17

votes

Does the Paleosphere Have Its Own Flawed Diet-Heart Hypothesis?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Back in March of 2011, I got a lipid panel run after eating a diet loaded with butter and cream and at or less than 100g of carbs per day for 6 months or so. Pretty standard "paleo/primal" or "perfect health" diet, right? My lipids were as follows:

Total cholesterol: 393 (srsly)
HDL: 55
Triglycerides: 54
LDL(Iranian): 271

BTW: My total testosterone the first time was low 300s, so my total cholesterol was actually higher than my testosterone! I didn't get it tested this time, but I can tell that it has increased dramatically (ahem).

Obviously I said "LOL fuck this diet" and got rid of butter and cream and increased carbohydrates. Over time, I've stopped adding pretty much any extra fat to my diet from refined sources (I just eat the fat attached to the steaks, 3-4 egg yolks a day and a lot of raw sunflower seeds primarily) and I've greatly increased my intake of both carbohydrates from basmati rice(250g+ every single day) and fructose (I eat a metric fuckton of apples and other high-fructose tropical fruit every day).

This is the result of yesterday's lipid panel:

Total cholesterol: 190
HDL: 84 (srsly)
Triglycerides: 39 (srsly)
LDL (Iranian): 66

I can't possibly fathom how the latter could in any way be a worse result than the former or what benefit there could be from increasing fat or decreasing carbs/fructose, though I see people all the time recommend that for increasing HDL and decreasing TGs, respectively. That HDL is with zero coconut intake and a total fat % in my diet of about 30%.

To quote our good friend Mr. Taubes: What if it's all been a big fat lie?

C8586fa2188272d5474d22aa8a500619

(358)

on November 26, 2013
at 07:09 AM

Have you been ApoE4 tested? Your diet could be the right real food diet for ApoE4 individuals

C8586fa2188272d5474d22aa8a500619

(358)

on November 26, 2013
at 07:07 AM

Have you been ApoE4 tested? Your diet could be the right real food diet for ApoE4 individuals

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on July 27, 2013
at 08:32 AM

This is all interesting but it sucks not having the option, some of us just can't eat carbs & have to eat fat instead. Maybe it's about what are the right fats to eat. This topic has made me reconsider eating lots of dairy for sure.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 30, 2013
at 06:39 PM

The last paragraph is so true.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 30, 2013
at 06:00 PM

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/12/1835.full.pdf

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 30, 2013
at 05:58 PM

I don't agree with the idea of intentional fasting, so I never do it. All niacin would be from food. I never drink. It's possible that HDL is elevated due to an allergic reaction I've been having to my good friends, the apples. Studies I've seen have pointed toward negative associations between HDL and CRP though, so I dunno.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 29, 2013
at 10:09 PM

Alec: It's a surprisingly common phenomenon. You're probably like #30 that I've seen with almost identical story and I haven't been looking that hard.

9c4ba98a3b480408bcf207f558fe659b

(355)

on March 29, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Just to add my experience: Low carb, high dairy fat diet pushed my TC up over 400! Terrified, I pulled back on dairy fat massively and upped carbs. TC now sits around 200.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 24, 2013
at 06:50 PM

No Travis, it is because we don't have our own flawed hypothesis. The mainstream has a flawed hypothesis. We haven't replaced it with anything, and people like Chris Kesser would probably tell you to do exactly what you did. I can't tell what the risk is for your particular health history because I don't know what studies are worth reading, but I am not looking at my numbers and thinking everything is just peachy because I hit the right numbers.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 24, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I wonder if the lipid results were related to the weight gain? Would they have been as bad if you were eating high fat but a lower calorie count to avoid weight gain? And assuming there is a connection, does high lipids cause weight gain or vice versa? or neither (some other connection)?

