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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I just found out that I have high cholesterol today. The doctor didn't prescribe any meds; she wants me to change my diet. I had been on a low-carb diet for about a month when I had it checked a couple of weeks ago. My numbers are:

LDL - 163
HDL - 73
Total - 248

Trig. 62

I have no idea what my cholesterol was like before I began the low-carb diet. The #s may have even been worse for all I know! But, I did not really increase my fat intake on the low-carb diet. I am 25 years old, and I am in my target weight range. From what I have read online today, my HDL and triglycerides are good. Aside from cutting out my 3-4 servings of full-fat cheese per day, I don't really see many changes that I need to make.

People keep referring to the ratio. What should the ratio of LDL to HDL be? In an earlier post, one person referred to LDL as garbage and HDL as garbage trucks. If so, I should be okay, right? Are my numbers balanced or should I be concerned?

Any info. is appreciated. I am quite disgusted that my doctor did not try to provide me with more info.


Your LDL/HDL ratio should be 2.5 or less. Yours is 2.2, which is within the range. The two factors which are really in your favor are your high HDL and low triglycerides. Some feel that the triglyceride/HDL ratio is a far better risk indicator. An ideal ratio would be 1.0, with 2.0 being the average. Yours is excellent, at just 0.9. A high HDL combined with low triglycerides correlates more strongly with Pattern A LDL, which is considered less harmful, since it is made up of mostly large, fluffy particles. On the other hand, Pattern B LDL more strongly correlates with low HDL and high triglycerides. This form of LDL is considered more dangerous, since it consists of primarily small, dense particles. Now, your LDL was most likely only calculated, not actually measured. If it was measured, then you would get a clearer picture of what the composition actually is in regards to particle size breakdown.

You can request from your doctor to have your LDL measured, and thus obtain a more thorough breakdown regarding LDL particle size. But I would also ask to have lipoprotein(a) checked as well. Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), is a variant form of LDL. This is ordinary LDL combined with an adhesive protein called apo(a). This is what adheres to the walls of your arteries. It has the potential to carry with it some oxidized LDL. If your Lp(a) number is 20 or more, then plaque is more likely to deposit in your arteries.

As far as diet is concerned, that is something that you'll have to decide. Your doctor may recommend a low-fat diet. Well, there's both good and bad to that. It may lower your total cholesterol as well as your LDL. But, at the same time, it may also lower your HDL, and you may also find that your triglycerides will go up due to an increase in carbohydrate consumption. It's up to you if you want to go on that kind of diet. Even if total cholesterol and LDL is reduced, there is no guarantee that your ratios will improve if your HDL goes down and triglycerides go up. As for myself, I'm more inclined to favor more of a low-carb approach.
Hi - I was on a low-carb diet for a while and ended up with high cholesterol numbers, too - especially a high LDL but, thankfully, also a high HDL count and low triglycerides.
My doc also suggested food and exercise before medicine, and I brought my numbers down significantly over the 3month period by staying with the low-carb diet by exercising (3-4x a week for 30-45min at least), andwatching my saturated and trans fat - which is actually a good idea anyway. I cut out full-fat cheese (I still have a slice of low-fat, low-carb cheese every so often), cut down on or cut out high-saturated fat meats (bacon, sausage, red meat), ate more fish and veggies, no more low-carb icecream, cut back on lo-carb candy treats, and increased fiber (low-carb whole wheat tortillas ROCK!) while watching carbs. A lo-carb diet cuts out most trans fats already since you're not eating packaged cookies and candy, so that's good.
And I started taking the Cholester-Off supplement by Nature Made, eating Take Control/Benecol, and taking fish oil, a B-complex vitamin, and lecithin (along with the usual calcium, vitamin c, and daily vitamin).
Anyway, that's what worked for me. I think the exercise really makes a difference. I hope you get good results!

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