I am a 48 year-old woman who has been Primal/Paleo for about 3.5 months, gluten-free for a year and has followed the Nourishing Traditions (Weston Price) guidelines for about nine years before, after 15 years of being a vegetarian marathon runner. Since switching to Paleo, I have reduced my running to only one day a week and just a 2 mile run (I had already tapered down to running 2 miles daily after years of 30-40 mile weeks). I have included weights the last few years and have been doing the pretty intense Venus System workout for the last nine weeks using as high a weight as I can manage (30 lb dumbbells in some cases). I have always done, and continue to practice yoga to protect my joints and to maintain flexibility. I am 5'1", 120 lbs. I have a small waist to hip ratio (W=27", H=38") and am pretty muscular.
These are the lipid numbers I just got back and my doctor, who has said that she thinks Paleo is how we are supposed to eat, is alarmed by the LDL:
Total: 325, Tri: 74, HDL: 103, LDL: 204.
Coincidentally, I just got "Deep Nutrition," by Catherine Shanahan, and was reading her take on cholesterol: "HDL should be over 45 in men and 50 in women. I like to see LDL less than three times the HDL value. This ration, together with triglyceride levels of less than 150, tell me that a persons fat-distribution system, lipoproteins, and diet are healthy."
According to her, my LDL could get close to 300 without concern. My intuition is not to worry, but last year my pre-Paleo numbers were all the same except the LDL was 80. Why would it jump so high in a year and does this have anything to do with the dietary switch? And should I be concerned? Is there a lipid adjustment period when becoming Paleo?
I guess I should add that I feel great, though I also did before I cut out grains and legumes. The one concrete difference I have noticed is I no longer get the seasonal allergies I would have for three weeks each spring.
THe only other thing I can think of that might be relevant is that I have forever taken 3 tablespoons of pulverized flax seeds in my morning shake. I recently cut them out because of the phytoestrogen aspect and the fact that many say it is hard for out bodies to make o-3's from them.
Thank you for any opinions or ideas.
... rarely sweet potatoes ...
... only real change from pre-Paleo is giving up all grains and legumes and including coconut oil intentionally ...
One commonly accepted reason is the thyroid has slowed down from removing starchy carbs.
http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/answer-day-what-causes-high-ldl-on-low-carb-paleo/ Everything you need to know is here.
Well, I see some other informative links so.....I'll post this one as what I think is the most comprehensive on the webs http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i. Its a ten part series so take it in doses ;)
Listen to the latest edition of the Paleo Solution. Chris Kresser is the guest and has some great information about blood lipid levels, cholesterol, etc. His latest work can be purchased here: http://highcholesterolplan.chriskresser.com/ I have not purchased it myself, but I have heard nothing but good reviews of his work. Might be worth looking into.