Many people can lower cholesterol with diet changes alone. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (July 23, 2003) shows that a combination of cholesterol-lowering foods is as effective as statin drugs in lowering both blood cholesterol and C-reactive protein. The subjects who were fed a diet that included plant sterol margarine, soybeans, almonds, psyllium fiber, barley, oats, eggplant, okra and many other vegetables had the bad LDL cholesterol levels drop by 29 percent compared to 31 percent in the statin drug group.
A cholesterol-lowering diet appears to be completely safe, while statin drugs can cause muscle pain. Athletes and serious exercisers train by taking a hard workout that makes their sore on the next day, take easy workouts until their muscles feel fresh again and then take another hard workout. Statin drugs make it difficult to maintain a good training program because they can delay recovery.