Doctor's Note

More details on lowering cholesterol through diet can be found in Dried Apples Versus CholesterolAmla Versus DiabetesNew Cholesterol Fighters; and Eliminating the #1 Cause of Death. For more on the benefits of fiber, see Food Mass Transit; and for more on what foods to avoid, see Egg Cholesterol in the Diet and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. For more on the dangers of animal fat, see Largest Study Ever. On the contrary, high-fat plant foods may not have the same effect (see, for example, Plant-Based Atkins Diet. I cover how to block the second step of heart disease in Making Our Arteries Less Sticky.

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts for additional context: The Most Anti-Inflammatory MushroomHow Does Meat Cause Inflammation?Stool Size and Breast Cancer RiskThe Anti-Wrinkle DietPlant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid ArthritisDo Vegans Get More Cavities?Avoid Carnitine and Lethicin Supplements; and Trans Fat in Animal Fat.

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  • David Stewart

    Video is marked as “This video is private,” and it won’t play.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

       Thank you so much for letting me know–all fixed!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    More details on lowering cholesterol through diet can be found in Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol, Amla Versus Diabetes, New Cholesterol Fighters, and Eliminating the #1 Cause of Death. For more on the benefits of fiber, see Food Mass Transit and for more on what foods to avoid, see Egg Cholesterol in the Diet and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. For more on the dangers of animal fat, see Largest Study Ever. On the contrary, high-fat plant foods may not have the same effect (see, for example, Plant-Based Atkins Diet). In the next video I will cover how to block the second step of heart disease in Making Our Arteries Less Sticky. Aside from heart health, there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.

    • Stefan Juhl M.D.

      If I rember correctly Ole Færgeman M.D. has demonstrated that animal protein itself raise LDL opposite plant protein. We are not taking about fats, but protein – interesting !

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Thanks for the great week of vids!

  • Bonnie

    The book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn makes this point convincingly and dramatically.  Convinced me to eschew all meat, dairy, refined carbs, oil – and eat plants. 

  • Ghul

    do i need to be concerned about cosuming coconuts since they contain saturated fat or is there a difference between saturated fat from plants vs animals?

    • Valnaples

      Ghul, am pretty sure Doc Greger has a video about coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut, just to help you out.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Don’t go Coocoo over Coconut’s especially the milk:
      I hope this helps

    • Megann Harris

       From what I understand, coconut milk and coconut oil definitely contain saturated fat; however, it is neither a saturated animal fat nor a trans fat, unless they are processed until they are partially hydrogenated.  Therefore, even though the lauric acid may raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholestereoL), which can be beneficial, I do not see reason to believe this type of saturated fat has deleterious effects in a human body.  To my mind, naturally occurring saturated plant fats are very different from the animal kingdom’s counterparts.

    • Toxins

      The recent crazy about cocout oil is poorly supported with good evidence. Here is what is gathered.

      “Superpowers” are what coconut oil has, Dr. Mehmet Oz told his TV
      audience last year. The benefits of coconut oil are “near miraculous,”
      says Internet osteopath and entrepreneur Dr. Mercola. Its kind of
      ridiculous how little evidence there is for coconut oil.
      Only 1 study on weight loss:
      Forty obese women cut their food intake by 200 calories a day and exercised four days a week. Half of them used two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 240 calories’ worth) every day in their cooking and half used soybean oil. After three months, both groups had lost the same amount of weight, about two pounds.
      Only 1 poorly concluded study with very mixed results on alzheimers:
      Placebo and coconut fat takers scored no different on a cognitive impairment test when the subjects were randomized. If they weren’t randomized (which could represent stacking up the placebo group with very sick patients) then the coconut fat consumers scored slightly better after 45 days. After 90 days though everyone pretty much evened out.
      Only 1 old study done to “support” heart disease:
      “In the only study done in people in the last 17 years, Malaysian researchers last year found that when they fed young men and women 20 percent of their calories from coconut oil for five weeks, LDL (“bad”)
      cholesterol was 8 percent higher and HDL (“good”) cholesterol was 7
      percent higher than when the participants were fed 20 percent of their
      calories from olive oil”

      Just because Both bad cholesterol
      and good cholesterol went up does not mean that coconut oil is
      protective against heart disease and it does not at all mean its
      healthy. This doesn’t make good sense.
      So there you have it, this is the “evidence” that the media and public is
      going for that shows coconut oil as “healthy” when it indeed is
      definitely not.
      (this information was summarized from this well prepared article recommended by world renowned nutritionist, Jeff Novick)

