Letter to the Editor

Change your habits for health

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To the Editor:

Many people suffer from high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure and take medications -- which does not cure the problem, but allows them to continue doing what caused their problems.

Cholesterol is automatically created by our bodies. However, when we consume meat and dairy products, this adds extra cholesterol to our system, and thus, is the cause of the problem. On average, the liver makes 1,000 mg per day to meet the body's needs, yet the typical American diet adds an additional 600 mg per day while the FDA recommends less than 300 mg per day.

As for blood pressure, the Imperial College of London studied 4,700 adults, ages 40-59, over a six-week period, and found that those who got the most of their protein from vegetables had a much lower blood pressure than those who ate a lot of meat and dairy products independent of other factors such as exercise, sodium intake and weight.

And another study by the University of Minnesota found that 40 percent of the people with high blood pressure were able to stop taking their meds when they switched to a vegetarian diet, regardless of their exercise patterns.

Therefore, if you want to get control of your cholesterol and blood pressure before a doctor puts you on a lifetime of medications, change what you eat. Before you bite into that next burger, bacon or bucket of chicken, consider this: Do you really want to spend your final days taking a regimen of pills to keep you alive? How about practicing a little moderation and preserve your quality of life?

Ray Wilson

New Middletown