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Can someone plesae explain to me about good cholestrol, bad cholestrol? I am at my wits end trying

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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:43 AM
Original message
Can someone plesae explain to me about good cholestrol, bad cholestrol? I am at my wits end trying
to convince my mom,a vegetarian with high chol. to eat some cheese, some coconut, a slice of avocado -- all that stuff I know is good for you in moderation.
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Phillycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Actually, both cheese and coconut have the "bad" cholesterol.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. some links - and info - for you
?Coconut oil? Um - no.

". . . Ways to reduce triglycerides: reduce total fat intake; take less white sugar, sweets, soft drinks; reduce alcohol intake; exercise regularly to burn triglycerides; increase the consumption of foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish, wheat, bajra, soyabeans, pulses and legumes, fenugreek (methi) green leafy vegetables and mustard oil.

And do all this: reduce the intake of saturated fats like butter, ghee, coconut oil, reduce foods having high cholesterol like eggs, meat; reduce whole milk and milk products; decrease the intake of nuts like cashew; nuts, pistachio (pista); avoid sweets, white sugar, chocolates, pastries, sweet soft drinks, tea and coffee; and reduce intake of tobacco; eat plenty of fibre-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables like apples, onion, garlic, soyabeans, amla and banana are known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels; avoid sedentary life and do regular exercises to burn the excess cholesterol in the body; keep blood pressure and blood sugar under check; regular exercises raise the level of good cholesterol; reduce total fat intake. People with high triglyceride levels have lower HDL; reduce the intake of trans-fatty acids like vanaspati "ghee" and margarine as they reduce HDL; reduce the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing oils like coconut, palm oils, ghee etc; certain foods like onions, apples, bananas, garlic, soluble fibre, isabgol and red wine raise HDL levels...

eat more beans and legumes as they contain a water soluble fiber, pectin, that throws out cholesterol from the body; eat more fruit; fruits also contain pectin in plenty and grapefruit especially is beneficial in this regard; tea is good for lowering cholesterol; spirulina, brass, barley, rice bran and activated charcoal also combat high cholesterol; corn bran and garlic are very helpful in lowering cholesterol; nutritional supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and niacin in B group of vitamins lower cholesterol; carrots can lower cholesterol due to pectin in them; fish that contain Omega-3 amino acids lower cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Try two six-ounce servings of fish a week; chocolate, apple and red wine raise good cholesterol; onion and garlic are good for lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

Nuts like almonds (AND WALNUTS) lower LDL cholesterol; skimmed milk should be drunk in plenty; exercise can decrease the buildup of blockage of cholesterol inside the arteries and raise the level of HDL, the good cholesterol; don't smoke; relax and exercise..."

Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats
Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the kinds of fats most likely to cause heart disease. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products (eggs, butter, cheese, whole milk, and whole milk products), and in coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil. Trans fatty acids appear in foods containing hydrogenated fats like margarine and crackers. To reduce the risk of heart disease, replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats like canola oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, nuts, avocado, soy products, and nut butters. Choose margarine, cookies, crackers, and snack foods that do not contain hydro-genated fats (read the label).


Saturated Fat Ups Blood Cholesterol in Vegetarians & Meat Eaters
Nutritionists and dietitians used to think that a person's intake of dietary-cholesterol affected blood-cholesterol levels, but now things are less clear. It appears that saturated fat-intake rather than dietary-cholesterol-intake is more closely related to raised blood-cholesterol levels. In other words, the higher your intake of saturated fat, the higher your blood-cholesterol levels.



A couple of other things. It may not just be her diet. She could have a genetic disorder. Have they checked? It's called familial hypercholesterolaemia. The body just doesn't "process" properly and diet/exercise alone will not do it all - though of course it helps. ( )

Also, there is a new super breakdown blood test that breaks down the type of LDL one has. One type of LDL is more prevelant in cardiac events - if she doesn't have a majority of the "bad LDL" then she's not as at much risk than if she had a larger percentage of the "less bad LDL". She should ask her doc about it. Although it is pretty new (my son had it done at the UNC Cardiac clinic) so it's not really "common knowledge" yet.

Soy is good for lowering the 'bad' cholesterol (It helped my son.)
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hopefully she won't listen to you
Cholesterol problems don't usually come from cholesterol you eat, it is produced by the body as a means of treating damage you are doing to your body. Some say that cholesterol itself is not a problem, it is a symptom. I don't think that's true, but it is true that you won't normally get yourself into trouble by eating toomuch cholesterol. You get into trouble by eating things which damage your body and force your body to make too much cholesterol to repair it.

The top two causes of damage that causes cholesterol are saturated fats and trans fats. The next things are sugar and white flour, or other such processed foods. Anything the body turns to fat, in other words.

So convince her not to eat cheese and she'll be better off. Coconut and avocado probably aren't too bad, but they are high in saturated fats, and until she brings her cholesterol down, it won't hurt her to avoid it.

