Avoid Statins and Optimize Your Cholesterol Naturally
I’m a firm believer that a plant-based diet that includes an abundance in cholesterol-lowering foods is a much better way to reduce low-density lipoprotein – the so-called “bad” cholesterol – than restrictive diets and cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins.
Why you should avoid statins
Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that’s needed to manufacture cholesterol. The problem with this is that when you interfere with the natural processes of your body, you risk throwing everything off kilter.
- Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results because it is needed for heart and muscle function. And because doctors rarely inform people of this risk and advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement, as your body gets more and more depleted, it can lead to fatigue, followed by muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure. Congestive heart failure is in fact a very common health risk of statin drugs, and a major reason to avoid them.
- Statins are linked to nasty side effects such as: an increased risk of polyneuropathy (nerve damage that causes pain in the hands and feet and trouble walking), dizziness, cognitive impairment, memory loss, possible increased risk of cancer, decreased immune function, depression and liver problems
Simply lowering your dietary cholesterol intake doesn’t work
Most of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Indeed, it is elevated insulin, not cholesterol, that is the single most important marker for diabetes and cardio vascular risk. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin levels, you will also regulate your cholesterol levels.
The best way to do this is by exercising, and paying attention to the foods you eat. Foods that increase your insulin levels will also contribute to high cholesterol by making your liver produce more of it.
Keeping that in mind, here are my recommendations for safely and effectively regulating your cholesterol levels:
- Get moving: Exercise increases your circulation and the flow of blood throughout your body. It also helps the lymph circulate which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it can spread.
- Get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, such as those from oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel) or take a supplement.
- Reduce and gradually eliminate refined sugars like white bread, white pasta, cakes, biscuits and sweets.The occasional treat is allowed!
- Eat at least 30 percent of your food raw.
- Eat healthy, preferably raw, fats. This includes olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products (including butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, etc) avocados, raw nuts, seeds, eggs (lightly cooked with yolks intact or raw), organic, grass-fed meats
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.
- Address your emotional challenges. Explore ways of managing stress such as yoga, meditation, tapping or counselling.
Notice that all these recommendations are all lifestyle-based. That means that with a few key changes to your diet, activity level and emotional health your cholesterol levels will naturally optimize – without the need for statin drugs.