When I had my last bloodwork done, everything was amazing. Obviously, to have healthy bloodwork, you should be eating healthfully - generally whole-foods-based, well balanced meals. If a person eats a lot of processed stuff, it doesn't matter if you're vegan - you're blood results might not be great. A relatively simple, but good, resource on the effects of a vegan diet on health is The Engine 2 Diet, written by the son of Caldwell Esselstyn. I don't like some of it because I feel it relies too heavily on processed soy, but it does have some good health information, though much of it is about reducing LDL. Did the doctor give you suggestions for increasing your HDL? Most of what I have read is about reducing LDL, not increasing HDL. I would be interested to hear from people who know more about it.
I don't eat processed foods with the exception of soy milk in my coffe, almond milk in my cereal. I have limited access to any processed vegan friendly foods -the occasional rubbery cheese. All of our baked goods are made from scratch. The doctor suggested eating foods that come from animals (because the liver makes cholesterol). She knew that milk products from cows would not be an option and suggested goat products, eggs and fish. The end result of low HDL can be memory problems and the onset of early menopause, along with a bevy less than exiting symptoms.
This mainstream article lists quite a few other ways to increase hdl such aerobic exercise. Here's an excerpt:
"Many people don't like to hear it, but regular aerobic exercise (any exercise, such as walking, jogging or bike riding, that raises your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes at a time) may be the most effective way to increase HDL levels."
It also suggests cranberry juice and the fats in avocado and peanutbutter.
I bet you'll be able to find other solutions that will work for you besides adding animal products to your diet. I wish you the best!
Melissa I just had my bloodwork come back this week, and all my numbers are incredibly low. My doc didn't seem concerned because my ratios were good, but my HDL is only 31. Total is 94, LDL is 58, Triglycerides are 25. I am a bit worried about the low HDL myself, but this article I found helped my mental state about it. http://www.hcplive.com/publications/cardiology-review-online/2008/june2008/June-2008-Goldberg-commentary Also there are things you can do to up the HDL. Omega 3s from flax are good, also exercise 120 mins a week total. I need to add exercise in but I am already doing the flax, and obviously it isn't really helping too much. I am guessing that at least some people that follow the diet very strictly may have similar numbers! Let me know if you find anything else out!
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