“Why is my cholesterol high if I’m vegan?”
This is one of the few concerns that some vegans have about their health. Although generally, a vegan diet helps to bring down the cholesterol level, there are those who worry that they have a higher cholesterol nonetheless.
Why does this happen?
Let’s shed some light to this health concern and what you can do about it.
Why Is My Cholesterol High If I’m Vegan
Typically, the vegan diet helps with promoting a lower cholesterol level. But there are those who find themselves suffering from high cholesterol, nonetheless.
But the truth is that diet is just one thing that tends to impact cholesterol levels. This is specifically with the LDL level, which is the “bad” cholesterol, as opposed to HDL or the “good” cholesterol.
Some vegan foods can impact cholesterol such as with coconut oil. Your body can also make cholesterol from trans fats or saturated fats.
But if you are eating margarine and fast foods that use hydrogenated oil, then you will have to be concerned about cholesterol.
Among the common vegan foods that lead to higher cholesterol due to saturated fats are palm oil, cocoa butter and coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil has been observed to increase your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.
Do keep in mind that there is some cholesterol that can do your body well. But once it gets very high, then this can be a problem.
Factors That Contribute To High Cholesterol As A Vegan
In addition to food, there are other things to blame for a high cholesterol level.
This may be obesity, especially when you have an excess amount of fat in the body. This can even double the cholesterol level that your body produces.
Diabetes is another factor that is closely linked with higher bad cholesterol levels, as well as kidney or liver disease. Other risk factors for high cholesterol as a vegan include genetics such as those who have familial hypercholesterolemia, polycystic ovary syndrome and an underactive thyroid gland.
Pregnant women may also get higher cholesterol in their body because of the changes in their hormone levels. And some drugs such as progestins and steroids can raise your LDL while lowering the HDL.
If you have genetic issues linked with high cholesterol, then it may be tricky to address. But if it is because of certain diseases, then you can consult your medical professional about how this problem can be properly managed or fixed.
How To Regulate Cholesterol Level As A Vegan
A healthy vegan diet should prevent you from having to worry about a high cholesterol level. If you stay away from foods that increase your HDL level, then you can maintain a healthier body as a vegan.
You should consider consuming nutritious foods that help with your cholesterol issue such as fruits, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are beneficial for reducing cholesterol levels.
It is also important to keep in mind that some plant-based foods tend to be heavily processed, which contain trans fats, artificial ingredients, sodium, and sugar. This is why you are better off with whole foods that will prevent bad cholesterol in your body.
If you are looking to reduce your cholesterol levels, do your best to limit or even avoid consuming processed foods such as crackers, chips, meat alternatives, and cookies. Instead, go for whole foods that are generally healthier such as legumes, vegetables, greens, fruits, and nuts.
The dietary fiber in these foods helps with reducing cholesterol levels while providing your body with the right amount of nutrients it needs.
You can also try to substitute olive oil for coconut oil, which is great because of the unsaturated fatty acids in the former. This aids in reducing cholesterol as a vegan.
Among the other foods you should eat are avocado oil, lentils, nuts, flaxseed oil, tofu, beans, tempeh, and seeds.
As for the ones you should avoid, it is best to stay away from highly processed foods rich in artificial colors, flavors, sodium and sugar. Sweets, salty snacks, and fast foods are the worst you could ever eat when you are already worried about your cholesterol level.
Also, exercising more and limiting alcohol consumption help with reducing your cholesterol levels. You should also use a vegan omega 3 supplement to improve the functions of your blood vessel while increasing good and reducing bad cholesterol.
A vegan diet promotes healthier cholesterol levels, among other things.
However, if you are vegan and with a high cholesterol level, you might want to consider avoiding certain foods and eating more of the best ones to help you with this health issue. We hope our recommendations and some insights on what causes high cholesterol on a vegan diet helped to shed some light on this concern.