Plant Sterols for Cholesterol Reduction
If you need to start lowering cholesterol, then eating foods or supplements with plant stanols and sterols can help lower your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Small amounts of stanols and sterols are found in some plant foods. Higher levels, which are effective at lowering cholesterol, can be found in dietary supplements or functional foods - foods with specific compounds that benefit your health. You will find them in some margarine spreads including Benecol and Take Control.
The association between plant stanols and sterols is strong enough that the FDA approved a health claim for foods. The health claim states - "diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include at least 1.3 grams of plant sterols esters or 3.4 grams of plant stanol esters, consumed in two meals with other foods, may reduce the risk of heart disease."