Diet and Cholesterol

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 290: 531. 2003) identified a diet that can be as effective in lowering “bad” cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) as the most commonly prescribed medications, the “statins.”

This diet involves adding soy protein (21.4 grams/1000kcal), soluble (viscous) fiber (9.8g/1000 kcal), almonds (14g/1000 kcal), and plant sterols (1g/1000 kcal) to a low-saturated-fat, and low-trans-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet.

Grams/1000 kcal
Multiply by kcal per day from chart
Soy Protein 21.4 grams / 1000 kcal
Soluble Fiber 9.8 grams / 1000 kcal
Almonds 14 grams / 1000 kcal
Plant Sterols 1 gram / 1000 kcal


10 grams of soy protein 10 grams of soluble fiber 10 grams of almonds 1 gram plant sterols (Take Control) or stanons (Benecol)
1/2 scoop of soy powder added to fruit juice 1.5 cups of oat bran 1/3 ounce or 8 almonds 1/2 tablespoon Take Control margarine
2- 1″ slices of tofu 4 servings of psyllium 2/3 tablespoon of almond butter 2 softgels of Benecol or 1/3 tablespoon of Benecol margarine
3/4 of a GeniSoy protein bar 3 teaspoons of glucomannan powder
1.5 SmartDog hotdog substitutes 2.5 cups cooked kidney beans
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A typical day on this diet is described below:

Breakfast Hot oat-bran cereal; soy beverage; strawberries; sugar and psyllium; oat-bran bread; enriched margarine; double-fruit jam
Snack almonds; soy beverage; fresh fruit
Lunch Spicy black-bean soup; sandwich with soy deli slices; oat-bran bread; enriched margarine; lettuce; tomato; cucumber
Snack Almonds, psyllium, fresh fruit
Dinner Tofu bake with eggplant, onions and sweet peppers; pearled barley; vegetables
Snack fresh fruit; psyllium; soy beverage

For more details here are the amounts…


  • 35 grams of Oatbran
  • 150 grams of Orange, apple or pear
  • 7 grams of Metamucil (always taken with 250 mL of water)
  • 33 grams of Oatbran bread
  • 8 grams of Plant sterol margarine
  • 18 grams of double fruit jam
  • 250 grams of Soy milk

Morning Snack:

  • 14 grams of Almonds
  • 250 grams of Soy milk


  • 65 grams of Vegetarian chili, or Lentil with curry, or Vegetable barley, Black bean or Minestrone with pasta soup.
  • 67 grams of Oatbran bread
  • 17 grams of Plant sterol margarine
  • 62 grams of Soy deli slices or Soy hot dogs
  • 80 grams of Tomato
  • 150 grams of Orange, apple or pear

Afternoon Snack:

  • 14 grams of Almonds
  • 7 grams of Metamucil
  • 250 grams of Soy milk


  • 295 grams of Vegetable curry, or 3-bean Chili
  • 85 grams of Soy burger
  • 80 grams of Northern beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, or Chickpeas
  • 35 grams of Barley
  • 100 grams of Okra
  • 200 grams of Eggplant
  • 200 grams of Cauliflower, Broccoli or Carrots
  • 80 grams of Onions
  • 60 grams of Red Pepper

Night snack:

  • 175 grams of Soyogurt
  • 7 grams of Metamucil
  • 10 grams of Double-fruit jam