      • Ghul

        thanks for your reply , my family went crazy for  it some years ago and they still use it and say its the “best oil for cooking” and cures every illness blabla :D , i always had doubts about coconut oil :D

  • Belfastherbalist

    Surely cholesterol build up is NOT the first step in atherosclerosis. Cholesterol is a vital component of cells, is involved in hormone synthesis and is important in memory function among many other key processes. The idea of lowering it therefore strikes me as poor science. Cholesterol is part of a repair mechanism that forms a scab (pimple to use your term) over an area of inflammation in the artery, much in the way we form a scab over a cut finger. So the first part of the process is the inflammation to the intima of the artery – could be homocysteine for example caused by high protein intake (meat and dairy esp methionine) and lack of B-vitamins. Further, given the initial inflammation the anti-oxidant levels in the body would determine level of oxidation of plaque and further narrowing of the lumen. Therefore the key to the process would be determining what causes the insult to the intima in the first place. Calling LDL bad and HDL good is a nonsense – both are cholesterol – LDL arrives on the scene and begins the repair, HDL takes away the debris – the process is ongoing through life and complications arise through poor diet, so on that much we agree. Foods known to lower cholesterol may actually be lowering inflammation, improving antioxidant status and thus improving function of LDL/HDL.  Love to hear your comments

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      I think the use of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol are meant for the lay population. I agree with you about cholesterol but the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are easier to understand for my patients in my time limited situation in the office.  And for the general public that peruses this sight I think it gets the point across more efficiently.  That is, however, my opinion, I do not speak for Dr. Greger.

    • Stefan Juhl M.D.

      If we exclude biochemical terms, bottom line is that eating plant strong lowers your risk of cardiovascular death and cancer, and eating SAD (and european) raise your risk substantial. High cholesterol is an indicator of what you eat (animals) and low cholesterol is an indicator of a potent plant strong way of living. I dont care what the precise mechanism of action is (high this, low that), the question is what works on your plate. Plants works. Meat kills.

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        Eat plants everyday, anyway, it’s OK!!

        Plant Strong, it’s my song!

        • Stefan Juhl M.D.

          You are a true poet ! ;-)

          Have a nice “vegan-end” my friend. Try to be funny – weekend of course!

      • Real World Vegan

        eating plants is very important but lots of vegans have high cholesterol and lots of meat eaters have low cholesterol. your statement just isnt true.

        • Toxins

          Whole foods plant based and “vegan” are 2 different diets.

      • Mike Won

        It is not cholesterol that causes heart disease. Cholesterol is actually saving the person’s life. When a person has high cholesterol it protects the organs from microscopic tears. Cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, it’s the store animal protein in the heart.

        • Toxins

          This is completely false.

          From the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology.

          “As shown in Figure 1, most of the risk factors do not in themselves cause atherosclerosis [heart disease]…The atherosclerotic risk factors showing that the only factor required to cause atherosclerosis is cholesterol.”

          Please stick with the peer reviewed research and not articles or blogs.

    • J. S. Weiss

      I am a nonspecialist and I understand and appreciate your response very much. Thank you for taking the time to post it. Lay persons do very much want to understand the science so that they can make informed decisions about their health—this in addition to the sheer pleasure of learning. I am puzzled and disappointed by HemoDynamic M.D.’s response, but grateful for yours.

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        The first step in atherosclerosis IS increased levels of LDL cholesterol:

        I hope this helps in your understanding–to eliminate the confusion and not to disappoint, it was my pleasure ;-}

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.
    •  It is truly a complex situation that we now understand better then we did 30 years ago. No doubt we will better understand in the future. Dr. Greger has posted 85 video’s on vascular disease alone. We do however need to apply the best current science in advising our patients. This is particularly true for chronic conditions which make up about 80% of our health care costs and a larger degree of suffering. There are probably many different mechanisms responsible for injuring the intima which leads to the bodies inflammatory response with increased risk of blockage and rupture. Homo-cysteine as you point out can be one. It is nice to rely on causality arguments but in complex systems this can get you in trouble. Better to weigh the causality studies with correlative studies which show elevated LDL to be associated with adverse outcomes and elevated HDL to be associated with better outcomes to help guide us in making recommendations. I believe all studies considered we are currently best off to recommend a low fat whole plant based diet with Vitamin B12 supplements. We will need to stay tuned to as the studies keep on coming and it wouldn’t surprise me when if I need to change my recommendations in the future.

