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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got my bloodwork results back from my doctor today after anxiously awaiting a diagnosis or reason behind why I have been feeling so cruddy for the past couple of years (yes, the appointment was VERY overdue...) As it turns out, I have high cholesterol! And I am a 17 year old vegetarian! My doctor pointed out that it is most likely genetics (heart disease and high blood pressure/high cholesterol run on BOTH sides of my family) because I eat pretty healthily (rarely eat processed foods, no fake meats, lots of vegetables, beans, and tofu) but I am still very upset over the lack of control I now feel over my own health. I am terrified of getting heart disease, having a heart attack, etc. To top this off, my doctor wants me to go gluten free for 2 months to see if that helps my GI issues (Celiac disease runs in the family). I am facing a lot of difficult changes lately


Anyway, besides losing some weight and going GF, I have been putting a lot of thought into eating a largely vegan diet, rather than vegetarian, to help control my cholesterol and triglycerides. I have read that vegans often have the lowest cholesterol levels (compared to everyone else) and now I have a few questions.

Which vegan milk-almond or soy- is better for cooking? I go back and forth between drinking both, but I have never really tried to cook savory dishes with either. Does it vary?

What is the best replacement for Greek yogurt? It's something that I used to eat a lot of but now I know I need to cut down on or replace. I have tried soy pudding and it was delicious, but not as filling as Greek yogurt (it was more like a dessert). Where can I get soy yogurt and other yogurt replacing products?

I already have Veganomicon (LOVE that book!), but are there any other vegan cookbooks that offer low-fat or healthy-fat based recipes that you like?

I became a vegetarian for health reasons, but eventually got ethically behind it. Who knows, maybe one day I will be a full-fledged vegan
I would like to work towards that goal in the mean-time!
 

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About cholesterol - try reducing the amount of saturated fats and the amount of refined carbs that you eat. And exercise.

About milks - I think plain soy is better for most cooking because almond milk is slightly sweet. (Also for some baking you can use powdered soy milk which is cheaper. As far as I know, there isn't powdered almond milk available yet.)

Can't give you a good answer about Greek yogurt. Regularly soy yogurt can be gotten at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and sometimes other places like Smiths or Fresh and Easy. If you can't find it, you could probably mail-order it from Vegan Essentials, Food Fight, or Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe.

I think a good one for you might be Dr. Barnard's Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook. It's low-fat and vegan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks ElaineV, that is great advice and I will definitely look into that book! Oh how I wish my town had a Trader Joe's OR Whole Foods
But my town does have a local grocery that is known to carry mostly organic/specialty products...maybe I will try that!
 

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Most of the milks have all sorts of things added to them to help with the taste and texture, but make them less than ideal for cooking. If it's for cooking, read the ingredients labels and get find the ones that are just water and the beans/nuts.

Appetite for Reduction is by the same author as Veganomicon and emphasizes low fat vegan recipes. There are some really good things in there.
 

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A vegan diet has definitely helped my cholesterol. I think it was like 147 the last time it was checked. All my other numbers were very good too. My doctor was thrilled.

In addition to eliminating animal products from my diet, I've cut way back on oil. I do a lot of stir fries, but I sauté my vegetables in water rather than oil. I also limit my nuts and seeds to an ounce or so a day.

I used to eat a lot of dairy yogurt, and I still enjoy Soy yogurt, but I just don't eat as much of it. I tend to slice some fruit into it to make it more filling.

When I made the transition, I used SparkPeople to track calories, fat grams, etc. Just so that I could get a feel for what I should be eating. Might be helpful for you if you want to track cholesterol.
 

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Veganism is definitely good for cholesterol levels, as you don't find that stuff in plants. If you eat eggs, I'd recommend you stop, because eggs are pretty much your entire RDA of cholesterol (they're about 220mg per egg, RDA is about 300mg).

I use soymilk for cooking/baking most of the time.

And Veganomicon is the only vegan non-baking cookbook I own, sorry


Hope you can get your cholesterol under control!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpw007 View Post

Thanks ElaineV, that is great advice and I will definitely look into that book! Oh how I wish my town had a Trader Joe's OR Whole Foods
But my town does have a local grocery that is known to carry mostly organic/specialty products...maybe I will try that!
Organic probably doesn't make a lot of difference one way or the other when it comes to cholesterol, to tell you the truth. It's much more expensive than the non organic versions of the same foods too. It'd be great if people are more organic food overall but it's not this miracle substance that will erase all disease.

A lot of your blood cholesterol is actually probably hereditary and dietary changes can only go so far. You might be one of those people who had to end up taking medication for it. You should probably consult a dietitian if you're not sure. It may be a safer route than depending on (biased) opinions on a pro veg forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
greenish- I'm so glad to hear that veganism has helped you with your cholesterol- it gives me some hope

AeryFairy- I HATE eggs! Never have liked them and definitely don't eat them! I only ever use eggs when I bake, and even then I want to eliminate them completely from my diet. I looked for some vegan egg replacer at Publix today and they had none, so I will just have to keep looking I suppose.
Josh James- thanks for the objective advice. My doctor wants to see how far my levels can come down by losing weight and changing my diet (in concordinance with a very low-dosage pill) for three months before I'm on medication for forever. If it doesn't work out, I'll definitely just have to accept it.
 

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Baking-wise, you don't need egg OR actual egg-replacer. Things such as apple sauce, jam, oil, soy yogurt or soy milk w/ apple vinegar in work as binding ingredients for baking. As soon as I switched to vegan baking, my cakes got ten times better. If you want an awesome cookbook, get Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Love it.
 
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