View Full Version : Raw Diet and Cholesterol
02-17-2007, 03:07 PM
Hello. I wanted to post and ask about cholesterol. I've been a vegetarian for ten years and 3 of those I followed a vegan diet. Currently, I've been following a Raw vegan diet for about 22 months. I am 32 years old, I weigh around 150 pounds (yes, I know, I'd like to loose some of that...) and lead a relatively normal lifestyle. During my 22 month journey I lost about 95 pounds and have since added about 15 back. Anyway, where I am going with all this... my dh follows SAD. I worry about his nutrition and health so we decided a good starting point for him would be to have his cholesterol checked. We have our appointments set with our Dr. for the beginning of March. In the meantime, a local store was having a health screening and offering free cholesterol checks along with blood pressure checks. We decided to go and check it out. We've never been tested before. So, I go first, it takes about 2 minutes to compute the results. It turns out that my cholesterol levels come out to 223!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My blood pressure is excellent though! ~lol~ now my dear hubby is ohhhh so healthy with his cholesterol at 137!!!!!!!!!!! and excellent blood pressure. My husband couldn't believe it, so he asked the ladies to redo mine, so she did and this time it computed 211. WHAT IS UP WITH THIS??????????? I am sorta freaking out. I am not ingesting any animal products, so, how do I improve my cholesterol with my nutrition? Yes, I can add more cardio training to my regime but really will that change things much????? Any thoughts???? Thank you so much~
02-17-2007, 04:00 PM
There may not be "so much" to cholesterol counts as everyone is making out. IN fact, it is probably not a risk factor to women AT ALL!
My grandmother is over 90 and is in EXCELLENT health. Her cholesterol AWAYS tests high even though she eats a good diet.
My cholesterol always tests high and I eat an 80-90% raw diet.
There is a genetic factor to it.
Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. It's just another one of those things they've brainwashed us to worry about so the corporations can sell you a drug to lower it, imo.
If you're eating raw and feel healthy... don't worry.
Here is one article written by a PhD that you might find interesting:
02-17-2007, 04:07 PM
Did they give you a breakdown of LDL and HDL levels? I think that a complete blood analysis might put your mind at ease. And, some people genetically are going to have higher cholesterol levels. Have you been 100% raw for 22 months? Any slight delineation can alter cholesterol levels too. (Especially if you added or eliminated something from your diet before the test.) Just food for thought:)
02-17-2007, 04:30 PM
My cholesterol went from 210 to 123.
Yes 87 points in 60 days.
I only fasted for 18 hours on the first testing.
Currently I am on a fast and do gall bladder cleanses on the weekends.
I was amazed when I found out this past wed.
02-17-2007, 04:56 PM
Thank you so much for your replies!!!
First off, RowanC, thanks for the article. It is a very interesting way of looking at this situation. I guess in my case it is even more interesting since I am not eating any animal products and therefore am not adding cholesterol to my body. Despite that I tested "high." Also, as I've been thinking about this today, I am seeing that this may just be another myth that is out there to further the sale of drugs. ????? I highly doubt that I am going to see my doctor with this matter, he'll only want to prescribe medication - an option that I wont follow. Since I am eating to the best of my abilities and following as healthy of a lifestyle as I can, there really isnt anything more.
Secondly jnoelj, No, they did not give any sort of breakdown. Actually, when we went back to have it done the second time, we realized they were using a device to monitor your own levels from home. a promotion to sell that device. It only spit out the total level of cholesterol, nothing more. Something in the doctors office would probably be more exact and that would be better, however, I am sure it would be high enough that my dr. would want to prescribe meds for, and I am not interested in that, at all!!!! Yes, I follow 100%!!! During the course of the last 22 months, I did "cheat" a little in Dec. 2006. But then quickly reverted back to my 100%. My diet today has been normal. Prior to testing I had a large smoothie and some raw corn chips and water. We tested around 2pm and that was all that I had. Nothing unusual. I understand that some test require you to fast. I am not familiar with the reason for this??????
