Cholesterol Support
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Mono vs Poly?

I hope this is a place where I can seek advice regarding general nutrition.

I recently adapted a high-fat low-carb diet and decided to take a lipids test.

My LDL was off the charts, yet my HDL was really good, my triglycerides were 0.7, and I had no risk of diabetes.

Looking back into the diet, I was eating close to 60–80 grams of saturated fat per day. Whilst changing this lifestyle to lower LDL. I wanted to know; if eating more monounsaturated/polyunsaturated in opposed to less saturated is going to help lower my LDL?

When researching polyunsaturated fats, the NHS says it lowers LDL; yet others say it's bad. They encourage eating more monounsaturated and avoid the "PUFAs". Why are they both contradicting each other. (section about PUFAs, sunflower seeds are non-related)

The reason I'm going through all this trouble is because I need to gain some weight. Eating these foods regularly is going to help me transition much easily.

Therefore, I'm aiming to up my calories without proteins or carbs (paleo/mediterranean lifestyle). Looking at this in terms of nutritional health example: 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil is better than 50 grams of sunflower seeds to lower LDL cholesterol as the oil has a better mono to poly ratio?

Thank you for understanding!

13 Replies

Why don't you want protein?


Already getting enough, too much is bad.


I wrote a post on some of these questions - click here:

There is a lot of controversy about the various oils. I personally stick to olive only. Since we don't fry any food we don't have a need for any other type of oil.

To gain weight you need protein, whether animal or plant, you need protein to build muscle. Gaining weight by consuming fat is only going to increase the fat under your skin which is very unhealthy and unflattering.

The Mediterranean Diet calls for animal protein every 2 weeks, and fish protein 2-3 times per week. You can supplement that with egg-whites and/or legumes (beans, chick peas, lentils) on a daily basis. Prepare egg-white omelettes with onions, green peppers, kalamata olives and feta, it is nutritious and delicious.

Look up some recipes for these various legumes and start eating them daily. You also need to do resistance training (working with weights or your own body weight) in order to build muscle.

Keep your simple carbohydrate and sugar consumption as close to zero as possible, but don't replace that with fat, whether it be animal or otherwise. You need some fat, you don't need extreme amounts.

This whole Paleo diet theory has holes in it. Our ancestors lived to between the ages of 30 and 45 before 1900, why are we looking at that epoch for dietary guidance? Longevity clusters in today's world such as in Sardinia in Italy and Ikaria in Greece, show people eating a variety of foods, mostly plant-based, supplemented occasionally with animal protein as noted above. They exercise daily because of hilly terrain and they socialize a great deal which relieves stress and they eat locally grown food and grass-fed livestock only. They don't hyper consume fats.

Look up National Geographic's 'Blue Zones' to learn more about longevity.

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Thanks, it's really the fact that I'm already getting enough protein. I don't really want to start eating tons of grains and legumes. I follow a strict paleo diet to reduce overall inflammation.

I eat wild-caught salmon daily and get enough protein through that and my low-gi veggies. The only way I know to bump up caloires can come from carbs (of which I don't want to consume tons of starch/paleo etc.) and fats such as oils.

Any ideas?


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Wild Salmon daily? Very expensive!

Look for balanced diet.


I only have around one 180g fillet/day. I get enough from veggies.


I'd suggest adding avocados and raw nuts to what already appears to be your pretty healthy diet. Quinoi is probably okay too.


Already eating avocados, they're high in saturated fats too though; so I limit myself. I do eat walnuts though.

My diet used to consist of all of this PLUS Saturated fats from butter and coconut oils. I've now removed the saturates and concentrated on mono and polyunsaturated fats such as flax and chia seeds for example. I've additionally added some non starchy low GI veggies in such as kale, cauliflower, courgettes, broccoli, mushrooms. Should this change my total cholesterol and importantly ldl?


This is from the Internet:

" You can stop eating cholesterol for the rest of your life and still have high levels. How can this be? For starters, all of your cells can create cholesterol. This is good because every cell in your body needs it to form protective membranes. Your body actually monitors your cells, and if it senses that a cell doesn't have enough cholesterol, it will produce more. Cholesterol also is an essential building block for naturally produced vitamin D and other good stuff, like estrogen and testosterone. But even though every cell can make its own cholesterol, some cells need extra help with their supply. This is where your liver comes in.


"Your body, mainly your liver, produces 75 percent of your cholesterol; your small intestine also aids in both the creation and absorption of cholesterol [source: AHA]. The average diet adds another 300 to 500 mg of cholesterol [source: Schafer]. This external cholesterol comes from animal and dairy products. But even if you eat foods without cholesterol, the carbs, fats and proteins all break down eventually and release carbon, which your liver turns into cholesterol.



Why d'you want to cut out saturated fats?

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In hopes to truly lower LDL and replacing sats with mono in aid of that. I'm 130lbs 5'10 male, who was eating 60–80 sats a day.


I'd go to the YouTube channel of Ivor Cummins and his website The Fat Emporer.

Whatever the NHS says, I'd consider doing the exact opposite as they are guided by Big Pharma whose main interest is PROFIT. How do they make a big profit? By making you ill, and keeping you ill and drug dependant.

LDL isn't so important if your HDL and triglycerides and HbA1C are all good.


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Healthy body-fat has only slightly more mono than SFA, with PUFAs less than 4%. After millions of years of evolution, that would seem like a logical ratio to aim for.

The body uses twice as much energy in the form of fat compared to carbohydrate; again, a logical ratio to aim for.

You're right to avoid too much protein. Excess is easily turned to glucose with harmful side products including uric acid and ammonia, aging us quicker. Use intense activity to build lean body-mass.

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