Dr. Oz revealed how to lower your cholesterol using diet rather than drugs on the March 14 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("The Thing More Powerful Than Your Statins").
Dr. Oz is alarmed by the sweeping new statins guidelines that could have up to 72 million Americans on the prescription drug (a two-fold increase from 35 million now).
Critics say if it were up to the pharmaceutical companies, we would all be on statins or some other prescription medication, whether we need them or not.
Dr. Oz, a heart surgeon, vehemently opposes the idea of doctors flippantly advising patients to pop a pill when diet and exercise — not drugs — should be the first line of defense. "For the vast majority of people, statins should not be the first line of defense," he said.
While statins have been shown to lower cholesterol, they also have side effects, including increased risk of diabetes (particularly in women), muscle damage, digestive issues, memory loss, and liver damage.
Rather than resort to prescription drugs, Dr. Oz said including these foods into your diet will naturally lower cholesterol:
- Apples. Dr. Oz said apples are a low-glycemic, high-fiber fruit that reduces cholesterol. "An apple a day keeps the heart surgeon away," he said.
- Beet greens. Beet greens are rich in potassium and fiber and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Dr. Oz recommended eating one cup a day.
Chia Seeds for Weight Loss, Flax Seeds for IBS and Fennel Seeds for Stress
On a separate segment of his show, Dr. Oz discussed the many health benefits of seeds.
- Chia seeds for weight loss and heart health. Dr. Oz said chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, more fiber than prunes, and more calcium than milk. Chia seeds aid weight loss because they curb hunger and keep you feeling full, in addition to protecting your heart.
- Fennel seeds for stress. Dr. Oz said fennel seeds work immediately to relieve stress-induced stomach upset.
- Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Two servings of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds prevent constipation.
- Carob powder relieves diarrhea (another common IBS symptom).
Wolfgang Puck Dishes Health Recipes
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck visited Dr. Oz to discuss his healthy-living cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy.
Puck, who has designed the menu for the post-Academy Awards dinners for the past 20 years, is used to making delicious foods that are healthy. Dr. Oz was especially impressed with Wolfgang recent weight loss, which he attributed to eating more vegetables and smaller portions.
Dr. Oz's Chia Chicken Pesto Kabobs Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup of basil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or hemp seeds (depending on preference)
- Soak skewers overnight in water. (This will keep them from burning in the oven or on the grill.)
- Cut chicken breast into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Combine chia seeds with 1/4 cup water in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. Once your seeds have gelled, place the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the basil, cheese, garlic, maple syrup and water to the blender and blend until smooth. Then add pine nuts or hemp seeds and gently pulse to chop the nuts.
- Pour about 3/4 of the mixture over the chicken and let marinate for at least 2 hours – overnight is even better.
- Once you are ready to cook, place your oven on broil and alternate chicken cubes and tomatoes on the skewers.
- Place on a cookie sheet and cook for six minutes, then flip over skewers and cook for an additional 6 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.