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Conventional meats effects on cholesterol/CVD?

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  • Conventional meats effects on cholesterol/CVD?

    Hey folks, I wanted to get some opinions on the following.

    I have been trying to eat more grassfed/pasture raised meat, but the selection of farms in my area is very limited so I usually have to source it from whole foods, which means higher prices. I get what I can afford, but in the sake of needing some variety I will also eat some conventional meat throughout the week. For example, I will have some conventional sirloin steaks or some non-pastured pork ribs.

    So my question is this, in everyone's opinion, would eating a conventional source of meat a few times a week have any significant effects on a person's cholesterol/CVD risk? My gut says no. I ask this because my family has a history of CVD, and cholesterol is one of my main markers that I am concerned with.

    I have found that generally eating low carb paleo keeps my triglycerides around 70 and my HDL is the 60's, and from what I've gathered these are decent numbers to have. However, my LDL will run as high as 180/190 at times. I have yet to get an LDL-P reading (I need to do that). I am not by any means implying that elevated LDL is necessarily a problem, the literature has obviously shown us its not anything to hang our hats on, but there is still some concern on my part that perhaps this number is elevated due to the intake of fatty cuts of conventional meat?

    I'm trying to decide if I should be concerned with any of this and go to greater lengths to avoid conventional meat.

    Thanks All!

  • #2
    I wouldn't worry. But if I where inclined I would not base any assumptions on cholesterol on its own. You might look for markers such as the following:

    Chronic Inflammatory Markers

    C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP)
    A general marker of inflammation which is important in the development of atherosclerosis. Scientific studies have found that higher hs-CRP levels lead to higher risk of a first heart attack. The risk in people in the upper third of hs-CRP levels is twice that of those in the lower third.
    Ferritin
    The best measure of iron deficiency, elevated ferritin is also an important marker of cardiovascular health. High levels are found in ischemic heart disease, iron overload, and hemo-chromatosis.
    Fibrinogen
    In states of tissue injury/inflammation, elevated fibrinogen is correlated with early CVD, and is a better marker of risk for a coronary event than elevated cholesterol.

    Comment


    • #3
      The general consensus that I have heard on this is that if you are going to go with conventional then pick something lean like chicken or turkey and don't eat the skin/fat. That being due to the fact that most of the harmful additives are stored there but there isn't as much of consequence in the lean meat and then supplement with good fats from butter/avocado's etc.

      If you have problems finding things in your area you could look into some of the online sources which may be a better deal. You could also look into splitting a half cow if you can find others to go in with you and there is some place near you that you can obtain a good grass fed cow from.

      I am planning on buying a chest freezer so I start buying a half cow and storing it. You can definitely get better prices this way but you have to go all in up front which is a no go for a lot of people.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
        I wouldn't worry. But if I where inclined I would not base any assumptions on cholesterol on its own. You might look for markers such as the following:

        Chronic Inflammatory Markers

        C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP)
        A general marker of inflammation which is important in the development of atherosclerosis. Scientific studies have found that higher hs-CRP levels lead to higher risk of a first heart attack. The risk in people in the upper third of hs-CRP levels is twice that of those in the lower third.
        Ferritin
        The best measure of iron deficiency, elevated ferritin is also an important marker of cardiovascular health. High levels are found in ischemic heart disease, iron overload, and hemo-chromatosis.
        Fibrinogen
        In states of tissue injury/inflammation, elevated fibrinogen is correlated with early CVD, and is a better marker of risk for a coronary event than elevated cholesterol.
        This. Cholesterol is a poor marker for CVD and totally uncorrelated if you're female. Trigs and VLDL are a better guide, and if I were worried, I'd look more at the metabolic/diabetes type markers. They seem to be a little better done, and I really think the diseases are related, though I'm not a medical professional.

        As far as CAFO meat affecting cholesterol, probably not. Things that affect your trigs and VLDL (and thus total and ratio) are what you're looking for there. However, the other (better) litmuses can be affected by the higher O6 in CAFO meat than pasture raised. It may be an oversimplification, but that's why Mark recommends lean conventional and add good fats in the form of grassfed butter or tallow, olive oil, whatever.

