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.
asked byDave_12 (15)
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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.