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Low carb and lipids
Old 08-08-2019, 05:35 AM   #1
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Low carb and lipids

So I've been on a low carb diet since around Christmas and just got my blood tests back. I'm not trying keto or anything like that and I'm not counting carbs. I'm just avoiding breads, pastas, rice etc. I'm eating vegetables, actually more than I had before since I was really lax before. Now I try for once a day...before it wasn't a priority.


I also began to do much more weight exercises and some HIIT on gym bikes. I'm 63 so not too high intensity so I paid more attention to protein and tried to get it around 120g/day.


Results


I generally one of those skinny guys with a belly that I hold in very well. But when I let it hang out it's impressive! Otherwise people think I'm very slim. I was 6.0/175lbs


Now I'm about 160 lbs. Lost a good amount of the belly fat but got skinnier elsewhere too of course unfortunately. The good news there is that I don't think I lost much muscle as my ability to move weights in the gym improved quite a bit over that period at least for the exercises that I was doing.


My bloods changed as follows:


Total Cholesterol went from 170 to 220

LDLc went from 100 to 148. Yikes!


Triglycerides went from 97 to 60

HDL went up from 50 to 65 ( that could be low carb or lot more exercise...or both)

Hbaic went from 5.4 to 5.3


So the HDL Trig ratios have improved etc. But the LDLc etc skyrocketed! Probably expected since I'm eating a lot more meat, cheese and bacon etc.


Don't know what my doc will say.


I know lots of people do keto and low carb here so have you also had jumps in cholesterol like this? And does it worry you?
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:35 AM   #2
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I have had very high total cholesterol and LDL all my life. But very low triglycerides and HDL with terrific ratios, so no, it doesn't bother me at all. It worries some doctors but not others, since there are some positive aspects to it, especially as you get older. You should do some research into it.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:15 AM   #3
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I started a LCHF diet about 6 years ago and stopped statins at the same time. My LDL and total cholesterol went up to about the levels you mentioned but I don't know how much was diet and how much was dropping statins. At the same time my HDL went up to 90 and my triglycerides fell to the 50s. Neither my doctor or I was alarmed.

My primary motivation was to drop the gut which I did, dropping from 6', 195 pounds to 162 pounds. After a year I started experimenting with adding carbs back in, primarily rice and potatoes. I was able to do that without gaining weight. Over the last year or so I added milk chocolate back but I have a hard time controlling the amounts. I have been able to keep the weight down but my HDL has dropped a bit and my triglycerides have gone up. For me, sugar is the poison but I am addicted to chocolate.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:21 AM   #4
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No worries. If your doctor have an issue, ask for a NMR particle size test.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:48 AM   #5
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There’s another current thread that might interest you: “adventures in ketosis (long)”
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:54 AM   #6
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"For me, sugar is the poison but I am addicted to chocolate."


ALDI has an excellent Dark Chocolate ( the "good for you chocolate" with proven health benefits).

Low sugar, high fiber, full of antioxidants.

85 % Cacao.

$1.99 for five .88 ounce bars. Can't beat it, but you may need to adjust to the less than "gooey-sweet" taste at first. They also have a good 70% dark chocolate, but the sugars are higher and the fiber is lower, if you need to go a little sweeter to adjust your taste buds initially. Unless you already LIKE the dark stuff.

I sure do.




" 1. Moser Roth 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, $1.99 for 4.4 ounces

Moser Roth is Aldi’s premium brand of chocolates and it has WON AWARDS, you guys. And fancy chocolate tasters almost always approve of the stuff — especially once the price tag is revealed. These bars, which are technically made up of five smaller, individually wrapped bars, come in a few varieties (milk, dark sea salt, mint, milk truffle crunch, etc.), but this 85 percent cocoa option is my favorite. It’s rich, indulgent, and doesn’t taste over-roasted the way other dark chocolates can. And it’s just $2! "


https://www.thekitchn.com/aldi-best-chocolates-263049
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBirdly View Post
"For me, sugar is the poison but I am addicted to chocolate."


ALDI has an excellent Dark Chocolate ( the "good for you chocolate" with proven health benefits).

Low sugar, high fiber, full of antioxidants.

85 % Cacao.

$1.99 for five .88 ounce bars. Can't beat it, but you may need to adjust to the less than "gooey-sweet" taste at first. They also have a good 70% dark chocolate, but the sugars are higher and the fiber is lower, if you need to go a little sweeter to adjust your taste buds initially. Unless you already LIKE the dark stuff.

