Nutrition and fitness expert Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RDN, FAND, LDN, is author of Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs. In her book, Dr. Bond Brill talks about two specific plant-based foods—plant sterols and psyllium seed husk—that can dramatically lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Plant sterols have been studied for the past half-century—they have no negative side effects and are available in pill form. Once in the body, sterols mimic LDL cholesterol, causing the body to excrete the real thing and effectively lowering circulating LDL levels. All Americans should be taking plant sterols. Psyllium seed husk is a powerful plant fiber that soaks up LDL cholesterol like a sponge and improves gastrointestinal tract function. Psyllium is available in pill form, but Dr. Bond Brill cautions that, because it is a fiber, it should be taken with plenty of water and levels should be increased slowly.

Visit Dr. Bond Brill’s website or purchase her latest book, Cholesterol Down.