2

votes

Please hack my blood cholesterol - paleo for a while but high everything!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Hi everyone,

Summary - been going paleo since Nov 2011, getting stricter all the time. Had a blood test for immigration purposes shocked to find I had autoimmunes diabetes (Type 1.5) and protein in my urine which means damaged kidneys.

I started the paleo diet in November 2011 and have gradually become more and more strict since. Initially I gave up all grains, cereals & legumes right away. The first month was brutal but the benefits were so obvious I continued. I lost weight and felt great.

Then I began to replace sugar with honey whilst reducing intake at the same time. After 4 months I was compeletly sugar/honey free with the exception of the beer I used to drink. But still eating pasteurised dairy.

I was addicted to sugary soda drinks which I weened myself off over the first 6 months. I still ate cheese and had milk in my tea until about a month ago.

Until about 6 weeks ago I would allow 20% of my diet to be naughty - this usually meant a double whopper with cheese and fries (V8 vege & fruit juice instead of fizzy soda) and fish & chips once a week. The month before??I became really strict 4 weeks ago, I went out on a booze bender every week - kind of an unusually high busy social period. Usually I only get boozy once a month if that. Actually it was a pretty bad month as far the whole diet has gone.

Then 1 month ago I realised I had lost some weight and felt some benefits but I was convinced I could benefit more and decided I wanted to go the whole hog with paleo. So since then my diet has been thus:

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled, fried, 2 rashers of bacon & baby spincah - fried in butter & olive oil. Black coffee or green tea
  • Lunch: Left overs from last nights paleo dinner or salad & meat (kebab with no bread)
  • Dinner: Fish, red meat, chicken fried/roasted with the fat with lots of veges. Sweet potatoes once a week. Use olive oil, butter, coconut oil. Coconut cream when making curries.
  • Snacks: Nuts. I probably eat a handful of mixed walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower kernels every couple of days.
  • Treats: 100g 85% Dark Chocolate (14g added sugar) per week
  • Alcohol: Max 5 glasses red wine per week.
  • No dairy, no sugar, no honey, no homemade baked paleo substitutes.

So here's the curveball: I had my blood test for immigration 2 weeks ago and the results were all bad news:

Blood tests - HbA1c: 12.8 mmol/L

  • Microalbumin: 842 mg/L
  • Creatinine: 17.0 mmol/L
  • Microalbumin/Creatinine Ratio: 49.5

  • Total Cholesterol: 8 mmol/L

  • Trigs: 3.3 mmol/L
  • HDL: 1.18 mmol/L
  • LDL: 5.3 mmol/L
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio: 6.8

Personal Stats

  • Male: 37 yrs old
  • Height: 163.5cm
  • Weight: 74kgs
  • Waist: 84cm
  • Hip: 82.5cm
  • BMI: 27.4
  • Body fat: 18.16
  • Waist to hip ratio: 1.02

For the last 6 months I would at the very least walk to or from work 3 times a week (30 mins) and either do a long walk at the weekend 2-3 hours or swim for 30 mins with 15 mins in the sauna.

In the last week I have increased my exercise to 30 mins walking twice a day (to and from work).

I started intermittent fasting (twice a week less than 500 calories, only water or green tea for the day) 2 weeks ago.

They say my kidneys are damaged (due to the amount of protein found in my urine) and wont repair at best with medicine and a strict diet and exercise I can reduce the damage but its likely I will move onto insulin eventually. I was prescribed statins, metformin, and 5mg quinapril by an endocrinologist. After talking to my GP about my lifestyle he agreed that we could delay the statins and metformin for 3 months to see if there would be a change in my results with regards to glucose & cholesterol levels.

I've been testing my glucose level with blood test strips and I am 5.8 at my lowest when fasting and seem to be consistent between 7.4 - 8 when at peak glucose (2 hours after eating).

What I am most worried about is the cholesterol & preventing further damage. I can't find any suggestions on how to reduce it and I don't really understand why its so high. I thought this diet was supposed to reduce it!? I really appreciate any insight. I also have to admit I am very scared about my damaged kidneys, the doctors have given me zero advice on what food can further harm them.

