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Thread: HEART DISEASE, CHOLESTEROL and DIABETES Risk Caused by Going Primal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    HEART DISEASE, CHOLESTEROL and DIABETES Risk Caused by Going Primal?

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    Is going primal bad for my health, is my doctor wrong, or am I just doing it all wrong?

    After my latest blood tests, I can really use some advise on whether or not I should continue going primal. Maybe I'm just not following the diet properly...

    Any and all advise is very much appreciated.

    My Stats:
    age: 29
    height: 5'9"
    weight: 165 lbs
    body fat: 10%? (I do not have an accurate way to measure. My six-pack abs show slightly and I've read that this starts to show when body fat get down to about 10%.)

    I started going primal about a year ago and have been strict for the past 5 or 6 months.
    After my last blood tests, My doctor warned me about my high cholesterol and diabetes risk. He also advised me to lose weight!
    (With slight six pack abs and a waist of about 30 inches, it's hard for me to believe that I need to lose weight.)

    The Full Details
    As stated above, I started going primal about a year ago and have been strict for about 5 or 6 months. I workout ~4 day per week for 45 min to 1 hour each time with a combination of weight training and cardio.

    My typical day's diet consists of the following:

    • Beef: 1.5 - 2.5 lbs grain-fed beef steak (top blade) cooked in Kerry Gold grass-fed butter or coconut oil
    • Eggs: Whole Eggs, including yolk, either hard boiled or fried in butter or coconut oil
    • Fish: canned sardines, canned salmon, or fish oil (I take fish oil on the days I don't eat enough fish)
    • Protein Powder: 25 to 50 grams of whey protein powder
    • Vegetables: typically a combination 2 or more of the following: broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, spinach, and/or mixed greens.
    • Yogurt: full fat Greek Yogurt
    • Fruit: typically frozen mixed berries, oranges, and/or apples
    • Additional supplements: sometimes I'll take calcium & vitamin D or multivitamin supplements. Perhaps every other day or so.

    My typical macro nutrient content:
    • Calories: 2,400 to 2,800
    • Protein: 200 to 230 grams
    • Fat: 130 to 180 grams
    • Carbs: 30 to 80 grams

    My blood test results below:
    • Cholesterol:243
    • Triglyceride:44
    • HDL:78
    • Low density lipoprotein calculated:156

    • Glucose, fasting:103

    My Doctors Email Below. (I've bolded sections that seem concerning.)

    "Your bad cholesterol and blood sugars are elevated. Please start on a diet/exercise program. Recheck FASTING labs in 6 months. Lab orders are already placed, no appointment needed you can go directly to the lab at that time. Please call our Clinical Health Educator (CHE) for a personalized diet review.

    The main way to lower your LDL cholesterol (or BAD CHOLESTEROL) is reducing your fat intake, especially the saturated fats. Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter and animal fats.

    Oils do not contain as much but they still will raise your LDL. Decreasing your cholesterol intake will help also. Exercise and losing weight can help modestly also, and it will raise the HDL which is your good cholesterol.

    Your blood glucose is borderline elevated, but it is not at a diabetic level. Continue to really watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake. Limit your desserts and your juices and soda intake."

    Please share opinions on all this. Is going primal bad for my health, is my doctor wrong, or am I just doing it all wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    South Carolina
    Your doctor is wrong. With HDL so high and triglycerides so low you don't need to worry about LDL. Search fluffy LDL. Fasting blood glucose is a poor measure of progress towards diabetes, but the best way to prevent progress towards diabetes is low carb (except when doing a lot of exercise). For a lot more details on that see Blood Sugar 101 (not my site but one I have relied on).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Your doctor is very disturbingly wrong about his analysis. Some of it doesn't even make sense, oil fat contains less fat than solid fat? As incorrect as that is from a nutritional standpoint it doesn't even work from a basic physics standpoint.

