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Posted Aug 14 2011 11:47pm

Question by saddison2004:
How can my cholesterol be very high if I eat a vegan diet?

I just found out that my cholesterol is in the highest category, including the LDL cholesterol. I am 25 years old, a normal weight, and I have been a vegetarian (but very close to a vegan) for most of my life. I am very upset and confused. Does anyone know why this might be happening?


Answer by Healthy Lifestyle Geek
Genetics – your body is over producing its own cholesterol.

Answer by Kevin B
Well dietary factors can include eggs are a source of cholesterol, I think so does milk and dairy products. But even so in vegan diet some cereals (including sugars), oils and seeds contain more than trace amounts of cholesterol, though might have very tiny effect. Then again as recommended there could be a metabolic problem here, one of which is diabetes.

Cholesterol is generated directly from the food sources but can be synthesized in the “endoplasmic reticulum” … this is a homeostatic approach to keep the cholesterol level balanced and to avoid dangerously low levels of cholesterol (hypocholesterolemia).

So (in theory) sustained periods of undernourishment might have tricked your body into producing high levels of cholesterol, and these might have remained when you return to a proper routine of eating which is why a balance diet is not about limiting intakes of certain foods but keeping nutrients in regular balance.

“Genes” is too simplistic an excuse, there are environmental factors such as stress and hormones to factor in too. There are plenty of medical arguments to causes and solutions, you might have to have a conversation with your physician to see what is right for you.

I would (personally) also seek to check if the monitor was calibrated properly or get retested to see if you have returned to normal.

Answer by Violet Pearl
Triglycerides come from sugar and grains, NOT eggs as most people mistakenly believe . If you are a vegan and you load up and pasta, carbs and stuff, you will have high triglycerides:

Triglycerides are a form of fat in the bloodstream. People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol, a high LDL (bad) cholesterol and a low HDL (good) cholesterol level.
Fortunately, elevated triglycerides is one of the easiest problems to correct with the appropriate diet. Easy restriction of all sugars and grains.
Sugars and grains and require insulin secretion, which is a potent stimulus to the liver to produce triglycerides, and sugars and grains must be reduced if you are looking to lower your triglycerides.
High triglycerides in the blood are often seen in overweight people. But even people who are not overweight might have stores of fat in their arteries as a result of insulin resistance. These triglycerides in the blood are the direct result of carbohydrates from the diet being converted by insulin. These triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats. They are made in the liver from any excess sugars which have not been used for energy.
The grains are rapidly metabolized to easy sugars, which studies have clearly associated with elevated triglyceride levels. The right approach is to radically reduce consumption of all easy sugars and easy grains.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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