Although an individual may have a genetic weakness for high cholesterol and it runs in their family, a plant-based diet is capable of lowering cholesterol to an acceptable level. Dr. Joel Fuhrman uses a nutrient-dense, vegetable based plan to reverse heart disease and lower cholesterol in his patients. Dr. Fuhrman emphasizes that, "Nutrition is such a powerful regulator of disease incidence that when an optimal diet is consumed through much of life, genetics will have little effect on contributing to the appearance of the common causes of death we see in our society today. We all have different genetic weaknesses. We all have various susceptibilities to various diseases. Family history is almost meaningless when individuals utilize superior nutrition to avoid the nutritional causes of illness. What is not meaningless is risk factors and risk factor reduction. When we look at people living a lifetime on healthy, natural vegetable and fruit predominant diets, none of them get heart attacks, period. Family history only matters when you follow the same disease-causing diet-style that your family did."
What's the Most Effective Cholesterol Lowering Treatment?
Dr. Fuhrman goes on to say that, "A high nutrient diet is by far the most effective method of reducing cholesterol while avoiding side effects. Compare the effects of various 6-week dietary interventions on cholesterol levels published in medical journals: After just six weeks of following a high nutrient diet, subjects' LDL cholesterol decreased by 33%. No other dietary intervention was nearly as effective. What about cholesterol-lowering drugs? Drugs are not as effective for reducing cholesterol as a high nutrient diet. After six weeks of taking cholesterol-lowering statin medications, cholesterol levels decreased by 26% compared to a 33% with a high nutrient diet. Furthermore, not only will a high nutrient diet lower cholesterol, it will also decrease heart disease risk by improving other factors such glucose levels, blood pressure, and body weight."
During his 30+ years in treating patients with his starch-based lifestyle and diet program, Dr. John McDougall has also witnessed this fact. He concludes that, "Heredity may play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and associated complications (heart attacks and strokes), but little attention should be given to this factor when planning therapy. First of all, heredity is obviously not an overriding factor, since whole populations of people in the non-American world (as in most Asian and African countries) show no clinical evidence of atherosclerosis--and do not suffer heart attacks or strokes. Their genes are not protecting them--if they change to an American diet, they soon develop this disease in epidemic proportions, just as Americans do. (Another important reason why heredity should be given little or no attention is the obvious one: you can't do anything about it.)"
Dr. John McDougall explains in this short video clip how he observed this truth when he was a plantation doctor on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The starch-based nutritional approach that Dr. McDougall recommends also demonstrates similar results. He concludes, "You can expect a 30 mg (1.1 IU) reduction in your cholesterol level in 2 weeks, beginning with an average cholesterol of 220 mg/dl (5.79 IU). The higher the initial cholesterol level, the greater the reduction experienced on average." Therefore, a patient eating Dr. McDougall's starch-centered diet can "expect a reduction in cholesterol by 20% to 45% with strict adherence."
Additional Resource (video):
McDougall Moments by Dr. John McDougall