Cholesterol WORSE after 9 months 5:2?

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Cholesterol WORSE after 9 months 5:2?

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  • I feel there must be some explanation but I can’t see it??? After 3 months on 5:2 I had a blood test and my overall cholesterol had dropped from 6 to 4 so my doctor recommended and I enthusiastically agreed to stop taking statins. Now after 9 months on 5:2 the dr suggested another blood test as I needed my thyroxine checked . It was a fasting blood test after my second fast day, the same as before but my cholesterol was much higher and the dr was concerned and rang me last night to consider taking statins again. I really don’t want to do this. My weight has dropped by 33 lbs in 36 weeks, my best weight loss has been in the last 2 months, so why has this happened and has it happened to anyone else??Suggestions please?

    Wow, you have done so well. I don’t know whether you have read anything lately about statins and cholesterol, do a google. Some of the side effects of statins are toxic. You have lost so much weight – well done. What I have been reading there has been a lot of fudging the the stats about statins (no pun intended)

    It seems that the old average of cholesterol was 6.5. It has now become 5 because of the power of the drug companies. Bottom line, more people on statins more $$$ for the companies.

    We need cholesterol for our physical and mental health. There has been links with longevity and higher cholesterol. Search the net and see what you think.
    If it was me I wouldn’t be taking statins.

    Hi. My OH is doing 5:2 with me and has lost 22lbs and is now at his ideal weight. He had his cholesterol checked a few months before starting and it was 6.7. We had cut down on certain foods before starting 5:2. He had his cholesterol checked 2 weeks ago and indeed it has gone down a little, but apparently there is a good and a bad cholesterol, his bad has come down but the good has too, cancelling out the effect of the bad reduction!! There are so many conflicting reports on the effects of cholesterol and wether or not it’s bad for you, and at what age it’s actually GOOD for you, who’s to know what to do for the best. OH will not take statins, although that is the first thing the dr suggested, and seemed unable to offer any advice on what to eat to increase the level of the good stuff. So we do our own research as most 5:2ers do. Confusing.

    Beavergong, can I ask what it ‘ has gone up to?’

    Hi Beavergong and Carolee,
    I have a high cholesterol reading too. Like you Beavergong, I started the diet when I was on statins. Before statins my cholesterol was 8.6. With statins it was 4.0, give or take. So, pretty stable and well below the 5.0 level that is OK by normal medical practice.

    I’ve been on the 5:2 diet for six months. For the first three months I did the 500 calories two-days-a-week routine, and I went of the statins. It worked a treat, I lost 7 kilos, but my cholesterol went up (cause I was off the statins) to 6.4.

    My doc was happy about the weight loss, but unhappy about the (now) high cholesterol. He
    agreed to let me trial the 5:2 diet for another three months to see if the cholesterol levels continued to rise, or simply levelled off. Neither one of us thought it would reduce, as it is a hereditary trait, not a lifestyle issue.

    For the next three months I trialled a 4:1 pattern, where I ate normally for four days and fasted completely for one day. The calorie intake is nearly the same, but this way I don’t have to count anything.

    The new pattern of fasting also worked really well, I lost another 3 kilos and it was less hassle. But my cholesterol count went up to 7.1. Now that is high by all the measures and calculators that I can find. The doc wrote me a new script for statins, but I hesitated to fill it.

    Given I have no other risk factors, daily exercise, good diet, and (now) low BMI, even with a cholesterol reading of 7.1, my absolute risk factor is only 2%. It is unlikely that taking a statin drug will lower my risk of having a heart attack at all. (This calculator was developed
    The National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) which includes the National Heart Foundation of Australia, ).

    As Carolee says, there is a huge debate raging right now about the efficacy of statins. I suggest you talk to your doctor about it, and start educating yourself on the topic. The big ticket items that make us high risk for cardio vascular disease are smoking, being overweight, high blood pressure, and inactivity. Cholesterol levels just don’t tip the balance as much as these things do.

    Sorry about the long rave. The 5:2 diet really helped me bring my weight back to a healthy level, when nothing else did. Keep going! Ruth.

    this is an interesting topic since I’m also on statins. Having familiar hypercholesterolemia I’m living all my life long with Colestyramin, Ezitimib and Atorvastatin.

    I’ve started alternate-day-fasting (complete fasting, no caloric intake at all) in April but the only remarkably change so far was fasting glucose which even dropped below the lower given limit when tested in August.