I sure do.




" 1. Moser Roth $85 Cocoa Dark Chocolate, $1.99 for 4.4 ounces

Moser Roth is Aldi’s premium brand of chocolates and it has WON AWARDS, you guys. And fancy chocolate tasters almost always approve of the stuff — especially once the price tag is revealed. These bars, which are technically made up of five smaller, individually wrapped bars, come in a few varieties (milk, dark sea salt, mint, milk truffle crunch, etc.), but this 85 percent cocoa option is my favorite. It’s rich, indulgent, and doesn’t taste over-roasted the way other dark chocolates can. And it’s just $2! "


https://www.thekitchn.com/aldi-best-chocolates-263049
Unfortunately, I don't like dark chocolate, milk chocolate is my devil. A trader Joe's opened a block away and they have a delicious five dollar 17 ounce Belgian milk chocolate bar that I crave.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:32 AM   #8
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I'm in the unfortunate category of genetically high LDL, low HDL, and high Triglycerides. I can't take statins as they destroy my liver. Diet and exercise don't seem to affect my numbers, or I haven't tried an extreme enough diet. I'm not big on fads or extremism.

Some of the research I have done is pointing to sugar and inflammation as the real culprits to heart disease. Since I can't control the cholesterol, I have been focused on reducing my refined sugar intake and inflammation. Sugar is very hard to control unless you cook fresh food. Everything in the stores is loaded with added sugar or HFCS. And for inflammation, I don't smoke, I exercise, try to keep my stress under control, keep my gums healthy, and drink a glass of red wine (or two) every day.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:45 AM   #9
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After I retired I started following the South Beach diet principles (low carb, good carbs, low fat, good fats and limited sugar) and exercising very regularly and vigorously. My total cholesterol fell precipitously but my HDL was somewhat low and my LDL somewhat high (triglycerides were ok). To get my HDL and LDL in-line I further reduced my fats and took my saturated fat intake to near zero. The imbalance got worse. I then read a book by an author I don't recall about the necessity of saturated fats in the diet so I tried adding some saturated fat back and my numbers fell in line and have remained there ever since. I was very surprised and pleased.

This doesn't apply directly to you but I think helps demonstrate that everyone's body can react a bit differently to diet and that we can't just go by a formula. It also may demonstrate the truth in the saying "everything in moderation." The trick is figuring out what "moderation" means for each of us.

Don't give up trying to figure out what works for you and you'll likely find it. I'd let you doctor know what you've been trying and get his take on what tweaks you might try.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lagersuufer View Post
I'm in the unfortunate category of genetically high LDL, low HDL, and high Triglycerides. I can't take statins as they destroy my liver. Diet and exercise don't seem to affect my numbers, or I haven't tried an extreme enough diet. I'm not big on fads or extremism.
.
DW has a similar problem and switched to Repatha - a biweekly injection. Her LDL plummeted. Repatha is very expensive but there are programs to reduce costs if you qualify.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bmcgonig View Post
I know lots of people do keto and low carb here so have you also had jumps in cholesterol like this? And does it worry you?

Yes, this is a problem I too recently ran into. I'm 41, and had my eyes dialated. The ophthalmologist explained to me that these lipids (cholesterol) gather up at the bottom and top of your eyeballs. You can see them when your eyes are dialated, and while it doesn't actually harm you... it's almost been like an OCD obsession ever since she said this. These lipids and plaque do build up in your blood-stream.



Certainly, blood pressure is a more immediate danger than cholesterol is, so you're on the right track, but you do need to adjust your intake.


Essentially, Cholesterol comes from two things: Red Meat, and Dairy.




Sucks, because I like dairy, and I like red meat.



I'm not a doctor, so I cannot appropriately fully explain it; however, you have LDL and HDL. The LDL is the bad cholesterol which builds up plaque that essentially never goes away. The HDL is the cholesterol that carries away the unneeded LDL and prevents it from becoming plaque in the arterial walls.


So... you can still eat some red meat and dairy, but you have to make sure that you are properly balancing out the HDLs as well. So... unfortunately... cut back on steaks and red meat. But if you are going to have a steak, have it with a glass of red wine, with some nuts as a snack before. This will greatly limit the possibility of the LDLs turning to plaque. Here's some foods which increase HDL: https://www.curejoy.com/content/food...ur-hdl-levels/


Note, despite what it says, there's no proof that any foods will break down existing plaque. But these foods can limit or prevent further plaque build-up.