        All in all, CAFO meat has less PUFA than vegetable oils, maybe nuts, so if I were really worried, I'd be pretty strict in avoiding those and doing my best with the meat. Then again, I believe vegetable oils are pretty much the root of all dietary evil.

        Comment


        • #5
          There's alot of misinformation about the interplay between dietry fat/cholesterol and cholesterol within the blood. This is due to assumptions which have recently been scientifically proven as incorrect. Great infromation on cholesterol processing can be obtained from 'The Eating Academy'.

          Some general facts about cholesterol / lipoproteins.

          0% of dietry cholesterol is absorbed into the blood stream.

          100% of cholesterol is produces endogenously (internally).

          High carb, low fat diets, reduce fat usage, promote lipoprotein production and limit lipoprotein secretion (produce high lipoprotein levels).

          Low carb, high fat diets, increase fat usage, depleting lipoprotein triglyceride levels, promote reverse cholesterol transportation and secretion and limit lipoprotein production (decrease lipoprotein levels).

          The straight dope on cholesterol

          Comment


          • #6
            your meals shouldn't always be muscle meat, whether it's pastured or cafo. incorporate organs and oogly bits as well as wild fatty fish.
            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

            – Ernest Hemingway

            Comment


            • #7
              @Aussie Dave
              This is from the article you linked.

              " We ingest (i.e., take in) cholesterol in many of the foods we eat and our body produces (“synthesizes”) cholesterol de novo from various precursors. About 25% of our daily “intake” of cholesterol – roughly 300 to 500 mg — comes from what we eat (called exogenous cholesterol), and the remaining 75% of our “intake” of cholesterol — roughly 800 to 1,200 mg – is made by our body (called endogenous production). To put these amounts in context, consider that total body stores of cholesterol are about 30 to 40 gm (i.e., 30,000 to 40,000 mg) and most of this resides within our cell membranes. Every cell in the body can produce cholesterol and thus very few cells actually require a delivery of cholesterol. Cholesterol is required by all cell membranes and to produce steroid hormones and bile acids."

              I might be missing something? but that doesn't look like we use 0% of dietary cholesterol.?

              Comment


              • #8
                what dave wrote is incorrect.

                yes, the body produces cholesterol and we would die without it. however, if we begin consuming foods higher in cholesterol, the body will seek stasis and eventually reduce production of it. it's why many primal beginners show elevated lipid panels if tested within the first 6 months or so of dietary changes. the same is also true of those losing weight and shedding fat. elevated lipids will show in the blood until the body finds its balance again.

                anyway, feh on cholesterol readings as a disease precursor.
                As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                – Ernest Hemingway

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that due to less than ideal omega fatty-acid ratios, poor feed, possible antibiotics and hormones, etc, conventional meat is going to have a greater impact on inflammatory markers.

                  This may also influence your cholesterol somewhat down the line, but as Neck said, inflammation is more a concern to CVD risk than any perceived effect on cholesterol levels.

                  But that said, in my opinion meat is still a better option (even CAFO stuff) which will have a lower impact on your inflammation levels overall than grains, seed oils, and nuts. So, if you're replacing those calories with meat calories, you're already moving in the right direction.
                  "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aussie Dave View Post
                    There's alot of misinformation about the interplay between dietry fat/cholesterol and cholesterol within the blood. This is due to assumptions which have recently been scientifically proven as incorrect. Great infromation on cholesterol processing can be obtained from 'The Eating Academy'.

                    Some general facts about cholesterol / lipoproteins.

                    0% of dietry cholesterol is absorbed into the blood stream.

                    100% of cholesterol is produces endogenously (internally).

                    High carb, low fat diets, reduce fat usage, promote lipoprotein production and limit lipoprotein secretion (produce high lipoprotein levels).

                    Low carb, high fat diets, increase fat usage, depleting lipoprotein triglyceride levels, promote reverse cholesterol transportation and secretion and limit lipoprotein production (decrease lipoprotein levels).

                    The straight dope on cholesterol
                    Even more misinformation in your post.

                    Comment

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