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:19 AM

That's interesting, thanks for the link Travis.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:52 PM

BTW here's a neat trial on taurine supplements reducing LDL (but not trigs) in young guys eating a fair amount of cholesterol and saturated fat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8915402

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:17 PM

Colin, it's both, but most people respond to it: http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/14/4/567.short

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:15 PM

PR: Nah, I was going along with Matt's joke. It was TBSPs. FY: The butter diet made me flabbier but I don't think it was enough fat to really impact it much.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 05:47 PM

This is awesome. You left out changes (if any) in your body comp from one diet to the next? That could have an affect on numbers as well.

C28ae8c7a12a730363835acf21e962a2

(715)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:39 PM

i prefer journals to diary, personally.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:16 PM

I am going to extrapolate Travis' facial features to the rest of his body, and say that on his high carb diet he's still burning adequate fat.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:15 PM

I am going to agree with Travis' comment above, and I would also add that eating carbs does not exclude the possibility of burning fat. It's interesting how it's always the fat people that think carbs inhibit lypolysis, and the lean one's that think lipolysis only occurs in the presence of adequate carbs.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 23, 2013
at 09:33 AM

100g carbs or less is a bit low for PHD (and was that an average of 50g or 95g?), how many are you eating now? But yeah, your former fat intake sounds mad, are you saying you were eating 800-1000g of butter a day???

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I like your style. The data set is actually larger than you'd think.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:50 AM

Is it the dairy fat or the individual?

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:21 AM

agreed. the best parts of paleo are avoiding wheat and industrial oils.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:09 AM

OK they're never gonna rubberstamp 3-4 egg yolks a day either....

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:08 AM

I feel like, at least for me, an optimal diet is only a few degrees off of the dreaded conventional wisdom. White rice instead of whole grains and a lot of red meat, but otherwise mostly the same.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:52 AM

I'd work in some oysters for bioavailable zinc and copper, but otherwise looks pretty good.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Luckily the body isn't smart enough to store fat as fat.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:50 AM

At 1760 kcals per, it's hard to believe that I didn't gain more weight.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Bad lipid profiles do correlate with higher CVD risk. Though I have to wonder if there's better correlations out there. Bad lipids also correlate with inflammation? Inflammation correlates even better with CVD?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:04 AM

4-5 blocks per day? No wonder your lipids went to hell!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 11:38 PM

Oh, just noticed that Lumifer said the exact same thing lol

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 10:32 PM

I was going through those pastured butter double stick blocks really rapidly. I'd say it was at least 4-5 a day.

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on March 22, 2013
at 10:07 PM

er, *were you ingesting per day?

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on March 22, 2013
at 10:06 PM

Roughly how many TBSP of butter and cream are you ingesting per day?

Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 10:01 PM

Ghee I'm impressed. Better than Butter for Paleos.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:47 PM

AG: Heh, and yet my TGs are lower than his the last time he posted it (that I'm aware of): http://garytaubes.com/2011/04/before-sugar-were-talking-about-cholesterol/

Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:46 PM

People are more prone to die from a lot of bad numbers rather than just one. You'll see this as you get older.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:41 PM

I'm not sure that an over-reliance on carbs has anything to do with metabolic syndrome unless it makes you fat. If so, I would have elevated triglycerides and the Japanese and Koreans would have a terrible rate of diabetes.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 22, 2013
at 09:29 PM

Saturated fat issue aside, I'd think that Taubes would say there's no conceivable way eating more carbohydrates could lower your triglycerides. So that may be another absolutist concept that doesn't fully hold up.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:25 PM

Matt: It's the amounts and ratios of myristic, lauric and palmitic acids. The saturated fat in beef is mostly palmitic (slightly hypercholesterolemic) and stearic (totally neutral and gets converted to oleic acid).