    Total cholesterol and LDL made a small jump up from 3.9 to 4.6, and 2.6 to 2.8 so they’ve put me on 40 mg Statins now but I think this rise was primarily caused by the meat-loaded holidays in summer right before the test.
    HDL went up from 1 to 1.4 which was a pleasant surprise – maybe due to the high sport ratio (45 min crosstrainer three times a week).

    Today was my latest test, after three month of sturdy ADF and I’m curious to see the results on Thursday…


    Really interesting reading the posts. I’ve been on the 5:2 since April
    and it’s going well. I last had my cholesterol checked in about May and
    it was 6.3 and had actually gone up from 6.1. I’ve lost weight and go to the gym and don’t have any other risk factors so I’m not going to worry about
    it anymore.

    The above link takes you to the Catalyst science program that is well regarded for it’s factual journalism. It’s worth a watch and gives some
    back ground to the statin debate. Cheers to everyone x

    So, how did it go quizzle? I’m really curious. R

    Having watched the catalyst program and decided against going back on statins. I’ve had my blood tests done again and my overall cholesterol is worse up to 7.6 from 4 last May. I’ve now been on 5:2 for almost a year and have lost 39lbs my glucose has gone down consistently from 6 to 4 and all my other blood work is great. My new doctor , after 30 years my old one is taking a rest,is pushing me to go on statins but I,’d like to avoid it if I can. Any suggestions? Is there a natural alternative?

    @beavergong i replied to your post on another thread..

    I said in that…

    ” listen to your doctor!
    I would love to stop taking statins altogether, I am now on a reduced dose, but I have familial hypercholesterolaemia (in a fairly mild form thankfully) and, no matter how good my eating habits are, without statins my reading will be higher than normal.
    Is there a history of high cholesterol in your family? If so then perhaps, as in my case, only statins will keep the level down.”


    Anyone heard that lifting weight is helpful?


    I won’t chime in on the statin argument, but it is a fact that cholesterol levels rise after significant weight loss. They go down again after weight loss stops:

    Good Luck!

    I suggest you read the book “Fat Chance” by Dr. Robert Lustig. He explains how sugars are metabolized in the liver to produce high levels of HDL cholesterol. I suspect that you are eating too much sugars. Personally I eat virtually no products with added sugar. I keep to a low carb diet (between 30 and 50 carbs a day) and the only sugars are whatever is in my fruits and vegetables.
    I have used the 5:2 for only three weeks and have seen my weight go down almost 2 lb. per week. Prior to that I was on a low carb diet for about 6 months and lost 45 lb. The last 3 months prior to 5:2 my weight did not budge on the same diet. My aim is to get rid of another 17 lb. of mainly belly fat to improve my insulin sensitivity. The 5:2 will make it possible.

    If sugar was the problem why would my fasting glucose level have gone done from 6 to 4 on 5:2? The bottom level is 3.6 so I can’ the too bad?

    Today in UK this has been a topic of conversation (after flooding – those poor people πŸ™ )today in the media.

    The UK is the statins capital of Europe apparently.
    If my blood screen showed a raised LDH (the bad cholesterol) and my doctor suggested using statins I think I would ask for a repeat test in a couple of months and if no improvement then I would take them.
    There are no major side effects and lots of benefits.
    By the way Ingenn HDL is the good cholesterol and higher levels are better πŸ™‚

    Call me a cynical old sod if you wish but I cannot help thinking that the link in Lindyw’s post above suggests the power of lobbying by pharmaceutical companies to sell more statins. I really think that they will not be satisfied until statins are added to our drinking water supply by the water companies.

    I like to follow what Briffa has to say about statins: He is a practising GP and is anti. He analyses the research thoroughly. His own ideas on weight loss/control are not dissimilar to 5:2 as he promotes low carb and intermittent fasting. Worth looking at his site.

    Very educating and helpful to read of others’ experiences with cholesterol.
    I also saw the Catalyst show about statins, however my genetic profile is full of risks. Nonetheless it would have been nice to have miraculously dropped my cholesterol… but this has not happened.

    I have been on the fasting 5/2 diet now (with nothing except toast and coffee with milk for breakfast) since 7 November 2013 – so about three months. During this time I ceased to take the statin Crestor 10mg daily. On 7 February 2013 I had myself tested for cholesterol and I picked up the results today, 13 Feb 2013. They aren’t good.

