Triglyceride Carryover – A Possible Game Changer

[Note, much of this data is discussed in two videos from last week. One where I first announced the data, and another where I go over Q&A with Siobhan.]

The last week and a half has brought me some powerful new data and insights on triglycerides.

While most of what I’m about to show you is data I’ve collected directly with myself (AKA, an N=1), I think you’ll agree it is quite compelling. This is certainly one moment where my prior body of experiment data was extremely useful to compare to newly collected evidence as you’ll see below.

A Surprise Morning Spike

As many of you know, I began a “carnivore diet” experiment on December 17th. It was very restrictive in that I’d be eating only beef at first. Ten days later on the 27th I pulled out my CardioChek and did a lipid test right after I awoke. I was stunned to see:

My triglycerides (TG) were exceptionally high. I know this to be unusual because I’ve done many just-woke-up tests from experiments before. In fact, the only time I can recall having TG above 100 after having just awoken, was for three days following the second intervention of the Resistance Training Experiment — even then, that was almost 100 mg/dL lower than this number!

[Side note: If you’re new to this site, the LDL number might have surprised you too, but this was entirely expected. And if you haven’t already, consider reading this before you continue…]

Naturally, I confirmed this number for a second time a few minutes later. Then a few hours passed and I was about to have breakfast with my family. Just before, I took two more tests to confirm what I suspected — the triglycerides will have dropped. And they did… quite a bit, actually.

A longer version of this played out the next day (28th) where I woke up with even higher TG than then the day before. Only this time, I went ahead and took my lipids every hour on the hour until they were to return to below 100 mg/dL. (Shown left)

Triglyceride Carryover Effect is Observed

By this point, I couldn’t help be feel this looked too much like a postprandial (following a meal) sized marker. So I started working my way backwards toward the last time I ate.

What followed were several days where I captured both the morning lipids and those from the night before. Indeed, it appeared I was going to sleep with high TG and thus waking up with it as well.

A Carnivore Connection?

So what’s going on here?

If I’m metabolically healthy, I shouldn’t be waking up with triglycerides this high, right? Again, I wasn’t seeing anything like this before, so why now? Was there something special about the carnivore diet in particular?

Actually, the phenomenon of unexpectedly high triglycerides with some carnivores is not new. The first dramatic case I observed was with Brenda Zorn who collaborates with the 2 Keto Dudes and now works for IDM. For an experiment, she ate steaks for one month and was shocked to see her TG shoot up to 500. Gradually it dropped back down after she left the diet, but it was no less a mystery to us at the time.

Since then, there seemed to be a notably higher proportion of these reports with carnivores relative to low carbers, even if still a small subset. A fun fact to know and tell is that the carnivore diet was originally called the “Zero Carb” diet. And there in might be the biggest clue.

The Magic Twelfth Hour

While I go through more graphs and slides in the accompanying video. I want to put extra focus on one particular scatter plot for this blog post:

This is all 35 tests together on the plot and something immediately jumps out if you look closely.

Let’s divide the graph into quadrants with the vertical line at the 12 hour mark and horizontal at triglycerides …

  • In the top left area (1) we see most of the dots on the graph, all above 100 TG (above green line) and taken less than 12 hours from when I last ate (left of the red line).
  • Conversely, we see all the plots on the right side of the 12 hour line at below the 100 TG line in bottom right area (4).
  • Or to put it another way, wherever a test was taken at more than 12 hours, I always showed a TG of less than 100 mg/dl regardless of where it started at in the morning. There are no plots in the upper right area (2)

As it happens, we here at CC always recommended water-only fasting for at least 12-14 hours before a blood test. But I’ll concede I assumed 12 hours to be conservative. When someone said they had fasted 9 or 10 hours, I assumed it probably didn’t have that much impact. Now I’m starting to rethink that, particularly if this data is further reproduced by others.

Low Insulin Hypothesis

So what if this all comes down to operating at lower insulin levels?