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Because simulated familial hypercholesterolemia as a result of butter intake is completely without risk. OK.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:22 PM

mary: Aside from the total loss of libido, I would have had no idea that anything was amiss. thhq: love "satfatchismo" LOL! had someone tell me the other day that butter wasn't a refined fat. I think paleo/primal is pretty sloppy right now, but if we tighten it up a bit, it will be unequivocally better than any other diet

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:14 PM

I can't upvote this enough, Lisa. I totally agree. I just eat what's naturally occurring in my foods like beef and fish, and I'm not afraid to use olive oil salad dressings instead of fat-free ranch, eating egg whites only, or non-fat yogurt. Embrace the fat that is already in the foods and use a reasonable amount of coconut oil or what-have-you for cooking. I don't think it's adding a bunch EXTRA because "it's good for you!" or to eat butter by the stick or coconut oil out of the jar is a good idea.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Look up fat composition in terms of fatty acids. As far as I remember beef fat is almost 40% oleic acid which is a MUFA (and is the main fatty acid of olive oid) and is not cholesterologenic. The fatty acids which do raise blood cholesterol are palmytic, myristic, and lauric. I have a paper somewhere on the relative effect of different fatty acids on serum cholesterol...

944c4a63c90e49a0219df10b495ec06e

on March 22, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Probably not.. but it is only the Triglycerides that for me have ever been high. I have been trying and hoping that Paleo and increase of fats will bring me up to "normal" levels from being low...even for HDL. My doctor admits I don't make sense as being overweight yet low levels seems counterintuitive. As to the gaming with the bacon - I don't see it that bad -- and I really only eat bacon about twice a week anymore. It just usually is Tues/Fri and my labs are usually on Weds so yeah...

Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:01 PM

Saturated fat-chismo causes a lot of people to go way over the top. There's a big difference between including sat fat in your diet and makng it your major calorie source. Fat, like white sugar and white flour, is a nutritional desert compared to steak, kale, berries, salmon....and of course oysters.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:59 PM

What component in dairy fat is problematic?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:57 PM

Does gaming a serum lipid test reduce CVD risk?

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:46 PM

congrats on your much improved panel! and ty for sharing your experiences. Just curious- how did you feel on your previous paleo-diet as compared to how youre now? if the numbers didnt set off an alarm, were there any other indicators health-wise that how you were eating wasnt optimal for you?

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:35 PM

Guess taurine deficiency could be a factor in vegans having higher cholesterol? How can we get enough taurine? What I read said that even very large doses were shown to have neither a therapeutic nor a detrimental effect. Help me out with this, more knowledgeable folks.

C28ae8c7a12a730363835acf21e962a2

(715)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:31 PM

i don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as you've got a varied diet otherwise. grass fed beef fat in its natural state is certainly not the worst thing for you. in fact i think it's probably the best protein option out there, even better then most fish these days, unless you have access to fresh, wild caught sashimi grade fish. and judging from your recent HDL levels you're doing fine. i'd take a pound of steak over a stick of butter any day.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:22 PM

And just how do they know that it is insane? By what mechanism am I being harmed?

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:20 PM

Damn man, a pound of steak a day? One of the dangers of countermovements like paleo is it can cause people to throw EVERTHING out of the window as far as conventional wisdom goes. Everyone knows a pound of steak a day is insane. Only a health nerd could think otherwise

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:19 PM

Yeah, I don't think beef fat has any negative effect on lipids, even in those who are susceptible to elevations as a result of dairy fat.

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:13 PM

Wow, just wow. 190 total with a pound of steak per day? Bless you.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:59 PM

To be fair, I eat a little over a pound of fairly fatty steak every day. This is what they look like raw: http://www.csumeats.com/images/denver.jpg. But yeah, it's all in the context of real food. For what it's worth, I gained about 15 pounds on the high fat diet and have settled about 20 pounds lower eating like this.