Thank you both for your thoughts regarding this. I am grateful for your help!
02-17-2007, 05:00 PM
in what way or how does fasting effect your testing? did you alter your diet during those 60 days? What are your thoughts with my diet having been raw for so long???? I dont know what else to do? suggestions? I thought maybe I'd find a juice and try that, you know, a cholesterol buster or something....?????
02-17-2007, 05:26 PM
I have fasted/cleansed 4 times a year for going on 4 years. I started doing the gall bladder cleanses at the end on 06.
I released so many stones on the GB cleanse I was amazed.
I have been on and off raw for the past year. I really fell off the wagon during Thanksgiving. Not only did I gain 20 lbs when I gave blood in Dec my cholesterol was high 210. I gave blood on 2/16 ... day 10 of a fast. (I am not sure if this is good to do but wanted to try) and was shocked when I found out it was 123. I did a GB cleanse 3 days before that.
I will give blood again in 64 days, I will see what my cholesterol is.
I normally do the master cleanse with Sonne's fiber and clay. This time I did the master cleanse until the day after I gave blood then I went to water.
I have lost the 20 lbs I gained and a liver spot I have on my face is almost gone.
I plan to stay raw for here on out.
I read in one book (sorry, don't recall where) that your cholesterol can go up when you start fasting (or raw would be the same) because the plaques in your blood vessels are being broken up and released into your bloodstream before being eliminated. Just another idea to consider.
02-17-2007, 06:34 PM
I hope that what KatK explained is the case with you! I will be interesting to see what the results are when you get your full blood panel. (I hesitate now to do the same thing with my husband - the same will probably happen to us!):p
02-17-2007, 07:04 PM
from what I understand, high cholesterol is definitely not normal. You could be needing to detox your liver, it could be genetic, it could be too many fats.
Check out the cardiologist's info, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (can watch a lecture of his on vegsource.com), as well as Dr. Furhman's website. Both advocate a vegan diet, but low fat. They have the science behind them-not just rhetoric. They have a lot of choice things to say about weston-price foundation as well. The science is good to know....
02-17-2007, 07:49 PM
My dh had a test done at a lab for a cholesterol lowering contest they are having at his place of employment. It was just ugly when his test results came back.
As I began researching the results to understand what they might mean, this is what I have come to understand.....
the total cholesterol doesn't seem to mean all that much. Triglycerides, LDL, HDL....these are better numbers to watch if you are watching them. Fasting does not affect all of the numbers in the same way. I still think it might be better to fast before any cholesterol test though. Vigorous exercise 48 hours prior to testing can also affect the results.
High tryglycerides and and HDL level under 40 is not so good. HDL should (supposedly) be above 40. The combination of high tryglicerides and low HDL could mean other things that may need to be addressed.
You can google tryglycerides and hdl levels and get more info than you could shake a stick at. Just know that your total cholesterol is basically adding up the other cholesterol levels and doesn't indicate one area that needs attention. Better to have a break down of the different types if you are concerned. Stress, exercise, eating, etc., many things can affect the results of your test. You are actually encouraged to take the average of several tests over the course of a year or something like that and use those as your measure since results can vary.
I am no physician, but I hope I have given you a little info that you can use. I don't worry to much for myself because I know that I am on the right path, however slowly I am achieving it. We do have a home monitor ($99 Walmart - but need to buy strips for each panel separately at $12/box) just to keep an eye on his panels and I test myself just for amusement. You can get strips to test tryglicerides, ldl, hdl, total cholesterol and glucose.
