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Heart Health

“Portfolio” beats low-fat diet for lowering cholesterol

August 26, 2011

About the Author

photo of Howard E. LeWine, MD

Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Howard LeWine, M.D., is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Chief Medical Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, and editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. See Full Bio
View all posts by Howard E. LeWine, MD


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February 13, 2012

Strangely, the article did not mention the role of omega-3, garlic or even red yeast rice extract in supporting healthy cholesterol levels

Om Jae
January 28, 2012

low-fat diet is very good for heart health, I think this is a portfolio that is necessary for me someday.

Maria D
January 26, 2012

It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

January 20, 2012

I used Pure Vegan B12 spray.There is also a cheaper version that does not advertise vegan but says so on the label called Pure Advantage B12. The ingredients are identical.

Heather Smith
December 23, 2011

It’s really hard to loose weight if you have the love for food. All we need to learn is discipline if we wanna have a healthy and happy life. I suggest proper to those who neglect eating nutritious food that are essential to the body. Thanks for posting this topic.

January 11, 2012

Hi Heather Smith,

I am agree with you.those who want happy and healthy.its need to take proper diet.Thanks for this article…

Beef recipes

December 17, 2011

The nurses study has shown fiber to be of zero benefit beyond constipation. Diets high in fat do a better job of changing the particle size of LDLs, and diets that avoid carbohydrates do a better job of lowering triglycerides.

Thanks to everyone for your great articles & Merry Christmas xxx

December 15, 2011

Low carb is the path to being forever young 🙂
Thanks to everyone for your great articles & Merry Christmas xxx

Emily Fong
December 5, 2011

Well one thing that I found recently that has helped me get on track diet wise is some of the more healthy vegan recipes

I’m not much of a soy lover and trying to find something that my boyfriend will also eat and that I’m not ugh about is a challenge but a friend gave me this recently and after making it I was amazed how good tofu could be when prepared this way and I’ve had a whole new outlook on soy based foods.

December 3, 2011

Would surely suggest this diet to my Dad…:]

December 1, 2011

I have been careful of recent about eating fatty foods.Now,i understand that no all fatty food have harmful cholesterol.thanks for the information as i know which diet take according to the portfolio.

November 25, 2011

I tried a very slightly modified version of this diet that was published in the UK years ago. My total cholesterol went from 280 down to 175 in less than 1 month. My Doc asked me what I had done, and when I told him about this diet, he told me to stay with it. I hope it actually does me some good.

November 24, 2011

nice article

November 23, 2011


Özel Ders
November 18, 2011

Thank you very much, because I’ve read on the subject of many articles and news. But none of the period was not useful for my duty, I wish you success in life …

November 17, 2011

I am excited i’m on the path of the portfolio.This is because i like eating oats in the morning but don’t take much of nuts.Recently,i have included soyamilk into my diet and reading this 24weeks portfolio method,i believe i would shed some weeks in some weeks time.

November 9, 2011

12 months ago I was informed that I have high cholesterol and a fatty liver.I cut down my food intake to 2 large meals a day and EVERY day I ate raw brocolli with Horseradish sauce. 3 months later after my medical check revealed I had lost 11 pounds in weight and liver was in a vastly improved condition and my cholsterol was greatly reduced.
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Mariano Beckel
October 16, 2011

I learned more new stuff on this fat loss issue. One particular issue is a good nutrition is vital when dieting. A massive reduction in junk food, sugary meals, fried foods, sweet foods, red meat, and white-colored flour products may be necessary. Retaining wastes organisms, and contaminants may prevent targets for fat loss. While selected drugs briefly solve the situation, the horrible side effects aren’t worth it, and so they never give more than a momentary solution. It is a known undeniable fact that 95% of fad diets fail. Many thanks sharing your ideas on this blog.

September 30, 2011

Are you familiar with the Okinawa diet? THe consumption of soy has been argued back and forth as to it’s health benefits and I can’t seem to get a clear picture. It appears that being a major player in Okinawans diets may be helping them become some of the longest lived people on the planet. Then others say that soy is harmful to health. Where do you stand on this dr?

September 20, 2011

Notices should be allowed to be posted at local county fairs and amusement parks as to the high cholesterol some of the food that’s being eaten at these fun parks. Some carnival machines today actually produce a lower cholesterol level then just a few years ago.

