Ever since I was younger, I’ve had high cholesterol. It was no surprise seeing how it’s hereditary. Besides, I never gave much thought to high cholesterol because I didn’t realize the severity of it.
It wasn’t before I had bloodwork done last year that I became alarmed. Why? My cholesterol levels were “high-risk.” Being one of the major risk factors for heart disease, the results grabbed my attention. Risk factors increase your chances of getting a disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Not good.
At that moment, I realized something needed to be done. But how? I was already an avid exerciser and ate relatively “healthy.” So, I jotted down my meals for a week. The pattern that emerged surprised me.
It turns out that I was eating at least 2 servings of meat every day, a lot of eggs, and a good amount of dairy. Then it clicked for me. I had recently watched a few Netflix documentaries such as, “Forks over Knives” and “Vegucated,” where the idea of a plant-based diet was the be-all and end-all of human existence. Was going plant-based the answer?
I gave it a whirl and eliminated all meat and dairy from my forks, knives, and otherwise. Let me be clear: I wasn’t going plant-based 100% of the time, more like 90%. I went down the greener path for 4-months to test it out. So, what happened?
Not only did my cholesterol go down 80 points, I’m no longer at high-risk. Major perks also include glowing skin and stronger hair and nails.
For those that don’t know, a plant-based diet is a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
Here is what a typical day of my plant-based eating looks like:
- Oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and half a banana
- Coffee with almond milk
- Veggie Burger with hummus and pretzels OR
- Mixed green salad with tofu, lots of veggies, beans, olive oil and vinegar as dressing
- 2 pieces of dark chocolate (we love Endangered Species as it’s dairy free)
I am simply sharing this as advice in case it helps someone else. This is proof positive that plant-based eating works when it comes to bringing down cholesterol. At least, it did for me.
Cheers to raising a glass and staying healthy all!
Originally published at veggiesandvino.com