John Lockwood

Unboxing a Mind

Vegan Diet and Cholesterol

This week I got the news of my blood test results from my doctor. I was very pleased to see that my cholesterol numbers had improved dramatically, since this was one of my main reasons to adopt a plant based diet. (In fact my doctor had once mentioned that a plant based diet was the best way to bring the numbers down).

In fairness I can’t attribute all of these numbers to a plant based diet and this isn’t at a scientific study. Still, I am encouraged and pleased by the results. One thing I don’t control for here is walking – I’m probably doing more in January, 2017 (the after column in the table below) than I was was in August of 2014 (the before column). Moreover, my weight has gone down. So not everything is constant. I believe I was taking a statin drug during both these periods, so that much is controlled for. Still it seems to me there’s enough evidence that a plant based diet reduces cholesterol that I believe these numbers truly reflect the intention I had when I went vegan.

In any case, here are the numbers. Note that in addition to being plant based, I try to control my oil intake. The only added oil is 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil per day for my bagel, which I don’t yet have the courage to give up. If I were to cut that out I could probably reduce this more, but already my physician informs me that if it weren’t for my risk profile the numbers would already be low.

MeasurementBeforeAfter
Total Cholesterol15595
LDL11050
HDL3335
Ratio4.72.7

In addition to having numbers of total cholesterol under 100, which likely is a rarity in the USA (the average is something like 196), I was pleased to see that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL was below the optimum of 3.5. This ratio is scored like golf. Low numbers are better.

The usual caveats apply. I’m not a doctor. So unless you are, go see one before you read too much into this article. But please, for your sake and the sake of those who’ll grieve if you suddenly die, please consider a plant-based diet.