It seems like a week does not go by without an article appearing in the lay press about the benefits of taking the statin medications like Lipitor. This drug alone accounts for 2 billion dollars in sales yearly. For many physicians, it is quicker to write out a script for a cholesterol-lowering medication than it is to spend time counseling and encouraging patients to change their diet.
Foods that have been shown to lower cholesterol levels include soy, oat bran or whole oats, whole rye, garlic, onion, rice bran oil, grapefruit and apples (sources of pectin), raw carrots, nuts ( including walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts), yogurt, high-chromium brewer’s yeast, and alfalfa sprouts.
In my practice, I have found that most patients would rather try to lower their cholesterol by diet first rather than take medication.