Natural Compounds with Cholesterol-Lowering Abilities

Closeup shot of vegetarian person hands holding gourmet championship game lunch dish with chickpeas mint, fresh herbs and fruit at wooden table drinking organic fair-trade coffeeIf you’re looking for an easy way to cut cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease, I have four words for you: plant sterols and stanols.

These compounds have unique cholesterol-lowering abilities and are found in a host of plant-based foods, including nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, and more. They are even added to items like juice and margarine to make them a little healthier.


Plant sterols and stanols share a similar molecular structure to cholesterol, which helps trick your body during digestion. The sterols and stanols essentially block cholesterol absorption by taking the space it would typically occupy. Instead of being absorbed in the bloodstream, harmful LDL cholesterol is excreted from the body as waste.

The results can be rather profound, particularly for people with high cholesterol and an elevated heart disease risk.

One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that less than an ounce of stanol-fortified margarine per day can lower “bad” LDL by 14 percent.

Another study showed drinking orange juice fortified with plant sterols could reduce LDL by more than 12 percent.

What’s impressive is that those results used stanol-and sterol fortified foods that are not even “healthy.” Imagine what might happen if you were getting your plant sterols and stanols from healthful whole foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, or whole grains?

If you drink a glass of orange juice per day or like to spread some margarine on your whole-grain toast, opt for sterol-or-stanol fortified foods to help you get a better handle on cholesterol.


Eating more whole plant-based foods can have further cholesterol-lowering abilities.

If you’re looking for ways to manage cholesterol, plant sterols and stanols could help you accomplish your goals. They may work alongside or as an alternative for cholesterol-lowering stain medications.

Talking to your doctor before deciding to increase stanol and sterol intake, particularly if you’re taking statins, is recommended before moving forward.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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