05/06/2005 - News

Adding fruit and vegetables to low fat diet is beneficial

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Adding fruit and vegetables to low fat diet is beneficial

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans has more cholesterol-lowering power than a conventional low-fat diet.
Doctors often recommend a low-fat diet for those who want to lower their cholesterol levels and so reduce their risk of heart disease. However, as researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine now show, not all low-fat diets are equal. The team had two groups eat either a conventional low-fat diet or one which also included many plant-based foods.

After four weeks, both diets had lowered both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol. But the plant-based diet was far more effective - lowering LDL cholesterol by 9.4 per cent compared to 4.6 per cent for the conventional low-fat diet.

The advice is to include more whole grains, vegetables and beans. Go for color - red peppers, carrots and red cabbage are all high in good phytochemicals. If you have a choice between iceberg lettuce or spinach, for example, go for the latter - or a palatable substitute.

Annals of Internal Medicine 3rd May 2005

Created on: 05/06/2005
Reviewed on: 05/06/2005

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