First, the very, very good news: a study has shown that a combination of foods – not just single good-guy foods such as fish or veggies but the whole shebang put together – can significantly lower the risk of bad health consequences in individuals who eat that combo, and in only a short period of time, which may be even better news.
Thus, in this small study of 44 overweight people from Lund University in Sweden, the individuals who ate the way they were told to eat lowered their LDL levels (that’s the “bad” cholesterol) by a staggering 33 % through diet alone (in most diets the maximum LDL-lowering effect is usually about 15-20 %), their total cholesterol levels fell by 14 %, and they also experienced significantly improved levels of other important metabolic factors such as clotting proteins.
So what’s the bad news, you wonder.
Just this: the foods they were given to eat which were very rich in the usual good-guy elements (anti-oxidants, fish oils, probiotics, fibre etc.) and which included good stuff like blueberries and veggies also included heavy doses of barley, soy protein, oily fish (which in Sweden must surely have been herring and the like) and vinegar.
I think if it were me, I’d settle for less of a drop in LDL if it also meant less of an intake of tofu, barley, and herring.