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There is no denying that the use of medication like statins can be beneficial, but it is important to bear in mind that these drugs should be accompanied by lifestyle modifications and not as an excuse to absolve yourself of the responsibility for your health. In fact, what you can achieve using lifestyle modifications has no chemical substitute. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your heart naturally.

Adopt a heart-healthy diet: Avoid trans-fats as these raise the LDL or bad cholesterol levels. These are found in fried foods, baked goods, and any food item that lists “partially hydrogenated” oil in its ingredients. Include foods that are rich in poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats as these boost HDL, or good cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Make sure to include plenty of roughage in your diet through fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, and nuts.

Fight chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation is a major risk factor for a number of debilitating diseases, including heart diseases. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and herbs is beneficial. This will help the body fight inflammation and the oxidative stress caused by it. Foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties include tofu, flaxseed, walnuts, celery, grapes, olive oil and spices like rosemary, ginger, and turmeric. Garlic is particularly useful in lowering bad cholesterol levels and keeping blood pressure in check.