You are here

Strange Advice from a Doctor

ok, so i was completely appalled by this, and was hoping you all might have some insight as to WHY this happened...

My mom decided to give up meat for Lent. She became ovo-lacto vegetarian for about a month. Last week she went to the doctor to have her cholesterol tested, and it was extremely high. The doctor told her to go back to eating meat immediately to remedy the problem. Does this make ANY sense? I thought people with high cholesterol were supposed to AVOID meat.

Any thoughts?

yes, a vegan diet would be cholesterol free, since it is only found in animal products (although people try to tell me that avacados and coconuts have lots of it, lol  ::)). Did you mom cut out meat and replace it with lots of eggs and cheese? I know eggs are known for their high cholestol.

It does seem strange the doc would tell her to go back to eating meat. I wonder...let me check another site...

1 c scrambled eggs: 774 mg
roasted chicken: 118 mg
american cheese: 145 mg
hamburger: 76 mg
whole milk 24 mg

Granted I was just plugging in some stuff (nutritiondata.com), but if she was chowin' down on lots of egg heavy food that going back to meat would be the "better" option if she were to consume cholestorol foods.

So ovo-veg would be a better option. i heart oatmeal is good for lowering it, but that could be "oatmeal propoganda" (i try to be fair to all the advertising propagana about the benifits of food, since i dislike the dairy/meat industries trying to sell their products as being "heart", "weight" etc etc smart). Best option would be vegan or mostly vegan. I always find it interesting that those i know trying to lower their cholestorol keep eating a good amount of animal foods. my friend's grandpa was actually forced to go vegan after a couple major heart surgeries and the related cholestorl problems. his doctor was like, if you keep eating meat/dairy, you will die. he's doing great now.

0 likes

Surprisingly enough, eating cholesterol-rich food actually doesn't have much to do with your body's level of cholesterol. Your cholesterol levels are more closely connected with the fats in the food which you are eating. The assumed correlation between consumed cholesterol and your cholesterol levels is that usually cholesterol-rich foods are high in saturated fats (think fatty cuts of meat, egg yolks, cheese), which are what affect your body's cholesterol levels. You could still have very high cholesterol if you were a vegan and ate lots of saturated vegetable fats, like coconut oil, and hydrogenated oils (which are HORRIFIC for your cholesterol), even though you are not consuming any cholesterol at all. Let me know know if that paragraph is confusing, and I will explain it a little more clearly.

If your mom is not used to a vegetarian diet and replaced meats (like lean chicken or other "good" cuts of meat) with high fat cheese and eggs, along with hydrogenated oils in convenience foods, then her cholesterol could certainly skyrocket. Do you know what she is/has been eating? If she is eating foods lower in saturated fats along with lots of vegetables and whole grains, then having elevated cholesterol could be a sign of thyroid disfunction. I don't know why it would manifest itself now, but that should definitely be something that her doctor should consider.

0 likes

Peta's vegetarian starter kit labels eggs as 'cholesterol bombs' for a reason. Lacto-ovo veggies that consume a lot of eggs will have high cholesterol. This is a good reason to become a vegan!

0 likes

Physicians have very, very little training in medical school in nutrition and how diet/lifestyle relates to health and disease. At least they have the ability to learn this on their own, except many don't. This doctor is a fool.

0 likes

Also, I'd like to politely disagree with Sharway. While fats do play a large part in cholesterol production, cholesterol consumption plays a huge part. Some folks are genetically predisposed to making large amounts of cholesterol even if they don't intake cholesterol (found only in animal products) and so have to watch their fat intake closely. Most people will find, howe'ver, that eliminating cholesterol in their diets will bring their cholesterol down dramatically, although it may take a couple months. A friend, and former patient of mine (I'm an RN, not a MD), had a cholesterol level of nearly 300. He became a vegan and now his cholesterol is 126.

If you examine a person's blood after a high fat meal, you can visibly see the difference the lipids (fats) make. This is especially true of animal fats which make the blood appear yellowish and thick. Think of what that sludge does while coursing through ones veins, arteries, and capillaries!

0 likes

It does seem strange that someone switching to a vegetarian diet would raise their cholesterol and be advised to eat meat again.  Howe'ver, if one switches their diet and their cholesterol levels rise, I can understand an MD recommending the person go back to the diet where they were lower.  Too bad this MD didn't suggest cutting out the saturated fat, eat more soy and olive oil and eat more fiber.

The verdict is still out about dietary intake of cholesterol.  Howe'ver, the American Heart Association still recommends to limit dietary intake if you have heart disease and the best way is to avoid eating saturated fats.

Howe'ver, current evidence is suggesting that what Sharway says is true.  I've read research studies that show people who haven't eaten eggs and add eggs back to their diet don't see a subsequent rise in cholesterol level.  For decades it was understood that eggs were evil. (Vegan sensibilities aside. :))

Then there's the mystery of some Adkins dieters who watch their cholesterol levels drop.

