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LDL Cholesterol

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  • LDL Cholesterol

    Hi Everyone,

    I've seen some strong opinions here about cholesterol, but I got a little lost in the details. My conclusions have been that triglycerides and HDL are what matter most. But for curiosity's sake, can someone explain the LDL issue?

    I just read Dr. Eades blogpost about how LDL isn't even measured have the time in labs, it's estimated with an equation. Unfortunately it confused me even more.

    Here's my recent lab report:

    Total: 164

    HDL: 52

    LDL: 79

    Non-HDL Cholesterol: 112

    What in the heck does that mean? Where are the additional 33 points coming from? Is that the infamous VLDL?

    What's weird is that my total cholesterol has been 160 for nearly a decade -- but my HDL and LDL both are going down, and this "non-hdl" is going up. My triglycerides, horribly, are also going up: 165. When my HDL was in the 60s, my triglycerides were in the double-digits. So my HDL/Triglyceride ratio is now looking pretty sad.

  • #2

    Okay, stuff to look at:

    Total/HDL ratio: 164/52 = 3.15

    Triglycerides/HDL ratio: 165/52 = 3.17, essentially the same.

    The ideal ratio of Total/HDL is 4.4 for women and 5 for men - yours is better than either of those (from

    Also, according to and several other sites, the ratio of your triglycerides to your HDL will indicate whether your LDL is small and dense (bad) or large and fluffy (neutral). A larger number indicates smaller LDL particles and a smaller number indicates larger LDL particles - it's an inverse relationship. The ideal number is 2 or below. 4 is high. 6 is "danger!!!"

    So your trigs could use some reduction, which means cutting out as many carbs as possible, but your ratio is still okay.

    I think you're doing fine.

    Also, your LDL is almost always calculated, not measured directly. They use some stupid formula that doesn't really work very well at all to estimate the level of LDL. You'll need to demand a VAP test in order to make them measure it directly.

    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

    Ditch the scale!:

    My Success Story:


    • #3

      Thanks, Griff!

      I used to have a less than 2.0 Tri/HDL ratio, so being at 3.1 depressed me a little. But if I'm still in the ratio that indicates light fluffy LDL, I won't worry so much.

      What's more worrisome is my fasting glucose is up to 105. I'm doing the 30-Day Challenge to correct that. Death to starchy carbs!