    The first test I had for cholesterol was 28 March 2008 – six years ago, when I was 54. The relevant results were, in 2008:

    Total cholesterol: 4.1 mmo./L (0.0-5.5 = desirable range)
    Triglycerides: 1.3 mmol/L (0.5-2.0 = desirable range)
    HDL cholesterol: 1.5 mmol/L (0.9-2.2 = desirable range)
    LDL cholesterol: 2.0 mmol/L (0.0-3.4 = desirable range)
    Chol/HDL Ration: 2.7 (< 4.5)

    In 2011, whilst taking Crestor (possibly not absolutely regularly), my results were:

    Total cholesterol: 5.7 mmol./L (0.0-5.5 = desirable range)
    Triglycerides: 1.5 mmol/L (0.5-2.0 = desirable range)
    HDL cholesterol: 1.8 mmol/L (0.9-2.2 = desirable range)
    LDL cholesterol: 3.2 mmol/L (0.0-3.4 = desirable range)
    Chol/HDL Ration: 3.2 (< 4.5)

    Now, in 2014, after a couple of months off Crestor, the results are:

    Total Cholesterol: 7.2 mmol/L (0.0-5.5 = desirable range)
    Triglyceride: 2.4 mmol/L (0.5-2.0 = desirable range)
    HDL cholesterol: 1.6mmol/L (0.9-2.2 = desirable range)
    LDL cholesterol 4.5 mmol/L (0.0-3.4 = desirable range)
    Chol/HDL Ratio: 4.5 (< 4.5)

    “In this patient the cholesterol level and ratio suggest moderate CHD risk.”
    Plus an increased risk of atherosclerosis.

    My father has a shunt in his carotid artery due to atherosclerosis and there is a strong history of multi infarct dementia among women on my mother’s side. Having said that, my mother’s sister developed rapid and severe multi infarct dementia before she was 80 and died at age 84 in a state of complete dementia. My mother lasted until 87 doing very well, then, in the context of undiagnosed hypothyroidism, and a very high temperature, completely lost her recent memory overnight. She is currently on Crestor 20mg daily. Her father had a heart attack age 45 (but was a heavy drinker). He stopped drinking, lost weight, and survived very well until 75 with medication for angina, finally dying of a heart attack in hospital after 3 days of illness.

    So, as soon as I got home tonight I took my 10mg of Crestor. And 4 capsules of Vit D (although I can never work out what the dose should be). I’ll try to organise to wait another couple or three months to see what the result will be.

    I am also aware of my enjoyment of fat and sweets, so I will review these as well if there is no improvement after taking the Crestor regularly.

    This is all fascinating. If there is anything I can do to avoid atherosclerosis and dementia (apart from suicide, which is always an option if I see it coming) then I would like to try it.

    By the way, I took sibutramine hydrochloride for a few years and developed a blood glucose average that had me diagnosed as diabetic. After I stopped taking sibutramine the glucose levels returned to normal.

    By the way, I am feeling really good about this Fast Diet still. I do enjoy fasting; I am looking and feeling better and have lost a small amount of weight.

    IngeNN, either you have misunderstood what Robert Lustig has written or what he has written is so confusing as not to be worth reading. The latter is a strong possibility. When reviewed scientifically, the book does not fare well. See

    Overconsumption of carbohydrates most certainly won’t lead to increased production of HDL. Studies have shown that HDL cholesterol levels are reduced as carbohydrate consumption increases. See; Nutrient intake and its association with high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in selected US and USSR subpopulations. The US-USSR Steering Committee for Problem Area I: The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Am J Clin Nutr June 1984 vol. 39 no. 6 942-952 –

    Beavergong, the body produces cholesterol regardless of dietary intake. Your genetics may be such that your body overproduces cholesterol and diet will only have a very limited impact on controlling cholesterol levels. If that’s the case, you may choose to look at other ways to reduce your cholesterol levels. Statins are one way. If you haven’t experienced adverse effects from statins then they may be the best way forward.


    Recent research indicates cholesterol is good. Those over 50 need not worry about their levels – low or high. Those under 50 die sooner with low levels.

    Time to rethink?