944c4a63c90e49a0219df10b495ec06e

on March 22, 2013
at 07:57 PM

I love bacon and I do eat it... but I don't eat it the day before a lipid panel anymore :P

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:55 PM

Agree completely. I wish these authors would have a preface that warns people about the possibility that their cholesterol will go through the roof on the high fat diet and that they should monitor and scrap dairy fat etc. if it does. Seems irresponsible to give blanket recommendations given the substantial genetic differences.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:52 PM

@Travis Culp The Jaminets don't write about avoiding butter, but they don't endorse mass quantities either. They also put seeds in the "pleasure foods" / sometimes-foods category. Similar with fructose, although they write that it should be minimal as they claim it's toxic, but still not avoided (as they suggest sweet fruits in small amounts as well as squashes in large). However, for fat, they do explicitly state that SFAs and MUFAs are the one macro you can adjust to preference, as others have a "sweet spot". So you're at 30%, not 40-60%, no big deal in their book.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:50 PM

Thanks for the info. Careful with the libelous words about bacon around here hehehe.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:45 PM

That's pretty interesting; I've never read up too much on taurine. My diet in both periods has been really meat-heavy though. In the first, it was tons of lamb and now that I'm sick of lamb, tons of beef.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:40 PM

BTW: My testosterone the first time was low 300s, so my total cholesterol was actually higher than my testosterone! I didn't get it tested this time, but I can tell that it has increased dramatically (ahem).

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:39 PM

As far as exercise etc, it's the same as always: walking my dog a few miles a day, though I find weight lifting to be quite tedious so I rarely do it.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:37 PM

greymouser: I'd love to see where Jaminet says to eat 30% fat, lots of linoleic acid from seeds, lots of fructose and to avoid butter and cream at all costs.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Your points are well taken. And yes, cutting out the butter and cream alone was enough to knock it down to the mid 250s after about 6 months, but TGs were higher and HDL was low 50s. Nutrient insufficiencies are anyone's guess.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:33 PM

Not that I meant to be critical, just that it's hard to isolate variables without more data. E.g. have you also fixed other nutrient deficiencies?, has your exercise changed?, have you had any big lifestyle (stress level etc) changes? And not that any of these would account for a drop so big (congrats btw) but any and all would contribute so hard to say diet alone was responsible.

A968017ef27f0a24abf64cc4460463a0

(142)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:32 PM

This is a great question!

A968017ef27f0a24abf64cc4460463a0

(142)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Great question, +1.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:30 PM

This is a great question, srsly. ;-) FWIW, your "before" and "after" diets both generally fit into the PHD framework but with increased carbs, I'd say the latter fits better. I never read "eat as much butter as possible" when I read PHD. ;-)

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:28 PM

Do you have any other intervening numbers or were these the only two test you've had in the last two years?

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15 Answers

14
C28ae8c7a12a730363835acf21e962a2

(715)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:56 PM

this is really interesting, travis. and in my opinion it isolates the potential flaw of this diet, or at least the flaw in how people interpret (or potentially misinterpret) this diet.

i think the whole point of eating this way is to not fear naturally occurring fat. some people have taken that idea and mutated it to incredible degree. eating eggs every day and a fatty steak a few times a week is a far cry from adding 5 tbsps of butter to every meal, consuming copious amounts of bacon, and cutting out nutrient rich fruits and vegetables because CARBS WILL KILL YOU.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:19 PM

Yeah, I don't think beef fat has any negative effect on lipids, even in those who are susceptible to elevations as a result of dairy fat.

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:13 PM

Wow, just wow. 190 total with a pound of steak per day? Bless you.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:17 PM

Colin, it's both, but most people respond to it: http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/14/4/567.short

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Look up fat composition in terms of fatty acids. As far as I remember beef fat is almost 40% oleic acid which is a MUFA (and is the main fatty acid of olive oid) and is not cholesterologenic. The fatty acids which do raise blood cholesterol are palmytic, myristic, and lauric. I have a paper somewhere on the relative effect of different fatty acids on serum cholesterol...

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:25 PM

Matt: It's the amounts and ratios of myristic, lauric and palmitic acids. The saturated fat in beef is mostly palmitic (slightly hypercholesterolemic) and stearic (totally neutral and gets converted to oleic acid).