8362de8e83a11df8465e2627e6d05cfb

(65)

on September 27, 2012
at 10:47 PM

It is a good question. I have not read first hand research, however what I've read suggests that when you break the yoke and scramble it, you expose it to air, thus increasing exposure to oxygen. Heat, plus oxygen leads to oxidation of the cholesterol in the scrambled egg. Articles regarding oxidized cholesterol: - http://www.couragetobehealthy.com/2012/08/truth-cholesterol/ - http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/cholesterol-oxidation#ixzz27iDUSAhA - http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/19/caged-vs-free-range-chicken-eggs.aspx?e_cid=20120325_SNL_MV_1

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 04, 2012
at 06:11 AM

That is because upon waking your cortisol level is the highest it will be all day long and when cortisol is high, blood sugar levels are high, and when cortisol is high, insulin response is extremely elevated, hence, why once gets hungry in an hr if they eat breakfast regardless of what they eat (eggs, cereal, milk, cream, etc). Skip breakfast, the most unimportant meal of the day

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on September 03, 2012
at 09:51 PM

How many humans are you talking about, Bill? Getting glucose levels under control IMMEDIATELY is necessary to avoid peripheral nerve damage. I have been VLC for 4.5 months and still cannot keep my numbers in acceptable ranges without 1000 mg of Metformin each day, plus herbs and acupuncture. It just depends upon how deranged the insulin resistance and body are. I still deal with "dawn phenomenon," where all day long my numbers are where they should be, but upon waking they are elevated. So, no, it may not be possible to control it with diet alone, at least in the short term.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:55 AM

Ok well, unless your a type I diabetic, which you don't say you are so I'm assuming your not, your either type II or have X syndrone, EITHER way, I have NEVER seen a human being with that not control their blood sugars acceptably via diet alone. High BS post meals is perfectly normal and metformin could KILL you if you drop you BS too low by accident one day not to mention it is normally completely unnecessary. Again, get a SECOND opinion.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:20 PM

Shit...I just realized I read the chart upside down. Your level should be less than 5.6, not 4.4. I need more coffee.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:04 PM

Are you supporting the lipid hypothesis that is pure bunk?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:03 PM

We use a different unit of measure in the States. Based on the chart I found here http://www.diabeteschart.org/mgmmol.html, you should be below 4.4 mmol/l (100 mg/dl). I apologize if my interpretation of the chart is incorrect.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:40 AM

There sure is! Thanks for the link. My brain is hurting a bit from info overload ;)

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:33 AM

I googled VLC. I'm pretty low already, not sure what else I can cut down on. Less than 30g a day by my calculation

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:25 AM

yes it would be good to understand why scrambling eggs is a bad idea.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:23 AM

What is VLC? My random glucose is 5.8 at best. I thought the 'safe' normal zone was between 3-8?

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:21 AM

I do 10 push ups and sit ups every morning. Although I acknowledge Ineed todo more. Eliminated fruit juice & soda completely.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:23 AM

6.1 is still above normal. FYI, I am VLC and still require Metformin to keep my blood sugars where they belong.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 30, 2012
at 03:17 AM

His blood sugar is normal no? If worried about it, go VLC and go into ketosis, if you blood sugar is normal there, which it will be, no metformin of course.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 02:22 AM

There is also a wealth of information in the comments.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 12:51 AM

Just read it. It's full scientific jargon and almost impossible for me to understand.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 29, 2012
at 05:18 PM

Do you have a source for your claim that scrambling eggs oxidizes the cholesterol?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 29, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Metformin may be necessary to stabilize blood sugars. I agree to avoid the statins.

939ed13931a675ad2501558db93b9583

(55)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Sorry about point 2 regarding juice. I misread.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:24 AM

or ANY of those other drugs, your fine bro, dont get medicated up you dont need it. And no, I am not a DR but i DID stay at a holiday in express last night. Seriously, those drugs are NOT good for you, you do NOT need STATINS and your kidneys will be just fine, the protein in your urine is from something OTHER THAN damaged kidneys I promise you.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:22 AM

WHOA!!! dont take the statins!!!!

