My doctor, kind of a brilliant country old timer doctor, has offered me two pieces of advice, over the years. 1. Do diet first! and 2. Ice cream is death in a bucket.
We all know that we should eat several (perhaps 8) servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Lower weight, less cancers, lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are all possible. Anything which reduces cancers, cardiovascular disease, heart disease and likelihood of diabetesis, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.
In fact, the usual method of improving lipids, etc. is medications. Take a pill, and continue on with life. But wait, statins or other medications have side effects and should only be used if lifestyle changes do not work. (Usually because of noncompliance to proper diet and exercise.) This not a failure of desire to do the right thing. It is incredibly difficult and expensive to comply. Eating Genetically Modified and-or non organic foods are both fraught with danger from genetic “lottos”, pesticides, herbicides and processing. And, do you want to give children statins?
What about foods made by leading brands? Well, highly processed foods are loaded with sugars and fat. they should be studiously avoided. At the least, carefully read the label.
The body needs highly soluble fibers and sterols to properly function. Get them naturally or by whatever means you can.
A simplistic explanation is on EHow and quoted here: Sterols are defined as “any of a group of natural steroid alcohols derived from plants or animals. They are essential components of plant cells, contributing to the regulation of cell structure, growth and development. Surprisingly perhaps, plant sterols have a similar structure to cholesterol”.
Ed: How long have we known about the benefits of sterols? Read on…
“In the 1950s, a research paper by O.J.Pollak showed the positive effect of plant sterols on cholesterol levels in humans. Plant sterols have a similar structure to cholesterol but are poorly digested. Once in the gut they reduce the absorption of the dangerous LDL cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Following this research plant sterols were used as part of the treatment of elevated blood cholesterol, a practice that continued until the pharmaceutical industry developed drugs that offered great efficacy and patient acceptance. (ED: The convenient pill, supported by billions in advertising.)
Because sterols are a natural component of vegetables, nuts and other foods, a western diet already contains an estimated 200 to 300 mg per day. According to the United Kingdom Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, to lower cholesterol in the blood the intake of plant sterols required is 1 to 3 g per day. This would achieve a reduction of LDL cholesterol of 5 to15 percent. (ED: For “math-a-phobes” we are getting one thousandth of therapeutic levels.)
The UK Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes has stated that in their view foods with added plant sterols are only suitable for “at risk” groups of the population who have been advised by a medical practitioner to adjust their diet to lower blood cholesterol.Their reasoning is that sterols may interfere with absorption of carotenoids—essential for the body to make vitamin A—which might be a health risk for children, pregnant women and those breastfeeding.”
(ED: There is a few problems with this advice. 1. It costs $ to get advised by a doctor and the advice, and if it could work, could be on a plaque outside the doctors office: “Eat 8 servings of fruits and vegetable daily and exercise regularly.” Then everyone would be at an ideal weight and full of fiber and sterols. 2. We know 80% of us are at least overweight and already at risk. Not consuming sterols is far more dangerous than taking a vitamin A supplement. 3. Pills are supported by lovely advertising promoting the drug. 4. We get little education on the subjects, rather, we are viewed as weaklings who just won’t properly diet. 5. There are all sorts of organizations who will take our money to “lose weight”. 6. Despite thousands of these diets and programs, they never work, in the long run. 7. We are pressured to eat “convenience food” which increases insulin staying in the body and prevents our bodies from drawing on fuel from fat cells. 8. We finally give up and may get cancer, heart attacks, limb amputations, kidney failure, blindness, and live with the people who ostracize us for being weaklings.”)
Read more: Define Plant Sterols | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6510178_define-plant-sterols.html#ixzz2GB7V42Tb”