A New York Times reader inquired if switching over to a Mediterranean diet would be more effective in fighting against cardiovascular disease such as heart disease than taking statins. New York Times reporter Sophie Chan did some research on this subject. Here is what she managed to find out after doing research and asking a medical expert.
Sophie Chan reported that both the Mediterranean diet and taking statins can be effective in combating the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke. One study done in 2013 found that switching to a Mediterranean diet can help cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 30% in individuals at a high risk for developing such diseases. A study conducted in 2009 found the people who are at a high risk for heart disease had their risk of developing such diseases cut by up to 44% when they started statin therapy.
Both the Mediterranean diet and statin therapy can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The best choice says is perhaps to utilize both. For those not familiar with the Mediterranean diet here is a quick explanation. It involves using olive oil for cooking and salad dressings, eating plenty of fish, drinking red wine with meals and consuming a significant amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and poultry are also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Red meat, sweets, dairy products and processed foods are consumed in small quantities if at all.
Dr. Meir Stampfer of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends people first try the Mediterranean diet. He says in not only helps fight heart disease, but also helps fight against cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline. His view is that you don’t have to choose between statins and a diet. He suggests that you try a diet such as the Mediterranean one, and if you still have not seen a reduction in your cholesterol levels or heart disease risks, then you should go add statins as well. They can work in syngergy or together to help cut the risk of developing serious diseases.
Dr. Stampfer does warn those on statin therapy that just because they take these drugs, does mean that they are off the hook. Proper diet and exercise is still important. In fact, Dr. Stampfer says that constant exercise and a healthy diet is the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease and strokes from developing.