In his instance he has high tryglicerides with hdl of 30. Based on his current results (this is ongoing for him) I am treating it like a liver thing. (his grandfather died with diabetes and his uncle had breast cancer!) Giving him foods, teas that are good for liver and cleansing and relaxing. May try to beg him to do a liver flush with me. Both my son and I have had fantastic results with the following herbal supplements: pau d'arco (taheebo), probiotics, reishi, oregano, and a multi-vitamin once in awhile. I eat tons of garlic already. And a lot of raw veggies and citrus. I do use Aire Borne when everyone around me is sick also. (I will let you google the benefits and uses of these as I don't feel comfortable with that. They have some fantastic benefits in my humble opinion. They are not cholesterol related supplements necessarily, but whole health is important. One part of your body can really seem to affect multiple other areas. I just strive with working on overall health and hopefully everything will just fall into place the way it is meant to be.) I spent Oct thru Jan very ill in 2006/2007 and when I added raw and these to my diet I have recovered beautifully - now they are sick and I am fine. Yay for me! (Knocking on wood)
I hope things get better for you. Keep us posted of your ongoing results. I think we are all very interested.
Take care of yourself!
02-17-2007, 07:59 PM
Did you read the article?
It's put out by an MD, PhD.
It is 'science.'
Here is the website of the author and other scientists who are proclaiming that this the whole cholesterol thing is a way to make $$$$$$$
Here is how he begins:
For decades, enormous human and financial resources have been wasted on the cholesterol campaign, more promising research areas have been neglected, producers and manufacturers of animal food all over the world have suffered economically, and millions of healthy people have been frightened and badgered into eating a tedious and flavorless diet or into taking potentially dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives. As the scientific evidence in support of the cholesterol campaign is non-existent, we consider it important to stop it as soon as possible.
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS) is a steadily growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries. Members of this group represent different views about the causation of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, some of them are in conflict with others, but this is a normal part of science. What we all oppose is that animal fat and high cholesterol play a role. The aim with this website is to inform our colleagues and the public that this idea is not supported by scientific evidence; in fact, for many years a huge number of scientific studies have directly contradicted it.
02-17-2007, 08:17 PM
Wow, Rowanc --- interesting article. I did not have time to browse the entire site though, do they propose that cholesterol readings are bogus in general or just that animal flesh/fat is not the culprit? My dh nearly had a fit when I put coconut oil on my salad and ate a thai coconut. He insisted that they were horrible to eat. I told him that he was right, it is horrible to eat processed, hydrogenated coconut oil, covered with a river of butter and truckloads of iodized salt. But MY coconut was just fine. He still looked at me dubiously. My readings were ok tho, so what can he say? I resist going to medical professionals though. Needles, knives and scary drugs frighten me!!!!:eek:
02-17-2007, 08:39 PM
Cholesterol Rx almost killed me. Google rhabdomyolosis. Don't worry about it.
Sharon in Colorado
02-17-2007, 09:23 PM
I've been able to lower my cholesterol by over 100 points by keeping my fat very low. Many people mistakanly urge others with high cholesterol to eat a bunch of "good" fat. I know there are different kinds of fat, but TOO MUCH FAT IS TOO MUCH FAT when it comes to cholesterol, and especially if you have a genetic predisposition to it, it is really important to try and lower it as much as possible.
You may have a different family history than mine, but mine with the super high levels have all died of heart attacks in their mid to late 30's so I cannot screw around and eat whatever I want as long as it's raw. I have to keep my fat on the low side as much as possible. I try to keep it around 10% of my calories or lower, and that really helps me.
My cholesterol is still above 200, but the "safe" levels are under 150. In The China Study, most of the Chinese who were in the study had very low levels, the lowest being near 80 and the highest being 170. It was because they ate very little fat and very little animal products. Unfortunately for most of us, we have genetics which hidner some of our livers to process cholesterol efficiently.
What I would recommend is 2 things:
1) Keep fat as low as possible. No need to avoid it, but try to keep it under 20%, ideally 10% (which can be a challenge) of calories...avoid all animal products (cheese is very high in cholesterol - I know this is a vegan board, but I thought I'd mention this because many of us aren't 100% raw).
2) Activity, lots and lots of it. Walking, running, rebounding, anything that gets your heart pumping for a full 20 minutes at a time. This will help lower the bad levels as well.