    Hi all,
    I have just left my Doctors Surgery having seen a nurse practitioner to get results of a cholesterol test. I was asked to have this done because my previous level last November was 7.1, now 6. I have lost two stone in this period so was hoping for a downward change. The practitioner said I won’t need anymore tests as a twenty percent change is the maximum I can gain from diet and exercise. It’s hereditary and there is no further improvement to be made. She said statins are the only thing to bring it down but they are not considered unless there is a reading of 20.

    What is going on?
    This is the first time I have been told that information. The previous nurse said I must get it below 5. Who do we believe? I exercise daily and have a low fat healthy diet so do I just forget it and never get tested again?

    Confused, so confused and actually a little bit angry.

    @jojo58 I think (know) that nurse misinformed you.
    Make an appointment with your GP and ask him to explain your blood results and tell him what the Nurse Practitioner told you.
    Sounds to me as if you are doing everything right and probably have nothing but misinformation to worry about πŸ™‚

    Hi jojo58! Well done on the drop in weight and cholesterol. I’m not sure the 20% maximum your doctor claims is that accurate.

    When I first had my cholesterol tested back in 1991 it was 8.4 total. My last test at the end of last year was 5.3 total. I have never taken any drugs for cholesterol and that’s a lot more than a 20% drop – it’s 37%. I’m also exercising very little at the moment due to working some very strange hours.

    Your nurse is wrong to say you must get below 5. What is more important than total cholesterol is the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol. This is a far better indicator of cardiac risk because HDL cholesterol has a protective effect and if you have particularly high levels of this it will also bump up your total cholesterol.

    You may be able to find another doctor who is willing to do a lipid profile test which will separate out the different sorts of cholesterol to give a more accurate picture. I’d say that you should keep up with your current regime and try and get another test in six months and see if there is any further change. There might be.

    Good luck!


    Hello everyone – I am greatly relieved to read all of the above posts – I have just celebrated my half-century and have been doing the 5:2 (in my own way) for just under a year. ‘My own way’ means fasting completely for 2 days out of the 5, nothing to eat from getting up until around 5-6pm each day and then I don’t count calories, I eat what I like and do so on the other 5 days as well. This has worked marvellously well for me and I have lost a significant amount of fat from my middle, butt and thighs (I don’t weigh myself). I am also quite fit as I exercise pretty much daily; I cycle, work-out with kettlebells and kangoo jump boots and do yoga as well. However, like a number of you, I have just had a blood test and was told my cholesterol was too high at just over 6 and the GP prescribed statins. I really don’t want to take them and was worried that the 5:2 was somehow causing this raise in cholesterol levels – I’ve had blood tests at intervals for years and my cholesterol levels have never been mentioned as a problem before. I see I will have to do some more research but I really don’t want to give up the fasting – I enjoy my days ‘off’ food!

    Well I’m still not taking statins but I had my cholesterol checked again and it was up a little to 7.4. The new doctor suggested we test it again in late May as it can be effected by stress and to try taking fish oil to build the good cholesterol. I’ll keep you posted . Any updates from others?

    Hi, everyone,
    a small update from me: I’m having familiar hypercholesterolemia type 2a and I’m on statins for years now. In 2011 I’ve switched to Atorvastatin at total cholesterol well above 5.16 and LDL above 4.

    The drug lowered my cholesterol steadily but had also a slight repressive effect on HDL.

    In 2013 I’ve started with intermittend fasting following the 10in2 program – one day complete fast, one day normal eating (alternate day fasting). This alone caused a sharp decrease in total cholesterol from 4.6 to 3.8 and similar in LDL.

    In March 2014 I’ve started to change my eating habits to a low carb high fat diet which is officially *NOT* recommended for guys like me since it is high in saturated and animal fats. I’ve tried to do a more “plant-based” version sticking to unsaturated plant oils (rapeseed, walnut, lineseed oil), nuts and Green Smoothies. I also started a intensive muscle-training program 3 times a week followed by Tabata-HIIT training sessions. I’ve limited dairy products like milk and cream cheese and stick to fat cheese. I also completely avoided all kinds of added sugars, flour and fruits (just some blue berries from time to time). I”m tracking my food intake so I”m well informed about my nutritional setting: approx. 75% of the caloric input comes from fat, 20-25% from proteins and only up to 5% from carbs (which comes along with broccoli, avocado, salad…). Caloric input on eating days is about 140-150% of the calculated need but since I’m fasting the next day, it sums up to a 50% reduction on average.

