LDL Reduction

LDL Reduction

The quote, “Replacing a discussion of lifestyle change with a prescription for medication is akin to advising a patient to top a hot dog with a statin” is music to a nutritionist's ears.

In reality, we all know how much effort it can take to change a person's eating behavior. Below is a chart that delineates the approximate and cumulative LDL cholesterol reduction achievable by dietary modification. Maybe we can't convince someone to change everything about their diet, but even a few changes accumulate!

Dietary componentDietary changeApproximate LDL Reduction
Saturated fat‹ 7% of calories8-10 %
Dietary cholesterol‹ 200 mg per day3-5 %
Weight reductionLose 10 lbs5-8 %
Other LDL lowering options
Soluble fiber5-10 g per day3-5 %
Plant sterol / stanol esters2 g per day6-15%
Cumulative estimate20-30%


In a recent article, lovastatin was compared to a diet containing all the cholesterol-lowering attributes of diet. The article concluded that statin and dietary portfolio treatments were not significantly different in efficacy of lowering both LDL-C and C-reactive protein. 1

For more information on LDL reduction, try the following resources:


    1. Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Wong JMW, de Souza R, et al. Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods vs lovastatin on serum lipids and C-reactive protein. JAMA. 2003;290:502-10.