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What if your doctor has never heard of Step One Foods?

What if your doctor has never heard of Step One Foods?

Too often, routine checkup visits for older adults result in premature or unwanted prescriptions for statins. Of course, medications do have a place in health care. Many people should be on statins, sometimes even when their cholesterol is perfect. But drugs are an incomplete solution. 

Meanwhile, nutrition should be part of the solution for everyone. Not only can a heart-healthy diet help reduce the need for medications but eating well could even be the complete solution for many patients. Doctors should know this, but unfortunately many don’t bring it up with their patients. In a survey we conducted, only 12.5 percent of your doctors bothered to take a detailed dietary history from you.

So how can you tactfully tell your doctor you want to try diet first? Here are my tips:

  1. Express your shared interest in attaining the proposed cholesterol goal. Then point out your specific concerns about medications. For example, maybe you have had previous negative experiences with drugs, or maybe you have heard about side effects from statins from family members or friends.

  2. Ask your doctor if they’ve heard of Step One Foods. If they haven’t, share a copy of our clinical trial (or forward them a copy via your health portal before the appointment). A clinical trial speaks to doctors in their language, and should reassure them that our foods aren’t gimmicks. You can also share this informational brochure with your doctor to showcase the benefits of Step One. 

  3. Ask your doctor’s opinion on making lifestyle changes through diet and exercise. If you don’t have a history of heart attack, stent, bypass surgery, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, or other indicators of atherosclerosis, there’s no reason not to try these proven and side-effect free options first. Suggest a plan of incorporating Step One Foods twice a day for at least 30 days and then re-checking your cholesterol profile.

  4. Discuss the option of a coronary calcium scan to determine if you really need statins to lower your heart disease risk. It’s a recognized and recommended step in the Cholesterol Management Guidelines if you don’t have a history of heart attack, stent, bypass surgery, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, or other indicators of atherosclerosis.

Don’t be surprised if you catch your doctor off-guard. Our profession has created an overprescribed society: 60% of American adults take some form of prescription medication. And many of those medications do not treat the root cause of disease.

In the unlikely scenario that your doctor refuses to listen at all, consider getting a new provider. Medical care is a partnership between doctor and patient. It’s important to have a partner you can work with. 

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