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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

25/05/2001

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

NULL

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Soy sterol-based vegetable spreads reduce choleste
Soy sterol-based vegetable spreads reduce cholesterol riskUSA, 5/24/2001(Soyatech.com) - Government heart disease guidelines aregiving a boost to two new vegetable spreads that contain expensivecholesterol-reducing compounds.Benecol and Take Control spreads can reduce levels of LDL bad cholesterolby about 15 percent in two weeks, according to studies sponsored by themanufacturers.The spreads contain compounds found in plants, called stanols and sterols,that block the absorption of cholesterol into the body.Last week, the National Cholesterol Education Program recommended that 65million Americans go on cholesterol-lowering diets to reduce the risk ofheart disease. The panel recommended that 36 million people also takecholesterol-lowering drugs.In a heart-healthy diet, less than 7 percent of calories should come fromsaturated fat and less than 35 percent from total fat. Each day, dietersshould eat less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol and consume at least 10to 25 grams of fiber.The government also recommends consuming 2 grams of stanols or sterols perday. A one-tablespoon serving of Take Control contains 1.6 grams ofsterols, while a serving of Benecol contains 1.5 grams of stanols.Low levels of stanols and sterols occur naturally in plants. These levelsare greatly boosted in the new spreads-it takes 2,500 tons of soybean oilto produce 1 ton of sterols used in Take Control. (Benecol's stanols comefrom pine trees.)At a Jewel supermarket Saturday, the regular price of Benecol was $11.98per pound, while Take Control cost $5.58 per pound. By comparison, a poundof regular Fleischmann's spread cost just $2.09.Benecol can be used in baking and frying; Take Control cannot. Benecol has80 calories per serving; Take Control, 50. To a reporter doing a tastetest, Benecol and Take Control tasted about the same as Fleischmann's.Benecol and Take Control do not raise HDL good cholesterol, nor reducefats called triglycerides that contribute to heart disease.The spreads have to be eaten every day to remain effective. To avoidgaining weight, a consumer should eat Benecol and Take Control in placeof, not in addition to, other fats, said dietitian Laurie Maimonis ofNorthwestern Memorial Hospital's Wellness Institute.Benecol and Take Control flush out beneficial food chemicals calledcarotinoids, said Bruce Silverglade of the Center for Science in thePublic Interest, a consumer group. In Europe, the spreads aren'trecommended for children and pregnant women, he said."When we combine the medicine chest with the refrigerator, consumers willhave to exercise extra caution," Silverglade said.