Of course, these are only suggestions! But, I've had genetically high cholesterol all my life - I was born with it. And even on a cooked vegetarian diet (with dairy) it was over 350. I am 39 years old now, the age that my own father and paternal grandomther died of heart attacks, so I do have to take this quite seriously.
P.S. My husband also has very low levels - and still eats animal products and cooked, although he tends to eat very moderately, meaning he's not an over eater, and often will eat less than me.
Sharon in Colorado
02-17-2007, 09:32 PM
Another thing I just wanted to add - my levels seem to be higher around my cycle, I believe that the thyroid may have a lot to do with that.
I also have a home monitor - when I had my blood test done, I used the monitor that same morning and it was 10% lower. I thin kthe levels can vary greatly from test to test, the blood that is monitored could have different levels from one drop to the next.
Also I am not currently on meds, I used to be on them, but I had side effects.
02-17-2007, 10:36 PM
WOW!!!! Thank you guys for all the great posts.
It seems so unfair!!!! I try so hard to live a healthy life and spend a great deal of time and energy working towards health. Then along comes my hubby without a care in the world, eating ice cream, meat, meat, meat, white bleached bread, sugar galore, etc... no real structured exercise and yet he measures at a healthy level.
I will increase my exercise. And I'll also decrease my fat intake. I don't usually eat a lot of fats although I did go on a great valentine day raw candy making spree. so I have been eating more than usual amounts of fats lately.
The articles you've shared were great and I do plan to spend more time going over that info....interesting what RowanC sent!!! Thanks for that too. I tend to be a skeptic and think ultimately everything comes down to being about money......
Also it is interesting what Sharon wrote about menstruation, I am just starting today. Maybe this is TMI but I don't start all at once, my cycles come on slowly. Perhaps that has something to do with it too.....?????
Luckitri, is rhabdomyolosis something you suffer from as a result of taking cholesterol medication?
tiggerbounce, that home test might not be a bad idea for us. especially if you can get all the different results, HDL, LDL, and tryglicerides also.
I am still a little freaked out, this isn't what I wanted to be dealing with, but thank you all for your help in understanding this as well as how to best address this. I am afraid that much of the raw food for health theory has been dismissed by my dh. He hasn't said anything and hopefully, he'll just watch and see what happens with me. I thought he was so close towards taking some steps toward health... but not now!!!!
~LOL~ This whole thing BACK FIRED!!!!!! This is exactly how things go for us too.... LOL! Thanks for your help.
Julie in INDIANA
Nothing in life means more than something you have to fight for. Join the fight for equality for all people.
02-17-2007, 11:53 PM
cholesterol is actually needed in the body people sort of get confused by good/bad when good bad really doesn't exist in the cholesterol world thats just something tv has told us kinda like tv teling us milk is good for our bodies. Your body produces it HOWEVER when it starts sticking to your artiries then you gots problems but diet has a very little effect on how much your body produces :)
Sharon in Colorado
02-18-2007, 11:14 AM
Jules you may want to try testing it right after your cycle, that way it will be more normal for you. Maybe have the thyroid checked if the doctor is threatening meds (or see another doc - ;) ).
I know just how you feel about the hubster having really low levels. It doesn't seem fair! But, it will catch up to him. Both my in-laws have high cholesterol now, because they don't change their diet. Sooner or later all that animal fat just catches up to them.
Having more fruit meals helps to keep the fat down, I've found for me. If I have a huge smoothie with 4 bananas in it for breakfast, it fills me up. For lunch I can do more bananas, or a bunch of grapes until I'm full. If I don't eat enough fruit in the day, I tend to want to eat heavier, fattier grazing snacks like olives, spoons of cashew butter, a lot of avocado, etc. And if I'm not getting enough activity before my fruit meals I tend not to want to eat a lot of fruit either. So you see how it all goes hand in hand.
