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Thread: Dietary cholesterol doesn't affect blood cholestorol? My test results: page

  1. #1
    BobbySoFamous's Avatar
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    Dietary cholesterol doesn't affect blood cholestorol? My test results:

    Primal Fuel
    I was a vegetarian before turning primal a few months ago. I thought it would be a good idea to take before and after snapshots of my blood work to see if it is true as I've read on many of these forums that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol. Here are my results:

    Vegetarian: 2/3/11
    Total Cholesterol: 121 (recommended range: 125-200. mine was slightly below recommended)
    HDL Cholesterol: 72 (recommended: above 40, this is the "good" cholesterol. mine was very high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 40 (recommended: less than 130, this is the "bad" cholesterol. mine was very low)
    Triglycerides: 47 (recommended: less than 150)

    Primal: 5/20/11
    Total Cholesterol: 229 (recommended range: 125-200. mine is now high)
    HDL Cholesterol: 74 (recommended: above 40. my HDL is still high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 144 (recommended: less than 130. my LDL almost quadrupled and is now considered high)
    Triglycerides: 54 (recommended: less than 150. did not jump much)

    I have been eating lots of eggs, red meat, and vegetables since February. I think this shows that dietary cholesterol or fat does have an impact on blood cholesterol. Although the argument can still be made that cholesterol doesn't have an effect on heart disease, these results are pretty disheartening and I'm going to have to rethink my diet.

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    Corwin1968's Avatar
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    Do you mind giving a brief summary of your diet as a vegetarian? Your numbers are impressive, especially the LDL and Triglycerides.

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    Balance's Avatar
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    Remember those recommended ranges are by CW standards. Your total cholesterol and LDL levels were much more acceptable by CW standards as a vegetarian but it is hard to tell the particle size. But since you had low trigs and decent HDL numbers on both diets it is pretty indicative of the large fluffy bouyant LDL that is of little cardiac risk. I used to have similar cholesterol numbers to your vegetarian numbers when I used to be on a CW diet. But I have seen a lot of evidence that having too low of a cholesterol number could actually be more harmful to your overall health than higher numbers. I would do a little research regarding this. Mat Lallonde, Chris Masterjohn and Mary Enig have some pretty good primers on cholesterol that is backed by a lot of science.

    My numbers just came back last week and it looked like this
    HDL 80
    LDL 140
    Trigs 45

    Pre-Paleo
    HDL 50
    LDL 110
    Trigs 45

    The difference here is that my HDL went up 30 points in a 1:1 ratio with LDL thus making my LDL/HDL ratio much better than previously.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

  4. #4
    DianeThePurple's Avatar
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    If you have time, you should go read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. It gives a very in-depth discussion of the evidence for the lipid hypothesis, with references.

    If you have less time, this article is a good summary, and has the bonus phrase "...but that's like using sock puppets to explain the workings of a supercomputer."
    Understanding Cholesterol and Heart Disease | Men's Health

  5. #5
    dboxing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbySoFamous View Post
    I was a vegetarian before turning primal a few months ago. I thought it would be a good idea to take before and after snapshots of my blood work to see if it is true as I've read on many of these forums that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol. Here are my results:

    Vegetarian: 2/3/11
    Total Cholesterol: 121 (recommended range: 125-200. mine was slightly below recommended)
    HDL Cholesterol: 72 (recommended: above 40, this is the "good" cholesterol. mine was very high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 40 (recommended: less than 130, this is the "bad" cholesterol. mine was very low)
    Triglycerides: 47 (recommended: less than 150)

    Primal: 5/20/11
    Total Cholesterol: 229 (recommended range: 125-200. mine is now high)
    HDL Cholesterol: 74 (recommended: above 40. my HDL is still high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 144 (recommended: less than 130. my LDL almost quadrupled and is now considered high)
    Triglycerides: 54 (recommended: less than 150. did not jump much)

    I have been eating lots of eggs, red meat, and vegetables since February. I think this shows that dietary cholesterol or fat does have an impact on blood cholesterol. Although the argument can still be made that cholesterol doesn't have an effect on heart disease, these results are pretty disheartening and I'm going to have to rethink my diet.
    What “type” of vegetarian were you? Did you consume Dairy/cheese? Just curious.

    I wouldn't ever be a vegetarian, but I think this discussion is important as I see more and more people posting “bad” numbers on blood test here, then having them dismissed by any and everyone. I firmly believe that anytime people exceed everything in moderation (i.e “I eat two pounds of bacon per day fried in butter” or, on the other side, “I only eat uncooked plants”) problems start. Sustainability always involves balance.

  6. #6
    BobbySoFamous's Avatar
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    As a vegetarian I ate dairy in moderation, although at the time before the blood test I was eating eggs regularly. Other than that I ate CW "healthy", whole grains, hardly any processed food, no fast food...

  7. #7
    Edje Noh's Avatar
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    Why worry, cholesterol does a lot of good stuff in the body.
    The real thing you need to worry about is the state of your artery walls, which can be damaged by high glucose and excess sympathetic activation (due to high stress). If you have healthy arteries, how can LDL 'get stuck'?

  8. #8
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    Just posted my results in my blog, the comparison might be useful. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30340-3.html
    It doesn't sound like you had the newer blood work done - even CW is coming around to the idea that it's basically low grade chronic inflammation that causes everything from arthritis to atherosclerosis - I've been reading webmd and some other sources in the non-paleo sphere recently. In one of the biggest studies done, CRP (measure of inflammation) was a much better predictor of risk than any LDL measure, and LDL pattern type (A,B, or mixed) basically determines risk - you haven't posted either number. My doctor, a cardiologist, predicted that in 5 years no one would pay any attention to LDL any more, and he is a CW heart specialist.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

  9. #9
    Roach's Avatar
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    Perhaps you should rethink cholesterol in general rather than your diet?

    Since your trigs are low, it's a good thing your LDL went up. It's most likely the large fluffy LDL which doesn't contribute to heart disease and may actually be protective against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, stroke, dementia, etc.

    Eat up

  10. #10
    Waskydiver's Avatar
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    I guess I would question why you went primal in the first place.

    Clearly, it wouldn't be to improve your cholesterol.

    Was it to get more energy? Loose weight? To be more popular at outings where meat is served?

    The next question would be: How are you doing on those goals which motivated you to go primar?

    If, discounting your cholesterol numbers, you are happy with the benefits of a primal lifestyle, then a discussion about the risks and benefits of higher cholesterol numbers would be in order.

    On the other hand, if you are NOT realizing any benefits of a primal lifestyle over a vegitarian lifestyle... then maybe you are better off as vegitarian.

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