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Cholesterol Not where I thought it would be...

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  • Cholesterol Not where I thought it would be...

    Here's the background:
    37 y.o.
    weight on 1/1/2011: 230 lbs (Pre-Primal)

    Cholesterol levels on 2/1/2011:
    HDL 33
    LDL 148
    Trigs 181

    I've been eating Primal/Paleo since early January. I went for my 6 month cholesterol test last week and the results came back as thus:

    Cholesterol Levels on 8/1/2011
    HDL 40
    LDL 126
    Trigs 177
    Current weight 208 lbs.

    So, everything's heading in the right direction, so says my doc, however she also tested the LDL particle density and it came back the dreaded Pattern B, small and dense, and artery clogging.

    What gives? I predicted that my Trigs would be way down, but that overall cholesterol might be higher. But the trigs are not "way down," and, the particle density...I thought Primal was supposed to give you that Pattern A big and fluffy cholesterol.

    I know eating Primal (more like a 90/10 ratio) has helped me drop 22 lbs., and overall, have more energy. I do eat a little dairy, and my sleep is not dialed in as much as I'd like.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    It'd would help to know what you are actually doing, i.e. what do you eat, what exercise do you do, how much do you sleep, how stressed are you, etc.

    Based on the miniscule info you gave, my money's on your sleep.
    Lifting Journal


    • #3
      Thanks for Replying Apex,

      My typical day looks like this:
      Breakfast: 2 slices of bacon, 2 eggs cooked in bacon grease, 6oz of organic vegetable juice (like a V8) and 14 oz of coffee sweetened with Stevia and a splash of heavy cream.
      Lunch: Big Ass Salad with leftover chicken, or canned salmon, with EVOO and balsamic vinegar dressing.
      Snack: Apple
      Dinner: 1/2 -3/4 lb of beef, buffalo, pork or chicken, with sauteed vegetables in Olive oil or Kerrygold butter, and a salad with EVOO and balsamic vinegar.
      Dessert: 3-4 pieces of Paleo Fudge: Paleo Recipes | Carolina CrossFit.

      I run 2-2.5 miles, 2-3 times/week. Play softball 2x/week (3-4 games on Saturday). I live in NYC, so I walk a lot. Do a bit of stretching everyday.

      I sleep 7-8 hrs a night (most nights 7). Over the summer its been more like 6-7/night. I work as a school social worker, and a private therapist. Not the lowest stress job in the world.

      I have a good marriage, good friends, and a very cool dog.

      I think that's it for relevant info.

      Thanks again for the input.


      Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
      It'd would help to know what you are actually doing, i.e. what do you eat, what exercise do you do, how much do you sleep, how stressed are you, etc.

      Based on the miniscule info you gave, my money's on your sleep.


      • #4
        Id say that what your getting is good progress. I believe consumed cholesterol doesn't effect Chol tests directly over the short term, but combined with physical changes, lifestyle changes, reduced stress, regular exercise, as well as your proper eating (Primal) will make a better trend in your numbers over time. Long term goals for this, your body has to change how its working, I think 6 months is too short a period of time.

        Don't get discouraged.

        I agree with Apex and will guess you need to de-stress and get more sleep. Of coarse I dont ACTUALLY know that But those two can wreak major havoc on your body (inflammation).


        • #5
          Progress is progress, though I sympathize with the desire to get there faster. I'm really not a fan of the "primal baking" stuff. You might try cutting it out if you want to speed things up. It may also help with cutting out the little cheats that creep in by finally killing off your sweet tooth.

          Sleeping more would help.

          D3 supplementation might help your HDL.
          Lifting Journal


          • #6
            You are 37 and have been doing this for 6 months. Miracles don't happen over night. Give it another 6 months and see what happens. Everything is going in the right direction and if you want to accelerate it then you have to get more disciplined. In any case it will take time to repair the damage that has been done to your systems. Patience is the key.
            Check out my primal blog:


            • #7
              Do you know what your pattern B levels were from the February blood work?


