T Nation

High Cholesterol - 26 Yrs Old


#1

Hey guys, long-time reader and avid in the gym. Apologies in advance for the long post.

So for a long time we've all been advocating that meats, egg, dairy are overrated in terms of it's negative effects on the body.

Primarily eggs - which I know some posters on here eat a handful of whole eggs daily. I am, or was, one of those people.

On average i would eat about 3-4 whole eggs per day plus my other protein sources.

So I had a blood test done about 2.5 years ago (Apr 2010?) and my LDL Cholesterol (the bad one) was at about 4.5. My doctor, at the time told me to watch myself as it was at the upper limit of a healthy young male at 23 years old. At that time, I had already been eating fairly healthy but liberally in order to gain mass. I was not counting marcos/ calories or anything. Just eating 4-5 meals a day with protein for each meal. Back then, when I was living at home, my mom would cook for me and wouldn't allow me more than 2 eggs a day.

Fast forward to 2012 November, I got my recent blood test again. I had been moved out and living on my own for the past 1 year and had been cooking all my own food. Since that time, that is when I'd been consistently eating 3-4 and sometimes 6 whole eggs daily.

My LDL Cholesterol shot up to 6.76. My doctor was very surprised. I looked athletic and lean and do have not a sweet tooth.

For the next 3 months, i'm going to cut down the amount of whole eggs - down to 1/ day, while keeping all my other dietary habits the same (still eating chicken, pork, fish and the skin and fat that comes with it). That way I can isolate that one variable in my diet that "may" have caused this. My doctor is very certainly it's the eggs...

I love eggs, but damn...

FYI - a weekday diet typically consists of:

  • skinless, boneless chicken breasts/ tuna/ salmon/ white fish
  • 3-4 whole eggs
  • 2 pieces of fruit
  • nuts/ almonds
  • pb sandwich
  • some vegetables
  • some olive oil if i cook with it
  • omega-3 and flax seed oil

On Weekends or when I eat out - i usually order fattier meats and eat more liberally (not really any fried or sweet foods though)

Do you guys think it could be the eggs? Thoughts?


#2

Oh and also, I know that 1 large whole egg has 211mg of cholesterol in it. There is this whole debate about the cause of bad cholesterol.

some say its moreso from saturated fats vs. cholesterol from food (like eggs).

i am confused as to which one is right…

AND for the past 6-8 months, i’ve pretty much eliminated beef from my diet (except when I eat out once a week). I have Arthritis and I should be eating meats that are less inflammatory like chicken and fish…


#3

you have arthritis at 26? only 3-4 eggs a day? I think you have some hereditary health issues, rather than high cholesterol from eggs


#4

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
you have arthritis at 26? only 3-4 eggs a day? I think you have some hereditary health issues, rather than high cholesterol from eggs [/quote]
I would 2nd ^this^ opinion.

It sounds like these two issues are going to be with you the rest of your life so do some research. I would look for alternative ways to fight arthritis and cholesterol as your current doctor has you blaming whole eggs and beef.

I have never understood how doctors can point fingers at whole foods and then prescribe pharmaceuticals to solve the problem.


#5

Thought to mention that possibly your elevated cholesterol and arthritis is coming from the sandwich bread being eaten instead of the meats. Dr. Davis, a cardiologist, has found he has been able to manipulate cholesterol levels in patients more by removing wheat along with other grains, and sugars from the diet.

One of the doctors articles that might be of help.

“Stents, knee surgery, narcotics, statins . . . no more!”

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/11/stents-knee-surgery-narcotics-statins-no-more/


#6

[quote]JLone wrote:

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
you have arthritis at 26? only 3-4 eggs a day? I think you have some hereditary health issues, rather than high cholesterol from eggs [/quote]
I would 2nd ^this^ opinion.

It sounds like these two issues are going to be with you the rest of your life so do some research. I would look for alternative ways to fight arthritis and cholesterol as your current doctor has you blaming whole eggs and beef.

I have never understood how doctors can point fingers at whole foods and then prescribe pharmaceuticals to solve the problem. [/quote]

sorry i guess to clarify, the Arthritis is currently managed right now without any form of medication. So in essence, for the past 3 years, i have been pain-free (i attribute this to weights and diet).

I do agree that most doctors are like that…but mine seems to actually want to know himself as well if it is in fact the eggs at work…


#7

One way to find out come off the eggs for a month or two and get a re-test. If the LDL hasn’t budged then we’ll know. Also what are your triglycerides, hdl, vldl and c-reactive protein if you know? LDL on its own doesn’t tell us much.


#8

High cholesterol itself isn’t necessarily doom and gloom. But its only part of the picture. As someone else said, I’m surprised the doc didn’t look at it in relation to lipo protein ratios and triglycerides. Not to mention blood glucose levels.


#9

i think you need to eat more vegetables dude, really anything that grows out of the ground.


#10

Im in similar territory myself at 29. I have a cholesterol level of around 7. Im also eating 4-5 eggs every single day for the past 2 years.

I dont think the research is conclusive at all, and there has been recent contradictory evidence which shows eggs have no impact on blood cholesterol levels.

You should look at your HDL to Total Cholesterol ratio. A ratio of under 3.5 is good. Supposedly the HDL helps “mop up” any lower density “bad” LDL cholesterol. You should look at your triglyceride levels also and VLDL levels to get a better overall picture.

I was carrying an extra few per cent of body fat for a few months when I got tested, and was eating a lot of red meat (almost every day). Im going to get down to around 11-12% body fat and before my next test in around 4 months. I’ve cut back on red meat, and am eating more lean meat sources such as turkey and chicken, along with cold water fish like salmon. Interestingly though, I was taking around 5 grammes of high grade EPA fish oil for the past 2 years, but still had LDL of over 4.

I’ll let you know if body fat reduction, reduction of red meat has any impact on my next cholesterol test due in four months. Overall I’m not too concerned at the moment. There are over 120 independent risk factors for a cardiovascular event. I’m starting to think that their is a bit too much focus on cholesterol.

I also think a huge amount of it is genetics. I see lard asses in my work place who eat junk all day long with cholesterol levels of around 3.4 mmol/L.