Yes, they do–food can lower cholesterol 25-30%, irrespective of weight loss.
But there’s a trick: you have to be a weight watcher. Don’t gain weight on health foods.
Too many calories in and your plant sterol/stanol-enhanced health foods (which actively lower cholesterol) will mean obesity help and a diet plan.
So, here are some tidbits: you need at least 2 grams of stanols or sterols daily, every day, to make a difference to lower cholesterol:
• Benecol caramel and chocolate chews provide 0.85 grams of stanols per piece. Calories : 20 per chew. Cost: $8 per bag of 20 chews; four bags for $30.
• CocoaVia chocolates provide 1.1 to 1.3 grams of sterols per serving. Calories: 80 to 140 per chocolate. Cost: $1 each.
• Lifetime cheese provides 0.65 grams of sterols per ounce. Calories: 55 per ounce. Cost: $4 to $5 per 8 ounces.
• Minute Maid Heart Wise orange juice in most grocery stores, provides 1 gram of sterols per 8 ounces. Calories: 110 per 8 ounces. Cost: $4 per half-gallon.
• Nature Valley Healthy Heart Chewy granola bars in most grocery stores, provide 0.4 grams of sterols per bar. Calories: 160 per bar. Cost: $2 to $3 per box of 12 bars.
• Rice Dream Heartwise rice drink in many grocery stores, provides 0.65 grams of sterols per 8 ounces. Calories: 130 to 140 per 8 ounces. Cost: $2 per quart.
• Margarine Spreads, in grocery stores, provide (Benecol) 1.7 grams of stanols per tablespoon; (Take Control) 1.7 grams sterols; (Smart Balance) 0.45 grams sterols. Calories: (Benecol) 70 per tablespoon; 50 (light); (Take Control) 80. (SmartBalance) 80; Cost/tub: About $5 (Benecol); $4 (Take Control), $3 (Smart Balance) per tub.