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10 Answers

best answer

4
939ed13931a675ad2501558db93b9583

on August 29, 2012
at 12:06 PM

I'm new here and new to paleo but not new to diabetes, I have type 2 and have got my HbA1c down from your current level to 6.1 at my last check, using medication diet and exercise.

Some observations from what you wrote:

  1. I don't see any weight training in your post. Diabetics lower their blood glucose with some cardio and heavy weight lifting. Both have to be done for benefits. You can use bodyweight exercises with modifications if you don't want to join a gym or buy the equipment. I've started using You Are Your Own Gym, a bodyweight exercise book by a former special ops trainer in the USA, called Mark Lauren. If you build up some muscle that will help you take up more glucose into your muscles.

  2. Fruit juice is just as bad as soda as far as sugar is concerned. Your glucose levels should rocket when you drink those. The best thing for diabetics is to keep to berries. I usually have a fistful of blueberries with Greek Yogurt. (always eat protein with what you eat, this lowers the glycaemic load)

  3. Sometimes diet and exercise just won't get your glucose under control because we make our own glucose anyway and if our pancreas isn't producing enough insulin then it becomes necessary to take medication or insulin to avoid potential complications such as (I'm sorry for this, but i don't think this should be sugar coated) amputations, degradation or even total loss of eyesight.

  4. Having sticky blood because of the high glucose content makes us more at risk for heart attack, that is why statins are recommended to us. I totally agree that recommendations for everyone over 50 to have statins regardless of medical history, is bonkers, but when it comes to us diabetics, we have to be more careful. We are at more risk. I took a couple of types of statin but came off them because I started aching. My endo wants to take another one now, I have agreed with my GP (local doctor) that if my diet and exercise (some cardio, high intensity training and strength training) cannot lower my numbers, I'll go on the statin and see how it goes. If my blood glucose reading was at your level I'd go on statins today, but I would monitor things and not just stay on them regardless of any side effects.

939ed13931a675ad2501558db93b9583

(55)

on August 29, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Sorry about point 2 regarding juice. I misread.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:21 AM

I do 10 push ups and sit ups every morning. Although I acknowledge Ineed todo more. Eliminated fruit juice & soda completely.

best answer

2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 29, 2012
at 03:37 PM

Mark Sisson's post today is all about cholesterol. You may find some useful information there: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-10-things-you-need-to-know-part-1/#more-30923

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:40 AM

There sure is! Thanks for the link. My brain is hurting a bit from info overload ;)

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 12:51 AM

Just read it. It's full scientific jargon and almost impossible for me to understand.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 02:22 AM

There is also a wealth of information in the comments.

2
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on August 29, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Same problem here, cut the eggs out watch the numbers fall.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:22 AM

WHOA!!! dont take the statins!!!!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:03 PM

We use a different unit of measure in the States. Based on the chart I found here http://www.diabeteschart.org/mgmmol.html, you should be below 4.4 mmol/l (100 mg/dl). I apologize if my interpretation of the chart is incorrect.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 30, 2012
at 03:17 AM

His blood sugar is normal no? If worried about it, go VLC and go into ketosis, if you blood sugar is normal there, which it will be, no metformin of course.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:23 AM

6.1 is still above normal. FYI, I am VLC and still require Metformin to keep my blood sugars where they belong.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:24 AM

or ANY of those other drugs, your fine bro, dont get medicated up you dont need it. And no, I am not a DR but i DID stay at a holiday in express last night. Seriously, those drugs are NOT good for you, you do NOT need STATINS and your kidneys will be just fine, the protein in your urine is from something OTHER THAN damaged kidneys I promise you.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:23 AM

What is VLC? My random glucose is 5.8 at best. I thought the 'safe' normal zone was between 3-8?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 29, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Metformin may be necessary to stabilize blood sugars. I agree to avoid the statins.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:20 PM

Shit...I just realized I read the chart upside down. Your level should be less than 5.6, not 4.4. I need more coffee.

