Naturally occurring substances found in plants (and used to make many butter-like spreads), sterols can help block the absorption of bad cholesterol in the small intestine, thus lowering levels of LDL in the body. But don’t go chowing down on plant sterols just yet. To protect your heart, small, frequent servings are more effective then getting plant sterols all at on meal, according to a 2008 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In the study, 19 people ate either regular margarine with each meal, sterol-enriched margarine with breakfast only, or sterol margarine with every meal, and the more frequent sterol eaters were the only ones to significantly reduce their LDL cholesterol.
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