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What does Chris Kresser mean about saturated fat and cholesterol?

Answered on May 29, 2013
Created April 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM

In Robb Wolf???s podcast number 151 Chris Kresser says that in a minority of people dietary saturated fat pushes up blood LDL cholesterol but that in the majority of people this is only temporary. So, he says, in the majority of people starting a diet high in saturated fats, such as paleo, the blood cholesterol rises only in the short term and will then go back down again. Can anyone tell me approximately what ???short term??? means here? Is it more like 6 days, 6 weeks or 6 months?

5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

(95)

on April 30, 2013
at 03:14 PM

Thanks for your reply. I’m interested that you have low sugar intake. I won’t be surprised if excess sugar is turns out to be the main culprit in CVD but if so, getting that understanding into the mainstream will take ages because of the huge sugar market.

5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

(95)

on April 15, 2013
at 04:05 PM

Thanks for replying. I’m aware that Chris Kresser is the person best placed to answer this question. On his contact page he states that he can’t answer random questions from the general public. If/when this subject comes up again on one of his own podcasts or blogs I can try my luck posting a question, which he may or may not answer. Meanwhile I was hoping someone on Paleohacks might be able to shed some light.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 15, 2013
at 11:55 AM

I'd wager nobody on PH is a mind-reader, perhaps asking Chris directly or leaving a comment on the Podcast might get you an answer from the horse's mouth.

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3 Answers

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5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

on May 29, 2013
at 07:54 AM

Since I posted this question some weeks ago Chris Kresser has partly answered it in his blog at http://chriskresser.com/the-diet-heart-myth-cholesterol-and-saturated-fat-are-not-the-enemy. He says “It’s true that some studies show that saturated fat intake raises blood cholesterol levels. But these studies are almost always short-term, lasting only a few weeks.” I imagine that “a few weeks” means something between 3 weeks and 3 months.

CK’s general advice on cholesterol is at http://chriskresser.com/specialreports/heartdisease

0
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on April 29, 2013
at 03:28 PM

I'm going to take a stab at the timeframe, and reduce your guesstimates down to a day or two. Just like taking in excess carbs can bring your blood sugar levels up, your body has mechanisms in place to bring it back down. I would think the same is true of fatty acids. If we have an excess in our blood, our body will regulate it down until it reaches the set point levels. This is just a speculation on my part.

I do know that there are some of us that have higher than expected cholesterol response to a paleo diet. I know that mine has gone up a bit, but it fluxuates. I've stopped worry about it, though. I got a heart scan done where they checked for blockage, did and EKG, measured blood flow, etc, and everything was great. Even though I have a lot of cholesterol floating around, it's not sticking to the arteries. I guess since I'm not damaging them with excess sugars, the cholesterol doesn't have to do any repair work. It's now free to make hormones, protect my brain, and make Vitamin D!

5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

(95)

on April 30, 2013
at 03:14 PM

Thanks for your reply. I’m interested that you have low sugar intake. I won’t be surprised if excess sugar is turns out to be the main culprit in CVD but if so, getting that understanding into the mainstream will take ages because of the huge sugar market.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 15, 2013
at 01:29 PM

Typically there is a minimum of 8 weeks between consecutive cholesterol tests. If you have had a history of "good" results, and then one jump doctors suggest to wait 6 months -- this is more due to the fact that standard practice for medical insurances is 2 cholesterol tests per year unless you are on a statin.

But as Matt said, Kresser can tell you what he actually meant.

5d811a79eb2ccb1045fa7c6fd9ceb686

(95)

on April 15, 2013
at 04:05 PM

Thanks for replying. I’m aware that Chris Kresser is the person best placed to answer this question. On his contact page he states that he can’t answer random questions from the general public. If/when this subject comes up again on one of his own podcasts or blogs I can try my luck posting a question, which he may or may not answer. Meanwhile I was hoping someone on Paleohacks might be able to shed some light.

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