      • Stefan Juhl M.D.

        Dr forrester,
        The future will surely bring new light to mechanisms for intima injury, but do you think that it will change the recommendation of a low fat whole plant based diet? Perhaps small adjustments, but I find it unlikely to be major changes, given the current extensive epidemiological data

        •  I agree with you. I believe that as we do more studies it will just tend to help us understand why the low fat plant based diet works so well. That said we have to be open to new models as the new studies come out. The other factor that has nothing to do with health is the environment. As we are currently facing the end of Peak Oil we will need to move away from industries that use large amounts of nonrenewable energy. Given our population we will need to become more energy efficient in raising food with less environmental impact. Many folks are familiar with the 2006 UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow. Sustainability and complexity cover a much broader set of topics then covered in the UN report. For a more in-depth treatment I would recommend reading,The Post Carbon Reader (managing the 21st century’s sustainability crisis) by Heinberg & Lerch which has 34 essays written by Post Carbon Institute fellows.

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            You bring the issue to the next level – from food/health to food/health/environment(/culture) where it belongs !

        • Real World Vegan

          ive been vegan for many years and have what i consider a vested interest in finding significant data that supports whole food veganism above other whole food diets. i havent though. what is the extensive epidemiological data you refer to here?

    • Ebenezerrain

      Thank-you for your comments! I did a course in nutrition about two years ago and was marked wrong when I said that LDL cholesterol wasn’t “bad”, rather an EXCESS of it is, LDL is made and needed by the body. 
      Just a question …I have friends who have been stricter vegans than I for longer and yet still have levels of cholesterol considered too high. What is going on here? Could it be that the body is making what is needed by the individual and that our ‘good’ and ‘bad’ range is not applicable to all people?

  • AlexanderBerenyi
    •  Thanks for the links. This type of format should be followed by other journals. Now will go to the literature to check it out. After reading the articles I’m leaning toward Skeaff’s conclusion as he makes a better argument.

  • Veguyan

    From this morning, following the Mercola model:




    Cholesterol, which is commonly dismissed as harmful
    and something that people should avoid, actually contributes to producing and
    maintaining myelin sheaths. Without it, as evidenced by the recent studies,
    individuals with PMD — and potentially all individuals — are at a higher risk
    of developing cognitive illness and brain degradation. And particularly those
    with PMD, low-cholesterol diets are almost sure to leave them exceptionally
    prone to nerve damage.


    What this all means for statin drugs, which
    mainstream medicine has ridiculously dubbed ‘miracle drugs,’ is that their
    cholesterol inhibiting properties can cause serious health problems down the
    road. By interfering with the liver’s natural function of producing
    cholesterol, statin drugs can actually strip the body of much-needed
    cholesterol, and cause serious nervous system and cognitive damage.


    The key to promoting healthy cholesterol levels in
    the body is not to take synthetic drugs, but rather to achieve vibrant health
    through proper diet and exercise, which includes a diet rich in healthy
    saturated fats and, yes, even cholesterol.


    “Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are
    not the cause of coronary heart disease,” says Dr. George V. Mann, M.D.,
    professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in
    Tennessee. “That myth is the greatest scientific deception of this
    century, perhaps of any century.”



    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      People Magazine Interview.January 22, 1979, Vol. 11, No. 3
      Dr. George Mann Says Low Cholesterol Diets Are Useless, but the ‘Heart Mafia’ Disagrees

      Dr. Levy of NIH denies that Mann’s research funds were affected because of any personal disagreement: “Funding is determined by peer review.” Adds Levy: “George is a maverick who enjoys being controversial. He has spent too much time talking with himself. He has been a scientist of some stature, but he seems hell-bent to destroy everything that doesn’t agree with him.” Levy concedes that “it hasn’t been conclusively proven that lowering the cholesterol level by diet will prevent heart disease,” (Remember this is 1979) but argues “it also hasn’t been proven it won’t help.” (It has now!)
      Quote from Dr. Mann, “If science isn’t quarrelsome, argumentative and contentious,” he declares, “then it isn’t any good.”

      Interesting insight into Dr. Mann!

      Having low cholesterol in and of itself does not, and cannot, predict whether you will have a heart attack or stroke, but it does lower your risk.

