Fascinating how two people can get such radically different results! Today's lipid panels for your perusal.
First, let's recap what the numbers "should be":
HDL: 60 or higher
LDL: 60 or lower
Triglycerides: 60 or lower
And the ratios between them:
LDL/HDL: < 4.3
Trig/HDL: < 2
So what do mine look like? Absolute crap:
My friend, on the other hand, gets five gold stars:
Total/HDL: < 2.15
As you can see, his numbers are PHENOMENAL, comparing favorably to those of many prominent paleo folks:
The fascinating part? I eat FAR closer to how those people do! He's cut way back on processed foods, sugars, grains and veg oils, but still eats things like Taco Bell, McDonalds breakfast biscuits and Little Debbie brownies a few times a month...and snacks on frosted shredded wheat. Otherwise, he eats very similar to me -- mostly meat, some eggs and butter -- plus fruit here and there like unsweetened applesauce, and with occasional high-fat, low-sugar desserts like homemade cheesecake.
Certainly individual variation counts for a lot, but I have a theory: He's eaten tinned fish for years on a regular basis, which I only started doing recently. Also, he's been taking fish oil capsules for as long as I've been zero-carb (about 9 months). So although we both eat grainfed beef instead of grassfed, his Omega-3 to -6 ratio is likely much better than mine. I can't see it being the only difference -- he has a number of chronic medical conditions -- but it's the first one that leaps out at me.
Other than taking fish oil, what else might be missing from my equation? Far as I can tell, I adhere to the most important methods of improving lipids and avoiding metabolic syndrome:
- Taking vitamin D3 (5,000 IU/day)
- Eating no grains, sugars or bad fats (vegetable oils/transfat/etc)
- Eating once or twice per day (frequent meals raise LDL/blood glucose)
- Exercise: Intense, brief and occasional, plus slow, regular movement.
Addressing thyroid issues is a last resort, and I don't show any signs of those that I can see.
Finally, blood pressure and blood glucose still look great, and I continue to have negligible visceral/abdominal fat.
Funniest part: The lady said I need vegetables for the "plant sterols". Okay, let's see:
"According to most nutritional studies the average American gets about 250 milligrams of sterols in his diet every day. Vegetarians get a bit more, averaging around 700 milligrams, and people who exist on fast food getting significantly less. The amount recommended by most researchers is two grams."
"Fruits and vegetables have trace amounts of plant sterols. The amounts are so small that you would need to eat just under 50 pounds of produce to get the recommended .8 grams of plant sterols per day."
Well, that would seem not to make much sense. And apparently, the best sources of these sterols are "grains and legumes"? Then I rest my case. Those have no place in the human diet unless the only alternative is starvation.
And the big laugh? When she asked my friend what he eats, and he said that except a little onion and garlic, he hasn't eaten vegetables in about six months. You should have seen her face! And he gets even less exercise than I do, most of it coming from video games :)
asked bydamaged_justice (670)
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on February 25, 2010
at 12:25 AM
If your triglycerides are still 223 after 9 months of low-carbing, you may have a large genetic component in your lipid profile. You don't give your age, but values this high are unusual in young adults, which would further suggest genetic influence. Since your bodyfat is low, you probably don't need to lose weight. The "over the counter" remedies you can try are the fish oil, as you already mentioned, and niacin, up to 2gm per day. Try to find a "paleo-friendly" doctor who will work with you on your lipids without proposing nonsensical "low-fat" and "healthy-whole-grains" solutions.
on February 27, 2010
at 03:13 AM
Check out Dr. Davis' recent post about genetic small LDL. If you're eating a high sat fat diet and seeing your LDL so high, I wonder if you are in that group. Might want to shoot Dr. Davis a comment about your lipids. Good luck.
on February 24, 2010
at 09:02 PM
I've gotten in tiffles with many zero carbers about this, but I still believe it's true. A diet of mostly cornfed muscle meat and eggs is not very paleolithic. Inuit ate close to zero carb, but they ate marine foods, some offal, and mostly fat...and nothing that was fed grains. I think you are right on about the fish. Perhaps you should trade out some of your meat for things like wild salmon, sardines, and roe?
on February 24, 2010
at 09:35 PM
I presume you've read about the differing types of LDL, large & fluffy vs. small & dense. Considering how high you are, you might consider having the test which specifically measures the type of LDL you have.
Richard Nikoley did a very thorough post on LDL testing.
on September 09, 2011
at 01:40 AM
THIS is the type of guy I'd love to hear a follow-up from. If you're out there, please check in and update us, Damaged Justice.