While mainstream medicine offers numerous pharmaceuticals-especially statins-to people with high cholesterol and other symptoms of heart disease, simply eating fruits, omega-3 fats, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains and exercising regularly may be the most important steps in protecting the heart. In addition, some statins like simvastatin have been linked to a higher incidence of cancer.
A plant-based, whole foods diet, like that enjoyed in the Mediterranean region, may prevent cardiovascular disease as well as reduce its fatal complications. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and fiber, both protective against heart disease. Simply adding strawberries to a cholesterol-lowering diet- high in heart-healthy fiber, nuts, plant sterols, and soy-can lower LDL cholesterol and decrease oxidation of these lipids.