General Mills is introducing a yoghurt containing cholesterol reducing plant sterols under its Yoplait brand. The product, called Healthy Heart, is the first of its kind in the United States and is aimed at women, the group says.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of American women,” said Jean Storlie, manager at General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

“Often when women set out to lower their cholesterol through the foods they eat, they think they need to remove their favourites from their diet,” she said. “With Yoplait Healthy Heart, they can continue to enjoy Yoplait yoghurt while getting the cholesterol-lowering benefits of plant sterols.”

Two servings of Yoplait Healthy Heart contain the same amount of plant sterols as 22 servings of Brussels sprouts or 24 servings of broccoli or cauliflower, the company said.

The Yoplait Healthy Heart yoghurts are available throughout the United States in strawberry, harvest peach, cheery orchard and strawberry banana flavours.