Primal and LDL effects after Primal
I'm 36 with a family history of CVD and hypertension. I just wanted to raise this concern about elevated LDL levels after moving to Primal. There have been tomes written on this site about how LDL particle count is important and not the LDL cholesterol amount itself. To be honest, I have doubts about this.
I personally experienced very high LDL after getting tested in about 2 months after eating all that saturated fat which is recommended on Primal.
The only glitch from my side : exercise was not at all at the level suggested for the diet (i.e. intense weights interspersed with sprints etc.).
I happened to read Loren Cordain's material on the Paleo Diet. It seems he advocates complete avoidance of dairy and saturated fats for e.g. from cheese, milk etc. This is in stark contrast to Mark Sisson's program. Cordain even goes so far as to mention that LDL is definitely going to cause heart issues.
Why this post? Mainly because of the bad news.
Well, the good news, firstly, is that I reduced 10 kilos in about a month. Triglycerides were super low compared to past reports. HDL was at a healthy high level.
The bad news - Very high LDL. In a month from the test, I started getting slight upper chest and chin (mostly center of the chin) discomfort. I shudder to think that this could have been a nasty body experiment, especially with my family history.
The question is : what if all that excess LDL does indeed lead to plaque formation?
My honest opinion: I think Cordain makes much more sense for the long term than Sisson when he says that we need to stick the the meat, fish and vegetables and excluding all dairy. Having elevated LDL is not worth the risk, unless we get tested every few weeks and keep a close watch. The point is not only about losing weight and having a great body. I think lots of lean people have also succumbed to heart disease.
I am a layperson, I just want to know whether decisions like Primal are right on the money for long term heart health.
Thoughts are most welcome.
Last edited by faredoon; 06-30-2013 at 08:17 PM.
You can have an Ultrasound of your carotid arteries. That will give you some indication about the rest of your body. Also I believe they can get a good idea about plaque build up through an eye exam. Smaller vessels in your eye correlate well to the rest of your body.
I have a very high LDL also, but also a high HDL, and no signs of plaque build up. There are many factors involved in heart disease, and ldl is only on factor. Likely its a symptom of a larger problem.
@workinprogress, thanks for that. I'll give it a go.
FYI, Cordain does mention that trading one evil (carbs) for another (saturated fats) does not make sense.
Okay but did you get the results and find out the particle size??
Originally Posted by faredoon
I have serious doubts that humans know what LDL means. If eating red meat, which we have been doing for 2.6M years, causes LDL to go up, the most obvious thing to conclude is that LDL is good. LDL is the only factor that moves the "wrong" way on a paleo diet. Probably we just don't know what we are measuring.
I personally don't think high LDL is the issue. Too many people have high LDL and no CVD, and others with low LDL and lots of CVD. I think of it more like the canary in the mine shaft. Something else is making the LDL stick to the walls.
Hmm, could it be high fructose corn syrup?
Originally Posted by workinprogress
I don't have problems with red meat. I however do have doubts about how "good" saturated fat from dairy - like cheese and whole milk - are. Being Primal gives us a free license to increase intake of these, but I think it's irresponsible advice.
HFCS, Granulated sugar, Wheat, Corn. CAFO Beef, pork, and Chicken. Being sedentary. Air pollution, water pollution. The list could go on and on.
Originally Posted by KimchiNinja
True, but they weren't eating saturated fat from dairy. I think I might have missed the point because I increased intake of these and may end up paying the price.
I haven't got the particle count done, I believe it's expensive.
Originally Posted by KimchiNinja
Also, making life-altering decisions based on no definite medical community consensus seems like shooting oneself in the foot, which is what I probably have done.
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