      The best way, however, to lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of a heart attack, stroke, erectile dysfunction, chronic back pain, dementia, etc. is to change what you’re putting on your fork!!!!! 
      Eat Plants!

      • Veguyan

        Thank you, Hemo. I never really know how to appropriately respond to the few Mercola friends I have or the ones who say they’ve been vegan for blah blah years and almost died.

        Thank you for your support.

        • Stefan Juhl M.D.

          Vegans also die – 110 years old……..


          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Check this out!
            Oldest living women: Jeanne Calment

            Calment ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food[4] and rubbed onto her skin, as well as a diet of port wine, and ate nearly one kilogram of chocolate every week.[11]

            Are they kidding?  2.2 pounds of chocolate every week?!?  Talk about some phytonutrients!  Now that is Plant Strong my friend!  She even smoked ’em too.  Up to two cigarettes a day.  Hmmmm ;-}
            If you can’t eat ’em, smoke ’em! (I don’t personally recommend this)

            Enjoy your plant-filled weekend!

          • Mike Won

            Maybe her lifes style was the factor not as much as the diet. She smoked for 97 years.

  • SuzBanks

    I love the graphic of the heart of vegetables!

  • I find the title of this video puzzling and even inaccurate. Dr. Greger in a previous lecture he gave in 2003 I believe outlined the pathway of atherosclerosis and the fist step was injury caused by inflammation, making inflammation the first step in atherosclerosis. He even sited a study where people on a Mediterranean diet lowered their risk of CVD by 70% despite their cholesterol levels remaining the same. Vegans die of heart attacks too. Having higher cholesterol levels seem to correlate with higher incidence of heart disease, but not all the time. And of course correlation does not mean causation.  Reducing heart disease to one marker is too simplistic and mother nature just does not work that way. Reducing animal products does not necessarily reduce cholesterol. I am a perfect example of that. My husband and I are whole foodists, plant based. We eat no animal products of any kind, and i hardly even cook with oil. We don’t eat processed foods (chips, soda, cookies, crakers) in general and my house is stocked with one ingredient items. My fridge is full of green leafies that I eat every day, I drink either green juice or smoothies almost daily. Most of our meals are Mcdougall style. we are both within normal weight limits of BMI of 22. My husband’s cholesterol is 127. Mine ….226 on the same exact diet. But hey, my husband’s cholesterol has always been low, below 150 even as a meat eater.   My LDL is the culprit at 139, but HDL is high and triglycerides are well within normal range. so according to that video, my chance of heart disease is high despite me avoiding everything that Dr. Greger says I should avoid and including a high fiber diet with many vegetables and fruits. 
    There is so much more to heart disease than Cholesterol numbers and it would be prudent not to obsess over numbers. Heart disease is multi-factorial disease and we cannot reduce it to cholesterol numbers. By the way, I feel as best as I ever felt since adopting this diet. And I am a very big fan of Dr. Greger. 

    • Stefan Juhl M.D.

      I think you are right, of course your risk cannot be reduced to one single number. Cholesterol is just one parameter. The cause of arteriosclerosis, cancer and so forth is very complex. Again if we ignore numbers, your diet looks “perfect”, and your risk of disease must be regarded as low. Vegans also die from CVD and cancer, but the risk is less than on SAD. Your body and spirit thrive better on a plant strong diet, so it is not only just about disease and lifespan.

      • Ghazeltine

        Not to go off topic but lets not forget the importance of exercise in this equation! Off for my run.

        • Stefan Juhl M.D.

          Yes – moderate exercise is also very important.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Just rode through the Plants (Mountain Biking) for 18 miles (Time 1:08:31).
            Then ate A LOT of Plants!
            Then read a bunch of Echocardiograms (Sitting next to plants)
            Now off to the gym to look at the wall flowers (Plants).
            It’s another Plant-filled day!
            I hope yours is too.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Oh, I forgot, then I have to water the plants (Garden pic below)

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            Dr Six Pack – you will probably live 120 years

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            No matter how long I live my I’m stacking my odds that I will live what I call “The Square Wave of Life” and avoid the “Doldrums of Existence.”

