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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

[QUOTE=SternFan]After having a heart attack, They want my cholesterol at or below 150.....And the vegan part is due to my health not because I wana to be a vegan, It's just easier to say I'm vegan then running down the list of what I dont eat.....I also do eat Solmon on the advise of my cardioligest ok! When I had the heart attack I was going to the gym 5 days a week for 2 hours a day, and I have never eatin much red meat my whole life. I was in the best health I have ever been in when I had the heart attack. I quit smoking almost 2 years before the heart attack
So you see 217 is not good for anyone especially me or anyone who has had a heart attack
Total= 217
HDL= 42
LDL= 147
Risk ratio = 5.2
Everything I have learned is your cholesterol needs to be under 200
I had mine down to 150, I guess I will have to go back to taking 8 fish oil caps a day instead of 4 a day thats what got it down before. I just get so much heart burn with them. :)[/QUOTE]

It sounds like you are trying to follow a near vegetarian diet, not vegan (pronounced Vee Gan). Vegans are generally very strict and abstain from all animal products (even leather shoes and belts), usually for moral reasons more so than health concerns.

How many years did you smoke before you quit? Even though you quit 2 years prior to the heart attack, I wouldn't discount the damage done to your arteries by smoking.

A total cholesterol of <150 is too low in my opinion and places you at increased risk of mortality from other causes such as cancer previously mentioned. Like I said previously, your total cholesterol of 217 isn't that high and just a few years ago would have been considered normal (160-240 being normal). Your HDL (good cholesterol) is on the low side of normal, especially given your total cholesterol. Has your HDL always been 42 or was it lower in the past? Your risk ratio of 5.2 is your total cholesterol (217) divided by your HDL (42). The recommended risk ratio is <4.0. To get there, you can do one of two things, either lower your total cholesterol or raise your HDL. The problem with attempting to lower your total cholesterol, especially if you are trying to do it following a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is that your HDL will generally fall right along with the total cholesterol if you get any results at all such that your risk ratio rarely improves at all (often times it gets worse).

If the fat levels in your diet are too low then you risk futher lowering of your HDL. Although, there is one kind of fat that you really need to avoid, that being trans fatty acids found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats tend to raise LDL while lowering HDL levels which can signficantly raise your heart disease risk. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are found in margarine, shortening, and almost all processed foods and snacks (just read the labels).

Fish oil is a good thing to take due to the Omega 3 essential fatty acids and the lack of these in most diets. If you get heartburn and/or fishy burps from the capsules, I suggest you try a different brand and I generally avoid the capsules. I have found that Carlson's Lemon Flavored Cod Liver oil is very easy to take (I even kinda like the taste) and gives me none of the fishy burps like the capsules did. It is also a high quality product that is high in EPA and DHA (the usable forms of Omega 3). The recommended dosage is 1000 mg to 3000 mg of EPA + DHA. With the Carlson's, this is 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per day (I generally take 1 tablespoon and my HDL is 73).

Niacin therapy has been shown to improve HDL levels, so that would be worth considering.

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