Cholesterol-lowering foods market predicted to grow
The link between cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk is well established and well known by consumers too. This has created a market for cholesterol-lowering foods that is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% to 2020.
Foods containing plant stanols and sterols are currently mainly dairy based but new innovations are on the horizon.
Naturally occurring plant sterols and stanols are found in small amounts in nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetable oils, breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables.
According to the Dietitian’s Association of Australia, the plant sterols and stanols block the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol, leading to lower levels of cholesterol in the blood, and can lower blood cholesterol by up to 10–15% when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Two to three grams of plant sterols and stanols per day are recommended for cholesterol management by the National Heart Foundation of Australia. However, to achieve these levels consumers would need to eat the foods recommended above and some foods that have been enriched with plant sterols and stanols. These include some margarine, low-fat milks, low-fat yoghurts and breakfast cereals, lower fat cheese and processed cheese.
Manufacturers claiming health benefits because their product contains plant sterols and stanols must list the plant sterols on the ingredients panel on the food label and include the total amount of plant sterols in the nutrition information panel.
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