I constantly see threads pointing a finger and blaming dairy fat for the sky high LDL many paleo eaters get, and I was wondering if there was any heavy dairy eaters here who don't have a high LDL. It would be interesting to see how much dairy fat correlates with a high LDL.
As with anything else, there's a wide spectrum of susceptibilities. I'd be really surprised if someone hit 400 total cholesterol without butter and/or cream in very large amounts. That's another thing; one person's "a lot of butter" can be quite a lot more than another's. I was using it for all cooking, then pouring it onto other things, making huge amounts disappear into sweet potato/white potato, drenching all vegetables with it. Come to think of it, there really wasn't much I was eating that wasn't a butter vehicle of some kind. I was buying 3-4 of those pasture butter double sticks at a time pretty frequently.
I usually recommend that people with super high butter-induced LDL restrict their butter intake because it's a dangerous experiment with no evolutionary precedent. Maybe the butter has so much k-2 that your arteries will never get calcified and the possible oxidation of the LDL as it sits around in your blood doesn't actually matter. Or maybe not, I don't know for sure. We probably all agree that 200mg/dL is an arbitrary upper limit on the reference range, but how many would say that there are no probable consequences to doubling the upper limit?
It may have seemed like I think that because butter raised my LDL, nobody should eat it. On the contrary, I think that:
If your LDL is totally off the charts
And you eat a lot of butter and/or cream
And you want to lower your LDL
Then you ought to just cut out butter and cream for a while and re-test instead of going on a wild goose chase or (god forbid) taking statins.
If you can tolerate as much (high quality) butter as I was eating without getting flabby or spiking your LDL, then you should by all means eat it.
I eat dairy and my LDL is 101. I don't drink milk or anything, but I have butter/ghee almost every day and cheese a couple of times a week. I'm not a "heavy" dairy eater, but it's part of my diet.
I eat dairy (when I'm not trying to wean myself off it, lol), and my LDL was 117 in June. Not perfect, perhaps (some labs want to see it below 100), but a lot lower than some of the numbers I've seen posted here. And when I say I eat dairy, I mean a lot, and high fat, too. Up to a pint a day of HWC when I'm in the throes of a moo jag, along with pastured butter on everything, and sometimes all by itself, too.
I am skeptical that it is dairy that is the problem.
What may be the problem is the extremes that some of us go to in fat consumption. Dairy gets pointed to because it is the easiest fat to go to extremes with.
Unless you are smothering butter over everything including your already juicy steaks and when it has melted simply adding more then it is pointless to compare your dairy consumption with mine. I really must have been consuming significantly more calories than I was expending and the percentage of my calories from fat must have been beyond what any sane person would consciously attempt.
And when I stopped dairy, I simply did the same thing but with tallow. Adding lump after lump into my bone broth soups or cooking in large amounts of tallow and pouring it over my meat.
Whereas when people say that they cut out dairy and their LDL improved, unless they replaced that dairy fat with another type of fat calorie for calorie then why should dairy be blamed and not simply the fat intake?
I eat full fat dairy (mostly cream and yogurt) in the context of fairly strict "primal" paleo. I am reasonably active, but nothing like Crossfit intensity. My last blood lipid panel was:
Total cholesterol 199 Triglycerides 54 HDL 68 LDL 120
I eat a fair bit of cheese and cream in my coffee. Numbers are
Chol/HDL ratio 3.1
I eat pretty strict, occasional lapse with pizza/bread (once every 4-5 months).
I eat butter, raw cheese, the occasional cappuccino, and full fat yogurt. Here are my latest numbers:
Total - 171
Trigs - 40
HDL - 63.1
LDL - 99.9
Trig / HDL - 0.634 (for why this ratio is important, click here).
I'm a 32yo female, 5'8" and 150#.
Me. Low LDL, trigs and total runs in my family. High fat didn't change that much - my HDL, LDL and total all went up a bit. I think both my HDL and LDL were both in the mid-80s last time (no idea what BS formula was used). They show up as close to the same number always.
I go to extremes with dairy fat, definitely.
High LDL and TC an issue? Please hack!c 2 Answers