754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
2

Please Hack My Cholesterol Levels (blood test results inside)

by (55)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created June 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Hi Folks,

My lipid panel just came in. The results do not look peachy. Here are the stats:

Total cholesterol 309

Triglyceride 21

HDL cholesterol 104

LDL (Calculated) 201

Cholesterol to HDL Ratio 3.0

Look at that LDL. It's sky-high, and my doctor is concerned. Should I be worried? Here's a sample of my daily menu:

Breakfast:

4 eggs 1 tbsp of added fat (either butter, EVOO, or coconut oil) 1 roasted beet

Lunch:

6oz of a cooked protein (either chicken with skin or beef) 2 cups of melange of roasted cauliflower, carrots, and swiss chard. 1 tbsp of added fat (either butter, EVOO, or coconut oil)

Snacks during the day:

1 piece of fruit (e.g. one grapefruit, one apple, or one nectarine) 2 boiled eggs

Dinner:

Pretty much a variation on what I had for lunch.

Thank you very much for any and all input!!!

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Got it. I'll ask me MD to order a CRP test. Any reason that I should also consider asking her for VAP/NMR testing?

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I had never heard of the Iranian formula. Thank you for pointing it out. 138 is a much better number.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Wow! Thank you for the link to your wonderful post. It makes me feel a little easier about the results. I do have IBS-C, though. And I'm completely dependent on miralax for daily regularity. Sadly, this is something that Paleo hasn't fixed. Could this be contributing the high LDL? Thanks!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Going on the numbers posted in the question: trigylerides =21 /HDL = 104, totals to 0.2, well under the number 2 required to suggest your LDL is light and fluffy, suggesting very healthy results..keep eating those good fats!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Totally great info. Found it just before reading this thread - to quote it "If you want to worry about your cholesterol numbers, forget about total cholesterol and LDL and pay attention to the ratio of triglycerides to HDL." - this is what predicts whether your LDL is fluffy (healthy), or small and dense (the only worrysome thing, the thing that causes heart attacks)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 4:40 AM

Good info. thanks Jamie.

71c689f8f851e66b04c3a8c2062bbfed
83 · June 12, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Omg, great link! My sister's results were really bad after switching to paleo for a month and I had no idea why. Thanks!

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082
1857 · June 12, 2012 at 1:19 AM

"Go on a plant-based diet" is the sort of misguided standard medical advice most of us are here to avoid. There is nothing essentially wrong with saturated fat or cholesterol if your diet does not promote a global inflammatory response.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · June 12, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Better yet, try the sunlight diet. It will work at least as well as this recommendation.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082
1857 · June 12, 2012 at 1:14 AM

CRP = C-reactive peptide, and yes it is an inflammatory marker. LDL as "bad cholesterol" is too simplistic. Your extremely high HDL makes up for it. Cholesterol: HDL means very little ... LDL:HDL is a better measure, and yours is a healthy 2.0

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
11697 · June 12, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Thank you, I appreciate this! :)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Eugenia I just want to tell you that I have really appreciated all the information you give on this site. I also looked at your blog ;) GREAT stuff. Thanks so much.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Sorry that may not have copied well. here it is. http://heartdisease.about.com/od/cardiacriskfactors/a/MeasureCRP.htm

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

wow sorry about this Arthur. You eat so well too. My understanding is that its a measurement of inflammation related to atherosclerosis but also a good marker for general inflammation in the body. This is a good explanation. heartdisease.about.com/od/cardiacriskfactors/a/…

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 12:39 AM

wow sorry about this Arthur. You eat so well too. My understanding is that its a measurement of inflammation related to atherosclerosis but also and good mark for general inflammation in the body. This is a good explanation. http://heartdisease.about.com/od/cardiacriskfactors/a/MeasureCRP.htm

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Pre-paleo HDL was 39 and LDL was 56.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Exercise is my weak spot. Virtually nothing during the week because I work 9-11 hour shifts in a relatively active job (dental assistant). I may do a few hikes during the weekend, though. I have a history of somewhat compulsive exercising thus I really don't like to do it. :( I'm okay eating more greens. Though I do have IBS and must be very careful with fiber. What should I eat instead of chicken and beef? Fish is way too expensive and it's not filling.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM

My last blood test one year ago (when I was already on Paleo) was exactly the same except my LDL was 120, not 200. Only two things have changed: more meat, more added saturated fat (i.e. butter and coconut), and more eggs (sometimes up to 8 per day instead of 3). What's CRP? Any other suggestions? THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE INPUT!

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM

what were your labs before you started eating so well? I mean are these numbers worse or better or..? I personally would want to have my CRP (high sensitivity) tested.

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9 Answers

53043e392a5209948eb9f66b04fb7e54
5
70 · June 12, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Your body seems like it is very good at using the fat as energy. Hence the low triglyceride numbers. My numbers are in the 40's. I'm not a doctor but I can tell you that your LDL calculation is WAY off. The traditional formula(Friedewald) labs use to calculate LDL does not work when you have "low/normal" triglyceride levels. I had the same problem. You can use this website
to calculate your LDL using the Iranian formula. It works much better for lower triglyceride levels. I took the liberty of entering your numbers and your LDL dropped to 138.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I had never heard of the Iranian formula. Thank you for pointing it out. 138 is a much better number.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
3
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Going on the numbers posted in the question: trigylerides =21 /HDL = 104, totals to 0.2, well under the number 2 required to suggest your LDL is light and fluffy, suggesting very healthy results..keep eating those good fats!