    Your HDL is fantastic and your triglycerides are great as well. Your LDLs are a guess (estimated) which only holds accurate when your HDLs and triglycerides are in the *normal* (unhealthy) range. The calculation used to determine LDLs breaks down at low triglyceride levels or high HDL levels. However as Pam mentioned above with the ratio's you have between the two that they actually measured your LDLs are almost all light fluffy pattern A LDLs which means they are not harmful in the slightest and simply represent a normal functioning system.

    Your blood glucose is a bit high though, might want to cut out fruits for a while to see if you can get that down. That's just a guess as to a possible factor though, the rest of your diet looks well.

    Either way, get a new doctor or just tell your doctor he can shove his nutritional advice.
    "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Sydney, NSW
    Your lipids are ideal. Your doctor is not giving you personalised service (recommending exercise and weightloss when you do the former, maybe excessively, and are not indicated for the latter). Find another doctor that will treat you, not your numbers
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Northern California
    Too much protein also spikes blood sugar levels. The whey powder doesn't act like natural protein found in whole foods like meat or milk. It's isolated and hits your system like a speeding bullet.

    Eating a lot of beef may also cause you troubles. Out of all the meats, it spikes the blood sugar the highest and longest. I can't remember what it is about it - Glycemic load, maybe?

    Eating 2.5 pounds of beef a day may be too much for your system.

    You may be eating too many fruits

    Or, it may be a combination of all these things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    The SunKissed Southern Shore of Lake Erie in PA.
    Have you read Grizz's cholesterol thread. I knew this diet would raise my cholesterol and was concerned because I had a stroke 15 months ago and I did not want another. I did quite a bit of reading here. Suggest Mark's Blueprint 101, he has some great articles there and in the forum, again Grizz's Cholesterol primer in the Primal Research section. I had my first blood lipid test this past month and of course the dr. wanted to put me on statins. I said no.
    Learning the intricacies of healthy eating and nourishing my body the right way.
    I am not bald, that is a Vitamin D collector. Time to Grok and Roll!
    Eased into a primal diet starting at Christmas 2011. Goal weight - 205 started: 240 pounds waist 40, now 227 pounds and waist 38 Summer 2012 - weight =215 and waist is actually still 39"
    ljbprrfmof = LJ = Little John = John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    You don't need to lose weight with a waist size of 30 inches.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    If we use the Iranian equation (Total/1.19) + (Trig/1.9) - (HDL/1.1) -38 = LDL

    Your LDL is calculated as 118.

    Total/HDL: 3.1 (ideal = 5 or below)

    Trig/HDL: 0.56 (ideal = 2 or below)

    LDL/HDL: 1.5 (used iranian) (ideal = 4.3 or below)

    So your ratios look quite good. I would request a particle analysis (VAP or NMR) to prove you have low cardiac risk. I would also question him regarding his advice to lose weight. Your BMI is normal even if you weren't muscular.

    Doctors are great for illness and injury. I would not use a physician for anything regarding health and wellness. The training is just not great in that regard.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    New Zealand
    I agree with the others.

    I would -- personally if I were you -- cut the protein powder and add more carbs (since you are so active, being between 80 and 150 would be fine). You might also have to increase protein, which may mean cutting back on your g's of fat.

    You are getting

    (130-180 g) x 9 = 1170 - 1620 cals from fat -- so your percentage is 1170/2400 to 1620/2800 = 49 to 58% of daily calories.

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you have some wiggle room if you would like. I balanced out (not a man, btw) at around 45% calories from fat, 35% from protein and 20% carbohydrate. My carbs are between 80g and 100 g per day or 320-400 calories per day from carbohydrate. This allows me to keep my protein slightly higher -- as when it was around 30%, I was getting dizzy spells.

    I just found it to be a nice "maintenance" ratios.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Shop Now
    Quote Originally Posted by ASC View Post
    My typical macro nutrient content:
    • Calories: 2,400 to 2,800
    • Protein: 200 to 230 grams
    • Fat: 130 to 180 grams
    • Carbs: 30 to 80 grams

    • Glucose, fasting:103

    Reverse your protein (less) and fats (more) and see if your fasting blood glucose improves. I wouldn't worry about cholesterol.

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