Balancing Protein, Cholesterol and Carbs

Asked on September 27, 2015
Created September 22, 2015 at 1:03 PM

..did I mention eating natural?


I am a 24 y/o Male, but I am sure that this must be a thought which others have encountered.


I am decently healthy, 6'2" 190lbs, swimmers build so I don't trust my guesstimate BMI of 19 ;) but in any case I want to eat healthier because I am no longer as active as I used to be.

Where I stuggle the most is trying to maintain my protein intake, while being conscious of my 'high' cholesterol.  I don't remember my levels but last check-up my Dr. recommended limiting Cholesterol to 121mg / day.


But I believe in Paleo.  I think the logic is sound and it fits the lifestyle I want to live.  The high-protein Paleo diet is almost in direct conflict with this Cholesterol limit.  I take protein supplements when I can, but I've read about the diminishing marginal utility of protein in a sitting, so I try to spread it out to improve absorbtion, but again, hitting protein goals of ~120g / day without meat is tough.

I came to that protein goal after researching Paleo, Ketosis, and general low-carb diet theory.


So Protein and Cholesterol on the left, now I look at Carbs on the right..

'All Carbs are not equal'



I want the Paleo: natural meat, natural vegetables.. eating as humans once ate (before the advent of bread and serfs..)

But I do trust my Dr. even though the internet would have me think the 'Nutrition Jury' is being recorded for the remake of 12 Angry Men


I just don't know where to focus my efforts.  In the meantime, I eat a little meat, try to get a fair amount of veggies. Don't eat much that comes wrapped in plastic-tin-foily material, and keep up that water intake!


Everything in moderation.. perhaps this is true for nutritional concerns as well?


And maybe in the end it all comes down to exercies. Calories in vs Calories out anybody?

I am a novice who googles in his spare time, if you have considered this issue before, I'd love to hear your thoughts



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2 Answers

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on September 25, 2015
at 04:12 PM

Calories-out is certainly paleo. Cordain lists typical male Paleolithic energy expenditure as 1000-1200 calories per day in Table 2 of the attached article. That's 3-4x higher than typical modern sedentary behavior. 


In eating like a Paleo and respecting your doctor's concerns, why not eat lots of poultry and seafood? For starters, turkeys, oysters, ducks, clams, halibut, salmon, sardines, herring, squid...no need to ever eat dry unappetizing chicken breast or flavorless tilapia... 




on September 24, 2015
at 03:53 PM

You can ignore cholesterol unless it's insanely high and LDL is much higher than HDL.  The whole cholesterol thing is nonsense, never had anything to do with CVD, just like the whole thing with saturated fats.  It's just a mechanism to sell statins which are detrimental to health.


People with higher cholesterol levels are healthier and live longer, despite the claims in the news.

(Unless you've got familial hypercholesterolemia which is very unlikely.)


Very high protein intake is a very bad idea as it raises amonia levels which is harmful.  Just stick to eating 3 palm sized portions of meat per day and forget about the supplements. Paleo is not a high protein diet, that's just the news throwing strawmen again.


Calories in vs Calories out is also a lie because hormones, sleep, absorbability, digestion, and other factors change what you do with them.


Yes, you're right, carbs are all different.  Some have soluable fibers, some have insoluable fibers, some are mostly fructose, others mostly glucose, others still lactose or other forms.  Just like protein isn't protein.  A steak is never going to be the same as a a salmon fillet, as the same as a whey protein power, nor to casein, nor to gluten.  (Infact, there is an abomination called "seitan" pronouced satan, which is pure gluten.)  Making them equivalent is just reductionist thinking.


Same is true of fats. n6 PUFA is very different from n3 PUFA though they're all PUFA and highly oxidizeable, Trans Fats, SCFA, MUFA, SFA's are all different, have different properties and effects on our bodies.


tl;dr - eat real foods and not products, and don't worry too much.  If you're not overweight, don't even worry about the carb ratios and eat some fruit as you need.  If you are, go lower on starches and almost always avoid sugars, and even high fructose fruit (though a handful of berries is almost always ok.)


If you decide to go into ketosis, do it cyclically, if you decide to do intermittent fasting, be sure to also eat carbs and full meals, it's very easy to get in trouble.  It's especially important to get the right kinds of fiber to feed your gut flora, so lots of leafy greens and fiberous veggies almost always.


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