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Cholesterol Lowering in a Nut Shell

Though official recommendations are to first treat†high cholesterol†with dietary change, many physicians jump right to cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins like Lipitor that can have an array of side effects. As described in my 1-min. video Diet Versus Drugs for High Cholesterol, up to a third of patients prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs experience adverse reactions. Side effects include liver, muscle, and kidney dysfunction, skin disorders, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, dizziness, flushing, neurological disorders, and cognitive impairment.

Dietary and lifestyle changes, on the other hand, tend to carry positive side effects. That’s why they are the cornerstones of the American Heart Association guidelines. Recommendations include reduced intake of saturated fat and cholesterol with increased physical activity and intake of dietary fiber. Basically we need to eat fewer animal foods, the only source of cholesterol, and more plants, the only source of fiber. One plant food that may be particularly protective is nuts. See my video pick above for a pooled analysis of studies on nut consumption,†cholesterol levels, and risk of death from heart disease.

For more on reducing cholesterol, the #1 risk factor for our #1 cause of death, see:

For preventing our other top killers, see Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

For more on nuts, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Image credit: angels aguirre / Flickr

Harvardís Meat and Mortality Studies
Statin Cholesterol Drug Muscle Toxicity
Do You Want Fries with That Lipitor?

Read more: Health, Cholesterol, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, Videos, , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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2:57AM PST on Feb 1, 2014


1:58PM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Thanks. Good info.

1:21PM PDT on May 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:08AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

Thanks for the article.

11:20AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012


10:26AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

thank you

9:33PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

it's true. i upped my fiber, increased my activity, and cut out nearly all animal products and i lowered my cholesterol considerably.

12:53PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Great article! Thanks!

9:26PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Thanks for this Dr. Greger.

1:03AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Good info. Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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