If you’re thinking Cheerios, think again.
If you ask the average American on the street to name the best food for lowering cholesterol, my guess is that 50% or more would say Cheerios. That’s because General Mills has built that brand as the heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering brand — I mean, look at the carton. And they have spent a lot of money producing some terrific ads — emotional scenes with children that we all remember.
Now, I am not picking on Cheerios, because compared to most of the “junk food” on the cereal aisle these days, it’s really not that bad. But it is a processed food, even though they use whole grain oats. And the ingredient list also includes the following in addition to the oats: modified corn starch, sugar, salt, tripotassium phosphate, wheat starch, and mixed tocopherols. By contrast, my Old Fashioned Oatmeal has one ingredient: whole grain rolled oats.
The problem is that most people get virtually all of their nutritional information from their TV’s and from the front of the food packages they buy. But, with the latest CNN Special, “The Last Heart Attack,” more books like The China Study, and informational videos like the one described below; the word is beginning to get out there about the ultra-simplicity of the most nutritious diet possible. It can be summed up in two words: whole plants. And if you eat enough of them, you can protect yourself against virtually all diseases and reverse most of the ones you might already have.
CNN recently produced a video about foods that lower cholesterol best, citing information from a recent study in Canada that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). There is a link to that short video below (it does have a 30-second ad at the beginning.) But here’s the primary information:
- There were two groups of people in the study; all had cholesterol levels between 243 and 263.
- One group was told to eat a low fat diet that included dairy as well as fruits and vegetables.
- The other group was told to eat foods that were known to reduce cholesterol: a list that included ONLY plant-based foods, mostly whole and unprocessed.
- The “Low Fat” group reduced their bad cholesterol 3%.
- The “Whole Plant-based” group was almost five times as successful in reducing theirs: an average of 14%.
In our own 4-Leaf Program, we have build on the simplicity of maximizing the percent of your calories from whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. Since we established 80% or better as the “4-Leaf Level,” some people call it the 80-20 diet.
But whatever you call it, if you’re getting over 80% of your calories from a broad range of whole plant-based foods, you will be eating a very healthy diet. And even though you can eat all you want, your body will take care of finding it’s ideal weight.
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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