The fats that are helpful are mono and poly unsaturated fats. Olive oil is especially beneficial, since it reduces bad and raises good cholesterol. Veggies and nuts and oatmeal and whole grain foods reduce cholesterol simply by being eaten. Niacin supplements and Vitamin B foods and supplements help. Animal products almost completely hurt, because of the saturated fats, not the dietary cholesterol.

Vegetarians often wind up with high cholesterol, for a couple of reasons. First, they don't think they can, so they don't bother worrying about it. Second, they load up on cheeses and diary for protein, and thus consume tons of fat, and this fat causes more problems than if they ate meat. A T-bone is better at lowering cholesterol than a couple slices of cheese pizza. Third, they eat too many pastas and flour-based foods. Fourth, since they are not consuming cholesterol through meats, their body feels it has to produce more than the usual amount.

Healthy vegetarians eat whole grains, drink skim milk, and avoid sugars, and avoid the problems, usually.

I don't know about vegans, but I suspect they have few problems with cholesterol, in general, since they have low sat fat intakes.

I am vegetarian. My cholesterol was 243 at one point. I went on a whole grain vegan diet--no sugars, no animal products, no wheat flours. I increased my veggie intake (about 9-10 servings a day), ate oatmeal once a day, and cut out just about anything that was white (except grits). No junk food, only whole food stuff. My cholesterol fell to 159 in about two months. And no, I didn't maintain that diet, so it's probably back up. Just my story. Doctors swore I would have to take medication, but I didn't.

just my story. Listen to a doctor, though. Not to me.
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Thanks for taking the time to post this and thanks everyone for the links and posts....
Your diet/diagnosis/.cholesterol history reminds me of my mom's. She is a vegetarian who did not load up on cheese but has had naturally high chol. for many years. She has brought it down to acceptable levels by dilligently avoiding saturated fats/trans fats, cheating only once in a while.

Like you, she eats oatmeal once a day and grinds her own flax seed to put in it.

She drinks skim milk, eats many veggies. Beans, Nonfat cottage cheese/ricotta, yougurt and egg whites are her primary protein sources.

She has brought her cholesterol down to acceptable levels but I feel like she always looksa bit think and drawn.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. Part of it can be just plain old GENETIC n/t
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. Anything that comes from an animal (meat, cheese, milk) contains cholesterol.
For people with high cholesterol, they should limit consumption of these products. I am wondering why you want your mother to consume them? If she is a vegetarian and eats properly, she is probably getting the nutrients she needs so there's no reason for her to do so.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. The bad cholesterol tries to intimidate you...
..while the friendly good cholesterol quietly urges you to confess.
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. I don't believe you.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. Avocado & nuts good cholesterol. Meat bad.
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Cheese :o(
Very bad for cholesterol. I stopped eating cheese, lost 25 lbs and my cholesterol went down 40 points. Exercise and diet help a lot.

Avocado is good for the "good" cholesterol as are nuts - particularly walnuts.

But then sometimes it's just genetic.

Mz Pip
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. she may have a form of hi cholesterol that doesn't respond to diet
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 05:01 PM by pitohui
the thin vegetarians or thin people on low fat diets that i have known, who have high cholesterol anyway, cannot change their numbers no matter what they eat -- they have to be prescribed cholesterol lowering medication

your body can make its own cholesterol and many people are predisposed to make too much even if they don't eat even any -- this is particularly frustrating for vegetarians

your mom probably needs to get medical advice from her doctor and determine if she needs medication

my cholesterol is high but my doctor says it's because i have an unusually high level of "good" cholesterol so i don't need to do anything, life long i have never eaten artificial fats like margarines (which we now know to be trans fat), i have only used butter, olive oil, bacon fat, and other genuine fats (obviously a vegetarian can't use the bacon fat)

i don't think we can diagnose long distance tho, i think the doctor needs to be making these decisions, she has more knowledge of your mom's numbers and if they're moving at all in response to a low fat vegetarian diet than we do

but the anecdotes i've heard suggest that people already thin, already on low fat vegetarian diets, who can't lower their cholesterol, have a genetic condition

no magic food or special diet will help them, they need the proper medicine

it can be very, very frustrating for a thin person, it sounds like she has cut everything out of the diet she can cut out, and being too thin and "drawn" (which means she probably feels really tired, my interpretation of "drawn" anyway) is understandably worrisome to you
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. thanks for taking the time to post. n/t!
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. Cheese is definitely bad news for people with high cholesterol
If there's no obvious culprit in her diet (in other words, of she's not one of those vegetarians who live on dairy and eggs) it might not be a bad idea to have her liver checked out, since that's where the body makes its own cholesterol.

Some plant foods, for example oatmeal and soy, have cholesterol lowering effects and might be good things to incorporate into her diet in greater quantity, but she needs to try to find the source of the problem and rule out larger issues in addition to just focusing on getting that number down.

PS Avocado and coconut are generally good for a person in very small amounts, but they are two of the few plant foods with significant amounts of saturated fats, which people with high cholesterol should avoid. It sounds like Mom knows what she's doing.
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