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Cholesterol is found in meat, chicken, fish, diary products and eggs. Plants do not contain cholesterol, they contain stanols. Having a high cholesterol increases your chances of developing a heart attack. Stanols taken from plants prevent a third of the cholesterol that you eat from being absorbed, so they help lower cholesterol by 10 to 20 percent to help prevent heart attacks.

To be palatable, stanols have to be dissolved in fat, so they are sold in special margarines or salad dressings. To lower cholesterol, you need at least two servings a day. You could save a lot of money by eating a prudent diet of fruits, vegetables whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts and reduce your intake of cholesterol in meat, chicken, dairy products and eggs.

1) J Plat, ENM vanOnselen, MMA vanHeugten, RP Mensink. Effects on serum lipids, lipoproteins and fat soluble antioxidant concentrations of consumption frequency of margarines and shortenings enriched with plant stanol esters. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, Vol 54, Iss 9, pp 671-677.

2) MA Hallikainen, ES Sarkkinen, H Gylling, AT Erkkila, MIJ Uusitupa. Comparison of the effects of plant sterol eater and plant stanol ester-enriched margarines in lowering serum cholesterol concentrations in hypercholesterolaemic subjects on a low-fat diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, Vol 54, Iss 9, pp 715-725

Checked 8/31/05

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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