It’s estimated that 25% of Americans take expensive statin medications for lowering cholesterol to avoid heart disease. But according to Dr. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, they might be wasting their money.

Dr. Lundell performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries during his 25-year career and came to the conclusion that heart disease is not caused by elevated cholesterol, but by inflammation in the arteries. And that inflammation is not related to fat intake, but to spiking blood sugar levels caused by eating processed foods high in simple carbohydrates (sugar and flour) and omega-6 fatty acids (corn, soybean, and sunflower oil). (*We talk about this blood sugar spike in Chapter 7 of the book.)

Like many others, Dr. Lundell recommends eating foods closer to their natural state. And one of the simplest ways to get a sense of that is to look at the range of colors in the food on your plate. What foods have colors? Fruits and vegetables. Everything else is pretty much a shade of brown or white!

So try to get as many colors as possible into your meals. And no – Fruit Loops and Smarties don’t count.

Read more from Dr. Lundell here: