Drugs Aren’t Always the Answer to High Cholesterol
It is often the case that when Americans are diagnosed with certain health risks, they will choose to take medications to quell the symptoms before they ever consider changing their day-to-day habits. One of the most common situations where this occurs is when someone is told that they have high cholesterol.
Experts have stated that while a condition like high cholesterol can easily be treated (and eliminated) by a healthier diet and better habits, patients are instead being prescribed pills to “take care” of the issue. This often leads to the patients in question continuing their unhealthy habits of eating high-fat foods because the medicines seem to be taking care of the issue for them.
An expert in cardiology and epidemiology, Dr. Philip Greenland, insists that the reality of the situation is that the medications should be used as a “last resort”. He also states that most patients aren’t experiencing the full benefits of the medication they are taking because they aren’t changing their diet and exercise habits. Drugs used to treat high cholesterol need positive bodily changes in order to be fully beneficial.
Dr. Greenland is proposing that individuals with high cholesterol start looking to eat a more “Mediterranean” diet. There should be at least two or three more servings of fruits and vegetable every day, three or more servings of seafood a week, and 3 oz serving sizes of skinless white meat if other meat is desired. The Mayo Clinic has actually put out materials stating that the Mediterranean diet is also linked to positive side effects beyond lower cholesterol. Dr. Kopecky of the Mayo Clinic states that studies have shown a link between the Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of “Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis and the metabolic syndrome”. Of course, this change in diet needs to be coupled with efforts toward physical fitness in order to be fully effective. The goal is not to be thin; the goal is to be fit. Dr. Kopecky noted that regular exercise has been linked to increased health, even when weight loss doesn’t take place.
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