After comparing people on two different types of low fat, low cholesterol diets researchers say they have found that people who consumed a traditional diet consisting of lean meats and other low fat foods lowered their LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, by about 4.6 percent. However, those who consumed a diet rich in plant-based foods like vegetables, beans, and whole grains did about twice as well, lowering their LDL levels by about 9.4 percent.
For the study 61 adults consumed the traditional diet, and 59 were on the plant-based diet. All were carefully monitored throughout the one-month study to ensure their weight remained steady, so LDL levels wouldn't be attributed to weight loss and the participants were all advised to stick to their usual exercise routine.
In conclusion researchers say previous studies have suggested plant-based foods can lower cholesterol, but since these foods are naturally low in fat and don't contain any cholesterol at all, it's been hard to determine whether the benefits come from the plants themselves or just the fact that they are so low in fat and cholesterol-free. Thus researchers say their study shows that a plant-based diet is superior to a conventional diet containing the same amount of fat and cholesterol.