recommend eating them in the natural form via fruits and vegetables as sterols tend to lose their cholesterol lowering ability during the manufacturing process.

In addition, you can also start switching to foods that contain sterols and stanols. For instance, if you use butter or margarine, switch over to sterol-fortified options. You can also opt for several other products such as cooking oils, salad dressings, yogurt, and snack bars that contain sterols.

Consuming plant sterols and stanols along with a healthy eating plan can help bring down your cholesterol levels considerably. Experts suggest eating a "heart healthy diet" to benefit the most from plant sterols and stanols. As a part of a heart healthy diet, experts recommend eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Go ahead and include more of plant sterols and stanols in your daily diets and you will be able to notice a significant change in your cholesterol levels.