Here are the results of my 6 month personal experiment. I've included a lot of detail in case it is of interest to others (it's probably one of the cleaner self-experiments conducted around here, cause I'm nuts like that). Tested all metrics at the end of December while on my regular diet, just retested after 6.5 months of 100% paleo.
Nutrition summary: Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, butter, heavy cream, vegetables. I cook with plenty of butter and have experimented with weird stuff like drinking glasses of heavy cream. Raw or undercooked meat fairly regularly. Lots of red meat and fish, almost zero pork/chicken. The widest variety of meat/vegi possible (bison, liver, duck tongue, obscure vegis, etc). Carbs were 40-80g most days. Calories were all over the place, 1500 to 5000 depending on my program at the time. Rules: 1) extremely limited fruit such as a few berries after workout, no high glycemic fruits ever, 2) extremely limited sweet potatoes, only after workout, if ever, 3) zero sugar, 4) zero cheese, 5) zero foods containing more than one ingredient, 6) very limited alchohol, 7) 90% dark chocolate (which violates two prior rules so only allowed 1/wk), and most importantly 8) not a single grain of rice, nor a single lump of wheat (try doing that in Asia dammit!).
I don't believe in 80/20, these six months have been an exercise in 100%; up at 5am every day, cooking everything in-house, grass-fed meat & butter, local grown vegis, wild fish, no budget. The amount of time spent gathering/cooking probably went up by 400%. The grocery bill went up too, a lot.
Workout summary: Cycling for the first 6 weeks, followed by barbell lifting 3-4x a week for 4 months. Workouts never exceeded 45min, that's my rule; in and out. Never missed a scheduled day.
Life Prior to this Experiment: Prior to paleo I ate a typical "healthy American diet" of dry chicken breasts, salmon, pork, brown rice, olive oil, delivery noodles, pizza on the weekend, occasional BurgerKing, sports drinks, lots of beer. Exercise included never ending cardio.
M / 40s
* Body fat: 15% (down from 29%)
* Lean Mass: +10lbs
* Hip to Waist Ratio: .86 (from .94)
* HDL increased 50% to 90 mg/dl
* TRI decreased 50% to 50
* Ratio of TRI/HDL improved to 0.5!! (from 1.5)
* LDL increased 60% to 160
* Total-C increased 45% to 260
* Fasting glucose decreased 10% to 92
* Testosterone increased 16%
* Bench body weight 6x6 with ease (before runner, never benched)
The blood test was as expected. I knew LDL would go up which is why I asked for a VAP beforehand, but doctor wouldn't let me have it. The doctor was shocked by my high HDL and seems to think I have an issue "you have fat in your blood". Total cholesterol went up but as far as I know that doesn't correlate with anything.
As far as the doctors voicing their puppet-like concerns hehe; I'm actually not closed minded. If LDL and cholesterol are an issue, I do want to know that. But I find it very hard to believe that every single marker of health would improve, from testosterone to fasting blood sugar, while LDL and total cholesterol are the only ones that move the "wrong" way? I think what is more likely is that doctors don't know what they are talking about. Either that or I really did drink too much heavy cream.
Thus I plan on continuing with paleo.