As I have mentioned before, I have been a vegetarian for over 15 years, and a vegan for most of the
latter third of it. I haven't had my cholesterol checked in probably that whole 15 years. I had no idea what it was until this afternoon.
I'm getting ready to turn 40 and wanted to have it checked. So a few days ago I went to have a lipid panel done at the hospital, so I could see what it was. I got my test results back today and I'm thrilled! My total cholesterol level is 112! How cool is that?
Not only is that good by overall standards, falling into the desirable category, but it seems it is good also by vegetarian and vegan standards. I did a quick search to see what the average cholesterol level is for vegetarians and vegans and this is what I found from PETA (see full article here):
"Incidentally, while the average cholesterol level in the U.S. is 210, the average vegetarian's cholesterol level is 161 and the average vegan's cholesterol level is 133. People with cholesterol levels below 150 virtually never have heart attacks, while nearly one-third of meat-eaters will die from one."
If that is accurate, then I feel even better about my 112.
The point is, though, that millions of people in this country are sweating learning their cholesterol levels right now. Some are being handed prescriptions for cholesterol lowering medications and others are being scheduled for open heart surgery, or other procedures. But not consuming the animal products is all it takes to get a desirable number.
Heart disease, one less thing I have to worry about.