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 Post subject: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:43 am 
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My mom became a lacto-ovo veg almost a year ago.she had her bloodwork done recently and was bummed her cholesterol went up a little bit. I think she went veg for health reasons mainly rather than ethical reasons so I think she is really disappointed in this result. Her side of the family definitely has a history of cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, and heart problems. My grandmother was very thin and ate like a bird but really struggled with high cholesterol. My grandfather I don’t remember ever NOT having health issues. He had heart problems for my entire life as long as I can remember. He also had high cholesterol. he had several heart operations that i can remember. so the family history is there.

I asked her how much dairy she is eating and it doesn’t seem to be all that much. she doesn’t drink cow milk she drinks I think almond milk. I think she does yogurt and maybe occasionally cheese or cottage cheese but she’s definitely not heavy on dairy.

This is kind of a funny anecdote on the fact that drs and nurses are not taught nutrition. My mom is a nurse and was discussing this with a fellow nurse and they decided she should cut back on nuts and nut butters because of the high cholesterol. I told her that was silly because there is no cholesterol in nuts. Some websites I read said nuts can help lower cholesterol.

At this point I don’t think there is anything she needs to stop eating or cut down on but maybe there is some foods she should eat MORE of that help lower cholesterol?
Any ideas? I suggested more fiber. I don’t know what kind of grains they eat. I know my mom really struggles with getting away from the meat/starch/vegetable way of meals so she may be eating a lot of meat analogs and I never saw anything but white rice and white pasta in that house growing up. I think she has switched to whole wheat pasta but they may still eat white rice. I thinking some heartier grains may be better?
Any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:52 am 
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wasn't there some study about oat fiber or bran?

ETA, maybe she'll find this interesting
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002

cholesterol is funny, and there are some people here on this board with experience- even with exercise and diet changes, they still need medication- and i hope they chime in.

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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:11 am 
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i forgot to add she had to stop exercising recently.
she's 62 (63?) but was very active and was running almost daily and then busted her knee and has to have surgery on it at some point so even walking for exercise is limited at this point.
not sure how much impact that would have had on recent bloodwork.

thanks for the link im gonna check it out and also send it to her.

the funny thing is as a lacto-ovo i always had really low cholesterol despite the family history and then when i went vegan the doctor was like "yeah we're not gonna bother checking your cholesterol this time around, there's no need"

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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:48 am 
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Yeah, the Portfolio diet (a diet combining a bunch of foods that help lower cholesterol) was shown to be as effective or more effective than statins. And it's basically what torque just linked to. A nearly vegan diet that includes nuts, soy, plant sterols (added to margarine or orange juice), and foods with lots of soluble fiber.

If it's specifically the triglycerides that are high, switching from refined grains to whole grains might help.


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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:04 am 
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I had high cholesterol before when I was just plain run of the mill vegetarian. I put it down to the quantities of oil I was using and my poor portion control with carbs which all caused me to pile on the lbs. Now, I wasn't considered by other people as overweight but my bmi was around 27 at the time. I lost weight and cut back on junk food and now my cholesterol is fine. It seems once I keep my BMI in check I am fine. Would your mother have a few lbs to get rid of? It could be genetic too. Some people have it in their genes and there is no avoiding it.

I think I read before that coconut oil lowers your cholesterol. I stress the I think part.

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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Last year before I went vegan, I was told that my total cholestral raised by 50. My dr was concerned a little, but since it was still under the "high" mark, he sent me off with paperwork on foods to avoid. I don't think animal products were on the list. Hmmmm? I do remember seeing nuts on there though. I also remember thinking that all the foods the diabetes instructor told me to eat were on that list. I had gestational diabetes the year before that. Anyways, high cholestral runs in my family, so I am hoping the vegan diet helps keep mine in check.

I have no information worth giving since I am not a dietician, but I agree that most drs don't know anything about nutrition.


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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:15 pm 
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I realize I don't know how to spell the word cholesterol. Every way I look at it seems wrong now.


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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:21 pm 
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I work in the health profession. We have an appalling lack of knowledge about nutrition!

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 Post subject: Re: cholesterol lowering foods
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Useless to the OP (sorry!) but I do agree with daisychain. My recent visit to a doc concluded with, "You should really eat meat. You need animal protein" (we were talking about iron, but I think it was a telling slip). Docs don't always know.


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