How can I include Phytosterols in my diet?

Phytosterols are naturally present in small quantities in vegetable oil, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. However, the average intake of these substances is less than 500 milligrams (mg) a day, which falls short of the amount needed to lower cholesterol. That’s why many manufacturers fortify foods with phytosterols.

The chart below lists common foods or dietary supplements fortified with sterols or stanol esters. The far right column lists the amount contained in a single serving. To optimize their effectiveness, the following must be consumed two to three times daily before or with meals or snacks (please carefully read the instructions on the package).

Product NameServing SizeCalories Per ServingGrams of Total Fat Per ServingGrams of Saturated Fat Per ServingGrams of Plant Sterol or Stanol Per Serving
Benecol® spread1 Tbsp70810.5
Benecol® Light spread1 Tbsp5050.50.5
Benecol® Smart Chews2 chews351N/A0.8
Cardio Juice6 oz60000.5
Centrum SpecialistHeart dietary supplement2 TabletsN/AN/AN/A0.8
Corazonas Chips1 oz14070.50.4
Corazonas OatmealSquares1 square180-2004.5-90.5-20.5
Bluebonnet:Plant Sterols1 pill0000.5
Giant EagleFat Free milk1 cup(8 oz)80000.4
Heart Goodness®Egg Product1/4 cup30000.5
Lifetime® Low FatBlock Cheese1 oz471.680.50.65
Minute Maid®Heart Wise Orange Juice1 cup(8 oz)110001 .0
Nature MadeCholestOff®(Original, Complete & Cholestoff Plus)2 tabletsN/AN/AN/A0.6
Natrol Cholesterol Balance® Beta-Sitosterol dietary supplement2 tabletsN/AN/AN/A0.6
Promise Activ TMspread1 Tbsp70811.0
Promise Activ TMLight spread1 Tbsp45511.0
Smart Balance®Heart RightFat Free Milk1 cup(8 oz)90000.4
Smart Balance®Heart RightButtery Spread1 Tbsp8082.51.7
Smart Balance®Heart Right LightButtery Spread1 Tbsp5051.01.7
VitaMuffin VitaTopsTMDark ChocolatePomegranate1, 2-ounce muffin top1001.50.50.4
VitaBrownieTMDark ChocolatePomegranate1, 2-ounce brownie1001.50.50.4
Vitafusion Platinum 50+ Multivitamins2 gummies15000.4

NOTE: Product information came from manufacturers’ published data, as well as the website Cleveland Clinic does not endorse any of the products listed above. This educational material does not provide a complete listing of all available products containing recommended levels of nutrients/supplements discussed on this page. The products mentioned on this page were available at the time of the publication.