Low Cholesterol Diet: - Nutrition with Dina Aronson, R.D.
The owner of one of our healthy eating cookbooks emailed today to question why on the nutritional analysis of the plant based recipe that it showed minute amounts of cholesterol.
Surely a recipe marked suitable for vegans shouldn't have cholesterol in it?
A Doctor will tell you that plants have cells and ALL cell membranes contain cholesterol.
There is an article that suggests different textbooks are wrong when they state that plants do not contain cholesterol (http://bip.cnrs-mrs.fr/bip10/choles.htm) The author bases his argument on:
E. J. Behrman and V. Gopalan (2005) Cholesterol and plants J. Chem. Educ. in press. Behrman and Gopalan (2005)
They suggest the following as an accurate account of the real sterol content of plants: More than 250 steroids have been described in plants. Of these, perhaps sitosterol, which differs from cholesterol by an ethyl substituent at position 24, is the most common. But plants also contain cholesterol both free and esterified. Cholesterol occurs as a component of plant membranes and as part of the surface lipids of leaves where it is sometimes the major sterol. The quantity of cholesterol is generally small when expressed a percent of total lipid. While cholesterol averages perhaps 50 mg/kg total lipid in plants, it can be as high as 5 g/kg (or more) in animals.
So there is cholesterol in plants but in very small amounts. Also experts now believe that the cholesterol your body makes (an essential function) and the balance between HDL andLDL cholesterol levels in the body are more important factors than dietary cholesterol (even from animals)
The key point is that plant foods can help your body deal with imbalance and causes of high cholesterol production that are linked with chronic disease. Treat the cause not the symptom.