Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for men and women worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, more women (About 38.2 million U.S. women) than men die each year of CVD. The goal is to increase the quality of our lives and reduce our risks of developing CVD, diabetes and cancer. Here are my 4 recommendations:
1. Stop Smoking- Yuk…bad habit.
2. Eat more high fiber foods (especially colorful ones)- Plant foods contain no cholesterol and are high in fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol. We should be getting 25 grams/day , but in the typical American diet, we only get about 5 grams daily. Choose beans, whole grains (none of the white processed stuff), fish, nuts, fresh fruits and veges. Fiber supplements are also available.
3. Red Yeast Rice and Garlic- There are 11 naturally occurring statins in the supplement Red Yeast Rice. I rarely see it not work at the clinic. It works by blocking the enzyme involved in manufacturing cholesterol. I recommend 1200 mg twice daily which is the equivalent to taking a low dose prescription statin drug, without the side effects such as joint and muscle pain or elevated liver enzymes. Always take Co-enzyme Q-10 along with it. This is an important antioxidant, that gets depleted when you take any cholesterol lowering medication or supplement. About 100 mg daily of Co-Q10 is adequate.
Don’t forget garlic- at least 1 clove a day helps reduce cholesterol and inflammation. Raw is best, but hard to swallow, so cooking with a few cloves is fine. It’s a good idea to get your cholesterol and CRP checked by your practitioner before starting supplements.
4. Last but not least…Exercise! There is now molecular proof of how exercise keeps you young. It actually delays the aging process. Read more in this article…