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Study Finds Plant Protein, Fiber, Nuts Lower Cholesterol, Improve Blood Pressure

  • Published: 2018-06-05 (Revised/Updated 2018-06-07) : *Press Release: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Diet based on Portfolio Diet which is a plant-based dietary pattern that emphasizes a portfolio of four proven cholesterol-lowering foods.

A new meta-analysis published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases finds that a diet that includes plant protein, fiber, nuts, and plant sterols lowers cholesterol, improves blood pressure, and improves other markers for cardiovascular disease risk.

The diet is based on the "Portfolio Diet," which is a plant-based dietary pattern that emphasizes a portfolio of four proven cholesterol-lowering foods:

Large paper bag filled with un-shelled peanuts - Photo Credit: Radu Marcusu on UnsplashAbout This Image: Large paper bag filled with un-shelled peanuts - Photo Credit: Radu Marcusu on UnsplashThe meta-analysis found that following the dietary pattern reduced LDL-cholesterol by 17 percent, while also reducing total cholesterol, triglcyerides, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and C-reactive protein.

It also helped reduce 10-year coronary heart disease risk by 13 percent.

"Previous clinical trials and observational studies have found strong evidence that a plant-based diet can improve heart health," says study author Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

"This study demonstrates that certain plant foods are especially effective for lowering cholesterol and boosting our overall cardiovascular health."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.

Portfolio Diet


The Portfolio Diet is a therapeutic vegan diet created by Canadian researcher David J. Jenkins in 2003 to lower blood cholesterol.

This diet emphasizes using a portfolio of foods or food components that have found to associate with cholesterol lowering to enhance this effect.

The portfolio diet isn't designed as a weight loss diet. Its primary focus is on lowering cholesterol.

Viscous fiber, soy protein, plant sterols, and nuts are the four essential components of Portfolio diet.

This diet is low in saturated fat, high in fibre.

Researchers have found it has comparable blood cholesterol effect to statin treatment.

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