A lot of the time, while I'm making my smoothie first thing in the morning, I'll pour some fresh OJ aside and drink that. Then I put my quart of green smoothie in the fridge while I do my R & R (rebounding and rites) - I'm so pleasantly tired afterward that the smoothie is totally satisfying to me. If I don't work out, I don't get as much satisfaction out of it.
02-18-2007, 07:03 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Sharon!
I will test again in a week or so. Maybe two. I think what I am going to do is purchase that home device and monitor it myself. I am going to check if there are test strips available for specific levels, such as LDL, HDL, tri, etc. I think someone here said they were. If that is so, then that is just what I am going to do. I am going to wait before I go to the doctor. I dont want to add more complication to this.... and i think that will. We are also self pay (no health insurance) so, I am guessing they are going to want me to come back and try to get this whole dr. office visit thing started. something I am not interested in. If I cant get things regulated myself, then I'll have to do what I have to do. But I am going to at least try myself first. they already tend to question the validity of this whole raw food thing.
I'd like to talk about what I am eating and get some opinions as to what you guys think. I am not sure if that is something I should do on this thread though???? I am new to this posting thing. Would a personal email be better? Honestly, I am afraid to eat at all!!!!! STUPID I know, but if I dont eat, I cant be adding to my problem of cholesterol.
I like your smoothie / OJ idea. Working out in the am is a good routine that I'd like to begin. (I had a raw foodist tell me that I shouldnt drink fresh oj, only eat the orange, not drink just the juice. She said it was to acidic for the body without the fiber?????? I used to do that in the AM and loved it. Especially in the summer before having a heavier smoothie. any thoughts about this?????) Usually we tend to work out in the evening, I'd rather start the day with it though.
Again, thank you all so much. You dont know how your comments have helped me deal with this! Honestly, I wish we'd never of had this tested!!!! Maybe someday I'll be glad I did, but not today. :)
Have a great evening!!!
Peace, Julie in INDIANA~
02-18-2007, 07:15 PM
Are you the 'dancing banana' Sharon?
Wow! You're gorgeous!
:::whispers:: but I miss the dancing banana ::laughing:::
02-19-2007, 01:18 AM
Yes, Exercise is ALWAYS Good for lowering cholestrol............
02-19-2007, 02:44 AM
You need to fast for 8-12 hours before taking the test or it can skew your numbers. Now if you haven't fasted and your test comes out okay then I wouldn't worry about it. A woman I know went for her test after having fasted for 12 hours. Then something came up and she had to leave there and come back later. She'd then been fasting for 15 hours. They told her they could not do the test because fasting for longer than 12 hours caused the body to release cholesterol into the blood stream and her results would not be accurate.
As far as diet goes, I think it affects cholesterol levels less than you might think. But there are other things that can affect it. Such as how your thyroid is running. An out of whack thyroid can cause high cholesterol. So can diabetes or other endocrine problems. And then there's genetics. Some people just naturally have high cholesterol.
02-19-2007, 08:19 AM
Thanks for your replies. I am revamping my exercise regime today.
Juliebove must be right, I really follow what I believe to be the best diet there is. RAW. I do eat a variety. Most days I eat simple and then sometimes more elaborately.
It is interesting that you mention the thyroid. When I was pregnant with our oldest (15 years old now) my doctor prescribed a thyroid medication because my thyroid was under active - hypothyroidism, right? Once I gave birth all has been fine. I had it checked about 4 years ago because I thought my hair was falling out.... again, everything was ok. are there other symptoms for a thyroid issue? No diabetes either.
Also, there was mention of a liver cleanse. Can anyone direct me as to what and how to do this?
thank you~ Julie from INDIANA
02-19-2007, 10:52 AM
I would suggest that people dying at an early age have more to do with DIET and with GENETICS than with cholesterol.
We'll have to agree to disagree here.
Like I said, my grandmother's cholesterol is WAY too high according to the doctor ... always has been.. she just ignores it now and she's 91. When I was a child I had 13 living grandparents.
