Cholesterol is a wax-like substance produced by the liver that aids in building cell membranes and producing hormones. At that level, heart disease is very unlikely. People can reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol—found in meat, dairy products, and eggs—raise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces. Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.
Cholesterol is a hotly debated topic especially when talking about high cholesterol levels and diet. There remains a lot of confusion about the dietary factors that raise or lower cholesterol levels. Some people turn to vegan or plant-based diets as a way to manage cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a term that represents a group of molecules in the lipid fats category, meaning cholesterol is a type of fat. The liver makes cholesterol molecules, but we can also consume cholesterol from foods. Since the liver can produce adequate amounts of cholesterol, cholesterol is not an essential nutrient. People do not need to consume cholesterol from food to survive or be healthy. It does this by using transporting molecules called lipoproteins. There are different types of lipoprotein molecules but when talking about cholesterol levels, the focus is put on two types called HDL and LDL. This cholesterol can migrate into the artery walls.
In particular, a request to be referred to a Registered Dietitian could be a great way to go about safely implementing dietary changes. Planning your meals has been shown to have a multitude of benefits from losing weight, helping you stick to a healthier diet, saving money, and reducing food waste. A well-rounded vegetarian diet can be healthy and nutritionally sound with some careful planning. Disclosures Milks disclosed no relevant relationships with companies or entities. How to Choose Healthy Fats Even though a vegetarian diet eliminates animal foods as a source of saturated fat, if you have high cholesterol, you’ll still need to watch out for sources of fat and cooking methods that can affect your cholesterol levels. Smoking is known to lower good cholesterol levels and also damages your arteries and blood vessels, raisin the risk of plaque buildup. Share your food. When it comes to measuring your cholesterol, there are two things to keeIsp in mind. My family would describe me as adventurous with plant-based protein sources like tofu, quinoa, and chia seeds, but I still crave a protein-dense option that, I’ve found, can only be satisfied by fish. Low-fat vegetarian diets have long been touted as capable of reversing atherosclerotic plaque, but I often see that accompanied by increased carbohydrate intake, which can lead to weight gain and metabolic syndrome at the expense of potentially healthy fats.