Second, you'll want to adjust your diet further. You can still do Keto and Whole-30 or whatever your choice is... but you just have to make sure you limit red meat. You'll want more fish, and more chicken breast.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:03 AM   #12
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Essentially, Cholesterol comes from two things: Red Meat, and Dairy.
Just for the record, the cholesterol in what you eat has nothing to do with the cholesterol in your blood.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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Essentially, Cholesterol comes from two things: Red Meat, and Dairy..
Most animals and animal products have cholesterol. Eggs, chicken etc etc. Three oz of lobster has 124 mg of cholesterol.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
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I have had very high total cholesterol and LDL all my life. But very low triglycerides and HDL with terrific ratios, so no, it doesn't bother me at all. It worries some doctors but not others, since there are some positive aspects to it, especially as you get older. You should do some research into it.

+1. I reduced my carb consumption some years ago, and basically the same thing happened with my blood lipid numbers........triglycerides went down, HDL went up, and both LDL and TC went up somewhat. That concerned me at first, until I did some research and discovered that LDL and TC are not the lipids to be concerned about. The best predictor of cardiovascular health is your triglyceride/HDL ratio - if you are below 2.0, you're doing well; if you are below 1.0, you're doing great. People over age 60 actually live longer if their TC is a little on the high side. As someone else said, if your doctor is concerned about your LDL, ask for a particle size test. If you have mostly the large, fluffy LDL particles (which you probably do, if you are not eating many carbs), there is no cause for concern at all. Quite a few doctors still cling to the old diet/cholesterol theory of heart disease, though, and if you have one of those, your doctor may want to put you on a statin drug. If that happens, my suggestion is the same as Braumeister's - do some research on all this before you agree to take any drugs, and decide for yourself whether you have anything to be worried about or not.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:23 AM   #15
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Most animals and animal products have cholesterol. Eggs, chicken etc etc. Three oz of lobster has 124 mg of cholesterol.



Totally understand, I'm just saying that those two things are the biggest offenders.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #16
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Just for the record, the cholesterol in what you eat has nothing to do with the cholesterol in your blood.
+1, that is correct, although many people still don't understand that. Also, referring to LDL as the "bad cholesterol" is also a misleading and outdated concept. The short article below provides an explanation of what LDL really is, and why getting a high LDL lipid number on your blood test is not such a bad thing (and why triglycerides are what you should really be watching):

https://www.drperlmutter.com/ldl-friend/
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:50 AM   #17
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There are lots of videos on the web discussing LDL and low carb/ketogenic diets. I suggest you start searching. Dr. Diamond has several good recorded lectures on the topic, and he is not the only one.

Total Cholesterol and LDL (particularly if calculated) by themselves aren’t particularly good indicators of heart disease risk. The lipid story is far more complex. There are newer measures of LDL that are more insightful, and also ApoB to ApoA ratios. So you should read up enough to understand these newer tests. Really worth learning about.

I also have seen controlled studies on low carb diets where LDL went up initially, but later dropped below the starting level.

Personally, being female and almost 60, I consider higher LDL to be protective, but I’m not sure what my PCP will think. I just had another lipid panel drawn yesterday.

Congrats on your great HDL and Triglyceride numbers!

Edited to add: if you have read material by Fat Emperor you must be up on the latest LDL testing.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:59 AM   #18
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Braumeister and RAE are steering you right, eating things with cholesterol doesn’t increase serum cholesterol. Enjoy your eggs or avoid them for other reasons.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:09 PM   #19
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Braumeister and RAE are steering you right, eating things with cholesterol doesn’t increase serum cholesterol. Enjoy your eggs or avoid them for other reasons.



I'm not trying to make trouble here, but literally every website I go to that says "foods to avoid to lower cholesterol" it states red meat / dairy / bacon / eggs, etc.


Is this like a global warming debate? Or am I totally misunderstanding all of these websites that say to cut back on these things to lower your bad cholesterol
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:19 PM   #20
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I'm not trying to make trouble here, but literally every website I go to that says "foods to avoid to lower cholesterol" it states red meat / dairy / bacon / eggs, etc.


Is this like a global warming debate? Or am I totally misunderstanding all of these websites that say to cut back on these things to lower your bad cholesterol
It doesn't matter for most people, something like 75%. I haven't consumed a significant amount of dietary cholesterol in 2.5 years and my numbers, while trending down, have not changed dramatically.
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