Cholesterol and Heart Disease: New Insights, Foods

Topics: Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Lab Tests, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity and Weight Loss, Wellness and Health
Cholesterol Statins healthy heart foods

Healthy Heart Foods

When I worked at the great Chicago restaurant Topolobampo, one of the other volunteers in the kitchen loaded up on Peptobismol and Lipitor  (a statin now off patent) before our annual trip to a great culinary region in Mexico.

“One for the gut and one for the heart”, he said, when I asked why.

One good thing about food from a medical perspective is that it’s usually safe, when compared with prescription medication like statins. Up to 20 percent of users report side effects, ranging from myalgia to rashes, and these are underreported by physicians.

This is in part because physicians are so busy.  The new recommendations for highest dose statins will increase the frequency of these problems for those with a greater than 7.5% risk according to the new risk estimating calculator, about which there is a lot of controversy.

There are a number of new things to say about cholesterol and heart disease; for example,

  • Higher order testing is helpful in determining risk
  • Chronic kidney disease is just as strong a predictor as diabetes of heart disease
  • Lipoprotein A and non-HDL-c may both be better predictors than LDL of cardiovascular risk
  • Cholesterol pattern A (large, fluffy) is good.
  • Cholesterol pattern B (small, beady) is bad and correlated with a high triglyceride (>200) level

Enter the statin drug makers, who have filled a niche. Statins lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol admirably, and in those who have had a heart attack risk, lower risk further. As is widely noted, statins can be expensive, even off patent as most are now.  And they do have side effects–muscle pain is not infrequent, not to mention memory loss and a 9% increased chance or diabetes. Bayer’s Baycol was taken off the market in 2001 after causing a fatality.

For those who want to lower cholesterol with what you eat, it isn’t hard to do and simply put, you can use healthy heart foods as medicine.

Eating smart, and looking at food as fuel and pleasure are the best ways to lower cholesterol naturally.

For breakfast, eat

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