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So as a vegan one never actually consumes any cholesterol and the body produces its own, is there any way to get high cholesterol as a vegan? (Assuming you have been a long term vegan and have never previously had issues...)
 

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Hi Rainbows

Well I am one of the healthiest people out there. Or my friends think so and I have high cholestrol due to genetics. Its in my family history on my Mom's side. So you can inherit high cholestrol.

I did however become vegetarian awhile ago.

Going for a test tomorrow to see where I am standing with my cholestrol and if going veggies helped at all as the genetic one is very hard to eat down or exercise down.
 

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I've been vegan for nearly 6 years. I exercise regularly. My total cholesterol last year was 218. My HDL was 90. So yeah, it's possible to have high cholesterol while being vegan. My doc isn't worried as my HDL is so high. I'm 50, btw.
 

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me too....genetics on both sides unfortunately. Siblings have cholesterols in the mid 200s, I'm 181 and don't consume packaged junk.
 

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The consumption of saturated fat (which can come from plants or animals) has a lot to do with your blood serum cholesterol. Vegans who eat a lot of fat are more likely to have high cholesterol.

Exercise also plays a role. And fiber. People who exercise and eat plenty of fiber tend to have lower cholesterol.

There is a genetic component too. My husband and I eat virtually the same and my cholesterol is 108 whereas his is closer to 160.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

The consumption of saturated fat (which can come from plants or animals) has a lot to do with your blood serum cholesterol. Vegans who eat a lot of fat are more likely to have high cholesterol.

Exercise also plays a role. And fiber. People who exercise and eat plenty of fiber tend to have lower cholesterol.

There is a genetic component too. My husband and I eat virtually the same and my cholesterol is 108 whereas his is closer to 160.
I'm not normal.
I do not eat much saturated fat at all, and I exercise daily. My weight is normal, and my blood pressure and triglycerides are enviable. My father does have high cholesterol, so that may be a factor. The year before last, my total cholesterol was 178 - which was more in line with what it had been all of my adult life. So last year's being so much higher, I've actually wondered if it could have been a mistake. I'll know soon - my annual is coming up next month.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

I'm not normal.
I do not eat much saturated fat at all, and I exercise daily. My weight is normal, and my blood pressure and triglycerides are enviable. My father does have high cholesterol, so that may be a factor. The year before last, my total cholesterol was 178 - which was more in line with what it had been all of my adult life. So last year's being so much higher, I've actually wondered if it could have been a mistake. I'll know soon - my annual is coming up next month.
High HDL is not generally something to worry about. HDL is the "good" cholesterol that is protective against atherosclerosis/heart disease, so higher numbers (particularly >60) are better. If your other cholesterol numbers (LDL and triglycerides) were in the normal range, you're fine.
 

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To answer the original question, yes, it is possible to have high (bad) cholesterol as a vegan. Usually it's difficult to consume a lot of saturated fats on a vegan diet, but if you're eating a lot of hydrogenated oils or palm oil it could happen. Genetics also plays a huge role as others have mentioned.
 

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Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

High HDL is not generally something to worry about. HDL is the "good" cholesterol that is protective against atherosclerosis/heart disease, so higher numbers (particularly >60) are better. If your other cholesterol numbers (LDL and triglycerides) were in the normal range, you're fine.
My HDL was 90. My doc was impressed.
 

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way jealous of a HDL of 90! Good for you.....I'm around half of that or a little higher anyway.
 

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Before I went vegan both my good and bad cholesterol were quite low, my doctor told me I needed more cholesterol, and since going vegan they are even lower. I wish I could remember my numbers.
 

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Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

Right, and if that's the only thing that's making your total cholesterol high, there's no need to worry.
Nope, my LDL is high too. But my ratio is good.

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Originally Posted by Carley View Post

Before I went vegan both my good and bad cholesterol were quite low, my doctor told me I needed more cholesterol, and since going vegan they are even lower. I wish I could remember my numbers.
Don't mean to scare you, but definitely look into it. I'm sure there are many good reasons to have super low cholesterol, but there are some bad ones, too. My husband had weirdly low cholesterol for years and it was actually a symptom of the lymphoma he eventually came down with.
 

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I think it's genetic. My cholesterol was always low, even before becoming a vegan. It's like 130 or something. Longevity and disease resistance run in my family.
 

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Originally Posted by Carley View Post

Before I went vegan both my good and bad cholesterol were quite low, my doctor told me I needed more cholesterol, and since going vegan they are even lower. I wish I could remember my numbers.
Well, I was going to say, you want your LDL cholesterol very low, and your HDL, as high as possible. It sounds more like you need to increase your HDL number. Why did the Dr say you need to increase your cholesterol? You're body makes enough by itself, we just add too much additional usually, which is what gets us in trouble. I know people with double digit numbers, instead of triple digits, and they're just fine.

Poppy, I didn't know cholesterol had anything to do with Lymphomas....can you explain more about that? I'm interested in how it correlates!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

Nope, my LDL is high too. But my ratio is good.

Don't mean to scare you, but definitely look into it. I'm sure there are many good reasons to have super low cholesterol, but there are some bad ones, too. My husband had weirdly low cholesterol for years and it was actually a symptom of the lymphoma he eventually came down with.
I should for sure, I've always had a problem with low cholesterol. Sadly I have had a premature birth at 24 weeks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbows View Post

So as a vegan one never actually consumes any cholesterol and the body produces its own, is there any way to get high cholesterol as a vegan? (Assuming you have been a long term vegan and have never previously had issues...)
Actually plant foods do have cholesterol. The amounts are just so tiny that older technologies could not detect it.

Coconuts have saturated fat. Transfats are worse than saturated fats. Transfats are in many vegan cooking oils and packaged baked goods. Eating a lot of simple sugars ( refined flours, refined carbohydrates, sweeteners, juice, fruit ) can boost triglyceride levels.

Eating a lot of all of these things can lead to cardiovascular issues for vegans.

A vegan can also get cardiovascular issues by not taking b-12 supplements, not getting enough folic acid, not getting enough omega 3 fatty acids or getting too much omega 6 fatty acids ( main sources: cooking oils, prepackaged baked goods, chips, large amounts of nuts and seeds ).
 

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I mostly consume Omega 3 oils, with some Omega 6. Most of my oil comes from things like nuts and flax. That might contribute to my overall health and consistently excellent blood pressure in some way,too. Despite being over what's considered a healthy weight my blood pressure is usually in the athletic range.
 

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Originally Posted by Photojess View Post

Poppy, I didn't know cholesterol had anything to do with Lymphomas....can you explain more about that? I'm interested in how it correlates!
I don't know that there is a correlation - generally speaking. My husband has a very rare non-Hodgkins lymphoma (white blood cell lymphoma) called Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia. They suspect that the cancer somehow feeds on cholesterol, because those with this disease tend to have very low cholesterol when they are diagnosed. As the patients are treated, and the cancer is lowered in the blood, the cholesterol levels rise.
 
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