Insulin is important for fat metabolism, although not in the way most people tend to think of it. In fact, one could argue one of insulin’s main roles is to inhibit lipolysis (the release of fatty acids from your fat cells). Thus, longer residence time of fat in the blood makes a lot more sense in this context.

Alas, to really unpack this subject will take a bit of writing and referencing with regard to technical technical things like hepatocytes, VLDL-TG, and NEFA. But I’ll save that for a later post.

Gastric Clearance Hypothesis

A couple of people hypothesized that perhaps this may just be lower overall gastric clearance from the GI tract. Perhaps my food is taking a bit longer to digest on net as I have a higher protein to fat ratio on this diet (around 35% and 64%, respectively). Thus, entry of TG into the bloodstream via Chylomicrons would take longer overall. I think this is also a very interesting possibility and may have to think on how I could test that.

Retrospective Lab Analysis

Having taken pictures of all my food for over three years is about to pay off big for this situation. I can see on my spreadsheet 18 out of the 107 blood draws where I had TG above 100 which I could match to the last time I ate from the evening before as it will be on a picture that is times stamped. Scientific OCD for the win!

Of the 18 draws, there were 11 that can be explained by my having eaten below maintenance levels. Long time readers already know this is reflected in the Inversion Pattern, which includes TG levels (see right). Generally, I need to eat at least 2,000 calories on keto or I’ll lose weight.

And another five are explained by the carbs I was taking for an existing experiment these were taken from.

This left just two blood draws that were both high enough calorie, yet also low carb.

These draws were also in the 12-14hr window, so that wouldn’t explain the increase. But of course, these increases aren’t very dramatic anyway (102 and 129).

Final Thoughts

For over three years now I’ve been very interested in how fat-based energy is distributed in the body, particularly when carried in the blood by lipoproteins. Yet, I’ve probably put a little too much focus on LDL-C and LDL-P as these markers are much more stable and predictable when compared to triglycerides for a blood test. Triglycerides are “noisy” after all.

Or… maybe they aren’t after a long enough fasting time.

Nearly every test taken at 12 hours or longer was under 100 mg/dL for triglycerides, so long as I wasn’t (1) eating low calorie, low carb (invoking the Inversion Pattern) or (2) eating moderate to high carbs (typically due to an experiment)

Thus, this data is extremely powerful for two big reasons:

  1. It shows just how easily one could be misdiagnosed with persistently high triglyceride levels, otherwise known as hypertriglyceridemia . Had I gotten a blood test at 10 hours fasted from almost any of the tests for last week, I’d have gotten that diagnosis. Just two hours later and I’d have instead gotten the optimal 100 mg/dL or less. (Think about that for a second — just a two hour window!)
  2. It provides further weight to the lipid energy model. I certainly suspect we are seeing high redistribution of TG to both adipose and non-adipose tissue alike during the rapid fall in total levels. Fasting triglycerides in the hundreds under a Standard American Diet (SAD) is rightly associated with disease because it is usually continuously at these levels, potentially due to poor metabolic health. And yet, in this case, we see mine move from the levels of hypertriglyceridemia to very ideal levels over the course of the morning every single time.

So if you’re looking for the “tl;dr” — just look at the graphic below…

Note From Siobhan

After a discussion with Dave I decided to likewise check back through the data I’ve collected and see if I had any unexplained triglyceride readings at or above 100 mg/dL. I certainly found it interesting that, even though I’d been carnivore for over a year, I had never – as far as I remembered – seen oddly high triglycerides.

This could be for a few reasons though:

  1. Up until recently, I’ve been drinking diet soda – some speculate that this could cause insulin to rise, which could possibly counteract the proposed carryover effect
  2. I try to always follow my own advice and get blood draws around 13 hours fasted, so even if it was high at the 9-10 hour mark I’d likely never know
  3. I may just not have enough data points to have had the opportunity to spot it yet.

