extremely high cholesterol - i think from saturated fats

Answered on November 24, 2013
Created November 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Hi everyone,

I adopted a Paleo diet a while back and experimented with it for 2-3 months. It was basically lean meats, veges, fish oil and occasionally nuts. This gave me the following blood results (all measurements in mmol/l) :

Cholesterol - 5.7 (3.5-5.5) [220 mg/dl]

Trig - 0.5 (<1.5)

HDL-Chol - 1.8 (>1.0) [70 mg/dl]

LDL-Chol - 3.2 (<3.5) [124 mg/dl]

LDLC/HDLC - 2.1 (<4.0)

Chol/HDLC - 3.2 (<4.5)

I then moved to a gaps style diet due to some digestive issues (could no longer eat veges/fruits). All I ate was fatty meats, bone broth (with the fat), butter, eggs and occasionally organ meats. Lots of saturated fats thats for sure. I was basically following Chris Kresser's guideline of "eat as much saturated fats as you like!". I cut down on all fish oil. Now my cholesterol has gone crazy! Have a look at it:

Cholesterol - 7.9 (3.5-5.5) [305mg/dl]

Trig - 1.2 (<1.5)

HDL-Chol - 1.6 (>1.0)

LDL-Chol - 5.7 (<3.5) [220 mg/dl]

LDLC/HDLC - 3.6 (<4.0)

Chol/HDLC - 4.9 (<4.5)

I am guessing its the high amount of saturated fat intake? Should I cut down? It seems like saturated fats is not for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My doctor says I need to get on statins asap. But being only 28, I cant see myself going on drugs.


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4 Answers


on November 24, 2013
at 10:26 AM

Thanks for the responses guys!

I started increasing saturated fats thanks to sources of Chris Kresser & Gaps Diet. But I now later read in another article of Chris Kressers that total cholesterol & LDL levels this high indicate a genetic issue known as Familial hypercholesterolemia. I am guessing I have this. I will look into a gene test or something to find out for sure. But looks like I have to say goodbye to all the saturated fats (or at least most of it).

Im kinda annoyed that many sites like Chris Kresser's state that saturated fats & cholesterol isnt an issue but then in another article explain that it can be for people with genetic issues. They should state that in any article where they decide to claim that saturated fats is good (especially when they advocate high amounts of consumption)


on November 23, 2013
at 11:21 PM

Most people can consume a sensible amount of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol without an impact on long-term cholesterol levels. But obviously your body is not happy with the level you were consuming. Cholesterol-levels alone are a poor predictor of heart disease risk; the carotid ultrasound (red by an experienced physician) provides a more accurate assessment or artery health. Since your spike in cholesterol seems to be driven by diet, simply reduce your consumption of animal fats (and no transfats) and increase your consumption of dietary fiber. If this still doesn't work, you can try a concentrated oat soluble fiber I take for my LDLs from a website called Heart Healthy Solution. But at 28, diet and exercise should be enough to do the trick. And I would look for another doctor...Look up some functional medical doctors in your area.

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on November 23, 2013
at 06:28 PM

I would try introducing more complex/starchy/root veggies and less on the saturated fat meats, yeah. Maybe liver 1x a week, just 2 eggs a day, lean meats cooked in butter or without? However you can swing it. If you're willing to eat things like liver the nutrient quality seems like a shame to lose completely, but getting that cholesterol down is good.

Not everyone is made for high-fat, and that's okay. We're all different.


on November 23, 2013
at 02:31 PM

Yeah, definitely looks like your body is unhappy. Try reintoducing vegetables to see which ones may have caused you problems and then avoid those. I would also go back to cold water fish and fish oil supplements and reducd the saturated fat as you say. If you are eating highly glycemic foods then look to reduce to reduce those as well.

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