Recent Blog Articles

LDL Cholesterol: Foods fortified with sterols, stanols can lower cholesterol

March 01, 2006

Plant sterols and stanols, substances that can lower cholesterol, are now being added to foods ranging from granola bars to chocolate. The catch is that you need to eat about 2 grams worth of added sterols or stanols every day to put a dent in your cholesterol, reports the Harvard Heart Letter.

When eaten, sterols and stanols gum up the body’s system for absorbing cholesterol from food. Since the liver needs cholesterol for digestion, it grabs LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream while leaving HDL cholesterol alone. Eating 2 grams per day can lower levels of LDL cholesterol by about 10%, which could translate into a 20% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.