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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,<br>
I"m new to the board (this is my first post!) and have been strictly following a vegan diet since before Thanksgiving. I have to say that it was really easy for me to get into and I am enjoying the variety of food that I have been able to cook. Even some of my family members have embraced a more veggie diet.<br><br>
Right before I switched over, I had a cholesterol test done. My total cholesterol was 275, which is considered quite high. This past weekend, I had it checked again, and while it has gone down, (to 254), it is still considered far outside of normal. Since I have completely cut out all animal products and generally eat a very low fat diet, I am pretty disappointed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":huh:"> I will say that high cholesterol runs in my family and most of my family members are on statins.<br><br>
Do any of you have this issue? Or perhaps you did in the past and the cholesterol levels corrected themselves? Did you have to go on meds to get your cholesterol down to where it needs to be?<br><br>
Thanks!<br><br>
Denise
 

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I don't really have an answer for you, except to reaffirm that some cholesterol issues are genetic. Congratulations on the reduction though. You may just need more time.
 

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When I first went vegetarian (not vegan, though I consume very little dairy or eggs), my cholesterol was borderline high. When I donated blood 6 weeks later, it had dropped something like 50 points. I think most people in western society who have high cholesterol would benefit greatly from a vegan diet.<br><br>
There are other factors besides diet, though. Are you overweight? And how much do you exercise?<br><br>
If you're physically fit and eating vegan and still have this issue, then it may just take more time. Or it may just be that you're genetically screwed on this one. Unfortunately, some people are just born with it.<br><br>
--Fromper<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/juggle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":juggle:">
 

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What is your daily diet like? What foods do you eat? There are some foods that you should consider eating on a regular basis like daily or at least every other day. Get lots of fiber. Maybe add chia seeds to your diet. Also just increase your intake of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid trans fats like the plague.<br>
Use coconut oil for cooking. Saturate fats do not increase cholesterol and coconut oil has been shown to lower it. Olive oil is good as well. If you make raw salads, use olive oil in your dressing. Raw garlic can help lower cholsterol as well. Fat isn't the problem. Healthy fats are good for you and are needed. Eat avocados, use olive oil, eat nuts and seeds <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br>
Exercise is also good <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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What do you consider low fat? I don't think you can expect much change until you try getting no more than 10% of your calories from fat.
 

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Sounds like more time and exercise are needed. It's not something that's going to disappear immediately as far as I'm aware, so you shouldn't worry too much about it as long as it continues to drop into normal territory. Like everyone else said, address your diet too if you think that may be the problem. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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My numbers and ratios used to be high even as a vegetarian, but got better being a vegan and increasing the amount of raw food recipes in my diet.<br>
I suspect that anyone that has only 5 percent of their diet raw is asking for trouble whether they are omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan. Look around and find some tasty raw food recipes to get at least 25 percent of your diet raw or live.<br><br>
When my numbers were borderline, Niacin helped put them in a good range although Niacin flushes were a annoying side affect. Also, before I went vegan and increased raw foods, I used to take those 'statin drugs' and those did work well for lowering cholesterol numbers but they had annoying side affects too.<br>
Best wishes, Gil.
 

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A lot of people find that their cholesterol improves when they start making positive lifestyle changes, but some people have high cholesterol that can't be fully fixed by diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Don't feel bad if you're doing everything you can and it's still not improving--medication might help make up for those genetic factors you can't control.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SomebodyElse</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2825562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you consider low fat? I don't think you can expect much change until you try getting no more than 10% of your calories from fat.</div>
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There are many plans that work to lower cholesterol and the 10% max fat calories way is one of them.<br><br>
A more enjoyable way (for me) is to take a different approach. It's totally possible to do this on an all vegan, whole foods, no refined-flours or sugars and ZERO alcohol plan without restricting fat that low. I had a client recently drop 100 points in 6 weeks eating this way, along with 30 minutes (minimum) of vigorous exercise daily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for your responses. To answer some questions, I am currently about 40 lbs overweight but have lost about 10 lbs since changing to the vegan diet. I am close to 100 lbs lighter than I was 10 years ago. I exercise 5-6 times per week and do mostly cardio exercise. My weight was "stuck" for 2 years and didn't budge until I went vegan. As far as fats are concerned, I use either olive oil or canola oil in very small mats and some earth balance. I'm vigilant in watching for saturated and trans fats. I mostly eat beans, lentils, brown rice and veggies (carrots, onions, leafy green, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, etc) and also eat some soy but not much. I've just introduced flax seeds into my diet.<br><br>
My doctor wants me to keep doing what I'm doing with diet and exercise and check again in 6 months. He seems to think these changes just need more time. Three out of 6 family members are on statins (all are omnis) and all but one has cholesterol close to 300 while taking statins and eating a lower cholesterol omni diet(all had pre-statin<br>
levels of close to 400). Is it possible for cholesterol to keep going down over time or do any of you have experience that the initial decrease is it?<br><br>
Thanks again for your input!
 

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You sound like you're on the right track and I'm happy you have a supportive doctor! You've done great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":vebo:"> I would consider switching some brown rice out for quinoa, and perhaps add a green smoothie with flax, hemp and chia to your routine.
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DCarter1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2825770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Thanks everyone for your responses. To answer some questions, I am currently about 40 lbs overweight but have lost about 10 lbs since changing to the vegan diet. I am close to 100 lbs lighter than I was 10 years ago. I exercise 5-6 times per week and do mostly cardio exercise. My weight was "stuck" for 2 years and didn't budge until I went vegan. As far as fats are concerned, I use either olive oil or canola oil in very small mats and some earth balance. I'm vigilant in watching for saturated and trans fats. I mostly eat beans, lentils, brown rice and veggies (carrots, onions, leafy green, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, etc) and also eat some soy but not much. I've just introduced flax seeds into my diet.<br><br>
My doctor wants me to keep doing what I'm doing with diet and exercise and check again in 6 months. He seems to think these changes just need more time. Three out of 6 family members are on statins (all are omnis) and all but one has cholesterol close to 300 while taking statins and eating a lower cholesterol omni diet(all had pre-statin<br>
levels of close to 400). Is it possible for cholesterol to keep going down over time or do any of you have experience that the initial decrease is it?<br><br>
Thanks again for your input!</div>
</div>
<br>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DCarter1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2825770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My doctor wants me to keep doing what I'm doing with diet and exercise and check again in 6 months. He seems to think these changes just need more time. Three out of 6 family members are on statins (all are omnis) and all but one has cholesterol close to 300 while taking statins and eating a lower cholesterol omni diet(all had pre-statin<br>
levels of close to 400). Is it possible for cholesterol to keep going down over time or do any of you have experience that the initial decrease is it?<br><br>
Thanks again for your input!</div>
</div>
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Your doctor is right. It takes time to see change. Keep at it and you'll likely see more improvements.<br>
As far as I know, the most relevant factors to your blood serum cholesterol numbers are dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, and exercise. Limit the first two and increase exercise. Sounds like you're doing all the right things. Just keep it up and re-check in 6 months!<br><br>
My husband lowered his cholesterol significantly by going vegan. He went from unhealthily high to "normal". As a vegan, he notices that it can still increase to unhealthy levels if he doesn't limit his saturated fat intake and/or take daily walks.
 
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