Plant Sterols

Plant sterols
Plant sterols and stanols are known as phytosterols and are part of plant membranes. Consuming them may help lower cholesterol, especially when part of a healthful diet. These are found naturally in foods in small amounts and are added to foods by manufacturers.
The American Heart Association stated that individuals should consume plant sterols/stanols daily from a wide variety of foods and beverages; they advise that maximum effects are achieved at intakes of approximately 2000 mg per day (Circulation. 2006;114:000-000). The National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) says, "daily intakes of two to three grams per day of plant sterol/stanol esters will reduce LDL cholesterol by 6 to 15 percent."
Here are some product links:
With any of these foods, we think it is more important to focus on the whole diet and to make sure it is low in saturated fat, trans fat , sodium and sugar and high in whole plant foods like beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables that all contain fiber. Here is a review of a few listed below:
Promise Activ Light Spread contains just 45 calories and 5 grams of fat, 1 gram saturated fat and 0 g trans fat per tablespoon, plus it has one gram of sterols. If you are currently using margarine or butter it might make sense to switch to this one to add more phytosterols to your diet if you are concerned about lowering your cholesterol.
Promise Activ SuperShots contain an impressive 2 g of sterols per 3 ounce serving for just 70 calories. We were disappointed in their calcium content which rings in at just 4% of the daily value, unlike skim milk or yogurt that ring in around 30% per 1 cup serving.
CocoVia Chocolate Snack Bars are low in fat and calories for a chocolate bar, ringing in with just 80 calories and 2 grams of fat per bar. Plus these bars  contain 25% of the daily value for calcium and 1,100 mg of phytosterols. As part of a healthy diet these can be a good substitute for chocolate or other treats for those who like to indulge.
MinuteMaid Heartwise seems like a good idea - most people drink a glass of orange juice each day and with this product you get 1,000 mg of phytosterols and just 100 calories per cup.

Foods with Phytosterols phytosterols (mg)
Oroweat Whole Grain & Oat Bread, slice 266 mg
Thomas Hearty Grains Oat & Honey English Muffins 400 mg
Nature Valley Healthy Heart Granola Bars, 1 400 mg
Corazonas Tortilla Chips, 1 oz 400 mg
Kroger Active Lifestyle Skim Milk, cup 400 mg
Nature Valley Cholestoff, 1 capsule 450 mg
Rice Dream HeartWise, cup 650 mg
Lifetime Lowfat Cheese, 1 oz 650 mg
Centrum Cardio, 2 tablets 800 mg
Promise Activ Light spread, 1 Tbsp 1,000 mg
Bayer Nutrition Science Heart Vitality, 1 tablet 1,000 mg
Minute Maid HeartWise or ange juice, 8 oz 1,000 mg
Dove CocoaVia Chocolate Snack, 1 bar 1,100 mg
Promise Activ SuperShots Yogurt, 3 oz 2,000 mg
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