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.