Last year I got a physical right before going vegan and everything was normal, which is good, but I wanted to see how much better it could be. I was doing high-intensity workouts almost 6 days a week for 6 months before that physical and haven’t done much of that this year. I usually get my 10k steps up but only do high intensity maybe 1-2 times a week lately. I scheduled my physical and for the first time I was excited to get blood work done to see if being vegan for a year and whole food plant based for 6 months has done anything else besides the things I can see for my body. I went in for it last Monday and got checked out and got blood drawn. My blood pressure was 116/68 which has gone down from an average 120/80. My weight has gone down about 13 pounds since January and everything checked out great! It’s always reassuring to know nothing is abnormal and your body is functioning properly, especially after changing everything about what you put into it.
I just got my lab results back last night and I was thrilled with my numbers. This just proves that eating this way is beneficial to my health and that it’s possible, sustainable, and is helping me thrive and be my healthiest self. I was hoping for good numbers and was very relieved when they, in fact, were better. If eating this way can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and bad LDL, I’m not sure why people are wasting time and money on all of these medicines to do the same things that eating plant-based can do. The proof is in the numbers, so for everyone who has been thinking vegans don’t get enough iron, protein, calcium, etc. they can be assured that it’s a great way to reach optimum health without using prescriptions to get there. The only thing I’m taking is B12.
Total Cholesterol– It went from 192 to 170. Down 22 points! In one year!
HDL Cholesterol- It went from 66 to 50 which is still in the normal range.
LDL Cholesterol- This is the unhealthy cholesterol that accumulates plaque in your arteries and can cause heart disease. My level last year was borderline at 106 so I was relieved that it’s down to 84.
Iron– 134 which is actually on the higher end of the scale of 27-159
Hemoglobin– 14. 2 and was 14. 6 last year so it’s almost the same out of the range of 11.1-15.9.
Vitamin D– It went up from 43.8 to 47.9.
B12- This is the only supplement vegans technically need to add into their diet to stay healthy because B12 can only be found in the intestinal tract of animals. It usually only starts to affect you after years of deprivation, but I take a B12 spray every morning and it helps with energy as well. My levels are up to 502 from 358.
Calcium– 9.2 from 9.7 so not a noticeable change, and I barely ever have fortified almond milk.
Protein– My protein levels stayed the EXACT same at 7.6 so I’m getting the same amount even purposefully eating a HCLF diet lower in protein and keeping it to 10% of my diet. I’m absorbing the same amount.
Triglycerides– This was the only number that didn’t look better, which makes no sense to me. It went from 99 to 178 which is still in the high normal range and my doctor wasn’t concerned and said it was normal. My guess is that it’s because I ate chinese and Mexican, two oily and higher fat meals than I normally eat, the weekend before my physical. Since triglycerides measure the fat from food in your blood I think it rose from those meals.
Overall I’m really pleased with how this lifestyle is proving to be great! It’s not only to look and feel better, but it’s for long-term health and I’m proud to be part of it.