There are healthy vegetarian diets and there are unhealthy ones so beware of falling into the trap of thinking you are healthier just because you don't eat meat. Some vegetarians rely too heavily on cheese and eggs for their protein which is, of course, bad news for cholesterol levels.
Vegetarian supplements should not be necessary in a balanced diet but before you jump in, it's important to make sure you understand how to achieve a healthy and balanced diet as a vegetarian.
Vegetarians need to ensure that they are eating enough protein.
This need not be a cause for concern as there are many excellent vegetarian protein sources such as beans, soy, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Also make sure that you eating enough iron. Concentrate on low cholesterol vegetarian sources of iron such as dried fruit, beans and spinach.
Another area to watch is Vitamin B12. The best vegetarian vitamin B12 sources are eggs, milk and cheese which are higher in cholesterol. Consider using brewer's yeast in your diet for an added boost. Many breakfast cereals and soy milks are also fortified with Vitamin B12.
As with Vitamin B12, many good sources of calcium are higher in cholesterol. Choose skimmed, non fat varieties when buying milk and yoghurt.
For non-animal sources of calcium, try soy and include plenty of green vegetables in your diet. Broccoli, spinach, cabbage and kale are good sources.
Zinc is essential in the diet for growth and for a healthy immune system. Make sure to include plenty of beans, nuts and seeds in your diet to ensure an adequate intake. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc.
With proper planning and understanding of the essential nutrients in a vegetarian diet, you can eat well and lower your cholesterol without the need for additional vitamins and supplements.