September 13, 2011

Great article. Another potentially harful thing about low fat diets–at least for those who dont know anybetter and is easily swayed by marketing strategies, is purchasing ‘low fat’ alternatives which, if you don’t read the fine print may contain lots of sodium or other flavor enhancers.

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February 1, 2012

you are not going to change anyone’s life by simply adding some nuts or soy if they continue to eat the garbage that our government is peddling. our body isn’t meant to eat whole grain. garbage articles/”research” does not help anyone. promote healthy eating…as in, eat as close to nature as possible. juicing is a good way to start, eat grass fed, pasture raised animals, and cut out process foods. it shouldn’t be rocket science…we’ve been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years.

September 3, 2011

“So yes, statins save lives.” Actually a recent review questioned that “Do statins have a role in primary prevention?” An update.
Therapeutics Letter Issue 77 / Mar – Apr 2010 ” The claimed mortality benefit of statins for primary prevention is more likely a measure of bias than a real effect.
……. The reduction in major CHD serious adverse events with statins as compared to placebo is not reflected in a reduction in total serious adverse events. …..

Whether the LDL lowering by diet will lower events is very questionable.

September 3, 2011

Interesting article, though there is some controversy as to the benefits of soy products when it comes to women. Personally, I try to stay away from them, what might be a better alternative to these with this diet?

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September 3, 2011

I once read a blog post which promote the same thing. I did not get the exact name of the regime but the same approach. Consuming foods which combat bad fats. It is the best way to trim.
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George MacDonald
September 2, 2011

It is unfortunate that we still do not know enough about the actual causes of the vascular problems that cause heart attacks and strokes. While it is clear that statins are beneficial, the idea that they do so simply by lowering LDL-C is an assumption. For example, the Enhance trial showed that adding an additional cholesterol lowering agent to people already taking a statin did not help save lives and, in fact actually hurt their chances slightly. That agent is physiologically identical to oatmeal.

So yes, statins save lives. But, while Oatmeal lowers cholesterol it is questionable whether it actually saves lives (particularly if you are already taking a statin). But, as with a religious agnostic who goes to church just in case he is wrong, a daily bowl of oatmeal is a good insurance policy: it won’t hurt and it just might help.

Again, we need more research in this area that is not driven by the profit motive so we know what actually saves lives and what doesn’t.

MP Sidhu
September 2, 2011

I think liver function is also important in determinig cholesterol content in your blood.Genes play a significant role too.Portfolio diet alone can’t help.My diet includes all vegetables(also eggplant& okra),fruits, wheat porridge and also nuts.But my cholesterol count remains high especially after menopause.As a precaution I take a prescribed drug to lower it.My HDL is always sufficiently good.What do you think?

Richard Serlin
September 1, 2011

3% is nothing, and 13% is not much better. How strict were these diets? Only a little less fat and a little more whole plant foods, or really strong whole plant food diets? I’ve heard of much more than these tiny results for a truly strong move to whole plant foods.

You want to really test something, try something like the Fuhrman diet and see if the results are still so paltry. I know you may say most people say won’t do that diet, but if they knew how effective it was, and that it’s a lot less hard than they think once they get used to it, a lot might try, or at least go 50-60%.

Den T
December 29, 2011

Dr. Fuhrman’s diet and way of life is the best ever!! I’ve lost 50 lbs because of him and enjoy a new way of life.

Bob bramel
September 1, 2011

Is there any science at all behind this stuff??! So a 24 week test got some marginal reduction in LDL? Exotic “foods” like” margarine enriched with plant sterols … psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber; soy protein; and whole almonds.” presumably because of their fiber content?!

The nurses study has shown fiber to be of zero benefit beyond constipation. Diets high in fat do a better job of changing the particle size of LDLs, and diets that avoid carbohydrates do a better job of lowering triglycerides.


August 31, 2011

I appreciate your summary of this study and especially the suggestions you give of good sources of food items and components discussed in the study, however I am surprised you did not mention that the study participants were encouraged to “follow weight maintaining vegetarian diets” during the course of the study (see the Methods section of the JAMA article).

August 26, 2011

Excellent post! I would like to say thank you for this amazing well needed post. I’ll be visiting
this website in future as well. I hope I can read such nice article in near future.

diets planet
November 6, 2011

I Agree with you, every diet system has to be a tools not a destination

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