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:22 PM

And just how do they know that it is insane? By what mechanism am I being harmed?

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:19 AM

That's interesting, thanks for the link Travis.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:59 PM

To be fair, I eat a little over a pound of fairly fatty steak every day. This is what they look like raw: http://www.csumeats.com/images/denver.jpg. But yeah, it's all in the context of real food. For what it's worth, I gained about 15 pounds on the high fat diet and have settled about 20 pounds lower eating like this.

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:20 PM

Damn man, a pound of steak a day? One of the dangers of countermovements like paleo is it can cause people to throw EVERTHING out of the window as far as conventional wisdom goes. Everyone knows a pound of steak a day is insane. Only a health nerd could think otherwise

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 11:38 PM

Oh, just noticed that Lumifer said the exact same thing lol

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:59 PM

What component in dairy fat is problematic?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:14 PM

I can't upvote this enough, Lisa. I totally agree. I just eat what's naturally occurring in my foods like beef and fish, and I'm not afraid to use olive oil salad dressings instead of fat-free ranch, eating egg whites only, or non-fat yogurt. Embrace the fat that is already in the foods and use a reasonable amount of coconut oil or what-have-you for cooking. I don't think it's adding a bunch EXTRA because "it's good for you!" or to eat butter by the stick or coconut oil out of the jar is a good idea.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:50 AM

Is it the dairy fat or the individual?

C28ae8c7a12a730363835acf21e962a2

(715)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:31 PM

i don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as you've got a varied diet otherwise. grass fed beef fat in its natural state is certainly not the worst thing for you. in fact i think it's probably the best protein option out there, even better then most fish these days, unless you have access to fresh, wild caught sashimi grade fish. and judging from your recent HDL levels you're doing fine. i'd take a pound of steak over a stick of butter any day.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 24, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I wonder if the lipid results were related to the weight gain? Would they have been as bad if you were eating high fat but a lower calorie count to avoid weight gain? And assuming there is a connection, does high lipids cause weight gain or vice versa? or neither (some other connection)?

C8586fa2188272d5474d22aa8a500619

(358)

on November 26, 2013
at 07:07 AM

Have you been ApoE4 tested? Your diet could be the right real food diet for ApoE4 individuals

7
800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

on March 22, 2013
at 08:59 PM

People don't live and die by their lipid numbers. While I agree that you had to do something about the TC of almost 400, health is a lot more complicated than just getting your LDL low.

In horribly general terms, the bulk of your energy has to come from either fats or carbs. Over-reliance on fats leads (usually, depending on genetics, insert all usual disclaimers here) to bad lipid profiles which, arguably, lead to greater CVD risk. But over-reliance on carbs leads to another set of dangers revolving around insulin, metabolic syndrome, etc.

I feel it's a balancing issue for which no one-size-fits-all solution exists. Some people will do well on a VLC diet with lots of fat and no carbs. Other people will do well on a lipophobic diet with lots of carbs and very little fat.

Reading the literature will lead you to the conclusion that every possible food is bad. And I guess it's true that every WoE has its own set of risks. You pick and choose, hopefully intelligently...

Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:46 PM

People are more prone to die from a lot of bad numbers rather than just one. You'll see this as you get older.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Bad lipid profiles do correlate with higher CVD risk. Though I have to wonder if there's better correlations out there. Bad lipids also correlate with inflammation? Inflammation correlates even better with CVD?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:15 PM

I am going to agree with Travis' comment above, and I would also add that eating carbs does not exclude the possibility of burning fat. It's interesting how it's always the fat people that think carbs inhibit lypolysis, and the lean one's that think lipolysis only occurs in the presence of adequate carbs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:16 PM

I am going to extrapolate Travis' facial features to the rest of his body, and say that on his high carb diet he's still burning adequate fat.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:41 PM

I'm not sure that an over-reliance on carbs has anything to do with metabolic syndrome unless it makes you fat. If so, I would have elevated triglycerides and the Japanese and Koreans would have a terrible rate of diabetes.

