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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 21 year old female and I've been a vegetarian for nearly five years. Yesterday, after a routine blood test, I found out that I have high cholesterol. Since the Dr's assistant called while I was at work, I didn't really have a chance to explain my predicament and get recommendations. I called back today and left a message, asking for advice. I just got a call back from the assistant. She asked me some questions and I explained my concerns. She said it could be genetic and is going to ask the doctor for his recommendation and give me a call back.

My cholesterol is at 227 when it shouldn't be over 200 and my bad cholesterol is at 154 and it shouldn't be over 99.

The funny thing is that I just started exercising more and switched from iced tea to water in an attempt to loose some weight for my upcoming wedding. I don't eat that badly, and when I do eat junk food it's in moderation.

I guess I'll be switching to a more Vegan diet in an attempt to drop the levels down for my three month re-test. The reason I haven't really gone vegan before is because I really don't have the time to make all my meals from scratch. I work and I go to college, along with taking care of my many animals and juggling my precious-little time with my fiance (who is not v*gn). I do eat a lot of ready-made processed vegetarian foods. Quorn chikin patties are a favorite, but those have 0 cholesterol. Going through my cabinet of usual foods, I found that the only things I eat on a regular basis that contain and significant amount of cholesterol are my mushroom ravioloi and the sauce (YUM - sadness!) and these breakfast egg things that I just recently found a couple of weeks ago.

As far as actual dairy - I do drink milk. One or two glasses a day max. However, I only drink skim milk. I eat cheese, but not any more than any other lacto-ovo vegetarian, and I don't eat eggs all that often. Maybe 2 times a week at most. I do eat ice cream, but a pint can easily last me a week.

I don't know any genetic history regarding cholesterol since my mother was adopted and I am not in contact with my paternal side. I'm debating trying to get in contact with some people to see if it's something genetic so I don't starve myself trying to lower my levels if the problem isn't due to food.

Any advice/suggestions would be highly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Mine is high too, mostly driven by a high Triglyceride count. High Triglycerides are usually the result of a diet heavy in carbohydrates. I say this because you mentioned processed foods... which often contain a lot of simple carbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's good to know, thank you. I'm going to try and eat better and see if that helps. My doctor called back and mentioned since my good cholesterol is high and I'm young, I shouldn't worry too much right now. It still worries me, though.

I heard from my biological family (I really don't know any of them, so it's kind of awkward to ask)..

My maternal grandmother says that it doesn't run on her side. She's getting in contact with my maternal grandfather. Hopefully I'll hear from her about that soon.
My biological father says it doesn't run on his side either.
 

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I first had my cholesterol tested when I was 18 and it was normal. I don't know what the numbers were because my doctor just said it was fine. Fast forward to November 2009 when I was 29 and I had my cholesterol tested after being minimally lacto-ovo for six months and vegan for a month. It was 181 with an HDL of 52 and an LDL of 129. Fast forward again to June 2011 at 31 I had my cholesterol re-tested after being vegan for about a year and half and I was curious to know how it had changed (better or worse?). It was 147 with an HDL of 63 and an LDL of 84. All the cholesterol drop was bad cholesterol. The interesting thing for me is that when I had it tested in November of 2009 I had been vegan for a month and I had spent six months prior to going vegan eating vegan at home and only eating eggs or dairy when I ate out and that wasn't often since I lived in a small town with no options and we had to drive almost 45 minutes for a decent vegetarian option (never mind vegan options.). So I was essentially eating eggs or dairy probably once or twice a month for six months and then eating vegan for a month before my cholesterol test. I wouldn't have expected such a big drop in my cholesterol from that to going completely vegan but I had a 34 point drop and it was all in the bad cholesterol since my good cholesterol went up. It surprised me what a difference even just eating minimal amounts of animal products makes in my cholesterol levels.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you don't eat a lot of animal products, they might affect your levels more than you would think they do. Eliminating them completely from your diet for a while and re-testing might show a drop in your cholesterol. It certainly made a huge difference in my cholesterol levels and I truly was not eating eggs or dairy very often at all. But there are definitely people with high cholesterol due to genetics too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the insight!

Quite honestly, going vegan isn't something I can realistically see myself doing 100%. I can cut out eggs. I guess I can go back to soy milk too, though I do tend to prefer skim milk. I do like my ice cream, but I guess I can look for some good soy ice cream as well. Any good mint chocolate chip soy-ice cream?

It's the dairy and eggs in stuff that gets me. Like I said, I don't have the time to be cooking stuff from scratch for every meal. Also, when we go out to eat, I do love some good cheese enchiladas.
 

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What is your good cholesterol? Ratio is important. My LDL is around 150 but my HDL is 76, making my ratio 2:1. An "ideal" ratio is 3.5:1; making my ratio better than ideal. I was told that although my overall cholesterol is very high, with HDL like that and a ratio like that, I'd never get heart disease!

That said, it's been high regardless of being omni (granted, I was only omni until I was 15), vegetarian(15-24), and now vegan (24-32). I think there are many fine things about a vegan diet, but insofar as lowering my cholesterol goes? Hasn't done a thing.
 

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Speaking of High Cholesterol. I would like to asked if its true that having optimum amount of Resveratrol daily helps to lower cholesterol? My auntie heard about that on her friends and told to my mom this last weekend. My auntie also told my mom that she's planning to buy a Resveratrol Complex supp. that said equivalent to drinking glasses of Red Wine and eating dark chocolate. Any thoughts??
 

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hey wickedrodent, when you look at the types of foods you consume and try to calculate how thats contributing to your cholesterol, you actually need to look at the saturated fat content of the food and not how much food cholesterol it says it has. the 0 cholesterol is more of a marketing thing as food cholesterol does not have as much of an impact as saturated fats do. focusing in saturated fats should hopefully help u in reducing your cholesterol . hopes this helps!
 
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