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Vegan to Primal blood test results, would love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Vegan to Primal blood test results, would love to hear your thoughts!

    Hi folks, the hubby and I have been primal for the last ~5 months after about 13 years or so of being vegan/raw vegan. We have been very strict, no dairy, absolutely no grains of any kind (including no white rice), no potatoes, no corn, and recently we have not even been eating fruit.

    So anyway, we just had blood tests done, and I think the results are interesting, especially as compared to our vegan days. Some of the numbers got worse, and some got better, and I'm trying to decipher what it all means. It's really easy to read the other posts where people advise not worrying about wacky cholesterol numbers and nod in agreement, but some of the changes in my numbers are worrisome. It's fascinating at the very least, and I'd love it if anyone wants to weigh in.

    Without further ado:

    Total cholesterol in January 2012 (as a vegan): 179
    Total cholesterol today, Oct 2012 (primal): 251 -- ack!

    Triglycerides in January 2012 (as a vegan): 87
    Triglycerides today, Oct 2012 (primal): 71 -- i had expected it would be much better

    HDL in January 2012 (as a vegan): 55
    HDL today, Oct 2012 (primal): 46 -- how could that number go DOWN?!?

    Calculated LDL in January 2012 (as a vegan): 107
    Calculated LDL today, Oct 2012 (primal): 191 -- yikes!

    My husband's numbers followed all the same trends mine did, except that his HDL went up where mine went down.

    Any input/thoughts appreciated!

  • #2
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread4723.html

    that is the link to the cholesterol primer created by forum member Griff. it's packed with information, including why the total score may not be that important, a formula to get a more accurate picture of your cholesterol, and the good and bad about it all.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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    • #3
      yes, yes, i've read Griff's cholesterol primer. i've worked the ratios he mentioned, and some were better as a vegan.

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      • #4
        Did you eat enough fats?

        The mistake people do is "oh, if I remove carbs I will get better, and if I do not add any fat I will be incredibly better".

        The truth is:

        No fat intake -> your body does not switch to the fat burning mode

        In short, you will keep burning sugars, but as you are in a low carb diet, your metabolism is damn good at creating them using proteins.

        Btw, what about the Protein-C reactive?


        P.S. Of course, if you already added enough fats, sorry for this answer

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        • #5
          I think I eat enough fats. I religiously track everything I eat, and I am at about 49.9% fat over a 3 month average. Do you think that's enough?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by palebluedots View Post
            I think I eat enough fats. I religiously track everything I eat, and I am at about 49.9% fat over a 3 month average. Do you think that's enough?
            I think it's generally recommended that you do 60-70% fat. At this point I would try some "extreme" measures, something that will act a bit like a reset button. My suggestion is that you do an experiment with deep ketosis. (strictly under 50g carbs each day) with some intermittent fasting here and there. Make sure you are eating plenty of fats (but within a respectable caloric range) so that you are letting your body know it needs to prime its fat metabolism. I'd give this a shot for about a month or more and see what happens; you may be stuck in a sort of metabolic limbo, where your body is hanging between a glycolytic and a ketogenic metabolism.
            this great blue world of ours seems a house of leaves, moments before the wind

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            • #7
              interesting. I must admit, I'm a bit hesitant to add even more animal fat into my diet after seeing those numbers. I guess I could try adding more in the way of fat from nuts and avocado and high quality oils.

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              • #8
                Nuts may be the problem
                Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                • #9
                  i don't currently eat nuts. hardly ever. i'm just saying that if i decide i want more fat, i'd rather not do it in the form of additional animal fat.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why not? Isn't the goal to increase your HDL? That's the only unexpected figure there.
                    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                    Griff's cholesterol primer
                    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                    bloodorchid is always right

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                    • #11
                      Well, my total cholesterol has never been that high, and I know that it's not unheard of for it to be that level in this community, but the drastic jump was quite surprising. So yes, I'd like to increase my HDL. And lower the LDL. But I would also like to lower the total cholesterol. But I'm not really sure how to do that. Overall, I think the ratios were basically better when I was a vegan. I didn't really expect that, and I thought the improvement in the triglycerides would be MUCH better than they were.

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                      • #12
                        i'm thinking of reading the book "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Anthony Colpo to better educate myself. Has anyone read that? I really love how I feel eating primal and I want to not be freaked out by my blood test results. But it's hard.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I say again; I don't think it's about the origin of the fats you're getting. I think it's about your body's current metabolic state. Animal fat or not, I believe that your macro levels may have been keeping you stuck between two forms of metabolism, which is a known issue. Again, it's just a theory but I think it's worth a shot. You may be surprised at what you see.

                          Take me, for instance. The only fats I ever get are animal fats and coconut oil; I've been on Primal for a year now, and have even been off and on with junk food. My blood lipids are as follows:

                          Total cholesterol: 162
                          Triglycerides: 71
                          HDL: 74
                          LDL: 74
                          this great blue world of ours seems a house of leaves, moments before the wind

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by palebluedots View Post
                            Well, my total cholesterol has never been that high, and I know that it's not unheard of for it to be that level in this community, but the drastic jump was quite surprising. So yes, I'd like to increase my HDL. And lower the LDL. But I would also like to lower the total cholesterol. But I'm not really sure how to do that. Overall, I think the ratios were basically better when I was a vegan. I didn't really expect that, and I thought the improvement in the triglycerides would be MUCH better than they were.
                            You want to lower your LDL-A (the small dense stuff). And the way you do that is by lowering carbs (which lowers trigs, which gives you more LDL-B, the good ones, and less LDL-A, the 'bad' ones).

                            Originally posted by palebluedots View Post
                            i'm thinking of reading the book "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Anthony Colpo to better educate myself. Has anyone read that? I really love how I feel eating primal and I want to not be freaked out by my blood test results. But it's hard.
                            I havn't read Anthony Colpo's book, but I think that it's broadly correct. His blog is pretty juvenile though.

                            I have a lot of respect for Chris Masterjohn site. And if you're feeling brave Peter Attia has a very detailed exploration of what is a complex subject.
                            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                            Griff's cholesterol primer
                            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                            bloodorchid is always right

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Also keep in mind cholesterol measurements fluctuates. It can vary throughout the day and depends on how long after you have eaten when you take the measurements. You may need two readings and average them.

                              Another measurement to consider is the Triglyceride / HDL ratio (close to 1 is good, close to 3 is high risk). I did the calc here based on your numbers...
                              vegan: 87 / 55 = 1.58
                              primal: 71 / 46 = 1.54

                              Both about the same and seems alright. In any case, I do believe that having some animal product in your diet is a step in the right direction. I wrote about the case for animal products here.
                              Last edited by BlissfulWriter; 10-16-2012, 08:58 PM.

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