    This change was made because my weight loss stalled for 6 month despite the initially good losses on 10in2 – and suddenly, the weight loss started again!

    I’m shedding body fat and weight again but was afraid that this fat-based diet may ruin my efforts to lower cholesterol. So after 4 weeks I’ve asked my physician for another check and found myself surprised: Never in life I had a LDL of 1.3! Total cholesterol dropped to 3.3!

    Next week I’ll have another check after 2 months on this diet and I’m very curious if I could keep up this great change.


    Hi Beavergong and Quizzle and thanks for replies.
    I don’t think I could even contemplate Quizzle’s regime although I’m glad it’s working so well for you.
    Beavergong, I think I’ll work on the cholesterol via diet – I gather oats are very good for lowering cholesterol and I’ll also do some research on the adverse effects of high cholesterol and also just what counts as ‘high’ as it seems from some of the responses that the medical profession is being unduly influenced by the drug companies to lower the acceptable levels. Also that fasting might be causing the rise while the body is losing weight and that this might stabilize all by itself. Let’s hope so! I won’t try fish oil as I’m vegetarian but wish you the best of luck with reducing your cholesterol naturally rather than with statins too.

    Hi Quizzle:

    You have discovered a little secret – the human body is designed to process saturated fat and prospers on a high fat diet. Your results – lower cholesterol by eating fats – are typical.

    Here is a speech that outlines why:


    I saw that talk by Dr Miller. Several times … Unfortunately he is not a gifted speaker and I kept drifting off, so had to rewind and watch it again. It’s a shame, because the content is very good.

    While you’re watching, also try the catalyst programme “Heart of the matter” and maybe “The Oiling of America”

    After that, stop worrying about false risks based on fraudulent “research” (Ancel Keys anyone?), ignore your cholesterol and enjoy good food.

    The only people who need to worry about triglycerides and cholesterol are those with hereditary conditions, like the hypercholesterolemia mentioned by quizzle.

    Thanks for those enlightening links! I’ve watched Dr. Millers presentation and now I’m even more eager to see for my next cholesterol check….keep you posted!


    Hi, everyone,
    today I got my lab results after 8 weeks LCHF/alternate day fasting combo: Still great results – total cholesterol a striking 3.0, LDL 1.3 and HDL 1.6!

    But still, the physician keeps warning: saturated fats are bad, he recommends to reduce them drastically since they’re causing inflammation and artherosclerosis. He also wants to keep the drugs unaltered.

    So, now I need to think what to do next. If I need to lower the saturated fats I’m getting in trouble…but still some kgs to go…


    quizzie, in spite of what doctors have been taught, in spite of what official guidelines say, there is evidence that it’s our own visceral fat/high insulin levels that are driving inflammation and atherosclerosis, much more so than dietary saturated fat… this is a controversial subject and one that it’s difficult to get a definitive answer on. Read what you can, ask your doctor to point you to studies you can read, decide what you think. Did you have measures of inflammation checked, as well? Do you have signs/symptoms of atherosclerosis? When you have familial hypercholesterolemia the picture does get even more complicated, unfortunately, BUT — your cholesterol number does speak for itself — well done!

    I read a short while ago (I’ll try to find the link) that recent research shows that during fasting, the body scavenges bad cholesterol from fat cells to use as a source of energy. Maybe this explains the increased levels some people have experienced after a fasting day because it’s bound to show up in the blood. Any comments from the medico/scientists among us?

    The link below isn’t the one from the newspaper but it says the same thing:

    Hi all and thanks for all the posts with regard to this – it is making a bit more sense now and I guess that it takes time for the body to adjust to being a different weight/shape/size as well as to adjust to the intermittent fasting – I like to fast on different days each week so my body doesn’t adjust too much. I haven’t yet been back for a blood test, but will do so when life settles down in a bit more. In the meantime, I’m happy with my progress on the 5:2 and have no intention of giving it up or taking statins.

    I have been working out 7days a week. I have changed my eating habits eliminating suger and meat. I am eating fish and vegtables, oatmeal, all kind of fruits. My last blood test showed a drop on my bad cholesterol as well as drop on my good one! I mean good one went lower than before I started exercising and healthy eating!! How does anyone explain that? I know my physician gave me a talk on how to work out 45 minutes a day instead of 30 minutes! but plllllllease ….good cholesterol going down after 3 months of no suger/exercise/lost weight…come on! Something doesn’t make sense! From reading most of your comments I guess they(physicians) are pushing to market more Statins. Tell me it aint so! Is it possible the medical professionals are supporting pharmaceutical companies!? There is no way I will take statins/or any pills if they offer me! they haven’t yet! but from the look of things it could happen. Now I wouldn’t mind going and giving a blood test every 3 months to keep myself inform. But I truly have lost my hopes on any advise coming from health industries. Sorry guys!..

