by Heather Borders
After a few internet searches, I learned that our liver makes all the cholesterol we need and dietary cholesterol, found in food, can increase total blood cholesterol levels. It turns out that plant food contains no cholesterol and all animal foods have some amount of cholesterol. I stumbled upon the community of researchers and clinicians that provided the data to support the benefit a whole foods, plant- based diet can have on our health. I never thought that veganism would be necessary, or a reason to switch would be for one other than animal ethics. However, my husband and I were on board for what we thought would be a 6 week experiment.
After six weeks, my 5’10” husband went from 170 pounds to 155 pounds, and his total cholesterol went from 311 to 232, and triglycerides from 305 to 103. A year later he was down closer to 200 and has maintained the same weight. After 1.5 years, my total cholesterol also improved from 233 to 179! We are obviously a work in progress, however forever changed by what we have learned in such a short amount of time. We are also so grateful to have found out about the significance of a plant-based diet before we became a statistic. No more waiting for the other shoe to drop or worrying if our genetics have any say in our health!
As you may have seen in previous No Meat March emails, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a Washington D.C.-based non-profit that promotes preventative medicine, especially through good nutrition. Food for Life is a PCRM program that offers cancer, diabetes, weight management, and kids classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. Each class includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote health, along with cooking demonstrations of simple and nutritious recipes that can be recreated easily at home. There are over 100 Food For Life instructors across the U.S. and I’m very excited to have been chosen as the instructor for the Jacksonville, FL area. You can keep up with future classes on Facebook by liking ‘Food for Life Jax’ and can check out my bio here.