Currently, I have 23 data points, where triglycerides were measured. Of those, there are 6 in which triglycerides are at, or above, 100 mg/dL:

  • One is from 2015 where I was on a Standard American Diet and was likely due to my high carb/western diet.
  • Two were taken while I was intentionally multi-day fasting (e.g. outside of the 12-14 hour window, reflecting the inversion pattern).
  • Two were intentionally taken while I was sick, and thus are expected to be from an immune response from the illness.
  • There is one where I wasn’t explicitly sick, with triglycerides at 102 mg/dL, however I was sneezing and felt a little “off” at the time. I retested a few days later and was in fact sick with a cold – so again, this could be explained by an immune system reaction that was currently under way.

This means that I have no unexplained high triglyceride results, perhaps owing to the fact of my consistent fasting time prior to the blood draw – although of course I’ll now have to see if I can replicate Dave’s data to confirm that.

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Gary Schneider
Gary Schneider
2 years ago

I have a group of friends that follow Dr. Tim Noakes. I am the only one who is 100% carnivore….we all exercise together at least 5 days a week….we all lost a lot of weight in the beginning….but I am the only one that started to put on weight and muscle after about 11 months on carnivore and I am 65 years may be just me but I believe there is definitely something quite different between between being low carb and no carb….the body seems to develop in a different way…A little side note: I am a chiropractor and my keto patients bones adjust in a completely different way than my carnivore patients….it’s subtle but different….I am starting to suspect that even a little sugar from low-carb affects the joints and tissue in the human body, although I have no way of proving it. Just a gut feeling….

2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Schneider

My experience is similar: I reversed and am mostly keeping at bay 1) chronic plantar faciitis, 2) a little arthritis in my right top knuckle and 3) a little bit of knee arthritis with strict low carb and daily OMAD. The only carbs I get are almond flour from some things I bake. I too have put on a 2-3 lbs from my lightest (weight= 120 lbs). I noticed that the arthritic pain in those 3 areas comes back ever so slightly potentially due to the slight weight gain or the little increase in carbs. I try to do OMAD every day going 20 hours but am not super strict water fasting (dollop of cream or almond milk in tea and / or broth). Am trying zero carb to see if the pain goes back to zero.

2 years ago

I have to point out that you should repeat your tests after being ZC for at least 3 months if not longer.

2 years ago

Awesome. Love your work, guys. I’m in awe.

Mike Kramer
Mike Kramer
2 years ago

For all my recent history, my trigs stay in the 70-76 range. These were all done when I was doing either alternate day fasting or one meal a day and came after a lot longer than a 12-hour fast.

In May 2018 I did a Feldman Protocol before getting a standard (not NMR) panel from my primary care doc. I purposely ate an evening meal the night before the test, even though I normally do not, to see if that would help lower the various cholesterol reading. The cholesterol results were lower, (though still above conventional limits of normal) but my trig went to 97.

So, I need more than 12 hours.

2 years ago

You have a lot of data. Have you tried looking at it with neural networking software?

Josh Howard
2 years ago

This is incredible! Thank you for this. Can you post a link to twitter for your lipid testing device? We need more n=1 ers. Cheers – @hackingDux

chris c
chris c
2 years ago

Wow you always come up with such fascinating stuff!

On low fat (and probably for most of my life) my trigs were horrendous. On low carb they went from 380 to 39 and are generally around 100 or less – more variable than the HDL and LDL. I had one test non-fasting as I suspect my doctor was hoping to catch me out but to be honest I can no longer remember which test it was, the results especially the trigs never changed much between a 14 hour fast and breakfast.

She is largely quite sensible but absolutely believes that high trigs are caused by fat. I guess it will take another couple of decades before she realises carbs are the cause. I just hope she never meets you in the meantime! Do let us know what else you discover and preferably why, this is intriguing.

2 years ago
Reply to  chris c

Hi Chris, can you share your hdl and ldl changes also ? thanks

chris c
chris c
2 years ago
Reply to  carlos

Sure! HDL went from 24 to 50 – 60. LDL went from 170 to over 200 on a low fat diet (the one that for the first time in my life made me gain weight), dropped to around 70 with a statin and currently (statin free low carb/keto) bounces around between 100 – 160

Part of the instability is down to hyperthyroid which dropped the LDL by exactly the same amount as a statin (who knew?) and when overtreated it jumped back up again. Thyroid doesn’t seem to correlate much with the trigs or HDL.