              • #8
                has there ever been a proof cholesterol leads to heart disease?
                Primal Chaos
                37yo 6'5"
                6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
                current 338lbs 49" waist
                goal 240lbs 35" waist


                • #9
                  Definitely drop the V8 and balsamic vinegar dressing. That's easily 20+g of liquid sugar alone there. In 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, there is an entire teaspoon of sugar. I'm guessing you're putting 6-8 tablespoons on at least over 2 salads, so that right there is 3-4 teaspoons of sugar. Add that in with 6oz of V8 and that's another 2 teaspoons of sugar. I'm being pretty conservative, so that's a conservative 5-6 teaspoons of sugar a day, which is like drinking 2/3 of a soda every single day. If you use more balsamic, it's like having a daily Coca Cola. Yes, you're definitely on the right path, but if you cut out that daily soda, you'll be better off. Use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar for your salads. They are made from actual grapes and are pretty much zero carb. Make sure it's not "distilled red wine flavored" vinegar, because that's just colored distilled white vinegar, which is made from grain. I would avoid that for anything but cleaning your bathrooms drains with.

                  Also, judging by your results, your saturated fat intake is probably too low to boost your HDL's and get that pattern B out of your bloodstream. I would actually recommend scrapping the bacon grease and start cooking your eggs in coconut oil. Bacon grease is fine to use in most cases, but it's quite high in MUFA's and PUFA's, especially vs coconut oil which is 90% SFA's. Tossing the bacon grease for coconut oil will lower your MUFA and PUFA intake while boosting your SFA intake and not changing the total number of calories you're eating.

                  Dropping the V8 and balsamic vinegar and changing all your cooking oil over to coconut oil should make a noticeable dent in those numbers. It won't happen overnight and you're definitely on the right path, but this should help quicken your progress, and if your LDL is that high in pattern B, the faster you convert to pattern A the better. Consider taking a tablespoon of coconut oil every night before bed as well. I was doing that for awhile and my last cholesterol test yielded an HDL of 95 and a trig of 40. It's not just keeping sugars low, it's making sure your body has enough SFA to repair itself because your cell membranes are made of SFA's. If your saturated fat intake isn't high enough to repair your cell membranes, it stands to reason in my mind that you'll require more cholesterol for patchwork throughout your body.

                  On a sidenote, what is your alcohol intake? A mere 1-2 drinks a day will send your triglycerides skyrocketing. I would strongly recommend for the time being, you cut out all alcohol to get those trigs in line. Once you get your numbers low, you'll be able to reincorporate a little alcohol and start using bacon grease again, but until you fix yourself up, I'd leave it all out. That paleo fudge ain't helping either, especially with all that honey in it. I'd cut that out as well, but if you need an indulgence, I can teach you how to make ice cream using coconut milk and stevia. It's a great way to have a practically zero carb SFA boost.
                  Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 08-13-2011, 12:17 PM.
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


                  • #10
                    +1, for what ChocoTaco369 said.


                    • #11
                      Thanks to everyone who replied, your comments are helpful. I hear y'all on the 6 months being a short period of time, and to trust the process as the numbers are heading in the right direction. I guess I just needed to remember that, and make a couple of tweaks. I didnt have my Pattern B measured in February.

                      I didnt realize balsamic vinegar was that loaded with sugar. I thought it was the preferred vinegar of the Paleo set. I love coconut oil, unfortunately my wife has a poor reaction to it, so I tend to cook with butter and EVOO more often. I'll start incorporating the tablespoon of coconut oil at night, along with my cod liver oil (not together though).

                      I do love that paleo fudge. I dont have it every night, I just jotted down a "typical" days' diet. But I do need to make it more of a treat, then a habitual thing. The question about alcohol...I probably avg 4 drinks /week, consumed on the weekends. I cut out beer. Mostly wine, and whiskey, following Mark's hierarchy of alcohol: Definitive Guide to Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet | Mark's Daily Apple

                      ChocoTaco...please pass along that coconut milk ice cream...

                      Thanks for all the support.



                      • #12
                        I'd cut out the alcohol and faux-brownie for a little while to let your system heal, and check numbers, but much more importantly how you feel. You can probably go back to consuming them later, but both are hard on your system.

                        Also, if you have sleep problems at all, alcohol is contraindicated.
                        Lifting Journal


                        • #13
                          it seems to me your food intake is still large?

                          when i switched i went 100% primal and not having the sugar or dairy has my food intake down dramatically .. that 1/2-3/4lb of beef you have for dinner could easily get me through a day, and im 6'1" 275lbs (down 20lbs in 3.5 weeks going primal)
                          started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

                          my journal -


                          • #14
                            Is it possible they you may not have fasted long enough before taking the cholesterol test?


                            • #15
                              Can't believe no-one has said to cut out the dessert. That recipe is chock full of inflammation. Your lipid profile is pattern B because you have an inflammatory diet. Make it anti-inflammatory and you will see a change, though total may be high
                              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