low cholesterol? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-12-2005, 10:43 AM
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I've been a vegan for about 3 months now, and as far as i know, that means that I've eliminated all the cholesterol from my diet. I know that we produce it as humans, but is it possible that our cholesterol could drop too low? I'm going to the doctor's for a checkup this summer but I wanted to be on top of things early. Anyone have any thoughts?
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#2 Old 05-12-2005, 11:52 AM
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There are some people on VB whose "bad" cholesterol has dropped so low that they had to go back to eating eggs to avoid health problems.

But that isn't a common issue. It never hurts to have blood work done on a yearly basis, so you can track how you're doing over the long term. Also have your iron and your B12 levels checked. That way, you have a starting number and can quickly know if you've been dropping over the long term.
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#3 Old 05-12-2005, 12:51 PM
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Possible, but rare. Your body should produce the cholestrol it needs.
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#4 Old 05-12-2005, 01:41 PM
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Bad cholesterol, LDL, does anyone have any sources that there can be unhealthy low levels? I've read there is no such thing as too low for LDL. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in583429.shtml


Eating cholesterol isn't the problem as much as saturated (and trans) fats are. Fiber can lower cholesterol, and exercise and monounsaturated fats can raise HDL (good cholesterol). So a vegan on a bad diet and no exercise can have high cholesterol. (and then there is also genetically high cholesterol people)

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#5 Old 05-12-2005, 04:01 PM
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it is rare.

one of the things that you have to ask yourself is this--were your cholesterol levels low when you were an omnivore or l/o vegetarian? if your cholesterol levels were in the low-end of normal, then perhaps your body doesn't produce enough. in which case, you likely need to get it from dietary sources (or consider medication--to me, neither choice is "vegan" and medication has side effects).

Before i was vegetarian, i had low cholesterol. my father who is an overweight omnivore also has low cholesterol (doctors marvel). his side of the family (brothers and sisters), all omnivores and mostly on fast food, have low cholesterol. When i went vegan, i was able to maintain it without trouble for 5 years. my levels were low, but not below my normal-low levels (which were just below the 'normal' range, but considering my familial history, it wasn't a concern).

last year, we discovered that they'd become too low. with connections to brain function, cognative ability, and depression and anxiety, it wasn't something that i wanted to mess with. I started to exercise more (as this is often a method of increasing "good" cholesterol) and consume coconut oil (which supposedly helps stimulate the process). After six months of experimenting, we (doctors and I) decided to consider eggs and/or medication.

Since i didn't feel comfortable taking medicatin, they set my minimum weekly intake of eggs at 6. after 3 months, my levels were up, but still low. we moved my egg intake up to 12. my cholesterol went up again, but again was below my normal range. i was feeling better though. Finally, when they suggested that i eat 18 or more eggs a week, i decided that i would also add in full-fat, raw, nonpasturized dairy products (cheese; homemade ice cream made with fresh cream, milk, etc; and butter).

currently, my egg intake is down to about 6 a week *if* i remember to get two servings of dairy per day. This is not an easy task for me, overall, simply because it was so easy being vegan.

feel free to PM me.

PS: saturated fats aren't a problem, if they are natural such as the saturated fat present in olive oil. in fact, we need some saturated fat. the transfats, hydrogenated oils, and other perversions of fat (such as heating vegetable oils) is what causes problems.
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