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:33 AM

I googled VLC. I'm pretty low already, not sure what else I can cut down on. Less than 30g a day by my calculation

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:55 AM

Ok well, unless your a type I diabetic, which you don't say you are so I'm assuming your not, your either type II or have X syndrone, EITHER way, I have NEVER seen a human being with that not control their blood sugars acceptably via diet alone. High BS post meals is perfectly normal and metformin could KILL you if you drop you BS too low by accident one day not to mention it is normally completely unnecessary. Again, get a SECOND opinion.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on September 03, 2012
at 09:51 PM

How many humans are you talking about, Bill? Getting glucose levels under control IMMEDIATELY is necessary to avoid peripheral nerve damage. I have been VLC for 4.5 months and still cannot keep my numbers in acceptable ranges without 1000 mg of Metformin each day, plus herbs and acupuncture. It just depends upon how deranged the insulin resistance and body are. I still deal with "dawn phenomenon," where all day long my numbers are where they should be, but upon waking they are elevated. So, no, it may not be possible to control it with diet alone, at least in the short term.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 04, 2012
at 06:11 AM

That is because upon waking your cortisol level is the highest it will be all day long and when cortisol is high, blood sugar levels are high, and when cortisol is high, insulin response is extremely elevated, hence, why once gets hungry in an hr if they eat breakfast regardless of what they eat (eggs, cereal, milk, cream, etc). Skip breakfast, the most unimportant meal of the day

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on March 11, 2013
at 07:07 AM

Jenny Ruhl's diabetes 101 site has good info on LADA because she has it herself. http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/18382053.php

First, you need to know that LADA is different than Tpye 2 or insulin resistance many people here have. It's not insulin resistance, it's an autoimmune disorder affecting the pancreas and destroying beta cells. So diet and insulin sensitizing drugs like Metformin may not help you as much as they help others (diet can certainly help, you just may not see the same progress others here do) and you may need insulin to preserve your pancreas.

LADA is rare, and most PH'ers don't have much knowledge of it, which is why you're getting so much conflicting info. Most posters don't know enough about LADA to give you competent advice, do take what we say with a HUGE grain of salt. Advice to avoid all medications including insulin is not necessarily good advice for your particular situation.

Hopefully you have a great endo that is as knowledgeable about paleo as about LADA and can work with you and your diet. It never, ever hurts to eliminate grains and sugars and eat good clean foods, healthy oils, and good macro ratios. While that solves most of our ills, with LADA you may need more in terms of medical support.

0
E7ecb3a116f6057ab505e1315bdc93d5

on March 11, 2013
at 02:52 AM

I know this is an old post, but for the sake of people who look this up later: if you have autoimmune diabetes (types 1, 1.5, LADA) and your numbers are as they are even while eating well, you most likely need to be injecting insulin. Diet helps immensely but is not going to magically make your pancreas put out. Eating a quality paleo diet helps me cut my insulin needs about in half (I'm 1.5/LADA), but I still have to inject - about 10 units basal, and 3 bolus with typical paleo meals. This is serious stuff, don't fool around with worrying about oxidized eggs, etc. this is an insulin issue. When you get your blood sugar under control, your cholesterol and everything else will improve. GAD antibody test and c-peptide test can help you know more about the current state of your pancreas.

0
435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 29, 2012
at 11:30 PM

Thank you for all the responses. Much appreciated. But a bit of conflicting comments here. Not sure where to start. Bit overwhelmed, will have to ponder and revisit.

0
8362de8e83a11df8465e2627e6d05cfb

on August 29, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Don't cook in olive oil ever-- it oxidizes and gets rid of the good stuff in olive oil. When you eat butter, make sure it is grass-fed, and really that all your meats are (fish ->wild). Scrambling your eggs also oxidizes the cholesterol. Soft boiled, or sunnyside up.

