Are Statins Making You Cheat and Eat Even More?
Those who rely on cholesterol drugs known as statins may feel a false sense of security and cheat on their health regimen.
Too much cholesterol in your bloodstream is known to contribute to atherosclerosis, which leads to narrowing of the coronary arteries, and then heart disease, angina, and/or heart attack. Government guidelines advise that total blood cholesterol levels be kept below 200 mg/dL, and that LDL cholesterol be kept below 100 mg/dL.
About one in six American adults have cholesterol levels of 240 milligrams/deciliter or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High cholesterol is a serious health concern because it frequently leads to heart disease.
Research 15 years ago found that adults in the U.S. who were taking statins to control cholesterol levels were eating fewer calories than people not taking the drugs. In 2010, statin users had about the same intake as non-statin patients. Today, there seems to be a license to chow down.
Previous studies had found no evidence that statin users eat more after being prescribed the drugs, according to JAMA Internal Medicine. Use of the drugs has increased substantially since those studies were conducted, however.
Doctors need to reemphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle when they prescribe the drugs. Eating excess calories and fat would not only compromise the cholesterol-lowering effect of statins, it would also increase a person's risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes.
Statins - such as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor - inhibit cholesterol production, and cholesterol is used to build new cells and keep the body functioning. Too much cholesterol increases a person's chances of developing heart disease and fatty deposits in blood vessels, however.
Under new recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, the number of U.S. adults eligible to take the drugs may reach 56 million.
There are two important moderators of total cholesterol in the body; the low density lipo-proteins (LDL) and High density lipo-proteins (HDL). These two important body chemical substances are always the center of subject for clinicians especially when they try to help patients with coronary heart diseases.
The new guidelines deemphasize the use of LDL as a measure of when to put people on the drugs. Instead, doctors are encouraged to take several risk factors into account to target people at high risk for heart attacks or strokes.
Feeding pattern or diet is very contributive to the formation of cholesterol in the body. Many animal products or fats have been seen to increase the amount of cholesterol in the body and, actually, this is why people with coronary heart disease are advised to limit animal food products such as meat, cheese, among others. You should cut out Trans and saturated fats, from sources like baked goods, such as crackers, and cookies. Don’t forget that you do need — in moderation — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, olives, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish.
To maintain a good cholesterol free-diet, you need to feed on plant foods like small amounts of nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
The body makes the cholesterol it requires. In addition, cholesterol is obtained from food. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal sources such as egg yolks, meat (especially organ meats such as liver), poultry, fish, and higher fat milk products. Many of these foods are also high in saturated fats. Choosing foods with less cholesterol and saturated fat will help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
The recommended daily intake for cholesterol is 300 mg. You can keep your cholesterol intake at this level or lower by eating more grain products, vegetables and fruits, and by limiting intake of high cholesterol foods.
Researchers emphasize the importance of maintaining a heart-healthy diet that's low in red meat and high in fish and other foods that lower bad cholesterol, such as olive oil, whole grains and nuts.
Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce a cholesterol level. However, dietary changes alone rarely lower a cholesterol level enough to change a person's risk of cardiovascular disease from a high-risk category to a lower-risk category. However, any extra reduction in cholesterol due to diet will help.
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