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My LDL jumped 124 point 3.5 months into Paleo. Please hack my blood-work!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I am a 48 year-old woman who has been Primal/Paleo for about 3.5 months, gluten-free for a year and has followed the Nourishing Traditions (Weston Price) guidelines for about nine years before, after 15 years of being a vegetarian marathon runner. Since switching to Paleo, I have reduced my running to only one day a week and just a 2 mile run (I had already tapered down to running 2 miles daily after years of 30-40 mile weeks). I have included weights the last few years and have been doing the pretty intense Venus System workout for the last nine weeks using as high a weight as I can manage (30 lb dumbbells in some cases). I have always done, and continue to practice yoga to protect my joints and to maintain flexibility. I am 5'1", 120 lbs. I have a small waist to hip ratio (W=27", H=38") and am pretty muscular.

These are the lipid numbers I just got back and my doctor, who has said that she thinks Paleo is how we are supposed to eat, is alarmed by the LDL:

Total: 325, Tri: 74, HDL: 103, LDL: 204.

Coincidentally, I just got "Deep Nutrition," by Catherine Shanahan, and was reading her take on cholesterol: "HDL should be over 45 in men and 50 in women. I like to see LDL less than three times the HDL value. This ration, together with triglyceride levels of less than 150, tell me that a persons fat-distribution system, lipoproteins, and diet are healthy."

According to her, my LDL could get close to 300 without concern. My intuition is not to worry, but last year my pre-Paleo numbers were all the same except the LDL was 80. Why would it jump so high in a year and does this have anything to do with the dietary switch? And should I be concerned? Is there a lipid adjustment period when becoming Paleo?

I guess I should add that I feel great, though I also did before I cut out grains and legumes. The one concrete difference I have noticed is I no longer get the seasonal allergies I would have for three weeks each spring.

THe only other thing I can think of that might be relevant is that I have forever taken 3 tablespoons of pulverized flax seeds in my morning shake. I recently cut them out because of the phytoestrogen aspect and the fact that many say it is hard for out bodies to make o-3's from them.

Thank you for any opinions or ideas.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 24, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Thank you MarkES fro this great link! I had read "Deep Nutrition" but had no idea that author had a website. I have had other symptoms, like feeling cold for the first time in my life which are consistent with thyroid issues. This moght be the key.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on September 30, 2012
at 01:09 PM

Some comments on fast carb changes affect on thyroid http://drcate.com/going-low-carb-too-fast-may-trigger-thyroid-troubles-and-hormone-imbalance

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 11:25 PM

I use a tsp cream in my morning tea and butter mostly only in the baking. I still use olive oil to cook most veggies unless I am making Asian food in which case I use coconut oil.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 28, 2012
at 10:24 PM

How much butter and cream would you say you've been eating?

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 10:06 PM

...organic meat and butter, org local produce, low sugar. The only real change from pre-Paleo is giving up all grains and legumes and including coconut oil intentionally (like 1 T/day), and giving up flax seed.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 10:02 PM

I have been working out pretty hard, but that's not true trauma. Travis, my daily diet is morning shake of kale, collards, berries, water kefir, 2 egg yolks, ginger, coconut oil, 1/2 lemon. Lunch and dinner are meat and vegetables, rarely sweet potatoes, sometimes fish. I have a glass of red wine most nights and always have (hence more primal than paleo). I occasionally make paleo treats with almond flour sweetened with stevia or coconut sugar, but not that often. I do eat dairy, including raw milk once in a while. The thing is that I have always used bone broth and eaten grass-fed...

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 28, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Here's a bit of an odd question - were you dealing with a recent injury or trauma before your most recent test? Cholesterol is the body's most important repair substance, and LDL is what transports the cholesterol from the liver to wherever it's needed. If it was elevated that much, it might be in temporary response to an injury. (A friend's LDL was kinda high once and he was worried, but I asked him a few questions and it turns out he'd had his wisdom teeth removed not long before the lipid panel was done.)

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 28, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Post your diet.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Thank you. I'll take a look.

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4 Answers

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3
Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on September 29, 2012
at 11:58 AM

... rarely sweet potatoes ...

... only real change from pre-Paleo is giving up all grains and legumes and including coconut oil intentionally ...

One commonly accepted reason is the thyroid has slowed down from removing starchy carbs.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on September 30, 2012
at 01:09 PM

Some comments on fast carb changes affect on thyroid http://drcate.com/going-low-carb-too-fast-may-trigger-thyroid-troubles-and-hormone-imbalance

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on October 24, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Thank you MarkES fro this great link! I had read "Deep Nutrition" but had no idea that author had a website. I have had other symptoms, like feeling cold for the first time in my life which are consistent with thyroid issues. This moght be the key.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 28, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Well, I see some other informative links so.....I'll post this one as what I think is the most comprehensive on the webs http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i. Its a ten part series so take it in doses ;)

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 28, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Thank you. I'll take a look.

0
1814b282c5c936c4a927bc08fc53f0ff

on September 28, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Listen to the latest edition of the Paleo Solution. Chris Kresser is the guest and has some great information about blood lipid levels, cholesterol, etc. His latest work can be purchased here: http://highcholesterolplan.chriskresser.com/ I have not purchased it myself, but I have heard nothing but good reviews of his work. Might be worth looking into.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out.

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