How Do Vegans Get Cholesterol
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How Do Vegans Get Cholesterol (The Silent Killer)?

How Do Vegans Get Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy compound that comes from two sources: food and your body.

This substance is both our foe and friend – at normal levels, it is an important substance for the body’s normal functioning.

But if levels in the blood get too high, it becomes a silent danger that puts us at risk of a heart disease.

Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones (including vitamin D), bile acids, cell membranes, and substances that help you digest foods.

1- Two kinds of cholesterol

Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body:

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL).

HDL cholesterol is occasionally called “good” cholesterol.

This is because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver.

Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.

HDL levels below 40mg per deciliter are considered a risk factor for heart disease.

The American Council on Exercises recommends for individuals to have HDL levels above 60 mg per deciliter.[1]

LDL cholesterol is occasionally called “bad” cholesterol.

A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries (arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your body).

The optimal LDL level to avoid heart attacks may be 50 to 70.

The American Heart Association recommends that people 20 years of age and older have their cholesterol checked with a lipo protein blood test every 4 to 6 years.

2- LDL Adverse Effects

Excess LDL can form plaque between layers of artery walls, making it harder for your heart to circulate blood.

This has been shown to increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.

If it blocks an artery that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack.

If a clot blocks an artery that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke.

READ : 30 Iron Rich Foods For Vegans and Vegetarians

High LDL may be associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, DNA damage, abdominal aortic aneurysm, declining kidney function, breast cancer, adverse skin effects, gallstones, periodontitis, inflammation, lower back pain, type 2 diabetes or sexual dysfunction.

For example, over the past 20 years, heart disease is still the number-one killer in the United States, and it’s responsible for the death of 610,000 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [2]

Also, one in four deaths nationwide is caused by heart disease.

3- How Do Vegans Get Cholesterol?

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.

Hence, there is no recommended dietary intake for this type of fat.

4- Foods That Increase LDL Cholesterol

It is essential to know what foods contain this substance, and how you can change your diet to decrease your risk of heart disease.

A- Meats :

Particularly organ meats (liver, heart, brain) are even higher in LDL and contain about 350 milligrams of LDL per serving.

B- Eggs :

Due to the fact they have so much LDL, they are not able to be labeled “healthy” under FDA guidelines, as just half of an egg goes over the safety limit.

The daily consumption of LDL found in a single egg may cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking 25,000 cigarettes over 15 years.

C- Dairy products :

The most frequently used cheeses in foods are cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, provolone, blue cheese, and Swiss.

All contain similar amounts of saturated fat (3.7 and 5.9 grams per serving).

Foods loaded with trans and saturated fats (saturated fats are usually firm or hold their shapes at room temperature).

Trans fats can be found in foods such as coconut and palm oils, and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products, such as pies, buns, biscuits, and pastries.

5- Foods That Lower LDL Cholesterol

Fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains (like oatmeal) don’t have any LDL.

Whole-based plant foods that have been associated to lower LDL include:

  • Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Kale.
  • Legumes.
  • (lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, soy).
  • Indian gooseberries, acai berries, apples, nuts (Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and almonds).
  • Seeds (sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds).
  • Sweet potatoes and other potatoes, kiwis, passion fruit, bananas, oranges, pears, apricots, mangos, nectarines, pineapples, green tea, cocoa.
  • Whole oats, whole barley, carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, okra, eggplant, defatted coconut flakes, and hibiscus tea.

6- Note

Diet plays a critical role in maintaining normal cholesterol (HDL + LDL) levels.

While only 25 percent of your cholesterol is absorbed through your diet and your body manufactures 75 percent of it, diet still plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy heart and good blood chemistry.

Written by Vegan Chef

Vegan Diet Society is a lifestyle blog focusing on vegan and vegetarian diet. We Also make delicious, healthy and homemade vegan recipes versions of all the old favorite dishes.

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