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Thread: Cholesterol (LDL) Has Skyrocketed on Paleo page

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    GRPaleo's Avatar
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    Cholesterol (LDL) Has Skyrocketed on Paleo

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    I am a 39 year old man. I have been practicing Paleo for about year and a half. I just had my lipids test and my TC was 394! LDL 278 HDL 64 TRI 52. I am gluten free and dairy free. My diet consists mostly of proteins (grass fed beef, eggs, organic chicken, nuts and fish), carbs (green vegetables, with once a week sweet potato or acorn squash and thin skinned fruits post workout) and liquids (water, tea, and organic coffee). I always have a protein shake post workout. I also use organic butter or coconut oil to sauté veggies and cook my eggs. I strength train 4 days a week (twice a week with trainer). Pre-Paleo I weighed 180 lbs with body fat% of 28%. I currently stand at 5' 8" and my dream of becoming 6 ft. is over! Pre-Paeo I ate and drank whatever I wanted and felt miserable, BUT my cholesterol was 160. My success with training and eating a paleo diet has brought me to a weight of 164 lbs. and body fat of 14.5%. I feel better than ever, but my LDL is scary high. My doctor did not put me on statins, but wants me to reduce my protein intake to 75 grams per day, eat more complex carbs, and reduce my butter intake. I have been eating easily over 300 grams of protein per day. Everyday day I always had a source of red meat (Grass fed) and eggs. My wife practices the same diet and strength routine, her cholesterol 134. This has messed with my brain! Is it too much red meat, maybe an intolerance of something. I know high cholesterol is produced by inflammation. Where could that be coming from? Any help would be appreciated. Paleo has changed my life for the better, but I am not comfortable with my LDL that high. Doctor did say he would look at particle size, but wants to see it go down some first.

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    I'm surprised 5 people haven't jumped in to tell you that LDL of 278 is something to be proud of. Pre-primal, my numbers went like this for years: LDL - 110, HDL - 21, Trigs - 450. The doctors all said I was doing great, but if I ate less fat and more whole grain my trigs would go down and HDL come up.

    After 1 year on paleo, my numbers were: LDL - 190, HDL - 45, Trigs - 30. Doctors recommended statins! I said 'no thanks'. Still, I didn't like the high LDL, which had been creeping up.

    I spent a year eating fish every day, supplementing with Krill oil (300mg) and Vit D (5000IU/day in winter), lifting heavier things, and adding starches to my diet. I now eat about a pound of potato and/or rice per day. My weight is very stable, but best of all, after a year of this, my LDL is now 120, HDL - 58, Trigs - 50.

    Doctors do not want to talk pattern A/pattern B, advanced lipid tests, or paleo. They want to talk about High LDL, because that's all they know. I don't think high LDL is anything to be proud of, and I was able to lower mine with fish, starch, and lifting.

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    EatMoveSleep's Avatar
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    Total Chol (394??) : LDL 278 + HDL + 64 + TRI 52 = 394
    BUT only 0.2 (1/5) of the trig is used in the calc when measured in mg/dl.
    So according to that your TC is really LDL 278 + HDL + 64 + TRI 10 = 352.
    Did the report say 394?
    Also can the LDL of 278 be a mistake? (I would have expected closer to 178 )

    ------------

    300 grams of protein per day.
    How are you achieving this high number?
    A 300g steak has about 75g protein.
    Eggs have about 7g of protein each
    Protein shakes have about 25g of protein each

    So a BIG 300g of steak, 100g chicken, 4 eggs, 1 protein shake, 100g of nuts, 100g of cheese is about 200g (only 2/3 of the protein what you eat daily ???)

    Do you really eat 300g of protein?
    To build muscle it commonly suggested 1g per pound of body weight (your case about 160g)
    If you are eating this much (drinking heaps of protein shakes? - then why?)

