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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:04 am 
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it might be that plant oils have very tiny amounts of cholesterol, and that's what what the wikipedia article is referring to. However, the USDA database where nutrient information comes from would not use contaminated flour to do their nutrient analysis.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:45 am 
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I was going to mention the Quorn vegan burgers too! I ate them then noticed 5 mg of cholesterol and was weirded out. Maybe that has something to do with what Mars posted about fungi.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:27 am 
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I've never thought to check cholesterol, just ingredients, but after reading this thread, I did a check today and found the weirdest thing. I checked out two products from the same brand, Vivera. They sell both vegetarian and vegan products. The supposedly vegan felafel (it's marketed as 100% plant-based and I checked the ingredients) had 5 mg of cholesterol. Then I checked a veggie patty that contained egg. No cholesterol listed. what the fizzle?

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:30 am 
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I'm pretty sure it's possible to have animal products with only trace or negligible amounts of cholesterol.

I don't understand the cholesterol in vegan products, though. Usually cholesterol is one of my ways to quick scan a label for possible veganity.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:02 pm 
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This happened to me once before. I wanted some cookies and hubby went shopping. He spent 5 minutes reading all the ingredients until he found a vegan one. I was happily munching along and started studying the nutrition facts label (we were on a drive and it was raining) and saw that there was quite a bit of cholesterol in those cookies? What the heck! There certainly wasn't anything listed in the ingredients.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Ok, this has been bugging me so I did some digging. According to this article, some plants do contain cholesterol, it's just very very little compared to animal products. There's a table comparing various plant (mainly oil) sources to animal sources. (Palm oil is one of the highest.) They're talking about an average of 50 mg per kg, so 5 mg in a package of Quorn or felafel is not that weird. If this is true, though, then checking for cholesterol in food isn't really a reliable way to know if it's vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Wow, news to me!

But I'm still confused by the math. The highest plant one there is corn oil with 50 mg per kg (2.2 lbs!). so for 5 mg to end up in a single serving of food you would need almost 1/4 lb of corn oil in that single serving. That doesn't add up! Either the labels are wrong or there's another (probably animal) source of cholesterol.... Right? Someone check my math:o)

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:31 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
Ok, this has been bugging me so I did some digging. According to this article, some plants do contain cholesterol, it's just very very little compared to animal products. There's a table comparing various plant (mainly oil) sources to animal sources. (Palm oil is one of the highest.) They're talking about an average of 50 mg per kg, so 5 mg in a package of Quorn or felafel is not that weird. If this is true, though, then checking for cholesterol in food isn't really a reliable way to know if it's vegan.

This is what I was thinking as well. But I am not really well read on this type of stuff.

Never even accord to me to use cholesterol as a checking point for if something is vegan or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Has anyone emailed any of these companies? Or a reputable vegan dietician like Ginny Messina?

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Also, what quorn product is being talked about? The label online for the Vegan Burger lists 0% cholesterol.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:53 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Has anyone emailed any of these companies? Or a reputable vegan dietician like Ginny Messina?


Yeah, I wanna hear from Ginny! The cholesterol in plants thing sounds sketchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Her email can be found through her blog.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:51 pm 
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I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the brand - it didn't even occur to me to do so while I was at the store and now I can't remember what it was. I'll check the next time I go back though and e-mail them.

I'm a nutrition student and I remember being taught that only animal products contain dietary cholesterol, which is always my big argument point with my extended family. I am the only one out of that whole side of the family, including my mom, her siblings and their children, who has an acceptable cholesterol level.

Anyway, this is an article Ginny Messina wrote where she also asserts the no cholesterol in a vegan diet thing, but there isn't any kind of reference or footnote with it. Since she uses them throughout the rest of the article and not for that, I have to assume that's considered common knowledge
http://www.wedge.coop/newsletter/august-september-2011/vegan-diets

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:53 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Also, what quorn product is being talked about? The label online for the Vegan Burger lists 0% cholesterol.

The box I had said 5mg cholesterol per burger.

I would have emailed, but frankly I didn't care enough. I believe that they're vegan, and don't even plan on buying them again (for taste reasons- they were just ok).


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:01 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
it might be that plant oils have very tiny amounts of cholesterol, and that's what what the wikipedia article is referring to. However, the USDA database where nutrient information comes from would not use contaminated flour to do their nutrient analysis.

Can you please write a nutrition book? Kickstart that shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Non vegan products that contain eggs can show on nutrition labels as having 0 cholesterol because basically all of the cholesterol in eggs is in the yolk, and those products likely use the whites.
Finding out that plants can produce cholesterol is blowing my mind.
Every health/nutrition class I've ever taken has made it a point to stress that animal products are the only foods that contain cholesterol.
We had a question on a test that nearly half the class missed, it was "Do peanuts contain cholesterol?" and since most omni's equate fat to cholesterol, tons of people answered yes. Insanity!

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:46 pm 
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sisterlegume wrote:
Finding out that plants can produce cholesterol is blowing my mind.
Every health/nutrition class I've ever taken has made it a point to stress that animal products are the only foods that contain cholesterol.

as far as i understand, plants are capable of producing cholesterol, but not in nutritionally significant amounts.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:07 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
sisterlegume wrote:
Finding out that plants can produce cholesterol is blowing my mind.
Every health/nutrition class I've ever taken has made it a point to stress that animal products are the only foods that contain cholesterol.

as far as i understand, plants are capable of producing cholesterol, but not in nutritionally significant amounts.

That is what I recently heard also. I bet my friend that plants don't produce cholesterol and then I was wrong (according to a google search while we were at the bar).

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:18 pm 
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katiejayne wrote:
EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
sisterlegume wrote:
Finding out that plants can produce cholesterol is blowing my mind.
Every health/nutrition class I've ever taken has made it a point to stress that animal products are the only foods that contain cholesterol.

as far as i understand, plants are capable of producing cholesterol, but not in nutritionally significant amounts.

That is what I recently heard also. I bet my friend that plants don't produce cholesterol and then I was wrong (according to a google search while we were at the bar).


yeah, I checked out some of the references in that wikipedia article and one of them talked about the amounts of cholesterol in plant foods and it's a really small amount. Like you'd end up with < half a mg in a serving or something, so it's not worth mentioning or worrying about. in terms of health, the cholesterol we eat doesn't play as big of a factor in heart disease as does the cholesterol our bodies produce.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:19 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:13 pm 
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mmm......insect and rodent filth.....yummmm!!!!

seriously though it never occurred to me to check cholesterol content of items to look for secret non-veganness. i feel like a slacker now

*goes and reads all the labels in her house*

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:57 pm 
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I'm pretty sure I have some no named vegan perogies at our local store. Ingredients sound similar to yours, but I could have sworn there was no cholesterol because I always check.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:17 am 
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Hi all,

Lisa asked me to chime in on this topic, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get here.

I have to say that the idea of cholesterol in plants is new to me since I wasn't aware that plants had any of the enzymes needed to synthesize it. If it's there (I'm still skeptical), it's in nutritionally irrelevant amounts as others have pointed out. And I don't think that the food label is reflecting this because the USDA database (the final word on nutrient content in foods) doesn't list any cholesterol amounts for plant foods like oils or vegetables. So I think it's a labeling mistake. Or if the company did their own testing, maybe they are mistakenly reporting levels of plant sterols as cholesterol, since they are chemically pretty similar. At any rate, I'm guessing (hoping) that the pierogi are vegan. I think I have some in my freezer!

Ginny


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:27 am 
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Great information everyone, and thanks Ginny for chiming in!

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't this vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:54 am 
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Thanks so much Ginny!

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