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Fast Food-Statin Combo Meal

Fast Food-Statin Combo Meal

One burger, a large order of fries, and some free statins. What if you could bypass the doctor and the pharmacist and get your statins directly from your fast-food provider? Talk about cutting out the middle-man.

At least that’s what researchers at Imperial College London have suggested in a recent study, as reported in ScienceDaily. The paper, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, indicates that the effect of a statin is enough to offset the increased risk of heart attack caused by eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake. It turns out that the statin reduces risk to approximately the same degree as fast food increases it.

Naturally, researchers were careful to note that “statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether.” They also stressed the need for studies to assess the risks of allowing people to take statins without medical supervision. I would hope so.

About Fast Food
The link between fat intake and blood cholesterol is well documented. Fast food generally contains high amounts of trans fats which, when consumed on a regular basis, contribute to high cholesterol and escalate risk of heart disease. In addition, fast food is loaded with empty calories and little nutritional value.

Even if a statin could offset the cholesterol contained in a fast food meal, it still doesn’t make either the meal or the statin a good choice. What we eat matters!

About Cholesterol
Despite the bad press, cholesterol isn’t all bad.

LDL cholesterol is the bad kind. Too much of it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The body produces LDL naturally — how much is a matter of genetic predisposition, but consuming too much saturated fat, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol increases what you already have. An LDL cholesterol reading of less than 100 is optimal.

HDL cholesterol is the good kind. It helps to keep LDL cholesterol from spiraling out of control. HDL protects against heart attack and stroke. When it comes down to the numbers, higher levels of HDL are desired. Low levels — less than 40 mg. for men and less than 50 mg. for women — indicates higher risk of heart health problems.

One way to keep cholesterol levels in check is through lifestyle — no smoking; healthy diet low in fat, cholesterol, and salt; and frequent exercise.

For more information about cholesterol, visit the American Heart Association.

About Statins
Statins are marketed under many different names and are prescribed to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood, thereby lowering risk of heart attack. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol, and may also reabsorb built up cholesterol.

Researchers believe there are other health benefits to statins, including treatment for other disease unrelated to heart health. For people with a genetic pre-disposition to poor cholesterol readings, statins have been shown to have a positive impact.

The Mayo Clinic lists the potential side effects of statins as muscle and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and even liver damage, also cautioning that once you take a statin, you will most likely take it for life.

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111 comments

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6:29AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:12PM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

It is so darn confusing.First you hear reports about carbs being bad for you.Than you hear it is good.Than it is back to being bad.
Bottom line is,too much fat or all fat is horrible for you.Veggies,fruits,nuts,legumes are great for you.Though some people are allergic to it.Some are lactose intolerant,yet others are fine with it.Stop confusing the masses and get down to simple yet healthy foods.Cut down on the sweets or get rid of them altogether.Sigh.This wore me out.Think I will go have a soda now.

2:34PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

Thanks for the article. Many other better things to eat than fast food

5:48PM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

When McDo's will start selling statins...

3:08PM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

Thanks for the post

9:03PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

Eat more greens. Salads are just as easy and fast, and you can get them much less expensive from the grocer.

9:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

My humble opinion? Don't eat fast "food" in the first place! Fast "food" really isn't food at all. It's just crap that's been made from genetically manufactured food by-products and tortured factory-farmed animals that are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. Then it's frozen, re-constituted and served to you in the drive thru...YUCK!

4:13AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

So how does one get the free statins?

7:20PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

Do you know anyone who needs to lose weight Or has Diabetes or heart problems if so read the information below then call the 877 -338-2308 number and look at the website
I'm doing some market research. Would you please be so kind as to take the survey? http://www.FATBURN247.BIZ

6:47AM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

Very enlightening article. It really provided some "food for thought". as it were. A special thanks to Joyce N., who gave us all a friendly reminder to watch "Food, Inc.". It is particularly timely with the latest egg/salmonella scare. We MUST do something to make certain that our food supply is safe, whatever its source.

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Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
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