High Levels LDL-On a very low-fat plant-based diet?

Jools Holland

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Why is my LDL elevated (3.4) even though I am on a very low-fat plant-based diet?

I just got my lipid tests back and my LDL is elevated at 3.4 mmol/L (131 mg/dL). This is despite the fact that for the past few months all I have been consuming is very low-fat plant foods (Whole grains pasta, beans, vegetables, small amount of fruit, plant milks). On some occasion I have white pasta but barely ever (and I don't even see how it would cause problems anyway because it is very low fat, no cholesterol, low glycemic index).

Up until a few months ago I was consuming this obscene amount of salt (usually around 70 grams a day, but sometimes last years as high as 150 grams a day). (It's a long story - basically I thought I had a rare problem and needed to have this much). I was getting quite bad chest pain and I presume I had atherosclerosis from consuming so much salt for around a year. However, I haven't had high salt for at least a few months now. And even then, high salt doesn't affect cholesterol levels from what I can understand.

But now for instance I am feeling slight chest pain after eating some whole wheat pasta, lentils and vegetables. There was no oil or high-fat plant foods (e.g., no avocado or olives), and I just put 0.6 grams of salt in the meal (I measure the salt with a precise scale). It doesn't feel like the heartburn I was having. I was having some previously but I have got it under control and barely have had any for the last week or so.

Could it be because of overloading on Vitamin D? I forgot about the fact that I was taking 5000 IU supplements and not 1000 IU and so took multiple of them a day (averaged around 22000 IU a day) for 13 days before realizing. I'm not taking them anymore (since a few days ago) as my doctor told me to stop taking them for a few months.
 

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Mad Bard
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Do you smoke? Do you get enough Omega 3? Do you get too much Omega 6? After all nutrition queries are dealt with, there is also the unfortunate matter of individual genetics. Other than that, I haven't got a clue, but I hope you can find out and put it right. Good luck.
 

silva

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If you've seen your doctor about the vitamin D why not ask about the cholestorol?
.6 grams of salt is like a 10th of a teaspoon. a trivial amount. Have you tried miso instead? The soy benefits outweigh and mitigate the sodium risk acccording to Dr Gregers research.

My last cholesterol test wasn't done after healthy eating, but my LDL lowered and HDL rose. the difference was I was eating 4 brazil nuts at one time once a month, per Gregers recommendation. I'm now adding amla to my diet as that is another thing he recommends

Cholesterol certainly has a genetic predisposition, but it is amazing how much can be controlled by diet, though for some, pretty strict WFPB than for others

Have you read How Not to Die? or go to Search
 

silva

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I bought amla powder and veg capsules 00 size and fill them myself. I take 2 a day unless I use it on oats or in smoothies- I do like the taste, it's just a bit gritty
I also fill caps with tumeric mixed with some pepper for the anti-inflammatory benefits (I just hate the taste).
Brazil nuts are high in selenium, and easy to eat too many, though I've heard European countries are advised to have one daily as the soil is depleted?
 

Jools Holland

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Do you smoke? Do you get enough Omega 3? Do you get too much Omega 6? After all nutrition queries are dealt with, there is also the unfortunate matter of individual genetics. Other than that, I haven't got a clue, but I hope you can find out and put it right. Good luck.
Don't smoke. I haven't had omega 3 supplements for a while but I have started taking a 250 mg DHA and some other amount of EPA (that I can't remember) once a day. However, Dr Greger says based on the research that omega 3 has no effect on cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease and is just recommended for brain health (to prevent brain shrinkage that happens continually from your 20s). So not taking that for a while shouldn't have caused problems with my cholesterol.

Perhaps I was getting too much omega 6 from eating too many avocados, or just eating too much fat from avocados in general. I stopped eating high fat foods like avocados a few months ago I think, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore.

I wonder if it was because of eating so much avocado up until a few months ago (Near the end of last year I was having anywhere between 300 and 800 grams of avocado day, but usually between 300 grams and 600 grams). And between around December and Feburary it was 200 grams a day of avocado before deciding to go very low fat a few months ago (as the tiniest amount of dietary fat seems to cause weight gain in me). I think I thought that the numbers should have come down by now if I have stopped having it for a few months, and that the numbers are coming down from cutting out avocado but it is just taking a while for them to drop below 150. I understand that Dr. Esselstyn says you should cut out avocado if you can't maintain low cholesterol while having it. I don't know why I didn't think about this before. I guess I just thought the numbers should drop quickly for some reason. But from what I can see from a study now that took people with high cholesterol and put them on a very low fat plant-based diet is that total cholesterol only dropped by 19 points in about 4 weeks. I'll have my numbers checked in a few months time to see if that is the issue. Thanks.

 
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Jools Holland

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If you've seen your doctor about the vitamin D why not ask about the cholestorol?
.6 grams of salt is like a 10th of a teaspoon. a trivial amount. Have you tried miso instead? The soy benefits outweigh and mitigate the sodium risk acccording to Dr Gregers research.

My last cholesterol test wasn't done after healthy eating, but my LDL lowered and HDL rose. the difference was I was eating 4 brazil nuts at one time once a month, per Gregers recommendation. I'm now adding amla to my diet as that is another thing he recommends

Cholesterol certainly has a genetic predisposition, but it is amazing how much can be controlled by diet, though for some, pretty strict WFPB than for others

Have you read How Not to Die? or go to Search
When I asked he thought the Vitamin D would be unlikely to cause a rise in cholesterol.

I think I'm fine with not putting salt on my food anymore. I reduced it yesterday to .3 grams a meal. And in a few days time I will reduce it to 0 grams, so that I am only getting the salt from the plant foods. (I eat so much that it would still work out to having around 200 to 500 grams of sodium a day even when I add no salt). My blood pressure is still high (around 130 to 140) so I am trying to do whatever I can to bring it down to see if that stops my male pattern baldness (as some drugs that are used to treat male pattern baldness do so via vasodilation) and chest pain and any atherosclerosis I may have. I understand 0.6 grams a meal is a very small amount but I recently just stopped having a very large amount of salt each meal so probably the more I bring it down the better to reverse any atherosclerosis and other problems I may have caused from having so much salt.

I haven't read it but I watch a lot of Dr Greger's videos.