Notes 1/18/2010: First, I’ve been following a low-carb, high-fat paleo/primal diet with a macronutrient ratio of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs for a while now. I’m sure, but haven’t checked, that includes more saturated fat than the USDA recommends in a week.

About two days before the blood draw, I ate from an all you can eat buffet. I stuck pretty close to paleo/primal foods, but I know that I got more carbs than normal and that the food was cooked in unhealthy fats. Not sure how much that would’ve skewed my results, but I’m not too worried in any case.

The nurse practitioner at the doctor’s office, though, is concerned though she is starting to think that my cholesterol numbers are due more to genetic variation than anything else… of course, she doesn’t know how I eat… I just told her that I eat “clean.” :)

Now some info about my numbers. Yeah, my total and LDL cholesterol numbers are up, but the numbers that matter most to me are down. For example, serum glucose is down almost 6%, my triglycerides are down over 17%, my HDL is up almost 19%, and my VLDL calc is down 20%. But, best of all, my ratio of triglycerides to HDL, which Dr. Eades considers most telling, is down over 30%!

Now, the nurse isn’t trying to push statins like she did last time, but she has requested an NMR profile be performed at my next blood test in six months.

Test Item “Normal” Range 01/09/09 09/28/09 01/18/10
Glucose, Serum (mg/dL) 65-99 89 86 81
Cholesterol, Total (mg/dL) 100-199 262 192 235
Triglycerides (mg/dL) 0-149 108 99 82
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL) >39 40 43 51
VLDL Cholesterol Calc (mg/dL) 5-40 22 20 16
LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Friedewald” (mg/dL) [1][3] 0-99 200.40 129.20 167.60
LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Iranian” (mg/dL) [2][3] 0-99 202.65 136.36 156.27
HDL/LDL Ratio – “Friedewald” 0.200 0.333 0.304
HDL/LDL Ratio – “Iranian” 0.197 0.315 0.326
Triglycerides/HDL Ratio [4] <5.00 2.70 2.30 1.61
C-reactive Protein (mg/L) [5] 0.0-4.9 0.3 0.3 0.5

[1] Friedewald method described here:

[2] Iranian method described here:

[3] Calculator available:

[4] This is based upon information found in The 6-Week Cure from Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades. From the book: The most meaningful lipid value predictor of heart disease risk is clearly the ratio of triglycerides divided by HDL. A number over 5 warns of increased risk; a number below 5 is a good sign, and the further below, the better.

[5] C-reactive protein is a measure of inflammation in the body:

Note: I started these posts before I started reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I’ve never been overly concerned by cholesterol numbers, but I care even less now. I will, however, continue to track my numbers. Mainly so people will be able to see what eating a high fat (50-65%) diet will do to these numbers. By the way, one of my favorite cheat snacks is one serving (4 sqaures) of a Lindt 90% cocoa “Supreme Dark” chocolate with two tablespoons of coconut oil. That is a 470 kcal snack that is 48g (85%) fat (37g of that is saturated), 14g (11%) carbs, and 5g (4%) protein. Side note, I love coconut oil. I put it on everything.

Note: Prior to my blood test in May, I had not been eating well or working out. In fact, I had been sick off and on (more on than off) since November ’08. I’ve been paleo-esque for about a month now and trying to hold to a stricter paleo diet going forward from here. We’ll see what the numbers show…

Note 10/7/09: Supposedly C-reactive protein (CRP) is also an indicator of heart disease… at least that’s what my doctor thinks. I’ve got to wonder though. If my total cholesterol was 262 mg/dL which the AHA says is “high risk”, that must mean my risk of heart disease was elevated. If that’s the case, shouldn’t my CRP have been elevated? Oh well, I’ll track it anyway just for the fun of it. If fat, especially saturated fat, is bad, then my cholesterol should go up which should start hurting my heart and cause my CRP to elevate. We shall see.

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