    My sympathy regarding the confusing issue of statins. I have one doctor who says, don’t worry, it’s a beat up unless you have a strong family history of heart disease and stroke. I said to him ‘vascular dementia’; he said, no known connection; we don’t know what causes that. I went to another doctor because it was convenient and I wanted to know his opinion. He said, “Well, it’s going up; maybe you had better go back on them, although he agreed that the reasons were a bit moot.

    I have gone back on them for a while experimentally.

    I was not losing weight on the fast diet despite rigid adherence for about six months. After reading a book about effects of sugars by Gary Taub, Why we get fat and watching videos on similar theory, corn syrup notably, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” and “Fat chance” with Dr Lustig in a medical series, I decided that the only thing I had not tried was stopping simple carbohydrates. At first I just could not work out how to do this without great suffering, then I found another you-tube video (that I could subsequently never find again) of a woman who said, basically, “While you are asleep, your body is burning fats, but in the morning you take a slice of toast and that’s it; you start producing insulin and you are hungry all day.” (That’s really simplifying what she said, but it resonated.) I decided not to eat toast in the morning and to see how much carbohydrate, apart from non starchy veg, I could avoid all day. I begin the day with two boiled eggs. I found that it was as that woman said, if I didn’t have toast, I did not feel that ongoing hunger. In one month I have lost three kilos by continuing to do two fast days a week and avoid simple carbohydrates, notably bread, but also using fruits as an occasional treat. I convinced my partner, who has been faithfully doing the same regimes with me, to stop his huge consumption of porridge in the morning and grapes and sultanas and bananas, and his weight-loss has been similar. I am hoping to keep this up long-term. I wonder if I will lose the ten more kg or so that I would ideally and what I will do then; will I reintroduce some simple carbs? Will I drop a fast day?

    I can really see the difference between food for hunger and simple carbs for a dopamine hit (i.e. as a happy drug, a distraction). I get much the same effect from avoiding sugar, mentally, as I do from fasting. I have a tendency to eat a lot of nuts however. Not sure if that is going to become a problem and not sure whether I can afford to eat cheese (another addiction).

    I would love to see a program evaluating all the information we fast-diet experimenters are inputting to this website.

    @ Nerodog: I agree – those simple carbs are the “hidden threat”. To eliminate those is a basic task in all programs improving health, diet and weight loss!
    I’ve noticed an incredible drop of bad cholesterol just bei eliminating the carbs but it’s difficult to keep this up. After a way to long refeed on Carbs I’m now starting again…I need to change that!
    Leaving HFCS-stuff in the shelves is easy but oatmeal, lentils, peas and fruits are hard to limit…


    I wonder how important oatmeal is? My doctor suggested whole grain oats for breakfast on nonfast days as one of the strategies to lower my cholesterol. I note it’s even suggested in the recipes for fast days. Any comments on that? In an extra effort to keep me off statins my doctor has me taking Bioceuticals Cardiac Care which contains allum sativum 800mg and camellia sines is 2 g( he says it shows good results in clinical trials for lowering cholesterol)as well as cod liver oil capsules twice a day for 2 months. next blood test Friday. We will see and let me know your feelings on whole grain oats.

    “Leaving HFCS-stuff in the shelves is easy but oatmeal, lentils, peas and fruits are hard to limit…”

    quizzle, there is no reason to limit lentils, peas or fruit, apart from maybe grapes and bananas. In most of those produce the sugar comes with a healthy dose of fibre which seems to offset the effects of simple carbohydrates. Grapes and bananas are the exemption, they do not contain a lot of fibre and should be eaten in moderation but don’t need to be avoided totally.
    Oatmeal is a difficult one. While whole oat has a lot of fibre, it also triggers a strong insulin response. I don’t think the reason for this is known. For that reason I go with a more protein breakfast if I eat breakfast at all.
    I also do not exclude any food at all, occasionally I will have ice cream or bread or pasta and despite that my blood sugar and cholesterol have improved.

