There were a lot of articles about the new recommendations for statins since they came out recently and I was interested in the comments. There were many about how side effects had affected people, and how big Pharma will benefit, but what I was happy to see was that people were also asking why there was so much emphasis on prescribing medications instead of doctors advising on lifestyle changes. One person noted that cholesterol is only one risk factor for cardiovascular disease – what about the others?
I guess it’s pretty predictable that as a fitness professional I’m going to recommend looking at lifestyle changes – diet and exercise – before medications. When it comes to diet, I’m seeing that the Mediterranean diet seems to be a popular recommendation to help avoid heart disease. While I believe there are some good suggestions in this diet, I’m not keen that it recommends avoiding saturated fat. As I wrote in my first article in this series, I’m not convinced that saturated fat is the problem, particularly if it comes from grass-fed cows.
For diet, I would recommend lots of whole foods: meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and some dairy if it doesn’t result in digestive issues for you. Food is supposed to be nourishing and you should feel good with lots of energy, a clear head and no aches and pains. If you feel that you’ve tried numerous diets and you’re still not feeling better, keep trying! You might have to avoid some of your favorite foods but if you’re feeling better, isn’t it worth it?
For exercise, I would say move as much as possible! It doesn’t have to be formal exercise in a gym or class because anything you do that requires you to move can be a good thing. This includes house work, gardening, walking your dog, dancing and playing games with your children or grandchildren.
Patients are people, too!
I’m having trouble understanding how taking pills, with side effects that can harm me, to avoid becoming ill with something I’m not ill with, constitutes being healthy. We can do a lot to help ourselves to stay healthy, one step at a time. Today’s a good day to start!
I hope you’ll check out this YouTube video – Doctor (123456789). It’s a parody/spoof of the Tommy Tutone song Jenny (867-5309) but has lots of good information about the number of people who benefit from some medications, including statins, and how many are harmed.