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Hi, I am vegetarian for years and recently I got by blood tests results indicating that my cholesterol is high. How can it be when I am not taking any animal fat?

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Hi, I was also very surprised when I found out that my cholesterol is high and I am vegetarian. I have read somewhere that a negative cholesterol intake can cause one's body to overproduce cholesterol. I don’t know if this has been scientifically proven. My HDL- good cholesterol was low despite using olive oil and a high fiber whole grain diet. I was very surprised and disappointed, some folks who don’t support vegetarian dieting even laugh at me. I have done some more tests to figure out if there is any other disorder in cholesterol production, so I am waiting for results.
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Unfortunately, cholesterol level is primarily set by your genes. Diet can only make it a little bit worse or a little bit better. Saturated fat isn't the whole story -- check out the New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure by Bob Kowalski or another book that can tell you about essential fatty acids and the nutrients you need for heart health. But even if you follow a perfect diet to lower your cholesterol, it might still be high because of your genes. If so, talk to your doctor about all the new cholesterol-lowering drugs.
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O.K. This cholesterol scare started in the 70s. Cholesterol, a form of sterol, which is needed for hormone production is sometimes high in people due to factors other than fat consumption. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is good cholesterol which will actually clean out your arteries. High sugar intake, lack of exercise and heavy cigarette smoking will cause the body to generate more LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein). I am a heavy egg eater and am consistently diagnosed with low LDL type of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is formed by the body to protect the body from free radical damage. Kind of like human rust. This does not mean that the person is consuming too much bad cholesterol, but rather their body is under attack from too many free radicals. It is like when your immune system is low and you get infections. Your body is producing swelling, discharges, etc. to defend against the invaders.

I bought into this in my early years. Vegetarian and even fruititarian (sp?) diets are great for internal cleansing, but I just function better on a meat, fat and vegetable diet. This includes running marathons and climbing Mt. Rainier. Try strict vegan in a cold climate.

A couple more points. The Inuit and Eskimos eat high fat, meat and fish diets and have low heart disease. The African Masai tribal people eat mostly meat, a mixture of milk and blood and some fruits. They also have low heart disease. That is until they are crammed into crowded housing and fed processed carbohydrates.

Please give the above mentioned some thought and research before resorting to risky drugs.
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A few facts about cholesterol would be useful.
1. Cholesterol can only be obtained from animal sources, or by synthesis in the liver.
2. LDL and HDL are not cholesterol, they are proteins used to transport fatty cholesterol in watery blood (oil and water don't mix)
3. Cholesterol is so valuable to the body that it is recycled back to the liver in HDL.
4. LDL is not bad, it is a sign that the body is stressed and needs cholesterol. LDL is the packaged form in which cholesterol is sent out from the liver.

Cholesterol is used in the body for many things including.
1. Every cell membrane, and the membranes of organelles inside the cells.
2. Making hormones like Oestrogen, Testosterone, Insulin etc.

So Cholesterol is an essential nutrient that can only be obtained from animal sources, recycling, or synthesis in the liver. Synthesis is expensive both in terms of enzyme usage, and liver capacity.

When seen in this light, cholesterol is altogether beneficial to the body. 

The cholesterol associated with heart disease is caused by high fructose/sugar consumption oxidative stress and is associated with a pattern called pattern B in the cholesterol test. This is Low HDL, high LDL, and high triglycerides. With small dense LDL, VLDL. This pattern is associated with sugar consumption particularly processed Fructose.

Finally the overall Cholesterol number is meaningless. It is easy for patients to understand, and for doctors to work out, but has little or no clinical value in preventing heart disease or anything else.
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Recent Japanese research indicated that cholesterol is not caused by ingesting animal fat/saturated fat in fact our bodies can deal better with animal fat than vegetable fat.
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This is the best article I have ever read. I have been so stressed out over my total cholesterol. This article has certianly given a peace of mind
Thank you again
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Regarding Tweaky's posts:

It is irresponsible for you to make statements such as it is better for us to be consuming animal's fats over vegetable's fat.  Study after study after study would say you are wrong.  Why would an herbivore be healthier on an animal's fat?

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Hi a couple of weeks ago I was told I had high cholesterol which I panicked and I have started taking pro active with plant sterols. And it as gone from 8.2 to 6,6 but is still high so I have to keep taking them and watching my diet because my doctor wants me to try the tablets which I don't want to , I am only slim and I am finding it hard to keep my weight on , any suggestions would be welcome ,

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I don't doubt that for a second. I can tell that is the truth by eating it. If I eat food fried in vegetable oil or peanut butter, or any other processed oil I feel like c**p the rest of the day. I started eating a breakfast sandwich every morning with 3 of my own organic eggs, sausage and toast. I replaced the butter with grease from the frying pan. Yea you heard me right, I brush the animal fat on my toast like butter. I now feel great the rest of the day, I have amazing energy, no acid indigestion or any of that. No bloating. I also stopped craving sweets or anything else. And to top all that off Im loosing weight like this. I think it has sped my metabolism or something. All I know is I feel much better. I guess my brain is registering the fat Im eating and tells my body not to make or store fat because Im getting enough in my diet.
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If you are female and used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) I understand it messes up your cholesterol and depletes vitamin B6. I have this problem.
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Hi. I just found out the same thing and I am extremely healthy. I am vegetarian, I work out (weights/cardio) 4-5 times per week, I watch my foods and my HDL came back low. Any new research on this? I'm so bothered because I am so conscious of what I put in my body. I have never smoked either.
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I am a vegetarian who has not eaten meat in many years. For the first time in my life my LDL was very high today. My triglycerides and HDL were both in the normal range. I was very shocked and upset and of course medication was mentioned right away. I am glad I saw your post Thank you I feel much better.
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I have eaten many different ways over the years. And when they started checking for cholesterol I was eating average American diet with meat, some veggies, starches probably too much sugar and processed foods although not a lot. My numbers always ran high, but my HDL was also high and LDL lower. Triglycerides high. My son eats really well (organic, home-grown veggies and eggs and meat, no processed, and his numbers have always been high, even at the age of 20. My mom's was high as well. I have tried low-fat, lot's of meat, and now am vegan (for the last 6 months.) My numbers are still high, however, since going vegan, my LDL is higher. I have not eating any fructose for years, and eat very little sugar now. It just seems to be so much more complicated than eliminate all animal fats, or only eat Palio, etc.
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bravo, smart cookie!
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