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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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