I don’t tend to like to use the word ‘superfood’ given the fact that one food on its own doesn’t cause or solve all of the worlds health problems. However when I stumbled across this new cholesterol lowering cheese by Kraft all I could do was smile.
The number of people who have high cholesterol that enjoy cheese is endless. Often people with raised cholesterol are advised to steer clear of full fat yellow and cream cheeses due to the high saturated fat content compared to reduced fat dairy. Having said that, this new product called liveactive, which has two varieties in its range, a light yellow cheese as well as a light cream cheese, ticks all the boxes, being both lower in saturated fat than its full fat counterparts, as well as containing the ‘superfood’ ingredient plant sterols (also known as phyto sterols).
Plant sterols are particularly beneficial for people with high cholesterol as they actively lower cholesterol. Plant sterols actually bind where cholesterol would usually bind in the gastro intestinal tract, leading to less cholesterol absorption. This may result in more well controlled total cholesterol levels.
Plant sterols are a naturally occurring compound that can actually be found in some vegetable based oils and nuts. You may have heard of plant sterol enriched margarines such as flora proactive or logicol, or the milk pura heart active that are also enriched. All these enriched products have the same recommendation (which is in line with the Australian Heart Foundations recommendation) of consuming 2-3 serves per day in order to see a reduction in cholesterol levels by 10-15% in 3 weeks.
From my experience with clients, these products really do work! They are always my first line of action when someone comes in with high cholesterol (even if they are already on cholesterol lowering medications, as they actually have an additive effect in a positive way!).
My one suggestion would be, if you do start to consume these enriched products make sure you consume one serve of a beta carotene rich vegetable each day, for example some sweet potato, capsicum or carrot. The reason being that plant sterols can slightly lower your vitamin A levels and therefore this is a safe way of making sure your levels remain stable whilst you are helping lower your cholesterol with the plant sterol enriched products (definitely do not go trying to find a Vitamin A supplement tablet, these can be toxic if had in large doses- I can explain this in a future blog if anyone is interested in understanding more about this).
So for any of you who yourself have, or you know someone who has raised cholesterol, and enjoys a bit of cheese in your diet, give this product a try and let us know how you find it. Even better, how about having your cholesterol levels checked before and after the 3 weeks consuming the product, real life stories are always the best proof of a product actually working!
I recommend reading the NineMSN article about Australia’s first cheese that is proven to lower cholesterol.