The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now says that everyone over 40 should be screened for high cholesterol and that those who are at risk for a heart attack or stroke should take statins, expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs. These guidelines have been quite contentious, considering that statins are overprescribed and have various side effects, including muscle pain, cataracts, and possibly an increased risk for diabetes in women.
So, I have a better idea: If you’re concerned about your cholesterol, try eating tasty vegan foods, which are naturally cholesterol-free and have been shown to reverse heart disease.
According to Dr. David Jenkins, a renowned nutrition scientist at the University of Toronto, “[T]he evidence is very strong that vegans, who eat no animal products, have the best cardiovascular health profile and the lowest cholesterol levels.”
Vegan foods are a lot tastier than cholesterol-lowering drugs, too, and versatile vegan staples are relatively inexpensive compared to cholesterol-laden animal-based foods and cholesterol-lowering medication. And the main “side effects” of a plant-based diet are clear skin, increased energy, lower blood pressure, weight loss, and a longer lifespan. For more information and a free vegan starter kit, see www.PETA.org.
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