Alfa One Spreads are higher in naturally occurring antioxidants than any other brands of spread as they are made from the goodness of rice bran and rice germ. Antioxidants work by slowing or even preventing the harmful activity of ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are all around us everyday – pollution, cigarette smoke and sun exposure. But they are also formed from one of life’s necessities – oxygen. These free radicals damage almost any cell and are responsible for a major part of the aging process, as well as the beginnings of health problems like cancer and heart disease+.
Alfa One Spread contains a number of antioxidants including Oryzanol, Tocopherols (includes Vitamin E) and Tocotrienols.
Alfa One Spreads have less than half the saturated fat of butter, and no artificial colours or flavours and a great taste, which makes them a great choice. If you are looking for a lite option, Alfa One Lite spread has a light flavour and reduced fat and salt, compared to standard Alfa One Rice Bran Oil spread.
And if you are looking to help lower your cholesterol Alfa One Cholesterol Lowering spread has been clinically proven to help reduce cholesterol absorption.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance in the body which is either absorbed from food or made by the liver. It serves an important function helping to maintain healthy cells and make hormones, vitamin
D and bile acids which help to digest fat.
Aside from making cholesterol in the liver, we can also get it from the foods we eat. Eating too much saturated fat which is found in animal-based foods can cause our bodies to make or absorb too much cholesterol.
Animal-based foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products contain cholesterol,
whereas plant foods do not. Eating goods which contain cholesterol in moderation
has less effect on cholesterol levels than eating too much saturated fat.
High levels of cholesterol in the body can clog blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Types of Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is
the bad cholesterol which can clog blood vessels; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is good cholesterol. It helps clear the bad LDL cholesterol out of the blood. Cholesterol levels are typically a measure of the total of LDL and HDL levels.
What Causes High Blood Cholesterol?
Many factors can contribute to high blood cholesterol including: genetics – a predisposition to having high cholesterol; lifestyle factors including being overweight, having a poor diet and lack of exercise. Changes in hormone levels particularly in women after menopause can also result in a decrease in HDL (good cholesterol).
Too much cholesterol in the body can be deposited and eventually build up in blood vessels causing them to narrow and harden. This may eventually restrict blood flow causing a heart attack or stroke.
Lowering cholesterol levels can, therefore, reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. You should regularly get your cholesterol levels checked. The recommended level for cholesterol for the general public below 4.0mmol/L*. Your doctor, nurse or health professional should discuss your target cholesterol level with you, taking into account your overall health.
How Cholesterol Reduction Works
Alfa One Cholesterol Lowering spread contains naturally ocurring nutrients from rice which are very effective on a gram for gram basis. Alfa One Cholesterol Lowering spread has been clinically proven to help reduce cholesterol absorption.
There are approximately 16 different plant sterols and stanols in Alfa One Cholesterol lowering spread (Brassicasterol, 24-Methylencholesterol, Campesterol, Campestanol, Stigmasterol, Delta-7 Campesterol, Delta-5,23 Stigmastadienol, Clerosterol, Betasitosterol, Sitostanol, Delta-5 Avenasterol, Delta-5,24 Stigmastadienol, Delta-7 Stigmastenol, Delta-7 Avenasterol, Cholesterol).
Plant sterols from gamma oryzanol have both sterol and antioxidant properties.
The total plant sterol equivalent content of Alfa One Rice Bran Oil Cholesterol Lowering spread is 1900mg per 100g, or 1.9%.
Cholesterol can be absorbed into the body through the intestine. Research shows that Oryzanol may inhibit intestinal absorption of cholesterol from foods. The unabsorbed cholesterol and Oryzanol are then passed out of the body. Oryzanol not only helps your body to block the absorption of cholesterol it also helps to improve the good HDL cholesterol and reduce bad LDL levels.
How Do I Reduce My Cholesterol?
A standard teaspoon of Alfa One Spread contains 95mg of effective, naturally occurring plant sterols from rice. We recommend using four teaspoons (20g) of Alfa One spread per day as this will provide approximately 380mg of plant sterols. Research has shown that this amount may be effective in helping to lower cholesterol absorption in conjunction with healthy eating and an exercise plan.
As part of maintaining good health, you should look to include a healthy eating and exercise programme into your daily activities. See Activesmart for free personalised training and activity plans. Key things to consider in a healthy eating plan are:
- Choose healthy fats and oils (such as Alfa One)
- Choose low and reduced fat milk and yoghurt
- Choose lean meats and chicken without skin
- Eat fish twice a week
- Aim for 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables everyday
- Include wholegrain breads or cereals each day
- Eat moderate portion sizes
- Limit sugary and alcoholic drinks
- Use salt sparingly
See our recipe section for ideas on how you can incorporate Alfa One spread into your diet.
Should Alfa One Spread Replace Medication?
While Alfa One spread has been shown to help reduce cholesterol absorption it is
not designed to be a replacement for medication. If you have high cholesterol speak
to your Doctor about cholesterol management.
Are There Good and Bad Fats?
It is true that some fats are worse for you than others?
- Trans fats are the most harmful: they raise LDL-cholesterol (the bad one you want less of), and decrease HDL-cholesterol (the good one you want to have)
- Trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products in small amounts. They are also formed by the hydrogenation of oils. In this process hydrogen is added to the fatty acids in the oils to make them harder, so rather than being liquid they become a spreadable consistency
- Alfa One spreads contain only traces of trans fat (which are not from hydrogenation)
- Saturated fat is found in high levels in red meats and red meat products, dairy products, and solid oils (such as palm oil and coconut oil)
- Too much saturated fat can cause the body to make more cholesterol
Mono and Poly-unsaturated Fats
- Monounsaturated fat is found in plant oils such as rice bran, olive, canola and peanut oil
- Polyunsaturated fats are also found in plant oils and some fish
- Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower blood cholesterol
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth.They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs some fat – but not as much fat as most people eat. All fats are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. You should, therefore, aim to use oils and spreads that have high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Alfa One Rice Bran oil which is used to make Alfa One Spread, has a balanced fatty acid composition which means that it has moderate levels of saturated fat and polyunsaturated fats with a predominance of monounsaturated fat.