Phytosterols are cholesterol-like chemicals found in a variety of healthy foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. But how do phytosterols stack up when it comes to lowering your cholesterol? Some studies have shown that only one type of cholesterol is slightly lowered by phytosterol consumption. Additionally, there isn’t too much information available on the long-term effects of phytosterols and heart health.
Although phytosterols have been shown to lower cholesterol, there are differing thoughts as to how they perform this function. Some studies suggest that phytosterols interfere with the absorption of cholesterol. Other studies state that phytosterols are also minimally absorbed, making the chemicals good replacements for animal fats in the diet. Regardless of how they lower cholesterol, phytosterols are quickly emerging as a heart-friendly ingredient.
- What amount of phytosterols do you need each day? Although there hasn't been a lot of research conducted that examines the amount of phytosterols needed to lower your cholesterol, there is a certain amount that studies are suggesting they are effective in lowering your cholesterol.
Phytosterols can be obtained from a variety of sources, ranging from certain foods to supplements found in your local pharmacy or grocery store. Although there is research showing that phytosterols can help keep certain aspects of your cholesterol in check, there are pros and cons to using each source in obtaining your phytosterols. Find out what your options are for obtaining phytosterols in your diet, as well as how effeitve each option is in lowering your cholesterol.
Phytosterols are available in a wide variety of foods and supplements -- but which are better for you to take when it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels? While it may seem plausible to take phytosterol supplements because your diet isn’t the healthiest it could be, you may be missing out on additional, healthy benefits that phytosterol-containing foods can offer you. Additionally, there is some controversy over the effectiveness of phytosterol supplements.
There are plenty of ways you can include phytosterols in your cholesterol-lowering diet. Ranging from quick snacks to easy-to-follow recipes, including phytosterols in any part of your day couldn't be easier. If you are looking for additional ideas for including phytosterols in your diet, try some of these delicious recipes:
- Low-Cholesterol Phytosterol Breakfast Ideas - Start your busy day with these phytosterol-containing recipes for pancakes, breads and smoothies.
- Healthy Lunches Containing Phytosterols - These tasty salad recipes are chock-full of phytosterols and other healthy ingredients.
- Phytosterol Dinner Ideas - Delicious recipes incorporating phytosterols into chicken, pasta, kabobs and more!
Although studies have shown its effectiveness in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, the use of phytosterols long term is not entirely known. Just like with any ingredient -- especially when placed into a supplement form -- certain people make experience side effects from taking them. Find out what is known so far about the safety of taking phytosterols over a long period of time.