Statins are not nearly as effective at influencing outcomes as you might think. Don’t get us wrong – statins do work and they do reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in those with established heart disease – to the tune of 24%. But did you know diet is even more powerful?
A recent study documented that the Mediterranean diet (which is high in nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, beans, unprocessed grains, olive oil, and fish) reduced cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease by a whopping 37%.
That makes food one and one half times as powerful as drugs!
So if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, should you throw out your statin and start eating nuts instead? We wouldn’t go that far – after all, you want every advantage you can get and a 24% risk reduction is very significant. But we would advise you to embrace diet as your main prevention strategy because it is the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO to assure a long and healthy life.
And what if you haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease and are lowering your cholesterol with medications as a purely preventative step? Doing everything you can to minimize your dependence on statins makes a lot of sense – especially since the right changes to your diet can help you get off statins altogether. That’s a big deal because statins are not medications you take for a couple of weeks. They are medications you potentially take for the rest of your life.
The power of food is not news to us and that’s why we are on a mission to help make food a central component of your care plan. We know your diet is the most important influencer of your health.
Our approach is reflective of the Mediterranean eating plan and is grounded in research from the world’s leading institutions. The medical literature is voluminous and consistent about what nutrients in what amounts impact cholesterol levels and heart health.
That’s the reason we created a program that supplies at least 10 grams of whole food fiber, 4 grams of ALA omega 3 fatty acids, 2 grams of plant sterols, and 5000 µmoL antioxidants per day.
Why these nutrients and why these amounts?
- Each 10 grams/day increase in whole food fiber intake is associated with a 14% decrease in risk of experiencing a coronary event and a 24% decrease in dying from heart disease.
- Each 1 gram increase in ALA omega 3 intake is associated with a 16% reduction in risk of heart disease.
- Eating one extra serving of fruits or vegetables daily is associated with 4% decrease in the risk of heart disease and a 6% decrease in the risk of ischemic stroke (the 5000 µmoLof antioxidants in Step One Foods is what you’d find in 3 servings of fruits and vegetables).
- Taking in 2 grams of plant sterols, in 2 servings, reduces LDL cholesterol by up to 15%.
Food truly is power. What you eat is critical to your health. And no drug can compare.