Protect your heart

In recent years, the products intended to integrate in an anti-cholesterol regime have appeared in the linear of the supermarkets. Margarines, yogurts, cheeses ... are today specially designed to help us protect our health.

Improved foods

Sterols, stanols, omega 3, omega 6 ... Let's take a look at these products. In order to use them properly, it is necessary to know that they are divided into two main branches: those intended for the whole family, some of the saturated fats being replaced by unsaturated fats and those, enriched with active substances, reserved for people Suffering from hypercholesterolemia.

Go green!

The study by Ancel Keys in the 1950s (US, Japan, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Finland) shows a link between excessive consumption of saturated fats and increased blood cholesterol. In Finland, the Netherlands and the United States, where saturated fats accounted for between 18 and 21% of total energy intake, coronary mortality (essentially myocardial infarction) was highest. Conversely, Greeks and Japanese who consumed mostly unsaturated fats, brought by fish or olive oil, knew much less about hypercholesterolemia and ... in both countries, coronary mortality was extremely high Low.

To limit the consumption of saturated fats, many manufacturers have revised their recipes. They have partially replaced saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Even if you change the nutritional composition, you do as well: most of these products contain omega 3 and omega 6, in consistent quantities and in optimal proportions. Indeed, so that these polyunsaturated fats give the best of themselves the ratio between omega 6 and 3 must be close to 5.

By the way, these foods change their name: for example "butter", when it contains fats of vegetable origin is called margarine (or spread).

People with high cholesterol can continue to use "butter" in their recipes and can regain the pleasure of enjoying "cheese". In addition, these products can be consumed by the whole family.

More active, the second family of products intended to integrate into an anti-cholesterol diet is enriched with vegetable phytosterols. It can boast of significantly lowering cholesterol levels and displaying it on the label. Indeed, sterols and their derivatives, stanols, are a kind of plant cholesterol. They are found naturally in certain plants (soya, rapeseed, avocado, nuts ...) but in doses so low that they have no action on cholesterol. In sufficient amounts, that is, 2 to 3 g per day, phytosterols inhibit the absorption of intestinal cholesterol. A greater part of the cholesterol is then eliminated by the stool, which reduces hypercholesterolemia. After 3 to 4 weeks of consumption of phytosterols, the cholesterol level in the blood can drop by 10 to 15% depending on the individual.

These "foods" are reserved for people suffering from hypercholesterolemia (they are not suitable for children, pregnant and lactating women): they are not suitable for those with normal cholesterol levels.