August 30, 2011

Portfolio Diet Better Than Low-Fat Diet

This is difficult topic for me to write about, but people still need to know about the Portfolio diet and that it is better for you than the low-fat diet. I hesitate to recommend this diet since I do not like soy or soy based products and margarine of any type. The portfolio-diet over the low fat diet helps lower cholesterol by 13 percent after six months on the diet whereas the results of the traditional low-fat diet can only give a three percent decrease in cholesterol.

The Portfolio-diet is a plant based diet and for some people will serve them well. Since cardiovascular disease is a major killer, researcher David Jenkins, MD, Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto says, “If we let people know that they can control their own cholesterol levels themselves, we're putting some of the responsibility but also the power back into the hands of ordinary citizens." Jenkins also says, “The study suggests that the mix of plant-based foods included in the portfolio diet can achieve cholesterol-lowering results similar to what can be achieved through drugs.”

Several others have commented that motivation is key and that going from animal to plant based protein is a change, counseling sessions seemed to work very well and these type of results are very good and people are staying with it. They are hoping the results will continue beyond the six months with more counseling sessions.

In the study, 351 people with high cholesterol were divided in three groups. One group on the portfolio diet received two counseling sections and another group on the portfolio diets received seven sessions over a six month period and the third group followed a standard low-fat diet for six months.

People tend to respond to the positive dietary messages and the nuts, legumes, and plant sterols was well received as being proactive over just taking saturated fat out of the diet.

The second article in Medscape is a little more descriptive and does say that the portfolio diet may well alleviate the need for statins early on and may reduce the dosage of statins needed for many people. All positive steps in reducing the dependance on some medications.

Read about the study in WebMD here and the Medscape article here.


Ronnie Gregory M said...

Its true that while motivation is key the biggest problem I have seen people face is still the radical nature of any dietary change and sure motivation ties into that but as with any cautionary tale I always remind people that these studies are done under a control environment and that should be taken into account when viewing the results. Interesting news though, I found my biggest problem was a cholesterol spike when I tried the regular low carb ala Atkins diet and I found my best results on a low carb veggie diet which kinda mirrors the portfolio diet.

Bob Fenton said...

Yes, Ronnie. I detest diets as most fail because they are not sustainable in the long term. I just felt that people had a right to know this information so they could do their own investigation. I will never promote a diet except like this that beats the low fat diet. I am investigating several diets and looking at the advantages and weaknesses of each. I have not arrived at any conclusions yet and do not expect to for a while.