6
A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:50 AM

From a methodological point of view, one should be wary of extrapolating from just two small sets of data and expecting to derive a robust conclusion (for the individual and most especially for a cohort). With such a small sample size it is infeasible to know what the variability might be nor the periodicity (if any) of the effect. As Debra has already written, in addition there may be confounding factors at work that should also be taken into account.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I like your style. The data set is actually larger than you'd think.

6
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:52 PM

I think this is an extremely good question. There are a lot of these paradoxes floating around the paleosphere...

-why does high sat fat increase cholesterol in some, and decrease it in others?

-why does a keto diet spare lean body mass in some, and consume it in others?

-why does a paleo diet cause some people to lose scads of weight, and others to gain?

The only thing I can say is that MORE RESEARCH needs to be done. If nothing else, I hope paleo has opened a pandora's box for the scientifically curious. Maybe in the next 10 years we will start to see some answers as to WHY.

In the meantime, all we can do is be our own guinea pigs, and be open to being wrong. Don't assume any dogma is right. Keep tweaking. Have tests run to keep track. Figure out what works.

For instance, I've been dying to try a true keto diet, but afraid of some of the bad stuff I've read. I finally decided to have a body comp test run (using a bod pod), start the diet, and retest after 6 months. If I've lost lean body mass, discontinue diet (I've been almost 100% paleo for 3 years with no chance in body comp).

I think most people would be wise to do something similar with cholesterol. Don't get emotionally invested; get a panel before starting, check up at 6 months, tweak, move on. There's always something new to learn. :)

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:55 PM

Agree completely. I wish these authors would have a preface that warns people about the possibility that their cholesterol will go through the roof on the high fat diet and that they should monitor and scrap dairy fat etc. if it does. Seems irresponsible to give blanket recommendations given the substantial genetic differences.

5
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on March 23, 2013
at 08:42 AM

The "cholesterol doesn't matter, the higher the better" crowd are clearly a bunch of loons. I think it's more nuanced than both sides claim but there's not much doubt that people with low low cholesterol levels have less of a chance of developing atherosclerosis. And people with very high cholesterol levels are at greater risk. Most hunter gatherers and other healthy ancestral societies tended to have low cholesterol, as do most free ranging animals and healthy babies. Drinking bulletproof coffees and having a total cholesterol of nearly 400 doesn't sound like a smart idea.

Another thing I've noticed is that when someone goes paleo and lowers their cholesterol you'll have everyone saying "congratulations, great job" But when someones cholesterol shoots right you you'll find commemnets like "GOOD NEWS, CHOLESTEROL IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE".

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 30, 2013
at 06:39 PM

The last paragraph is so true.

4
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Taurine deficiency perhaps.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12693699
  2. http://www.ajas.info/Editor/manuscript/upload/22-116.pdf

Taurine lowers cholesterol by sending it to the bile to better digest fats. Without enough you won't be digesting the fat correctly and one would expect unnecessarily elevated cholesterol levels.

So to answer your question, No, we just aren't thinking paleo Enough!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:45 PM

That's pretty interesting; I've never read up too much on taurine. My diet in both periods has been really meat-heavy though. In the first, it was tons of lamb and now that I'm sick of lamb, tons of beef.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:52 PM

BTW here's a neat trial on taurine supplements reducing LDL (but not trigs) in young guys eating a fair amount of cholesterol and saturated fat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8915402

4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:35 PM

Guess taurine deficiency could be a factor in vegans having higher cholesterol? How can we get enough taurine? What I read said that even very large doses were shown to have neither a therapeutic nor a detrimental effect. Help me out with this, more knowledgeable folks.

