Paleo – Part 3 – 3 Month Cholesterol Results

cholesterol 1Since starting on the Paleo journey, the one thing that had been playing on my mind was Cholesterol levels, knowing they were high at the start of this journey, my concern was that they could potentially get worse.

In this blog I am going to share my results from three months ago and compare these to those taken this week. In addition I’ll try to analyse this using researched data.

Cholesterol results consist of six readings, four of which are key to determining your ratios, typically the result that your GP gives you is your general cholesterol level, however you should request a copy of the full results as these tell more of the story of the good and bad cholesterol levels.

  • Total Cholesterol (TC) – this is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood.  Ideally it should be 5 mmol/L or less
  • Non HDL-Cholesterol this is your total cholesterol minus your HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and is the sum all the  “bad” cholesterols added together (including LDL cholesterol) – ideally it should be 4mmol/L or less
  • LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) – this is the amount of LDL-cholesterol), ideally it should be 3 mmol/L or less
  • HDL-Cholesterol (HDL-C) – the amount of good cholesterol, ideally it should be over 1mmol/L (men) and over 1.2mmol/L (women).
  • TC:HDL ratio This is the TC figure divided by the HDL-C figure. A ratio above 6 is considered high risk – the lower this figure is the better.
  • Triglyceride (TG) this represent your body’s ability to clear fat from the blood after a meal.  Ideally it should be less than 2mmol/L on a fasting sample)

My Results  – May 2016:

  • Total Cholesterol of 6.10 mmol/L  – BORDERLINE
  • Non HDL-Cholesterol 5.2 mmol/L
  • LDL of 4.41 –  HIGH RISK
  • HDL of .86 – HIGH RISK
  • TC:HDL ratio 7.1
  • Triglyceride level of 1.80 mmol/L- BORDERLINE

This data provides the following ratios:

  • Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 7.09 – (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5)  – AT RISK
  • HDL/LDL ratio is: 0.195 – (preferably over 0.3, ideally over 0.4)  – AT RISK
  • Triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 4.791 – (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) – HIGH RISK

My results – August 2016

  • Total Cholesterol of 5.53 mmol/L –  BORDERLINE
  • Non HDL-Cholesterol 4.7 mmol/L
  • Your LDL of 3.9 – BORDERLINE
  • Your HDL of .8 – HIGH RISK
  • TC:HDL ratio 6.9
  • Your Triglyceride level of 1.80 mmol/L –BORDERLINE

This data provides the following ratios:

  • Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 6.91 – (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5)  –AT RISK
  • HDL/LDL ratio is: 0.205 – (preferably over 0.3, ideally over 0.4) – AT RISK
  • Triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 5.151 – (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) – HIGH RISK


So what does this tell me?  Firstly there has been a lowering of the ‘Bad’ Cholesterol (LDL), which is good thing. The ‘Good’ Cholesterol (HDL) has also lowered slightly which is not so good.

The Triglyceride level remains unchanged, these are an important measure of heart health and having a high level of triglycerides, which is a type of fat (lipid) in your blood, can increase your risk of heart disease. “When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).” – Mayo Clinic

Ideally the level should be less than 2mmol/L on a fasting sample, my level of 1.8 is just under.

art-cholesterolIn my basic research there are no specific foods that consistently increase HDL (good) levels, so the key is to lower triglyceride levels by losing weight, exercising, and not smoking (I have never smoked). The paleo diet has been a good method of weight loss so the next phase need to be an exercise regime combined with more foods to help lower LDL’s (bad);  typically these are

  • Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (such as fatty fish and dark, leafy greens)
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic.

Moderate alcohol has been shown to increase HDL; however, it does not lower LDL.

Foods Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omega-3-fatty-acids.pngFatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, sardines, and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids (also shown to lower triglycerides).

I hope this helps anyone else obtaining their results, please leave any comments to this blog I would be interested in any thoughts on the subject.


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Paleo – Part 2 – So Far, So Good

Paleo-diet-graphicBack in June I published details of my change to a Paleo diet that I started officially in March 2016.

As the title states so far, so good! In this short update I wanted to go over some of my typical daily food intakes, the challenges and benefits.

Generally I have stopped the known intake of refined sugars & artificial sweeteners, processed Salt, margarine, bread, cereals, oats seeds and beans. And limited potatoes & cheese.

For sweetening I use stevia in baking and honey occasionally in herbal tea.

Typically Breakfast consists of

  • Camomile Tea
  • Grilled Bacon or smoked Mackerel fillet
  • Two egg omelette with a couple of mushroom and tomatoes, a sprinkling of fresh or dehydrated spinach (I also add turmeric powder into the egg omelette), fried in Coconut Oil.
  • cup of water

I don’t tend to get hungry any more early mid morning but I do snack from about 10:30 to 12:30; snacks consist of

  • Banana
  • small pot of mixed nuts (Pistachios, Almonds, hazelnut) sometimes a sprinkling of raisins.
  • small pot of grapes, or strawberry with the occasional prunes when required!

