Since the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology issued new cholesterol guidelines last fall, a volcano of opinion has erupted over whether too many lower-risk patients would now be put on statins, whether the drug companies played too central a role in crafting the new guidelines, and even whether statins are at all effective in preventing cardiac events.
None of these arguments addresses the real issue. Cardiac disease is affected by genetic predisposition, but ultimately it is a foodborne illness, and therefore food, and only food, can be the real solution.
I do prescribe statins for my patients who need them, but I also tell my patients that if they want to be healthy, they must fundamentally change the food that they eat. The idea that the number of Americans on statins may double to 70 million is extreme, not because statins don’t do anything, but because they treat a problem that only food can solve.
To decrease the incidence of heart disease in this country, we cannot just treat the symptoms; we must treat the cause. That cause is the food we eat.