    ------------

    IMO your TC should be below 300 (not the 200 stated by doctors/labs) and a LDL of 278 is too high
    Using TC of 352 the TC/HDl ratio = 5.5 (a bit high) and Trig/HDL = 0.81 (very good).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPaleo View Post
    I am a 39 year old man. I have been practicing Paleo for about year and a half. I just had my lipids test and my TC was 394! LDL 278 HDL 64 TRI 52.
    I don't know how much info you want about Cholesterol, it's a fairly complex field. In case you don't want TMI, I'll try to keep this post light. My sig has a primer that has more of a detailed intro to it.

    Here's your ratios:
    TC/HDL = 6.2 (ideally < 5)
    LDL/HDL = 4.3 (ideally < 4.5)
    Trig/HDL = 0.8 (ideally < 2)

    So as you can see, the only ratio that is out of skew is TC/HDL. Your Trig/HDL ratio is an indicator of LDL particle size, and the higher it is, the more of an indicator it is that your LDL is the small dense oxidised 'bad' LDL.

    In addition, I wouldn't worry about cholesterol levels until your weight has stabilised.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRPaleo View Post
    I know high cholesterol is produced by inflammation. Where could that be coming from? Any help would be appreciated. Paleo has changed my life for the better, but I am not comfortable with my LDL that high. Doctor did say he would look at particle size, but wants to see it go down some first.
    You're right that the correct solution if to identify and treat the underlying stress/inflammation cause, rather than just try to artifically manipulate cholesterol levels.

    Exercise is a stressor (your muscle gains are your body healing from the damage your workout does to it), and something you've introduced since going paleo.

    Do you have other significant stresses in your life? Do you get enough sleep? Enough play? Maybe less workouts and protein shakes?
    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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    My mistake, LDL was 321 HDL 64 TRIG 54 Total Cholesterol 396. I had my draw taken twice because I thought there may have been a mistake. At the current time of test I was trying to put on muscle mass. There are so many different sources out there that recommend 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I was eating about 12-14 oz. of beef, chicken, fish, ect. 3 meals per day and would incorporate my snacks with a protein source. Protein shake taken post workout. Eating 300 grams of protein per day was not difficult. Once agin, many varying opinions. With my LDL so high, probably not a good idea for me.

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    magicmerl's Avatar
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    I think that in terms of protein, 0.7 - 1 g of protein per kg of lean bodyweight is Mark's reccomendation, so for you that's 100-140g protein each day.

    300g a day of protein is too much, because your body converts the excess protein, but carbs/fat don't contain nitrogen, so that is a problem.

    If your LDL is too high (and it sounds like it might be borderline high) then it's possible that not enough LDL is being removed from your system. Your thyroid stimulates LDL receptors on cells, which removes LDL from circulation. Iodine and Selenium are good supplements to boost thyroid function.
    Last edited by magicmerl; 05-28-2013 at 06:24 PM.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by galamabx View Post
    There are so many different sources out there that recommend 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

    Yes there are
    They way I look at it from all the info I have seen :
    -about 0.5g per pound to maintain muscle (or about 1g per kg)
    -about 1g per pound to build muscle (or about 2g per kg)

    So maybe somewhere between 0.5 to 1g per pound depending on what your trying to do.

    2 grams per pound seems excessive (though I don't know for sure) - perhaps not if you're a 'serious' body builder using steroids

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPaleo View Post
    My mistake, LDL was 321 HDL 64 TRIG 54 Total Cholesterol 396. I had my draw taken twice because I thought there may have been a mistake. At the current time of test I was trying to put on muscle mass. There are so many different sources out there that recommend 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I was eating about 12-14 oz. of beef, chicken, fish, ect. 3 meals per day and would incorporate my snacks with a protein source. Protein shake taken post workout. Eating 300 grams of protein per day was not difficult. Once agin, many varying opinions. With my LDL so high, probably not a good idea for me.

    It's getting worse......

    Yeah to me TC 396 and LDL 321 seems too high.
    Trig and HDL good.

    A lot of protein there – too much to be sustainable for my tastes.
    Note: Online high protein suggestions might be from OTT body builder types (it just sounds like a lot). Probably worth halving it to about 150g.

    And yes if your weight is changing (eg loosing fat), results can be skewed as mentioned by magicmer

    Good luck.

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