Recent Carnivore convert, comment on lab work

(Will) #1

I have been overweight for a while and been doing carnivore for about 2 months now and after every month I do labs just so I do’t have too much of a surprise. Anyway my labs especially my U/A got better after years of RBC issues and uric acid etc … So the regular blood looked good too and was getting better except the HDL went down and LDL went up but to my surprise the Triglycerides went way up. I don’t want to have any Cardiovascular disease incidents so i have cut down on the heavy animal fat, less butter, no bacon, no cooking with left over grease etc. Ill do labs again in 30 days to see whats up. It makes sense that if you are in ketosis you need to have available fat for your daily energy use, but why so much? Isn’t the idea to burn the body reserves first ? So anyway i’m going lean on the meats eating much less fat and supplementing vitamins etc. The one thing i notice is that I have never been able to lose so much weight with so little effort and I’m not hungry. It’s very amazing to see positive results on carnivore and i’m hoping it may help an autoimmune thing i have going on. It has not yet done anything for that. See you in 30 days. God willing.

(Bob M) #2

Trigs and LDL might go up if you’re losing weight, as both of them shuttle energy. When I fast multiple days, for instance, both skyrocket.

As for HDL, not sure why that would happen. I do know that fasting causes my HDL to go down, so it could be a short term effect.

I would not get too concerned about animal fat, butter, bacon, leftover grease. That most likely has little to no effect on your results.

You can test this. Wait until you’re weight-stable. Then eat your normal diet for one week, get tested. Eat a very high fat diet for one week. Get tested again.

(Edith) #3

You can search the forum on this issue because this question comes up frequently, but in a nutshell, we usually suggest people wait about 6 months before getting their lipids tested. It takes a bit for the body to get fat adapted and adjusted to the new energy source (fat.) Until then, you will see the types of results you received.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #4

One possibility for the high trriglycerides and poor HDL, if you are not consuming carbohydrate, is hypothyroidism. You might want to get your thyroid function checked out.

Our animal fat intake has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease. There have been a number of large, well-funded studies intended to support the diet-heart hypothesis first advanced by Ancel Keys (includeing Keys’s own Minnesota Coronary Survey), and they all showed either no correlation between LDL and cardiovascular disease, or even a negative correlation. These studies also showed that lower cholesterol levels associated with a number of poorer health outcomes, including higher incidences of cancer and a higher rate of all-cause mortality (not surprising, in light of the major role cholesterol plays in the immune system).

I’m not sure what you mean by “why so much?” We need enough fat to replace the calories lost from no longer eating carbohydrates, but it takes much less fat to yield the same amount of calories. So if you were getting (purely as an example) 1600 calories from carbohydrate before, that was 800 g/day of carbohydrate. But it takes only 177.8 g of fat to provide the same 1600 calories.

No. In cases where someone has excess stored fat to release, there is a daily limit on how much the body will actually release to be metabolised. The rest of our energy needs must therefore come from dietary fat. Studies have shown that in the absence of carbohydrate, our fatty-acid metabolism actually increases noticeably. So if someone listens to his or her body and eats enough protein and fat to satisfy hunger, the body will set food intake at a level that allows both dietary and stored fat to be metabolised.

Simply put, just keep calm, and carnivore on.

(Bob M) #5

I think for most, if not all, weight-stable people, adding “saturated fat” to the diet won’t do anything to lipid levels, other than maybe reduce trigs and increase HDL. I’ve not seen any “real world” RCTs where people eat real food and are keto/carnivore to see what happens to lipid levels.

My goal is to eat a lower fat diet for a week, then a very high (long chain) saturated fat diet to see what happens.

(Alec) #6

My strong recommendation is to change strategy: stop doing the testing, do carnivore full on (with the sat fat, the bacon and all the trimmings) for a good 12 months.

At the end of the 12 months review where you are weight wise (this is a massive health risk marker… if you lose weight, you WILL be healthier and have lower risk for all sorts of disease), and then get some blood tests done. And accept that some of them may not be what you think is perfect or even OK.

