Diet changes are also a large part of maintaining a healthy heart. The proportion of fat types in this diet is where most of the heart-healthy magic lies. The culprit: furanocoumarins, compounds found in grapefruits, that affects how your body processes certain statins (tangelos and Seville oranges are off-limits, too). Another study discovered that statin users were less likely to engage in physical activity and participated in more sedentary activities than non-users. It could be because dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, antioxidants linked to heart health—just stick to bars with 70% cocoa or higher. 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar, 13 Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally, exact number of nuts you should eat day to prevent heart disease, Dark chocolate can be a part of a heart-healthy diet. Keep the processed meats to a minimum, but an egg a day is A-OK; Finnish researchers found that eating an egg a day is not associated with an elevated risk of heart disease. Trans fats are a no-no (that means bypassing packaged cookies, coffee creamers, and frozen pizzas containing "partially hydrogenated oils"), saturated fats are OK in moderation (yes, even lean beef), but the best fats by far are those found in nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fish, which can actually improve cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. © 2020 Remedy Health Media, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED,, standard for trustworthy health information. MORE: 13 Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally. But if you're not on cholesterol-lowering meds, grapefruit gets a thumbs-up. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. As they work in different ways to reduce cholesterol, the effect can be cumulative. These decreases in risk come in the form of improving blood pressure, systemic inflammation, vascular function and lipid measures; benefits that statin drugs cannot do alone. Some medications and supplements, such as birth control pills or niacin, can interfere with the effectiveness of cholesterol medications and increase the risk of side effects. Another study discovered that statin users were less likely to engage in physical activity and participated in more sedentary activities than non-users. Yes, skip the muffins and pastries—and maybe the yogurt, too. Diet modifications, increasing physical activity, weight loss, and stress management continues to be the base of the cardiovascular health pyramid however they are all too often cast aside in our “take a pill” society. 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: Don't eat grapefruit. 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. Together both lifestyle changes and statin drugs will yield the most cardiovascular protection. Cautions and interactions. 7. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. When your cholesterol levels reach the danger zone, doctors routinely prescribe lipid-lowering statin drugs—in fact, 28% of adults over age 40 are on them. Statins can sometimes interact with other medicines, increasing the risk of unpleasant side effects, such as muscle damage. The culprit: furanocoumarins, compounds found in … This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. The other pillars, unfortunately, are too often overlooked. Therefore, the Supplements you should take, if on statins, ... And of course, as the Mayo Clinic reminds us, supplement programmes like the one above does not give you the excuse to eat whatever you want. According to researchers, today’s typical statin user is not as focused on reducing caloric intake and losing excess weight and continues to eat whatever he or she wants. "Even when taking a statin, lifestyle changes toward a healthier diet and increased physical activity are needed to maximize the drug's benefit." Just take your next dose as usual the following day. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make After a Heart Attack, 6 Signs You’re Having a “Silent” Heart Attack, 34 Little Health Skills Every Woman Should Know, 20 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure Naturally, 6 Things That Increase Your Heart Attack Risk, How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally With Food, Tweet About Heart Attack Symptoms Goes Viral, 9 Reasons Why You Feel Lightheaded and Dizzy. Are You Smarter Than A Heart Attack? "Many people wrongly believe their medication will undo any cholesterol overload, regardless of what they eat," says Erin Michos, MD, a cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In rare cases, people who take statins can see an increase in liver enzymes. 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. 6. Is It Finally Time To Stop Worrying About Cholesterol? If you accidentally take too many statin tablets (more than your usual daily dose), contact a doctor or pharmacist for advice or call NHS 111. To be safe you should be able to eat grapefruit a week or so after you stop taking the Simvastatin. Here’s What Sugar Really Does to Your Brain. "Alcohol in moderation can raise levels of HDL [good] cholesterol, but excess alcohol can be harmful for the heart and liver," says Michos. Statins work by blocking the liver’s production of cholesterol, therefore, lowering LDL cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. In fact, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found those on a low-carb diet that included saturated fats lost nearly twice as much weight as those on a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet, while maintaining good cholesterol numbers. Taking statin drugs or making lifestyle changes should not be considered a one or the other choice. No need to skip that glass of wine with dinner. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice could turn those statins you're taking into health hazards. Your heart will thank you. Why trust us? Can Only Overweight People Have High Cholesterol? Emory University researchers found that consuming too much added sugar can triple your risk of having low levels of "good" cholesterol, while those who ate the least sugar had the highest HDL (good) cholesterol and lowest triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood linked to heart disease. An intentional weight loss of just 5 percent has been proven to decrease cardiovascular risk. Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so you can live life and enjoy your family for years to come.