The Portfolio Diet: Is It a Good Investment?

The Portfolio Diet is a new diet designed to help lower cholesterol. With the Portfolio Diet, you invest in your health by adding healthy eating patterns to your portfolio, rather than focusing on what kinds of food you should avoid.

So should you invest in the Portfolio Diet?

Is the Portfolio Diet healthy?

On the Portfolio Diet, you add nuts, plant proteins like beans or tofu, soluble fiber like that found in oats and apples, and plant sterols in fortified foods like milk and yogurt or in olive and sesame oils. 

Basically, you’ll be eating nuts and seeds, whole grains and beans, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. There’s nothing wrong with that. All these items are healthy additions to your meals.

People who followed the Portfolio Diet saw reductions in their “bad” cholesterol levels. The developers of the diet, based at the University of Toronto, also believe that their recommendations will reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. The Portfolio Diet has already been shown to reduce blood pressure as well. 

Is the Portfolio Diet easy?

The premise of the Portfolio Diet is that it is easier than trying to give up processed foods or restrict sugar. Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, you just work to increase the amount of the four cholesterol-lowering types of food.

The originators of the diet found that most people can easily add a handful of nuts to their eating plans, but they’d like people to swap out meat for soy meat substitutes. Some people have trouble switching to soy dogs and textured vegetable protein, or perhaps replacing meat with beans and lentils. These people, say the Portfolio Diet researchers, tend to be less successful than those who increase those four types of foods enough to reduce the other kinds of food they were eating. 

Still, most people who tried the diet did reduce their cholesterol. The most devoted followers reduced their cholesterol with the Portfolio Diet more than they did with medication. Changing eating habits may be easier for some people than taking medication.

Is the Portfolio Diet new?

Dr. David Jenkins developed the Portfolio Diet in 2003, so it is not exactly new. However, it has been better known in Canada than in the United States and is just now reaching Instagram and TikTok.

The Portfolio Diet has a lot in common with other healthy, plant-based diets like the Mediterranean Diet, Forks Over Knives, or the DASH diet. However, its focus on replacing meat with plant proteins is strict. Some studies have found that it is harder for people to stick with the Portfolio Diet.

Give it a try, though — you may be rewarded with lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure!