3

votes

Another cholesterol post....

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 07, 2011 at 5:29 PM

So I consider myself on the moderate side of Paleo with the inclusion of full fat dairy and up to about 20% of my calories from "safe starches" that are currently being debated. As with any paleo/primal diet, good fats including animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate, and avocados make up at least half of my daily calorie intake. I've been eating this way for about six months, have lost 25 lbs and feel great.

I went in for a physical expecting a battle with my doc over high cholesterol numbers. To my surprise they were actually rather low:

LDL ~ 96

HDL ~ 52

Total ~ 164

Trigs ~ 84

(Recalling from memory)

Overall, I am very pleased with LDL and Total cholesterol, if nothing else to save an argument with my doc and to get a break on life insurance. However HDL seemed a bit low and trigs a bit high for a paleo-ish diet with <30% total calories from carbs, all of which good carb sources.

Then I got thinking.... ALCOHOL! My one vice in the whole lifestyle change is alcohol. My friends, family, neighbors, all social circles like to drink (as do I). I probably consume about 3 drinks per day on average usually concentrated on weekends. I try to keep it to red wine, white wine & vodka club attempting to avoid beer when at all possible. (Hopefully we can save the arguments for reducing alcohol consumption for another post.)

I know cholesterol numbers are all about context, which is why most in the paleo world aren't worried about high numbers. That being said, if my HDL should be higher and/or trigs should be lower in the context of my diet, is that something I should be worried about? Second, could alcohol consumption alone explain the variation in HDL and trig?

Thanks in advance.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:17 AM

That sounds exactly like me. I do about 100-150g net carbs, maybe I'm a bit higher and my trigs are 92. I've seen this multiples times within my family and others. If you go up in carbs, your trigs will go up but usually not over 100, if you eliminate all processed carbs. I'd focus on upping your HDL to the 60s, worry less about Trigs.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:13 PM

@Native P RESVERATROL IS WHY!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Acutally, dry red wine had a positive effect on my HDL. I can't be totally sure it was helpful, but my HDL surge (from 42-65) happened when I started incorporating fish oil, dry red wine, and cardio (as opposed to HIIT) exercise. That said, you need a glass of red wine per day, no mo than 2 drinks.

19fca203b312122d27e00449acec5794

(15)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Liver numbers were good. I have recently seen Dr Lustig's talks on sugar and his assertion that a can of soda is more or less equivalent to a beer (or 5oz glass of wine) in terms of its effects on the liver. Five years ago when I was college age, I was drinking about the same (a little more) but was supplementing it with 2-3 sodas per day and a poor diet. I'm sure my liver was being taxed much more heavily then. I agree with you that 14 per week is a better goal. That being said, could cutting down to 14/wk raise HDL and lower trigs to more optimal levels?

19fca203b312122d27e00449acec5794

(15)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:22 PM

@Namby - Up to 30% but usually more in the 20-25% range, about 100 - 150g on average. @Ambimorph - Typical routine for someone in their 20s, Thu / Fri / Sat Sun of about 3 / 6 / 10 / 2 with a wide degree of variation based on the weekend (bachelor parties and weddings much different from chill weekends catching up on house & yardwork). @Melissa - I eat salmon and shellfish each about once per week. I take CLO when I remember which is usually only about 2-3 times per week. Perhaps I can be more religious about remembering to take that?

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:13 AM

@ the quilt I love red wine from Argentina but why is it different from red wine from Chile, France, Spain or California? just curious...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Preferrably red wine from mendoza argentina

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 07, 2011
at 07:58 PM

do you eat fish very often? you might want to consider eating more.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Yeah, I liked that to ambimorph....

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:20 PM

Heheh. "about 3 drinks per day on average usually concentrated on weekends" Is that a sneaky way of saying you get rip-roaring smashed on 9 or 10 drinks every Friday and Saturday, or is it really more like 2 drinks Sun-Thurs and 5 on Friday and Saturday? I don't know, but it seems like those could have different effects on health.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:08 PM

@30% carbs, 84 sounds about right, if not a bit understated. 30% carbs is a lot: on a 2500 cal diet, that means 750 cals from carbs and 750/4.2 = 180g. You sure you consume that much? Alcohol may or may not be a factor here but considering you're doing modrate/high carb Paleo, your Trig number seems alright.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:04 PM

More important are other factors such as inflammation marekrs, BG control (A1c), Vit D, etc. I would get a VAP test done for the genetic component and do HS CRP, Ferritin, etc. just in case.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

First put your HDL into context. 52 seems low but your TC is 165, and is only 3x your HDL. Ideally, your HDL should be at parity with your Trigs, but you wanna get there by lowering Trigs a little. Also, at parity w/LDL would be ideal but I woudln't be too concerned; at that point your TC would be 210 and your Cardy would try to put you on statins. It all depends on who's doing the interpreting.

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1 Answers

1
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on October 07, 2011
at 09:54 PM

If you drink alcohol, I would monitor liver enzymes. I'm assuming you're drinking dry red and white wines (like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, etc.), not sherry or dessert wines. Vodka shouldn't have any glycemic response (I don't think) but it will hit your liver.

Suggestion: keep it to 2 drinks. Only dry red or white wine. Btw, a "drink" means 1 wine glass, which is 5.1 fl oz. We're not talking about a 12 oz beer can serving size here.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Preferrably red wine from mendoza argentina

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:13 AM

@ the quilt I love red wine from Argentina but why is it different from red wine from Chile, France, Spain or California? just curious...

19fca203b312122d27e00449acec5794

(15)

on October 10, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Liver numbers were good. I have recently seen Dr Lustig's talks on sugar and his assertion that a can of soda is more or less equivalent to a beer (or 5oz glass of wine) in terms of its effects on the liver. Five years ago when I was college age, I was drinking about the same (a little more) but was supplementing it with 2-3 sodas per day and a poor diet. I'm sure my liver was being taxed much more heavily then. I agree with you that 14 per week is a better goal. That being said, could cutting down to 14/wk raise HDL and lower trigs to more optimal levels?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 10, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Acutally, dry red wine had a positive effect on my HDL. I can't be totally sure it was helpful, but my HDL surge (from 42-65) happened when I started incorporating fish oil, dry red wine, and cardio (as opposed to HIIT) exercise. That said, you need a glass of red wine per day, no mo than 2 drinks.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:13 PM

@Native P RESVERATROL IS WHY!

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