Statin drugs are commonly prescribed cholesterol medications and one of the pillars of preventing and treating heart disease. The other pillars, unfortunately, are too often overlooked. Diet modifications, increasing physical activity, stress management, and weight loss continue to be the base of the cardiovascular health pyramid however they are all too often cast aside in our “take a pill” society. The common misconception that a healthy lifestyle is not needed when taking statins is leading to less than optimal protection from heart attacks and strokes.
Statins to reduce risk
Health professionals prescribe statins when cholesterol levels are out of balance and/or a person is deemed to be at risk for a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Statins work by blocking the liver’s production of cholesterol, therefore,
Statins give a false sense of security
Preliminary research has shown that statins may provide a false sense of security as individuals believe they are immune to cardiovascular events and in good heart health once beginning their statin regimen.
Diet and lifestyle modification to increase statin effectiveness
Lifestyle changes including weight loss, increasing physical activity, healthy diet changes, and improved stress management are all proven to carry the most bang for their buck, especially when paired with the use of a statin drug. An intentional
Diet changes are also a large part of maintaining a healthy heart. The most commonly recommended diet for heart-healthy eating is the
Physical activity and stress management are the last of the interventions that should be made in conjunction while taking statins. Increasing physical activity has numerous benefits including better management of stress. The
Taking statin drugs or making lifestyle changes should not be considered a one or the other choice. To maximize the benefits the drug has to offer be sure to continue to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle, your heart will thank you.
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All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Health Pro for HealthCentral