Should I use the special margarines to lower cholesterol?

Researchers at McGill University in Canada report that eating plant sterols and exercising lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat and weight, but you don’t have to eat special plant sterol margarine. You can get plenty of plant sterols in nuts, seeds, vegetables and beans. In this study, middle-aged men ate margarine containing sterols four times a day and used stair-stepping machines and stationary bicycles three times a week for eight weeks (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2005). Down went the total cholesterol, bad low-density cholesterol, and triglycerides and up went the good HDL cholesterol. Fifty percent of deaths in North America are caused by heart attacks and strokes. Most people can prevent these catastrophes by exercising, eating lots of plants (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other seeds), avoiding smoking and smokers, staying monogamous and maintaining a healthful weight.

March 1, 2006

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