Lunch tends to be between 12 to 2pm; this is typically

  • Base salad mix of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spinach, with this a have a few pieces of cheese, of ham, or chicken, or beef depending what’s available.
  • Natural Yogurt
  • any of the snacks left over.

Afternoon, if I still have snacks left I’ll finish those off along with a tangerine. On my way home I have a apple, the for evening meal tends to anything from

  • Meat and vegetables with Sweet Potato ; or
  • Baked Sweet Potato, salad, chicken
  • Stir fry of chicken, peppers, etc.

In general I use unsalted butter in the Sweet Potato and sea salt.

Probably too often we treat ourselves to a dessert of fried Banana (or paleo banana cake) and Ice cream (yeah I know!) I am rubbish at drinking water but try to take in 1lt per day, I have around 4 or 5 coffees and 3 to 4 teas per day on average.

So how has this affected my weight so far? I have generally monitored my weight daily to try and plot and understand the effects of the diet, fluctuation between morning and night is around 1.2kg, in June I stated that I was a regular 96kg (211 lb), now on a bad day I will be 96kg, now more often the weight is around 94.5 kg (208 lb).

Whilst the weight hasn’t fell off like it did initially, I feel that my health has improved and I don’t seem to have been hit by any major or minor illnesses (touch wood!). One of my main concerns was cholesterol, my levels initially were high bad, so I have booked to get this checked again and will feedback the results.

So what of the problems? Going out for meals, I tend to stick with steaks but do have chips (home made fries) & salads. more often than not I usually find that the day after my gut just feels not quite right, I think this is due to the sauces and fats used to cook with, and probably the Ale or wine drunk with the meal. On the subject of Alcohol, I’ve never been a big drinker so maybe a 1/2 bottle of wine or one or two pints per week is about average.

So is this Paleo? probably not at the moment, I am still yet to study and fully understand the diet but my main aim was to cut out the initial listed foods and to not crave them, I feel this has been achieved.

The only addition to this is intermittent fasting, I tend to do this on a mid week day, my last meal the evening before is around 6:30pm, on the fast day I tend to start eating around 10:30 to 11:30 and this is about my limit without getting hungry. On a fasting day I am almost guaranteed a weight loss of 1/2 kg, this is usually absorbed by an increase of the same on a weekend!

Still not started exercising yet but it is planned, honestly!

If you would like to know more or have any suggestions please let me know.



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survivalist Wisdom

“If you go to town you need money to buy food, if you go to the jungle you just need a knife”

My  thoughts  – I heard this on a TV documentary  speaking to people still connected to their ancestral past in Asia, it’s a very true statement however it assumes that you know how and what to do with the knife, these are skills that need to be practiced.

I carry a knife around daily and use it at least four times a day for different things, from wood cutting, box opening, wire stripping, to cutting a loose thread on clothing. Govenment and media have portrayed knife carrying as bad due to the very small minority of people who are idiots and let’s face it,would have done damage with whatever they have to hand, and of cause we all have to suffer the consequences of their actions!

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First Proof That Wild Animals Really Can Communicate With Us

we must know

When humans speak up, the little African birds called honeyguides listen—and can understand, a new study confirms for the first time.

Honeyguides in northern Mozambique realize that when a man makes a special trilling sound, he wants to find a bees’ nest—and its delectable honey.

Birds that hear this trill often lead human hunters to a nest, receiving a reward of honeycomb.

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survivalist Wisdom

“Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey the signals. If it does not tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.” – Lydia M. Child

My Thoughts – I’m a strong believer in that inner voice / gut feeling and feel it has helped me make some crucial decisions in life. Certainly in a survival or emergency situation I would rely upon it every time.


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Survivalist Wisdom 

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall” -Vince Lombardi 

My thoughts – falling or failure are sometimes looked upon with negativity, but the route to success is generally through failure, therefore falling or failure is essential to become better. We should understand this more as a society and stop wrapping everyone up in cotton wool to protect them from falling, and applaud those who fall and get back up.

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Survivalist wisdom 

“The proverb warns that “you should not bite the hand that feeds you.” But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself. ” – Thomas Szasz

My thoughts – whilst the meaning of the proverb is regarding being disrespectful to those that provide for you, not all situations of being provided for are good, human reservations and government benefits are two examples that comes to mind, everything provided for at the cost of suppression and control, leading to depression, crime and low self worth, Sometimes that hand needs to be bitten!

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