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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index


I think that there are times when two paramters get confused. Will a low carb diet result in lower cholesterol (without specifying LDL, HDL, TG...) Yes and no. Will a low fat diet? Yes and no, again.

If you can lose weight doing low carbs, then yes, the cholesterol will drop because for many people, there is a correlation between weight and total cholesterol (esp.TG and to a lesser extent, LDL). If you can lose weight doing a low fat diet, a drop in cholesterol (total) will be observed, normally, again.

When I ate low carb, high fat and protein, my total cholesterol was near 300 (292) with a huge TG level. Some people have a genetic flaw that results in high circulating triglycerides, but that's another topic for another discussion.

When I ate high carb, low fat, controlled protein, my total cholesterol was between 94-102 mg/dL. My triglycerides were in the 30-40 mg/dL range.

What really changed in there was that I lost 70 slbs of weight, and went from a sedentary lifestyle to running daily.

My cholesterol hovers from 100-150 mg/dL now, depending partly on how much fat I eat. But...the effect on eating more fat (esp. sat fat) is not that I believe I become unhealthier, my ratio of total/HDL stays about the same. My LDL goes up, but so does my HDL. My triglycerides remain about the same.

My last cholesterol check was a week ago. It came back with a total of 113 mg/dL (TG: 47, HDL: 49, LDL: 55). What changed since last time was that I was losing weight due to training for a race. I was taking in 400-480 g of carbs per day, running 4.5-7.5 miles per day. My ratio went from 2.5 to 2.2 (total/HDL), even though my HDL dropped.

What I am trying to say is that yes, diet will influence your total cholesterol to an extent, but so will periods of weight gain and loss. Ultimately, exercise and current weight will have an impact on your ratios, yet you can increase the levels of all your cholesterol values by increasing fat in the diet. The additonal fat won't make you unhealthy. Likewise, additional carbs in your diet, when you use them and burn them, also will not make you unhealthy.

From some of us, such as in my case, only when we do it in excess, and become unhealthy, will there be a problem.

The thing to keep in mind is that what works for me may not work for you, or for Zip, or for Arizona (Arizona is blessed with good HDL from what I recall). Genetics does play a role, but many of us can impact our progression of heart disease by lifestyle choices. The person I am dating has an LDL of about 80 mg/dL, and and HDL of over 100 mg/dL (104), with a TG identical to mine (47 mg/dL). Needless to say I am jealous. I am out watching my diet, keeping my weight down, running miles daily. Meanwhile, she is blessed with an incredible ratio, and doesn't need to exercise... Granted that may change after menopause and she does know that... Anyway, I should stop here--I am off on all kinds of tangents now.

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