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Better than statins. (Quick Studies).

What lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol better than statin drugs? Statins plus a healthy diet.

Researchers gave 120 men with high cholesterol either the statin drug Zocor or a placebo and instructed them to eat either their usual diet or a Mediterranean-type diet.

The Mediterranean diet was high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated and trans fats (the meat was lean and the cheese, milk, and yogurt were low-fat). The diet replaced the saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fats (from fish, canola oil, and canola margarine).

After 12 weeks, the diet had cut LDL by 11 percent, Zocor had cut it by 30 percent, and diet plus Zocor had cut it by 41 percent. A bonus: the Mediterranean diet wiped out the (unwanted) 13-percent rise in insulin levels caused by the Zocor.

What to do: Whether or not you take statin drugs, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and replace saturated and trans fats (in meats, dairy, and store-bought or restaurant sweet baked goods and fried foods) with unsaturated fats (in foods like fish, oils, nuts, salad dressing, and avocado).

J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 287: 598, 2002.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:lowering cholesterol
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
Previous Article:New foods, new questions.
Next Article:Ducking diabetes. (Quick Studies).

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