             That means even if I only live to be 70 I want to be fully functioning.  I do not want to live the last twenty years of my life slowing decaying, becoming more and more disfunctional, end up in a wheelchair, have someone feeding me that I don’t even know (That’s my kids and I now have dementia), and spend the last days of my life on this planet having Medicare (if their still around) or my family paying for someone to feed me pureed food that I gum about in my mouth and dribble down my chin, then give me laxatives because I take too much morphine because I am in so much pain because I just lie around in my bed all day, and then wipe my ass when I crap my bed, and then tell me everything is going to be OK.  That is when I will smile at the unknown soul (my kid) who is taking care of me and say Thank you, and then immediately forget what I was thanking them for and then forget that anything ever happened.

            I do not want that Sam I am, I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. 
            That’s why I eat plants!

          • Stefan Juhl M.D.

            Well said. BTW: Nice garden.

          • Ghazeltine

            You two are very amusing!

      • Real World Vegan

        there are many healthy diets [and many include animal food] and they all provide better health than the SAD.

  • Bill

    You should view Sugar: The Bitter Truth

    Sugar should be included in the list of harmful agents that promote heart disease.

    My trigliceride and HDL levels did not become healthy until I eliminated processed sugar like HFCS.

    It is likely that the consumption of fructose, metabolized by the liver to produce hard sharp (the harmful LDL) is the the primary cause of heart disease.

  • Belfastherbalist

    Interesting discussion here:

    However I’d add that just because the lipid hypothesis is poor science does not therefore mean that high saturated fats are therefore good (logical fallacy).

    The great Linus Pauling posited that vitamin c deficiency was the initial stage in the development of atherosclerosis.

    There are a number of processes that can lead to inflammation of the arterial wall. Homocysteine is a much more important marker not just in CVD but also in dementia/Alzheimer’s. Homocysteine production increases when there is an abundance of methionine in the diet (high cheese, meat intake) alongside lack of b-vitamins notably B6, B12, and folate. Homocysteine is caustic to the arterial wall leading to an inflammatory cascade of which cholesterol is the repair mechanism.

    Oxidized cholesterol due to lack of free-radical scavengers is a breeding ground for microbes, and hence the viral theory also has a precursor.

    I think stress is also (unsurprisingly) a key element here – high cortisol production due to prolonged stress can also inflame the arterial wall.

    A stress-free plant-based life seems to be the healthy option across the board.

    • Real World Vegan

      elevated homocysteine is more likely to be found in us vegans due to b12 deficiency. arterial sclerosis is higher in vegans in several cultures.

  • Dianebailey54

    The problem in the rural south is finding organic fruits and vegetables. We are indeed a big agriculture area but the farmers grow only fruits and vegetables soaked in pesticides. They also use gmo seeds. There are no whole foods stores close. What can you do????

    • Mike Won

      You can ferment your vegetables and you can give thanks before eating.

  • Brain A Lee

    The most important step to preventing hart disease is to eliminate the intake of highly processed simple sugars!!!

  • Katrina

    I have many friends doing the Paleo diet.   From them I understand that diet advocates animal protein, very little or no grains or beans, and coconut everything (milk, water, flour, sugar). They say the research is there to back up their decision to eat that way.  Thoughts?

    • Ghazeltine

      There are a ton of videos from Dr. Gregor regarding animal protein and its link to disease. Look under topics. I don’t think you will get any agreement here.

    • Toxins

       The paleo diet is such a hit because its a free pass for people to eat unhealthfully. Dr. Greger covers the harms that come along with a paleo diet here.

      There is no scientific evidence that grains or beans are bad for us, have them present you scientific data from a peer reviewed journal. Many people read books and assume that the book is telling the truth, when most of the time the book has no evidence to back it up.

      As for the high consumption of coconut products, there is no need, as coconut food are extremely high in saturated fat making it a harmful food. Coconut water is fine, but dont over do it.

      • Real World Vegan

        im glad we got that cleared up in the other thread. paleo advocates no more eat unhealthfully than wfpb people are junk food vegans.

        there was that giant list of data showing that grains and beans are bad for us. i could copy and paste it here too if that would be helpful dude. let me know.

      • Mike Won

        Grains can be bad for you due to the mycotoxins in some grains. Wheat, soy, and corn are common mycotoxins we consume. By going no grain diet one can treat disease. I do agree the paleo diet isn’t healthy. Many of those people drink a lot of coffee for some reason. I am guessing due to low energy.

        • Toxins

          Mycotoxins are from moldy grains, so unless one deals with very old grains, I do not think that this is an issue. Whole grains are very health promoting.

