T Nation

How to Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides?

What kind of eating lifestyle is good to lower cholesterol and triglycerides

I have been doing 60/20/20…carbs/fat/protein ratio and they both went up

Total cholesterol is an almost meaningless number (at least as far as LDL and particle size is understood). Generally speaking HDL and triglycerides are the more important numbers. Higher HDL and lower triglycerides is generally better. Both of those numbers are primarily controlled by carb intake. Carbs will lower your HDL and raise your triglycerides (both bad). Saturated fat will somewhat raise HDL and raise LDL (and total cholesterol, though again that doesn’t seem to be very important at this time). If you are worried about heart disease, you may do better by doing things like keeping an eye on your waistline, visceral fat, and inflammation.

I weight train 3x/week and walk/run 3x/week…went from 220 to 202 in two years, wear size 34 pants…i see some definition but I still have too much fat in the waist area

My numbers were really bad when I did girondas steak and egg diet…so I quit that

CoQ10, D3, Fish oil
Stop eating or using all Omega 6 replace with Omega 3

On the drug front metformin

I take omega3 fish oil and coq10

My older sister eats no red meat, eats fish and mostly vegatable and she takes cholesterol medication…i am wondering if it’s hereditary

what does bad mean?

Total 279
HDL 40
LDL 194
TRIG 241

Quite possibly, I’m the same, tried all sorts of diets etc to control cholesterol and to no effect.

Dietary cholesterol has a small impact overall, most of it is manufactured in house and managed by the liver.

I’ve stopped worrying about it, my other risk markers are low and as I say I can’t manage it naturally. Never taking statins, they do more harm than good statistically

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice, it’s just what I’ve see and worked though in my own life.

Yeah, your triglyceride/HDL ratio is high which seems to be the most powerful predictor based on cholesterol of heart disease. Again TYPICALLY reducing carbs will improve both those numbers. The other big level you can pull is to just stay at a healthy weight.

Some other things to consider is your specific genetic predisposition. While typically dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect blood lipid levels, it does seem to for some people. You may be a hyper responder to the cholesterol in eggs for example. If your LDL is largely genetic (like mine) you’ll have some decisions to make. Doctors will want you on statins and such with all the side effects. You can also choose to focus on other factors like staying in shape, keeping your waist and visceral fat low, doing things like diet and oral health to keep inflammation low, using fasting/carb control/exercise to stay insulin sensitive, keep away from seed oils, etc. There are more powerful things than cholesterol numbers.

It’s actually not all bad news for the record. High LDL is actually associated with lower cancer and infectious disease risk. The genetic predisposition for cholesterol numbers like yours isn’t necessarily and evolutionary mistake.

1 Like

I was on statins before and I did not have any side effects and they reduced my numbers to good levels, I will be going back on them

I will also look at reducing carbs

Thanks

Statins changed your triglyceride and HDL numbers? Ironically, the effectivity of statins may mostly be because of their anti-inflammatory effects. There are studies showing the cholesterol lowering part doesn’t affect outcomes independent of the inflammation reduction.

Side effects aren’t just how your feel. For example lowering your LDL may increase cancer risk. Generally the evidence for the effectivity of statins isn’t good. The studies and writings I’ve seen only show reasonable risk reduction in men who’ve already had a major cardiac event. With inflammation and metabolic issues, your risk is still high even if your numbers are “good”. I would encourage you to look at interventional hard endpoint studies of people in your demographic. And look at total mortality, not relative risk, and not for a single condition.

Yes they did…all of my family have been on them as heart disease is prevalent in my family especially dad’s side…death of heart disease in their 80s…cancer us rare in my family…never had a cardiac event and will be 57

My numbers were high a few years ago, I was 225 at 5’7"… waist was too big, was on girondas steak and egg diet and never could lose any weight…reduced my fat intake and protein intake and increased my carbs intake and lost 20 lbs…cant figure that one out

Started walking/running and lost a few more pounds

Went off the meds to see any difference and the numbers climbed

I know I need to lose any 10-20 pounds, but right now I am just stuck at 202

When I can get to below 190 lbs I will try coming off the meds again and see what happens

Yeah, we are in the same ballpark. I’m 38 though and keep in really good shape. The only big difference in our numbers is that my triglycerides are low (probably because I exercise a ton and don’t eat many carbs). My first time getting my numbers check my total was 361 FTR (I had an LDL of 300). Now I’m 50 pounds lighter and quit drinking though.

Can you detail how you lost 50

That is a long story. I’ve gone through phases of just about every diet and training you can think of. More or less I stopped drinking >>> starting limiting junk >>> cut back on carbs >>> starting fasting >>> got into keto >>> eventually became strict carnivore >>> now I’m pretty well just meat based (this is like a 12 year journey). Most of the weight lost happened over about 2 years, but I’ve maintained it for a decade now. Right now I eat almost entirely (in terms of calories) eggs, beef, liver, heart, and fish with some lean chicken or fish if I want to loose weight. This isn’t super strict carnivore as I will eat some fruit, coffee, seasonings, etc in small amounts. Well the coffee isn’t in small amounts. I also only eat from about 8 AM to 12 PM. I do heavy weight training in the morning 5+ days a week. Lots of walking/chasing kids/physical activities during the day and conditioning on off weight training days.

You need to find what works for you. The diet/lifestyle that keeps you active and at a good weight is more about adherence that doing the perfect things.

Where do you get the energy being on strict carnivore…or is that all a myth

I eat a ton of fat. I’ve always personally felt better on high fat/low carb anyway. While it doesn’t prove it will work for you, there are now people at the top of many sports who eat that way (even in glycolytic sports). I even learned recently flex wheeler was carnivore for large parts of his career.

1 Like

I may try this carnivore…do you have any advice of how to transition from high to no carb and what I would expect in my training and how I would be feeling

Thanks in advance

There are literally books written on it (I have copies of “the carnivore diet” and “the carnivore code”). There are communities on all the platforms for support. There are also many podcasts on it and youtube channels. I like to follow shawn baker and paul salidino because they tend to be on opposite ends of the spectrum for what they do. Baker basically eats stake, salt, and water. Salidino is way into the weeds on physiological mechanisms and hyper optimization (with organs and collagen and stuff). Both have good youtube channels with videos on how to start.

As a word of warning, it will probably suck for a couple weeks at least. Your digestion my be horrible until it adjusts to handling the meat (I’d recommend not consuming too much rendered fat at first). Energy and mental focus and cravings can also be bad if your body doesn’t have the ability to burn fat and your brain and muscles are used to having sugar all the time. Also, please know it has a tendency to elevate LDL numbers. However, typically the form of LDL it creates isn’t a big contributor to heart disease and it tends to raise HDL and lower triglycerides and inflammation all of which is good.

You will have to play around with it, give it some honest time, and see what works for you. Full adaptations can take months. Long term your body will do things like start storing fatty acids in the muscles to fuel workouts when glycogen is limited, BUT that takes time.

1 Like