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Infographic introducing the Portfolio Diet

June 6, 2018

Infographic introducing the Portfolio Diet

The Portfolio Diet

An evidence-based eating plan for lower cholesterol

What is the Portfolio Diet?

The Portfolio Diet is a way of eating that evidence has shown can help lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Instead of focusing on what you can't eat, the Portfolio Diet is about what you can add to your menu!

The diet includes a "portfolio" of plant foods that you can choose from.

Research shows that medications and diet both work to lower your cholesterol. Medications can be more effective and easier, but some people don't want to take medications, cannot tolerate the side effects, or want to combine a nutritious diet with medications.

How does it work?

The Portfolio Diet is exactly as it sounds. It takes a few dietary patterns that have been shown to lower cholesterol and puts them together. To lower your cholesterol, you can "invest" in any one pattern, or some of them, or all of them.

What does the Portfolio Diet look like?

1. NUTS
45g daily
Expected LDL-Cholesterol lowering: 5-10%
Some suggested foods: mixed nuts, almonds, peanuts, nut butters, pistachios, walnuts

All nuts are good for you heart and cholesterol, and contrary to concerns do not contribute to weight gain. Add nuts as a snack between meals, adding to salads, cereals or yogurt. Trying but butter on your toast is an option. 45g is about a handful of nuts. If allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, try seeds.

2. PLANT PROTEIN
50g daily
Expected LDL-Cholesterol lowering: 5-10%
Some suggested foods: chickpeas, peas, tempeh, veggie burger, tofu, soy beans, lentils, beans, veggie dog, soy milk, soy deli slices

This is the most challenging component of the Portfolio Diet. Start by trying to get 25g daily. Consider replacing milk with soy milk. Try tofu, soy nuts and beans.

3. VISCOUS (STICKY) FIBRE
20g daily
Expected LDL-Cholesterol lowering: 5-10%
Some suggested foods: apple, corn, eggplant, psyllium, strawberries, oatmeal, oat bran cereal, barley

Aim to eat two servings of oatmeal, beans, lentils and chickpeas a day. Replace bread with rye or pumpernickel or oatcakes. Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Aim to eat two servings per day of oatmeal, barley or cereals enriched with psyllium or oat bran. Eat at least five servings per day of vegetables (eggplants, okra) and fruit (apples, oranges, berries) high in viscous fibre.

4. PLANT STEROLS
2g daily
Expected LDL-Cholesterol lowering: 5-10%
Some suggested foods: plant sterol margarine and plant sterol fortified foods such as oils, juices, yogurt

These occur naturally (soybeans, corn, squash, etc.), but to get this amount of sterol, you will require fortified foods such as spreads, juices, yogurt, milk and even supplements as part of a meal.

It's NOT about one big change. It's NOT all or nothing. Just start by introducing one component to your diet and build from there.

The Portfolio Diet is for "real people in the real world." -- Dr. David Jenkins, creator of the Portfolio Diet