The problem with your current strategy is exactly what is happening: you are getting spooked by these blood markers that may or may not be markers for health. Don’t get spooked, trust the process and give the carni lifestyle a year to work its magic. Then review and test everything and make a judgement on what you do next. I reckon at that point you will see the benefits as self evident, and you will stay carni.

(Bob) #7

What were the trigs before and what are they now?

I ask because I am having an extremely high triglyceride issue, with numbers that probably blow yours away. I am still testing different theories as to why and plan on documenting everything on YouTube when I have narrowed it down.

By comparison, my trigs before carnivore were 700. Then six months later they were 1860. I adjusted my macros and removed a meal so that I was now intermittent fasting and 2 week later they skyrocketed to 2883.

I would love to see 700 again, even though that’s still considered “dangerous”.

(Michael) #8

I had trigs in the 800s when I was a carb eater - at the time my LDL was low, the doctor had no concerns. What she should have told me then was that I was developing diabetes and my hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance were contributing to the high trig levels. I would think that carnivore would have lowered yours as it did mine (to like 100-150 range) once the insulin came down. Have you checked your insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and maybe even more relevant, your thyroid function? Having all that energy in your blood is something that would concern me.

(Robin) #9

It’s incredibly difficult to see those numbers and not worry.
Mine were similar, even after 3 years of keto/carni.
I eventually added in a statin (which I swore I would NEVER do) and a blood thinner after I began having significant heart/stroke issues… which run in the family. At almost 70, I take it seriously.

I still eat the same today but my numbers are better, and my heart has calmed down. Still issues now and then, but I don’t feel like I could keel over today. I feel like I’m straddling both sides of the fence.

(Bob) #10

Getting my thyroid checked has been suggested to me a couple of times now. It’s on my to-do list. I’ve been ordering my own labs every other week to monitor if what I am doing is resulting in any changes.

Same. I would rather not take a statin. My PCP has prescribed me Fenofibrate, which after doing some research on it, is okay with me. I’ve been on it for 1.5 weeks so far.

I also learned that high doses of Niacin can also lower trigs and raise HDL. So I started taking them at low doses and I am gradually working my way up. The flushing was intense the first time, lol.

That’s good to hear. I don’t particularly want to give up carnivore yet. I would like to take off 10 more pounds. My plan has always been to reach my goal weight, then revert back to clean keto, sometimes animal-based, and then if needed I can always go a few days or a week back on carnivore if I ever need to tune up my maintenance plan.

(Robin) #11

I tried adding in some select veggies and nuts for a while, but soon learned I function better, feel better, and maintain better on carni.
So far so good. About 6 months on meds and still feeling good. Fingers crossed.

(Geoffrey) #12

I was on a statin before I learned the truth about diet, nutrition and statins.
Once I learned that they will only do anything for someone who has already had a heart attack and even then only extend their lives by five days, it was enough to laugh and say no thanks. Especially since I’ve never had a heart attack.
Only in the most extreme cases should anyone be on them.
My doctor wants me back on them for my cholesterol but I just tell him I like having higher LDLs because at my age it’s protecting me from heart attacks and strokes and with me being five or six times more likely to have a stroke due to my AFib, that’s a good thing.


None of that is true, all of that is debunked. Your Cholesterol will go up, and that’s fine. If you’re losing weight, of course your Trigs will rise, you’re mobilizing fat into your bloodstream to be burned off. That said, if you’re just (forcing) fat in all over the place for the sake of doing it, ya, stop that as it’s not necessary, but don’t be afraid of animal/saturated fat either, there’s no sense to it.

As somebody that does a LOT of labs, you’re doing too much, nothing huge is changing in 30 days to make it worth it unless you’re very specifically targeting something, and something that has real movement in a month, most things are in a pretty large constant flux all the time and absent huge movement, that’s all your seeing with the close testing.