Pump Up the Protein?

A recent vegetarian diet study suggests a high-protein diet may improve cholesterol levels.

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A recent study finds that pumping up the protein may help improve the health of your heart. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, tested whether among vegetarian diets, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate improves cholesterol levels. Of 47 overweight males and females with high total—and LDL— cholesterol levels, half the group was supplied with a high-protein, plant-based diet (eating foods like tofu and legumes) for one month, only consuming high-fiber oats and barley in small amounts. The other group was placed on a high-carb, low-fat, lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which included low-fat or skim dairy, and egg whites or egg substitutes. At the end of the month, both groups had lost the same average weight, nine pounds, and both improved their cholesterol and triglyceride levels and blood pressure. The high-protein group, however, saw greater improvements.