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 4:40 AM

Good info. thanks Jamie.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · June 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Totally great info. Found it just before reading this thread - to quote it "If you want to worry about your cholesterol numbers, forget about total cholesterol and LDL and pay attention to the ratio of triglycerides to HDL." - this is what predicts whether your LDL is fluffy (healthy), or small and dense (the only worrysome thing, the thing that causes heart attacks)

Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858
2
1336 · June 12, 2012 at 2:17 AM

My recent lipid panel was almost identical to yours! All my ratios were ideal, and I have no other risk factors, so I'm not too worried about cardiac risk. However, Chris Kresser and Chris Masterjohn both believe that very high TC and LDL and very low HDL and triglycerides could indicate a metabolic, immune, or inflammatory issue. What that might mean for me, I have no idea.

I posted a question about my levels a few days ago and got some excellent answers. Here's the thread:

Yikes! Total cholesterol over 300?

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Wow! Thank you for the link to your wonderful post. It makes me feel a little easier about the results. I do have IBS-C, though. And I'm completely dependent on miralax for daily regularity. Sadly, this is something that Paleo hasn't fixed. Could this be contributing the high LDL? Thanks!

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
2
11697 · June 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Have a read here: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/06/i-lost-weight-and-my-cholesterol-went-up/ According to this blog post by this doctor, when losing weight, fat's toxins are released in the bloodstream, so these blood numbers are to expected. Definitely keep a close tab on all your numbers though, it might be of concern.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645
4413 · June 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Eugenia I just want to tell you that I have really appreciated all the information you give on this site. I also looked at your blog ;) GREAT stuff. Thanks so much.

71c689f8f851e66b04c3a8c2062bbfed
83 · June 12, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Omg, great link! My sister's results were really bad after switching to paleo for a month and I had no idea why. Thanks!

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
11697 · June 12, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Thank you, I appreciate this! :)

E1ddd515befc496b91d3e19140ce5678
0
14 · October 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Hey there,

There is nothing wrong with your numbers.I would suggest that you read a bit more on how to lower cholesterol and how to properly understand test results. Read here: http://loweringcholesterolguide.com/understanding-test-results/

Make sure your fasting does not cross border and starts working against you.Make sure you get enough vitamins,protein and fibers.

336c383a3c4d28652d7ab888c79108a3
0
614 · August 22, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Total cholesterol 309

Triglyceride 21

HDL cholesterol 104

LDL (Calculated) 201

Cholesterol to HDL Ratio 3.0

Did you have any tests for markers of inflammation, etc. - Hemoglobin A1c, Lp-PLA2 (PLAC), Cardio CRP, Apolipoprotein A1, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein B/A1 Ratio, Homocysteine, Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, LC/MS/MS

Your TC/HDL ratio of 3.o indicates a LDL-P of <1000 BUT you should have a NMR test to verify this. It's also of value to know your small LDL-P number as well.

Was you HDL this high PRIOR to starting this type of diet?

4a30b130abc45cd45846131442e05205
0
10 · June 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Wow...those numbers are a little scary! Is this an increase since you started? Are you exercising? My inexperienced opinion would be to reduce your eggs to 2 or less per day, increase your dark, leafy greens (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, etc), take the skin off the chicken and limit beef to 1x per week. I also have had very positive experiences with increasing exercise and reducing cholesterol. I saw a 30 point drop with just an hour of daily, intense exercise.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · June 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Exercise is my weak spot. Virtually nothing during the week because I work 9-11 hour shifts in a relatively active job (dental assistant). I may do a few hikes during the weekend, though. I have a history of somewhat compulsive exercising thus I really don't like to do it. :( I'm okay eating more greens. Though I do have IBS and must be very careful with fiber. What should I eat instead of chicken and beef? Fish is way too expensive and it's not filling.

E1ddd515befc496b91d3e19140ce5678
-1
14 · August 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Dental assistant ha? well that keeps you on your feet throughout the days so I will dare to say that you are "OK" with exercising ... However, do you have a schedule of what and when can you eat?

[spam link redacted]

Hope it helps!

5b14c3d342569091f04586e364c1b2c8
-3
6 · June 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Go on a plant based diet. All that animal product contains saturated fat and cholesterol. Plants don't have cholesterol and the fiber will help remove the cholesterol. Please check this book out. http://www.amazon.com/The-Engine-Diet-Firefighters-Save-Your-Life/dp/0446506699
http://www.amazon.com/Prevent-Reverse-Heart-Disease-Nutrition-Based/dp/1583333002

You can always eat canned fish stuff with high Omega 3 like sardines and canned salmon. Pretty cheap. Ideal way would be for you to just eat plants legumes and whole grains. Those numbers are scary and very high. Goodluck and God bless you.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
9402 · June 12, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Better yet, try the sunlight diet. It will work at least as well as this recommendation.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082
1857 · June 12, 2012 at 1:19 AM

"Go on a plant-based diet" is the sort of misguided standard medical advice most of us are here to avoid. There is nothing essentially wrong with saturated fat or cholesterol if your diet does not promote a global inflammatory response.

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