The effectiveness of statins – the most prescribed drug – for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and preventing first heart attacks is dubious.
Alternatives: Start exercising. A 10-year study found that unfit men have the highest risk of heart attack, regardless of their cholesterol. Other research has found that eating a diet that emphasizes monounsaturated fats like nuts and olive oil can reduce LDL cholesterol by 35 percent. Red rice yeast pills and psyllium have been found to be effective too.