Can vegans still have high cholesterol?
The current body of research on vegan diets and cholesterol levels indicates that vegans generally do have lower levels than their meat-eating counterparts. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal foods, which may lead you to conclude that if you’re not eating them, you can’t develop high cholesterol. Can vegans have high cholesterol?
The answer is yes. Even if you eat a strictly plant-based diet that contains no red meat or other high cholesterol foods, you can still have high cholesterol. This is partly because cholesterol is primarily created in the liver rather than taken in through dietary sources.
Recent studies have shown that, while vegans tend to have lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, they also have low levels of HDL or good cholesterol, increased triglyceride levels, and increased levels of homocysteine. All of these are associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Even without eating meat?
Let’s examine ways that vegans can still have high cholesterol, beginning with diet. Processed foods, like baked goods, certain high fat nuts, and coconut oil are all examples of plant foods that contain trans fats. Eating a lot of foods that are high in saturated fats can push your cholesterol level up.
When analyzing blood cholesterol, keep in mind that the ratio of good cholesterol when measured against bad cholesterol in your blood can also be a warning sign. If your overall cholesterol level is within range, but you have too much LDL and not enough HDL, the imbalance can be unhealthy.
Another reason vegans can still have high cholesterol even if they’re not getting a lot from their diet is genetics. If you have a family history of the problem, it’s always recommended to begin tracking your levels early, regardless of your diet.
What’s better than being vegan? Being a HEALTHY vegan!
Veganism is more than a way of eating, it’s a lifestyle choice. When you commit to this lifestyle, you need to go the extra mile to make sure you’re not simply cutting out animal products. Healthy vegans need to minimize the trans fats and processed foods included in their daily diet just like meat eaters or vegetarians. And, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of any diet you choose.
Becoming a vegan has numerous benefits for you, animal welfare, and the planet. But eating an entirely plant-based diet can lead to a few common deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, such as B12, D3, iron, and calcium. For optimal health, you will likely need to add a few supplements to your routine. The good news is that you don’t have to break your diet to do so.
Vegan Life Nutrition has created supplements made specifically for vegans. They’re 100% plant-sourced, organic, and contain no animal byproducts or fillers. Check out your options on the site, and when you’re ready, order online, and have your products delivered right to your door.