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Veggies, Nuts and Grains Can Beat Heart Disease

Combination diet reduces bad cholesterol, study finds

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Here's yet more evidence that you should eat your veggies and other healthy kinds of food.

A Canadian study found a combination diet of vegetables, nuts, soy proteins, and oats and barley can cut bad cholesterol by 29 percent, a reduction that matches the results of some drug treatments for high cholesterol.

That means this combination diet may be a drug-free alternative for fighting high cholesterol.

The study appears in the December issue of Metabolism.

Researchers at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital measured the cholesterol levels of 13 people who went on the combination diet for a month. The diet included vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, red peppers, tomato, onions, cauliflower, okra and eggplant.

The diet also included: oats, barley and psyllium; vegetable-based margarine; soy protein from products such as soy milk and soy sausages, cold cuts and burgers; and almonds.

Scientists have know for years that, individually, each of these food groups could lower cholesterol by 4 percent to 7 percent. However, this is the first study to look at this type of combination diet.

The Canadian researchers plan to examine the effects of this combination diet over a period of six months. That will include determining how well people can incorporate the combination diet into their daily lives.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about healthy food choices.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, Dec. 1, 2002
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