Should Kids Be Taking Statins?
Following a government-appointed panel’s recommendation that kids as young as 9 should start being tested for high cholesterol, some doctors are raising objections and expressing concerns that members of the panel may have been swayed by their ties to drug companies.
The good news is that kids—and grown-ups—don’t need to take expensive and potentially dangerous drugs to lower their cholesterol. A University of Toronto study showed that people who ate a vegetarian diet high in cholesterol-lowering foods, such as tofu, oats, barley, peas, beans, eggplant, flaxseeds, okra, and almonds, were able to reduce their “bad” cholesterol levels by up to 35 percent.
Each additional 100 milligrams of cholesterol that you consume by eating meat, eggs, or dairy products—the only dietary sources of cholesterol—add roughly five points to your cholesterol level, which increases your risk of a heart attack. By contrast, every time you reduce your cholesterol level by 1 percent, you reduce your risk of a heart attack by 2 percent.
© iStockphoto.com/Pavel Sazonov
What You Can Do
If you want to lower your cholesterol without scary side effects, try switching to healthy and humane vegan meals. Find out how easy it is by ordering your free vegetarian/vegan starter kit today.