    My overall impression is that the more unprocessed food I eat the better I feel. It is impossible to avoid processed food altogether and I don’t think there is a reason to be that strict. Treating the refined carbs and processed foods as occasional treats rather than daily sustenance is in my opinion the better strategy.

    I used to agree that perhaps’doctor knows best’ but the side effects of the statins were ruining my life daily.
    My father had high cholesterol all his life but only took statins when he was in a nursing home and had no choice. He took them for the last 3 yrs of his life and passed away at age 87.
    I have felt great since stopping them, no pain, bags of energy, no nausea. The practice nurse changed my statin to Atorvastatin which made me worse, also the leaflet in the pack stated I should not take them with Thyroid meds. The nurse told me to take no notice of that !! and try them again.
    Needless to say I don’t have much confidence in the surgery in question. I am going to track my sat fats and follow the 5.2 then have a test again.

    Being on the fast diet had no effect at all on my cholesterol. I still have to take statins. After 10 months my blood pressure reduced to the point where I came off my medication for HBP (on the advice of my doctor), but as I stabilized my weight my BP slowly increased and may have to resume the medication. Is there any research on the long-term effects of the fast diet on cholesterol and blood pressure?

    Just an update from the one who started this post. My new doctor found that my thyroxine dose was lowered too much and has really been too low for me for months and I now have some interesting side effects . When he checked very high cholesterol could also be one of the side effects of having too low thyroxine dose for 6 months. So we’ve upped my dose of thyroxine and he is going to check it in 5 weeks and he has told me it may have to be increased again to where it was when I started 5:2. I’m hoping it bring the cholesterol reading down to the 4 I had after 3 months on 5:2.

    @ Beavergong
    oatmeal is recommendes for people with high cholesterol since it seems to bind nutritional added cholesterol. I’ve tried a 1:1 mixture of oatmeal and oat bran to rise the fibre-content. Cooked in Water with some salt, some cream or milk to made it skimmy and apple or erythrit/stevia to sweeten it…a great breakfast, long-lasting!
    Keep us posted on your Thyroxine issue…I’m surprised that this is assumed to have any anteraction with your cholesterol so I’m eager to learn!

    @ Windy
    there are some remarkable results of cholesterol and intermittend fasting programs. But since I’ve never tried real 5:2 but other programs like 10in2 or EODD (which is having a 500-600 kcal-fast every 2nd day and not only twice the week) I can just tell for these that they lower LDL like hell…cutting the LDL in half just by intermittend fasting even on a high-fat LCHF regime is incredible…even the doubly dosage of statins haven’t managed that!

    I guess, if 5:2 doens’t do it, a harder regime might do it. But if you like to try this “just” for lowering the cholesterol is up to you to decide…


    thanks for that Quizzle. I thought oatmeal, as in whole oats was helpful too and have them every morning when I’m not doing 5:2. I’ll have to look into the oat bran…. Do you cook them together?
    Dummerchen above with a suggestion oats trigger an insulin reaction surprised me as I would have thought the reverse. Any ideas on that one?
    I’m afraid the journey has got rather bumpy lately and I can’t figure why I,m putting on weight despite two days of 5:2 continuing?

    All carbs and also excessive protein triggers an insulin response – the question is, how much and how quick it wents up. In general, more complex carbs cause a slower reponse than simple carbs like white sugar and white flour.
    Also, the combination of foods and their preparation plays an important role. In general: more processed (cooked, cut into pieces, dehydrated vs. raw and self-chewed) = quicker insulin reponse and better company by good fats and fiber = slower reponse.
    That’s why I add bran to the oatmeal, prefer stevia or erythritiol as sweetener and avoid snacking on some very sweet fruits lika banana oder wine which offer only a small amount of fiber.


    Steel cut oats and oat bran don’t trigger an insulin response (in me, diabetic type 2) but rolled oats do.

    Well, I’ve just had another cholesterol test – and I’m still on 5:2 to 4:3.

