High levels of bad cholesterol can lead to stroke or even fatal heart attacks. Years of buildup of LDL, the type of cholesterol that’s bad, leads to hardened plaque that lines the walls of the arteries. However, doctors recommend a low-fat diet and medications such as Lipitor to patients who are at risk of high cholesterol to prolong their lives and promote health.
A fat-filled diet is a major contributor to high cholesterol. Patients who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol and plague in the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Along with high levels of cholesterol, patients often have high triglyceride counts. Triglycerides are a type of fat that store excess energy. Patients whose diets consist of 60% or more carbohydrates are at risk of high triglycerides, which also correlates with diabetes and heart disease.
Eating a diet that’s low in both carbohydrates and fat can combat high LDL cholesterol. In fact, one study found that a Mediterranean diet is especially effective. This diet is high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and, of course, olive oil. In just three months, cholesterol can be reduced by as much at 15% when eating a Mediterranean-style diet.
Reducing general fat, moving from red meat to lean meat such as poultry and fish and increasing fruits and vegetables can make a significant difference in a person’s overall health. However, a low-fat diet may not be enough to defend against high cholesterol alone. Medical professionals typically recommend Lipitor to be taken in addition to improvements in diet. Patients should note that simply taking the oral medication isn’t enough to fight LDL cholesterol. It’s the combination of the drug and a healthy diet that have the best results, and someone taking Lipitor may still find themselves at risk for heart attack or requiring bypass surgery.
Along with lowering bad cholesterol, Lipitor can help to raise good cholesterol when paired with a healthy diet. HDL cholesterol, the good type, helps to remove bad cholesterol buildup from within the arteries. A healthy diet including Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil, flax seed and soy products contributes to HDL cholesterol while Lipitor gives this good cholesterol a boost to keep bad cholesterol from hardening in arteries.
Nearly 30 million patients have been prescribed Lipitor over the past 19 years, and real-world surveys along with clinical studies have proven the drug effective.