          • Annoyed by Paleofraud

            Mycotoxin, shmycotoxin. I like my grains moldy! Koji mold makes amazake, shio, miso, shoyu, etc. and although Dr. G. Would not approve, sake. Great reference btw Toxins!

  • DrGreger’sBiggestFan

    Any scientific health related data on beef (or other animal meat) that has been raised organically and fed grass?  

    • Toxins

      Many of the issues found with animal products are inherent components that would not change whether the meat is oganic or conventional. such compnents include endotoxins, saturated fats, exenoestrogens and choleserol as well as increased IGF-1 levels.

  • Fernando Cônsolo Fontenla

    A Brazilian Portuguese version:

    Thank you, Greger!

  • Kai

    Can you please comment on Mono- and diglycerides. We have radically changed our diets based on your work and are now aware of all ingredients in our food choices. But we find little on this topic and have heard it is the new Hydrogenated Fat… Is that accurate?

    Thanks for all you do – it will save lives and reduce suffering for all who listen!

    • The food processing industry will continue introducing new products as their old products are shown to be harmful. An example is the introduction of interesterified fats in response to the ban on transfats. The problem is that these products get sold before adequate safety studies are done. So I would apply the precautionary principle and avoid any processed ingredients lacking good safety studies. GMO’s is an example of something that should be avoided at all costs. See… for more information on GMO’s. As a trained patient safety officer I can tell you it is better to design or build quality in then inspect quality in… in this case eat a whole food plant based diet avoiding anything with labels with avoiding GMO’s seems to be the path best supported by science at this point.

  • Peter

    Embroiled in an argument with my chiropractor: His thoughts are (of which i don’t adhere): Here is some truth about cholesterol. Without animal fats, especially essential fatty acids, you arent going to remove plaque. You need lecithin and conjugated linolenic acid to do that. Everything you have heard about cholesterol from the medical and pharma professions is a lie. Its a lie to sell drugs and thats all it is.

  • Melissa Price Elenbaas

    After my mother having a second heart attack a couple of years ago, I decided to read up on how to avoid this for myself. I read a book about preventing and reversing heart disease with a vegan diet as well as eliminating all sources of oil (the book also said not to consume nuts, avocados, or coconuts), as well at eating only whole grains and avoiding sugar. This I did and saw a dramatic reduction in weight, great increase in energy etc. At that time (just 16 or so days after I had begun this lifestyle change) I took an at-home cholesterol test and it showed that my cholesterol was so low, it didn’t even register on the test (so, below their lowest number which was 119). Great!
    But flash forward to today (2 and 3/4 years later)—I still follow the same diet, but I just got my cholesterol checked and was stunned to find it was 190! What?! I suspect that I need to get more leafy greens in my diet and have begun having a kale green smoothie every day (which I have felt the health benefits already in joint inflammation and pain going away as soon as day after I began this regimen). But I am still concerned. How can it be that my cholesterol is so high considering my diet? I’m worried greatly about this (and more than a little frustrated). Do you have any suggestions for me as to how i can lower my cholesterol, or what I may be missing?

    • When dealing with tests you are assuming they are both accurate. To compare numbers they should be measured after a 12 hour fast. To interpret the total cholesterol it is helpful to see the LDL, HDL and triglycerides as well. Once you have those numbers you are in a better position to discuss what is going on. Congratulations on your success in improving your health.

  • Elizabeth

    My doctor told me to stop eating so much fruit, because she said that it is the fruit that raises LDL, not things like Olive Oil or Peanut Butter.

    Is she right? Does fruit raise cholesterol?


  • Sean

    What are your thoughts on combating heart disease as a result of
    genetically inherited super-elevated Lp(a)? (300 nmol/dl) with a plant
    based diet? Everything I’ve read states that Lp(a) treatment is
    refractory to dietary/lifestyle/ and even medical intervention. I’m a
    professional athlete, and had a heart attack and stent placed in my LAD
    at age 32. Looking for some guidance. Thank you!

  • nani

    My husband (56) has since young very high Cholesterol levels and also high blood pressure, but exams showed no plaque building.(He is trying a HFPB low fat diet now, but has always been a vegetarian eating lots fruits and vegetables (but also some cheese and olive oil))

    I have also read about other such cases: “I am a 72 yr old female and have had high cholesterol for as long as I can remember (20-25 yrs.). It’s never been under 250 and sometimes 300. A few years ago I had a 64 slice CT angiogram which determined that I had no plaque buildup.”

    How is this possible?