Super high cholesterol over 600!!!

Answered on May 28, 2015
Created May 25, 2015 at 2:53 PM

I am very new to this forum and looking for advice. 

I must to admit to being fairly worried. I have painfully tingly feet and hands, which I finally got in to a see a doctor about and got blood drawn Friday. The labs came back later that day. Says the cholesterol value is 607!!!, HDL 91,  CHOL/HDL ratio 6.7. Can that be right? I am right now on a zero carb diet because both parents and grandparent had/have Parkinsons and ketosis is a therorized prophylactic. I have high stress because I am Caregiver for Father who is now dying fromParkinson's. 

My diet is basically One meal a day of hamburger steak and eggs and a large mug of bone broth. The rest of the calories I get from several mugs of coffee with butter (Irish), coconut oil and 1 table spoon of heavy cream. I am 53 years old and 6'1" at 155 pounds, BP 112/70. From what I gather from my symptoms it looks like I have PAD (peripheral artery disease). 

The foot and leg pain really hit late last year when I went full on zero carb and super high fat. 

So I would appreciate any advice, before I get hit with the standard low fat diet speil and Statins. May have to go that route, but would really, really rather not.

Again any advice appreciated. I need to get myself informed and any pointers to websites with good information would be very helpful.


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3 Answers


on May 28, 2015
at 05:08 PM

"Can you point me to some websites that expand on your monounsaturated fats diet thinking?"

Ok yeah sure. monounsaturated fat is actually quite easy to get from most foods. Here's the research for it:

Comparison of a High-Carbohydrate Diet with a High-Monounsaturated-Fat Diet in Patients with Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus 

"As compared with the high-carbohydrate diet, the highmonounsaturated-fat diet resulted in lower mean plasma glucose levels and reduced insulin requirements, lower levels of plasma triglycerides and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (lower by 25 and 35 percent, respectively; P<0.01), and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (higher by 13 percent; P<0.005). Levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol did not differ significantly in patients on the two diets."


Effects of Protein, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate Intake on Blood Pressure and Serum Lipids

"Compared with the carbohydrate diet, the unsaturated fat diet decreased systolic blood pressure by 1.3 mm Hg (P = .005) and by 2.9 mm Hg among those with hypertension (P = .02), had no significant effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 1.1 mg/dL (0.03 mmol/L; P = .03), and lowered triglycerides by 9.6 mg/dL (0.11 mmol/L; P = .02). Compared with the carbohydrate diet, estimated 10-year coronary heart disease risk was lower and similar on the protein and unsaturated fat diets.

In the setting of a healthful diet, partial substitution of carbohydrate with either protein or monounsaturated fat can further lower blood pressure, improve lipid levels, and reduce estimated cardiovascular risk."

And this one is also quite good:

Substituting dietary saturated for monounsaturated fat impairs insulin sensitivity in healthy men and women

"study included 162 healthy subjects chosen at random to receive a controlled, isoenergetic diet for 3 months containing either a high proportion of saturated (SAFA diet) or monounsaturated (MUFA diet) fatty acids...

...Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) increased on the saturated fatty acid diet ( + 4.1 %, p < 0.01) but decreased on the monounsaturated fatty acid diet (MUFA) (–5.2, p < 0.001)"

And here's a list of foods, that are a good source of monounsaturated fats (and their carb/fiber content):

USDA Database High-Monounsaturated Fat Foods List

Not everything on there is healthy, so you have to decide what is good and what is crap, but at least it has a comprehensive list of foods.


on May 27, 2015
at 12:51 AM

Thanks for your reply.

Yep, I going through a massive reassessment of my diet. I am hoping the 600 number is a mistaken lab result maybe caused by my being in ketosis?

I went for months with less than maybe 15 carbs a day. It is cheap and I was massively broke and didn't want to think about "what's for dinner" while dealing with the hateful proggress of my father's death do to Parkinsons dementia as his caregiver.  I am guessing my stress levels are through the roof as well.  But, I have to say I think I am weathing this pretty well all things considered. I attibute it too the very high saturated fat diet. 

I am thinking that a zero carb diet and high stess maybe a very bad combination? My previous  cholesterol numbers maybe 7 years ago was 196 with a good HDL/LDL ratio, so I am hoping it's not familial hypercholesterolemia.


on May 27, 2015
at 06:35 PM

Well if you had 196 before, then it probably isn't genetic, as you would have had high cholesterol back then as well. 

I don't think being in ketosis could possibly affect your cholesterol reading by 400 mg/dl. I got mine checked and it came out to 150 total and I'm on keto with less than 20g carbs/day. My cholesterol is perfectly fine according to my doctor, but then again, I have a pretty high intake of monounsaturated fat and fish, which might have something to do with it. But that's just my 2 cents.

I think monounsaturated fat is the most underrated fat out there. The low-fat convetional wisdom crowd is in love with PUFAs and hates SFA, meanwhile the Paleo side is obsessed with SFA and shuns PUFA (understandibly so) but neither one seems to talk about MUFA. Which is ironic because MUFAs are awesome for healthy cholesterol levels and doesn't have any of the negative inflammatory properties of the Omega 6 PUFAs.

I'm not sure what effect the other stresses you mentioned might have on cholesterol levels. My condolences to you and your family for your father's death by the way.


on May 26, 2015
at 10:13 PM

600? Good grief man, that's ridiculously high. That sounds like familial hypercholesterolemia more than anything else. You're very thin so obviously it's not from being overweight or eating too much. Levels like that are hard to reach by food alone, they usually have some genetic involvement.

My suggestion would be, first: replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats like olive oil, macadamias, almonds, high-oleic safflower oil, avocados, and in addition eat plenty of fatty fish with a decent amount of Omega 3 in them, but stay away from Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats.

Second: try talking to your doctor about what treatment or medication would be right for you, your problem doesn't sound like something that could be solved by diet alone. 



on May 28, 2015
at 04:59 AM

Thank you, TheGastronomer for your replies.

I re-read what I wrote about my father and I can see how I gave the wrong impression. My father is still alive at home with me on hospice -- 6 months after his doctors gave up on him. I very much appreciate the kind words. 


Anyway.... I will say that I was basically living on SFA's--butter, heavy cream and coconut oil. I was kinda under the impression that non-animal sourced fats (except coconut oil) was not good. Can you point me to some websites that expand on your monounsaturated fats diet thinking? I would kinda like to stay pretty close to ketogenic if I can. However, as of now I have massively reduce my fat intake so as to maybe reduce the cholesterol numbers.



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