The portfolio diet reduces a range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease

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In Canada, University of Toronto researchers found that the portfolio diet, a plant-based way of eating previously shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduces other risk factors for cardiovascular disease including blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation.

In addition to reducing LDL cholesterol by about 30 percent when combined with a low-saturated fat diet – a level comparable to medications – the researchers found the diet limited other factors for an estimated 13 percent reduction in the overall risk for coronary heart disease, which includes angina and heart attack.

“We’ve known the portfolio diet lowers LDL cholesterol, but we didn’t have a clear picture of what else it could do,” says John Sievenpiper, an associate professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at U of T and a staff physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital. “This study allows for greater clarity and certainty about the effects of the diet and its health potential.”