    My test history is;

    Feb 2012 (pre-5:2)
    Total Cholesterol: 6.2mmol/l
    LDL Cholesterol: 3.4mmol/l
    HDL Cholesterol: 1.85mmol/l
    Triglycerides: 2.08mmol/l
    Cholesterol:HDL ratio: 3.4

    Aug 2013 (5:2 recently started)
    Total Cholesterol: 5.2mmol/l
    LDL Cholesterol: 2.5mmol/l
    HDL Cholesterol: 1.67mmol/l
    Triglycerides: 2.2mmol/l
    Cholesterol:HDL ratio: 3.1
    Now I have;

    Aug 2014
    Total Cholesterol: 5.4mmol/l
    LDL Cholesterol: 2.3mmol/l
    HDL Cholesterol: 2.29mmol/l
    Triglycerides: 1.85mmol/l
    Cholesterol:HDL ratio: 2.4

    Note that LDL and HDL and now effectively equal. There has been a significant increase in HDL and a significant decrease in LDL.

    I no longer avoid fats and eat butter and cheese regularly. I wasn’t when the first blood test was done. I was on a very low fat diet.

    So, it certainly seems that intermittent fasting is doing something. My endocrinologist described these latest results as excellent.

    Because we all have different genetics and physiology, not everyone will be able to achieve similar results but my experience is encouraging and I’d urge folks to stick with it for long enough to see what difference they can make. It can lead to long term changes, the body doesn’t always become resistant to the diet.

    Beavergong, I’m glad your doctor has realized your thyroxine dose was too low. I had suspected that could be the case. This can certainly have an effect on cholesterol. It may be a little early yet to retest lipids but I hope you see an improvement when you do have your next set of tests.

    Good luck!


    Congrats! These are good numbers!
    I’m eager to see my next test (End of october or so). I’m doing a daily prolonged fast in the morning (Breakfast skipping) and often (not always) dinner skipping and sports each day.
    I’ve also noticed this decrease in LDL and rise of HDL even under high fat low Carb-diet (which is officially *not* recommended for cholesterol-concerned people) so I’m not worried of saturated fats anymore. Sure, whenever possible, I tend to good fats like Rapeseed and Linseed oil but I don’t skip the cream in the soup for dietary purposes!


    Well the thyroxine increase didn’t help,my cholesterol is now up to 8.4 so I’ve reluctantly agreed to the doctor’s recommendation to take vytorin which contains 10 mg of ezetimibe and 20 mg of simvastatin.
    Does anyone know anything about it?
    I know they are statins but after trying everything else suggested and with my family history of heart problems I reluctantly agreed to a trial.

    What do people mean when they say “insulin response”. Is this a more technical term for desire for food or appetite in the absence of genuine hunger?

    What is the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats? I understand rolled oats are the whole grain so i don’t know why there should be a difference.

    Most of the posts on this thread sharing personal experience avoid providing enough information for anyone else to really appreciate your experience. We don’t know your weight and we don’t know what you eat. I am sure it makes a huge difference to the whole issue if you are not overweight and have a cholesterol problem. So i’ tend to assume everyone here is overweight. The first thing you have to do is lose weight to get your cholesterol down. But if you have high cholesterol and are not overweight and your diet is healthy then i’d be particularly concerned.

    I can’t see how fasting can improve cholesterol levels if you are not losing weight as well.

    In books on low carb they will tell you that low fat diets increase in bad cholesterol.

    Lentils beans etc are said to suck up cholesterol out of the blood. Anyway these foods are good for high cholesterol levels (note when we talk about high cholesterol, we should just assume that we all refer to high bad cholesterol because high good cholesterol isn’t even worth talking about and to have to spell it out each time takes a lot more effort. )And supposedly oats are good too. But if you put a stack of sugar, honey or jam on your oats, you are probably just undermining the whole exercise.

    People should supplement their doctors advice with reading some books. There’s no point reading studies if you don’t know how to read them or can’t understand a good part of the vocabulary. Doctors and even some diabetic educators do seem to be seriously lagging on diet information. I was quite horrified recently to speak to a diabetic educator who knows nothing at all about low carb diets except their existence. And of course she had a negative opinion about them. And was very obese. She seemed only to know about drug management.

    People with insulin issues would do themselves a favour if they could learn about the glycaemic index. This would help people make more appropriate food choices. More fibre will improve r health if you eat more fibre of all kinds. Please watch this tv show on the value of dietary fibre. Its a science show on you tube after having been shown on australian tv called catalyst-gut reaction.

    You can also read Gut Flora on Wikipedia for more detail and because the show necessarily has to simplify some of the information which can lead to misunderstandings. No, a few bits of lettuce with a spot of vinegar is not adequate. (i read someone post that they now do this in response to the tv show.

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