Fiber is also a big cholesterol lowerer.  This is one reason vegans (like Duofilla's patient) and vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels. Besides of course the obvious that vegetable products contain little saturated fats and cholesterol.  Meat eaters who switch to lean meats and add high fiber foods like veggies and whole grains can watch their cholesterol levels drop.

0 likes

Thank you for this thread. I'm a newbie to the board and a returning ovolactoveggie, having to relearn and feel my way. I just had bloodwork done and my LDL was a little high, but the Dr only recommended more exercise and less fat in my diet. She said particularly animal fat, of course, and the dreaded hydrogenates. Which I don't like anyway. I've only been finding my way back to vegetaria for about a month, so here's hoping I will see an improvement in the numbers.
This discussion was really helpful. I belong to an online weightloss support group and some of the nutritional "information" is contradictory and some of it is plain wild! :D Thanks for helping. yabbitgirl

0 likes

I am 30 years old, 5 years ago I was diagnosed with very very high cholesterol.  I first tried to cut out all the meat I was eating and nothing happened.  So they put me on lipitor.  After about 6 months my cholesterol was extremely lowered but I was unhappy taking medication every day.  I went off the medicine and my cholesterol raised again.  I found this web-site and tried a vegan diet.  NOTHING absolutely NOTHING from an animal.  This means cheese, milk, eggs, fish and all meats.  I have now been on this life style change for over a year.  I have lost 40 pounds and lowered my cholesterol to a very good amount.  So, if your mom just cut out meat, that means nothing.  You have to cut out ALL animal products to lower your cholesterol.  Hopes this helps.

0 likes

I belong to an online weightloss support group and some of the nutritional "information" is contradictory and some of it is plain wild! :D Thanks for helping. yabbitgirl

Hey, except for duofilia, I don't think any of us are in the medical profession, so please take everything said here with a grain of salt! I read a lot about nutrition and food, and I've learned a lot from my sister, who is a nurse practitioner, but even within the medical profession, there's still contradictory advice.

Michilini, I am so happy to hear that your cholesterol is down and you have become so healthy! Congrats. It's great to hear such a success story.

0 likes

Sharway, I know you're right about that, but you should see some of the ideas these people come up with. Of course they are 95% omni, but every few weeks they seem to come up with a new "wonderfood" or new way to cook that is going to solve ALL your health problems. Coupled with that there is always a new "deadly poison" that you should never touch...and it usually turns out to be some junkfood or additive anyway. :D Balance is the key, and using healthy, fresh ingredients from the start. I'm just so glad that my cholesterol is not high enough to need medical treatment...much rather go about it the old fashioned way, by "healthying up".

0 likes

I know Tweety is a nurse though I don't know the letters associated! Sorry Tweety!

Eight years ago my cholesteral was at 300.  Last time it was checked, about a year or two ago, it was down to 200.  With no lifestyle changes except going veg.  End of May will be my 3 years vegan anniversary.  I wonder if its down even more now.  Probably.

0 likes

I agree with you Sharway, even health advice from medical professionals can be contradictory -- some right on the mark, some totally wrong and every thing in between. That's why I advocate that people do speak with medical professional but back it up with their own research.

0 likes

I've worked in a hospital for 17 years. The dietician is always promoting healthier choices...adding more fruit & vegetables, whole grains, replacing meat with other protein choices....all sounds good...but they don't put it to practise! I believe if it was available to patients & staff, more people would chose to eat healthier.
On a side note, we had an admission last week that happened to be vegan. The really cool part is she's 90! ;D

0 likes

I know Tweety is a nurse though I don't know the letters associated! Sorry Tweety!

You're right.  I'm an RN with an Associates Degree.  I'm currently in a Baccalaureate degree program to get a BSN and maybe eventually a Masters so I can teach.  Since going veg over 14 years ago (with a lapse you're probably aware of) nutrition has been an interest of mine. 

Always take what you read on the internet and especially message boards (even from me) with a grain of salt and not the gospel truth.

I think every body is different and what works for one person may not work for another.  I think replacing animal products vegan foods lowers cholesterol naturally by being high fiber, by being full of cardiovascular friendly antioxidants, and by having no dietary cholesterol and animal fats.  It's been shown that a meat eater can lower their cholesterol by simply adding a carrot to their diet.

0 likes

No the doctor is right tofu is very high in fat content but you can find if you search low colestorol tofu

0 likes

Peta's vegetarian starter kit labels eggs as 'cholesterol bombs' for a reason. Lacto-ovo veggies that consume a lot of eggs will have high cholesterol. This is a good reason to become a vegan!

"May" not "will."  I've eaten 2 eggs nearly every day for 30 years and my bad cholesterol is nearly non-existent. I also lived off a heavy meat diet for most of the last 3 decades. Many of my family still eat this diet, are in their 70s and 80s, and still do not have high cholesterol.

Genetics have a lot to do with it.

0 likes
Log in or register to post comments