Also, what was your cholesterol before? have the ratios improved even if your cholesterol went up?

For example my total cholesterol stayed roughly the same when I switched, but my ratios made a significant improvement. (And I eat about 50-60% fat, and am about to try an experiment in september where I go to 70-80% fat . . . based on some of Rosedale's recent work http://drrosedale.com/blog/2011/11/21/ron-rosedale-%E2%80%93-protein-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/#more-318.)

Macadamia nuts have better omega 3/6 ratios than most other nuts.

Also, you've only been doing strict for a month-- I'm not sure how long it takes to see better blood work; Does anyone know?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 29, 2012
at 05:18 PM

Do you have a source for your claim that scrambling eggs oxidizes the cholesterol?

435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on August 30, 2012
at 05:25 AM

yes it would be good to understand why scrambling eggs is a bad idea.

8362de8e83a11df8465e2627e6d05cfb

(65)

on September 27, 2012
at 10:47 PM

It is a good question. I have not read first hand research, however what I've read suggests that when you break the yoke and scramble it, you expose it to air, thus increasing exposure to oxygen. Heat, plus oxygen leads to oxidation of the cholesterol in the scrambled egg. Articles regarding oxidized cholesterol: - http://www.couragetobehealthy.com/2012/08/truth-cholesterol/ - http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/cholesterol-oxidation#ixzz27iDUSAhA - http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/19/caged-vs-free-range-chicken-eggs.aspx?e_cid=20120325_SNL_MV_1

0
1402c9a3dedfc9a22e2659fa2b8c664d

on August 29, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I am a type 2 diabetic, I have lost 80 pounds and reduced my A1c to 5.6 by going paleo. It took a bit of time and initially I did take Metformin. It can help you stabilise. Looking at your diet there are things that would make my glucose spike: daily red wine, any juice -including V-8. I agree with the others about reducing some of the butter/oil, but highrr fat works for diabetics. Since you have a meter, you can test how you react to foods. Test after every meal especially when trying different foods. Alcohol will remain a problem sadly. So can too many veggies at a time. Daily exercise is important, even just walking. High intensity intervals are great, when you are healthy enough to do them. Oh, and dairy and eggs can be problems - I discovered I could not control my glucose if I ear dairy- turns out I am mildly allergic. I had no symptoms that I understood but it raised my blood sugar. We are all different, so it will take a bit of time to get to know what carb level, fat level and what types of food works best for you, but you can totally do it!

0
75e8ceee00e2459860ea38220a3a8118

on August 29, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Bravo for deferring drugs! Imagine if everyone tried to tweak their diet first instead?! I'd also omit the butter and olive oil (and maybe omit the nuts and seeds for now). I've been trying to eat olives rather than olive oil, and I never heat olive oil since it can convert to a trans fat when heated. I like what Nora Gedgoudas says about moderate protein, rather than high protein. I prefer raw eggs to cooked, as the yolks are high in antioxidants. Not a nutritionist, this is just what's been working for me. How much water are you drinking? Looks like you've already omitted the juice, which is great. Otherwise, I think your diet looks terrific! All the best in improving your test results.

0
099ed954fe10be58761f31cc007adc27

(30)

on August 29, 2012
at 12:45 PM

Hey Jaya,

have you tried to remove this thing from you life: "fried in butter & olive oil"?

So IMHO I think you eat so much Omega-3 and Omega-6 for your sport activity. So you must have more strength training. Try to do more sprint with a little run session sometimes (2 or 3 times a week).

Example (for beginner):

  • 5 minutes of slow run + 4 x 100m run + 10 minutes of slow run

Remember some things:

  • you have to increase your endorphins;
  • more sprint and less run;
  • more power is more endorphins => better life;
  • Labor Omnia Vincit.

P.S. I'm not a trainer. I'm not a doctor. This is my opinion. I change my mind if your opinion seems worked better than mine. I'm very sorry for my English.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on August 30, 2012
at 01:04 PM

Are you supporting the lipid hypothesis that is pure bunk?

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