3
Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:01 AM

interesting thread. i don't particularly emphasize fat in my diet, though i also don't avoid it. however, the fat that i do eat is mostly from olive oil and from beef and lamb and eggs. i think that's what the MSM would call "heavy amounts of saturated fat," even though there's a good deal of MUFA and PUFA in those items. basically, i think animal fat is good for you, and i don't worry about it.

but, i do think that people go overboard with it. i don't add butter to things just cause, and i don't ever buy bacon at the market; i use fat as a cooking tool. butter maybe once or twice a week, mostly olive oil and yes, coconut oil. but they're cooking mediums (i don't want to burn stuff!), not large components of a dish. i take in anywhere from maybe 125 to 250 grams of carbs a day (never count), and some fat every day. my total cholesterol is at 205, and i'm quite fine with that.

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:21 AM

agreed. the best parts of paleo are avoiding wheat and industrial oils.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:09 AM

OK they're never gonna rubberstamp 3-4 egg yolks a day either....

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:08 AM

I feel like, at least for me, an optimal diet is only a few degrees off of the dreaded conventional wisdom. White rice instead of whole grains and a lot of red meat, but otherwise mostly the same.

3
336c383a3c4d28652d7ab888c79108a3

on March 23, 2013
at 02:29 AM

I stopped eating meat a little over a month ago - I just lost the taste for it - so now I'm eating diary (full fat yogurt, pastured duck and chicken eggs), frozen fruit, raw sprouted nuts and seeds, fresh and frozen fruit, 100% dark chocolate or 100% organic cacao powder, avocados, purple sweet potatoes.

That's just me.

C28ae8c7a12a730363835acf21e962a2

(715)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:39 PM

i prefer journals to diary, personally.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 02:52 AM

I'd work in some oysters for bioavailable zinc and copper, but otherwise looks pretty good.

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:02 PM

No. You wash out your own argument, since you are Paleo in the beginning and then Paleo later on. This is a wide net, but some ate blubber, while others hung out on island beaches and ate tons of mangos. Now, you have made the Standard American Doctor happy by making your test numbers conform with what he was taught in Med School. Congratulations. I had a jar of ghee in my backpack, in the doctor's office, while he was telling me about my awesome cholesterol numbers. Great.
It is doubtful it means anything.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 10:01 PM

Ghee I'm impressed. Better than Butter for Paleos.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Because simulated familial hypercholesterolemia as a result of butter intake is completely without risk. OK.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 24, 2013
at 06:50 PM

No Travis, it is because we don't have our own flawed hypothesis. The mainstream has a flawed hypothesis. We haven't replaced it with anything, and people like Chris Kesser would probably tell you to do exactly what you did. I can't tell what the risk is for your particular health history because I don't know what studies are worth reading, but I am not looking at my numbers and thinking everything is just peachy because I hit the right numbers.

3
944c4a63c90e49a0219df10b495ec06e

on March 22, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Another factor to the lipid panel is what you ate the day before and especially the level of stress. My levels are almost all low (low cholesterol. low LDL, low HDL, and well high triglycerides which run in family and doc still gets confused by). Anyways if I have had a stressful day previous to the test my low LDL and Cholesterol while still low will be in the normal range and my triglycerides at times have doubled when it has been noted that I was extremely stressful the day before and when I have had extra fatty meat (bacon I noticed will up Cholesterol and Triglycerides if eaten the day before the test but not fatty beef).

Just a thought but look at as many variables as you can with lipid tests...and blood sugar tests for that matter.

944c4a63c90e49a0219df10b495ec06e

on March 22, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Probably not.. but it is only the Triglycerides that for me have ever been high. I have been trying and hoping that Paleo and increase of fats will bring me up to "normal" levels from being low...even for HDL. My doctor admits I don't make sense as being overweight yet low levels seems counterintuitive. As to the gaming with the bacon - I don't see it that bad -- and I really only eat bacon about twice a week anymore. It just usually is Tues/Fri and my labs are usually on Weds so yeah...

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:50 PM

Thanks for the info. Careful with the libelous words about bacon around here hehehe.