Mom's mom, her mom, her dad
Mom's dad, his mom
Dad's mom, her mom, her dad
Dad's dad, his mom, and a stepdad
one set of step-grandparents
All of the "real" grandparents lived into their late 80s to 100s except one. He died of age-related diabetes, probably from alcohol.
All ate meat 3 times a day, biscuits and pancakes often, lots of raw butter, drank raw milk, coffee with mounds of sugar, and the men smoked. They also were very active.
None got cancer or heart disease. I think my mom's dad had a pacemaker put in at about 75 but it was for comfort, not mandatory. He had an erratic heartbeat that bugged him.
My mom is now 72. She smokes like a smokestack and eats meat, bread, milk, coffee and is healthy as a horse. I expect her to live into her 90's.
Maybe if they had eaten RAW they would have lived to 120!
All of these people had what the doctors now would call high cholesterol.
It affected their lives ZERO percent.
They were otherwise healthy.
So... ::shrug::: maybe we're the exception.
Every time I have had mine checked, they say it is high, no matter what I'm eating. I just figure it's inherited and the whole thing is another way for the allopaths to make money prescribing some pill I don't need, which will give me liver disease so they can prescribe MORE pills I don't need.
I'm not buying it!
02-19-2007, 11:28 AM
thats because high cholestoral really has nothing to do with your optimal health, your liver produces it for a reason, it only becomes a problem when it sticks to your arteries:)
I would of loved to see that many people alive in my family, my mom's parents were dead before i was born, and my dads parents died when i was in 5th grade.
02-19-2007, 11:38 AM
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn really is the leading cardiologist in the country reversing cardiovascular disease-and the best "expert" on cholesterol I've ever heard. I have a degree in pre-med and many years working in the medical field, and I SO love solid research and clinical based efficacy studies, etc. I don't know his web address, but you can search for him, or read about him at vegsource.com. he lays out the numbers and dietary recommendations very clearly and recommends a (very) low fat, vegan diet, of which I'm sure, raw is highly advocated.
02-19-2007, 01:38 PM
but I just don't trust allopaths anymore. Period.
Allopaths are supported by huge rich pharmaceutical companies.
Why do you think we're enundated with commercials on television saying, "Ask your Doctor for this drug and that drug!" They're in cahoots with the corporations, who pay them kickbacks for prescribing the drugs. Where do you think all those "free samples" they hand out come from?
Allopathic Medicine is BIG MONEY. They do not WANT you to get well.. ever!
Just think, if every human on earth was healthy and well, there would be no way for all of those allopaths to pay back their student loans, thier million dollar mortgages, and for their rich cars! No more shopping on Rodeo Drive. No more Barbie wives with 85 carat diamonds dripping from their fingers while poor folk struggle to get their kids teeth fixed. I'm sorry, the equation just seems awfully unbalanced to me.
Pre med students still have hope. They still want to help people. Unfortunately, that seems to disappear after a few years in most (not all). They either find their hands tied by the hospitals they work for or they're overwhelmed by their debt and take the low road. Allopaths are not taught to find the SOURCE of illness (by their own admission) but rather to prescribe chemicals to treat the SYMPTOMS.
I'm happy you like your cardiologist.
I'm sure he's a nice man.
I'm not doubting that a vegan diet is healthy in today's world.
I'm just doubting that it was healthy or "normal" when life was simpler and less drive by $$$.
And I very much doubt that there was some blissful golden age when all we had to do to survive was pick apples up off the ground.... that is just a dream... a nice one, yes, but a dream.
02-19-2007, 01:52 PM
You guys are right. Whatever. I feel fine and am enjoying life. Thank you for your thoughts. I am doing what I can.
I agree with you; there is just so much hype out there and it is all somewhat confusing which is (in my opinion) the way "they" want it to be. I'll watch it and make some adjustments to my lifestyle where I can, but that is all I can do.
It is interesting to see your family line and note their age and nutrition habits. Something seems to have changed since then.....
I will check into Dr. Esselstyn's book. May be interesting to read. Thanks to all!!!
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.