Small amounts of certain foods can reduce cholesterol.
Plant sterols occur naturally in a host of foods — primarily soybean oil, nuts, seeds, legumes and some fruits and vegetables.
Because plant sterols are chemically similar to cholesterol, the human body tends to absorb them and pass cholesterol out of the body as waste. The net result is that consuming foods rich in plant sterols can reduce the body’s blood cholesterol levels.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows food companies to declare the heart benefits of plant sterols on product packaging.