944c4a63c90e49a0219df10b495ec06e

on March 22, 2013
at 07:57 PM

I love bacon and I do eat it... but I don't eat it the day before a lipid panel anymore :P

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 22, 2013
at 08:57 PM

Does gaming a serum lipid test reduce CVD risk?

2
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 23, 2013
at 01:22 AM

I made a similar switch to getting more calories from white rice, in small servings carefully spaced out.

At some point, my body said "no mas!" to all that fat and protein. And I do not trust that diet-heart hypothesis, which seems tentative, nowhere near conclusive, and a knee-jerk overreaction in the opposite direction of the vegetarian diet-heart hypothesis.

Still awaiting the prison experiments...

1
Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on March 30, 2013
at 04:39 PM

It's useful for the community to have this sort of feedback. I also see an improved lipid panel with lower trigs in the 30's eating higher carb (~50%s), lower fat (~20%s). FWIW, I'm ApoE4, along with 1 out of every 4 people ... not in the majority, but common enough.

One interesting thing about your change, Travis, is the significant increase in HDL, along with the significant drop in TC. Usually, a drop like that in TC will also have a corresponding drop in HDL. It's curious. Sounds like exercise did not change. I suspect intermittent fasting wasn't added. Assuming niacin is not being used. Alcohol is a commonly referenced factor. Maybe your body is simply settling into it's natural healthy level.

Perhaps nothing, but does make me think of Chris Kresser's HDL/inflammation experience with patients as something to consider:

I tend to view HDL >85 or 90 in the presence of other inflammatory or immunological markers as a potential sign of infection or immune dysregulation.

I don???t have the reference handy, but I came across a study associating elevated HDL and CRP (occurring together) with INCREASED risk of heart disease???.

I frequently see HDL >100 in patients with several other markers of inflammation, such as elevated CRP, ferritin, WBC, monocytes, etc.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 30, 2013
at 05:58 PM

I don't agree with the idea of intentional fasting, so I never do it. All niacin would be from food. I never drink. It's possible that HDL is elevated due to an allergic reaction I've been having to my good friends, the apples. Studies I've seen have pointed toward negative associations between HDL and CRP though, so I dunno.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 30, 2013
at 06:00 PM

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/12/1835.full.pdf

1
Medium avatar

(10601)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:57 PM

Ooooooops wrong button

0
D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on July 27, 2013
at 06:06 AM

This seems to be genetic diversity at work. You seem to be either homo- or heterozygously ApoE4. 1 out of 4 is ApoE4 but the result is so inordinate and stupendous that doctors notice. This, and not necessarily Ancel Keyes' biased treatise on saturated fat, is probably what drove doctors to conclude that SaFA increases cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol.

So what if the result is improved lipids for most of us, that is, 3 out of 4. The improvement isn't as dramatic unless you lowered your LDL by simultaneously lowering triglycerides. The 1 in 4 just sticks out like a sore thumb because it screams out familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). But it's not actually FH; we're simply reacting to the intake of saturated fat.

So that's probably how doctors and the medical establishment came to view saturated fat as responsible for atherosclerosis. It seems more like a phenomenon grounded in clinical experience than from reading Keyes.

By the way, I'm homozygously ApoE3, the most common genotype (64%) that could conceivably benefit from high fat / low carb. The benefit was only when I was overweight with high LDL and trigs; my LDL went down at a ratio of 1 to 5 with my trigs. However, my numbers improved further when I went from 15% carbs to 30-40% carbs. The trigs are about the same but HDL improved by 10-20 and LDL is 70-100 with higher carb Paleo; with low carb Paleo, it was always 100-150. Not like ApoE4 but still nothing to sneeze at. Doctors would have taken notice and confirmed the saturated fat link.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2013
at 09:26 PM

Butter? Cream? Bullscam coffee? LOL.

Those are NOT paleo. No dairy period.

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