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?

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Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Lauren Weinstock
Lauren Weinstock2 years ago

Thanks. Good info.

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

a             y m.
g d c.3 years ago


Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

thank you

Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

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

Julie D.
Julie D.3 years ago

Great article! Thanks!

Lynn C.
Lynn C.3 years ago

Thanks for this Dr. Greger.

Sal P.
Sal P.3 years ago

Good info. Thank you.