While we're relatively sure that exercising doesn't hurt, a new study is showing that diet alone can help lower bad cholesterol!
A diet based around plants, nuts and high-fiber grains lowered "bad" cholesterol more than a low-saturated-fat diet that was also vegetarian, researchers reported on Tuesday.
And the drop in low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, was big enough that dietary changes could be an alternative to statin medications for many people, they said.
"There's no question that statins have made a major difference in terms of cardiovascular disease control," said study author Dr. David Jenkins, from the University of Toronto. But at least for now, he added, "we can only get so far with statins."
It's kind of a no-brainer to us that if you're in trouble with your cholesterol, you don't rely solely on meds. You have to change up your diet a bit. But there are some people out there who refuse to change anything because they think the medication will just take care of it all.
"If you want to sit on the couch with the six pack and the wings and watch other people exercise and you're quite determined not to do anything other than that, then we've got a medication for you," he said.
But for those who like the idea of changing their diet instead of going on medications, this is a reasonable option, he said. Others who aren't interested in adjusting their eating habits might be better suited to sticking with statins, Jenkins added.
A healthier diet and fitness are good for reasons outside of cholesterol too, so it just makes sense to go ahead and keep up with the whole package instead of just relying on a pill!
[Image via AP Images.]