I knew a retired doctor who stated that back in the day when they saw high “cholesterol” they would do a TSH. Then when the low fat mania took hold the correlation was broken due to metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance becoming so widespread.

IMO I’m a responder rather than a hyperresponder and nothing I’ve done is in any way out of the ordinary, but then I’m a weird skinny (Type 2) diabetic with, I strongly suspect, a lack of Phase 1 insulin yet still a pretty decent Phase 2 which has plagued me all my life with reactive hypoglycemia, and obviously I used to have insulin resistance but no longer do. IMO the lipids and blood pressure etc. were downstream of this. The weirdness is that the dietician had to try very hard to make me gain weight, by eliminating fat and replacing it with even more carbs, so she could accuse me of “failing to comply” with the diet. Then when I actually did stop complying with the diet everything went back to near normal. I could have done this fifty years earlier if only I’d had the information.

2 years ago

Hi guys, I just found out about the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its role of rising insulin when consuming e.g. glutamin, glycin or Whey-Protein. And I found a paper on Irish Cheddar increasing GLP-1 (
And if your theory about insulin is neglecting the effect of an elevated TG in the morning by consuming carbs which causes an elevated insulin. Also products which elevated the insulin via the GLP-1 Pathway should work and therefore maybe cheese.

I attach some literature about the GLP-1 (if you haven’t already read it)

CHEERS from Germany 🙂


Bodinham, C. L.; Smith, L.; Thomas, E. L. u. a. (2014): „Efficacy of increased resistant starch consumption in human type 2 diabetes“. In: Endocrine Connections. 3 (2), S. 75-84, DOI: 10.1530/ec-14-0036.

Gannon, Mary C, Jennifer A Nuttall, and Frank Q Nuttall. “The metabolic response to ingested glycine.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 76.6 (2002): 1302-1307.

Greenfield, J. R; Farooqi, I S.; Keogh, J. M u. a. (2008): „Oral glutamine increases circulating glucagon-like peptide 1, glucagon, and insulin concentrations in lean, obese, and type 2 diabetic subjects“. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 89 (1), S. 106-113, DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26362.

Ibarra, Alvin; Astbury, Nerys M.; Olli, Kaisa u. a. (2015): „Effects of polydextrose on different levels of energy intake. A systematic review and meta-analysis“. In: Appetite. 87 , S. 30-37, DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.099.

Inoue, Kana; Maeda, Norikazu; Kashine, Susumu u. a. (2011): „Short-term effects of liraglutide on visceral fat adiposity, appetite, and food preference: a pilot study of obese Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes“. In: Cardiovasc Diabetol. 10 (1), S. 109, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2840-10-109.

Jakubowicz, Daniela; Froy, Oren; Ahrén, Bo u. a. (2014): „Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial“. In:Diabetologia. 57 (9), S. 1807-1811, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-014-3305-x.

Luque, M. (2002): „Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose metabolism in human myocytes“. In: Journal of Endocrinology. 173 (3), S. 465-473, DOI: 10.1677/joe.0.1730465.

Mells, J. E.; Fu, P. P.; Sharma, S. u. a. (2011): „Glp-1 analog, liraglutide, ameliorates hepatic steatosis and cardiac hypertrophy in C57BL/6J mice fed a Western diet“. In: AJP: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 302 (2), S. G225-G235, DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00274.2011.

Seino, Susumu; Shibasaki, Tadao; Minami, Kohtaro (2011): „Dynamics of insulin secretion and the clinical implications for obesity and diabetes“. In: Journal of Clinical Investigation. 121 (6), S. 2118-2125, DOI: 10.1172/jci45680.

Zhou, J.; Martin, R. J.; Tulley, R. T. u. a. (2008): „Dietary resistant starch upregulates total GLP-1 and PYY in a sustained day-long manner through fermentation in rodents“. In: AJP: Endocrinology and Metabolism. 295 (5), S. E1160-E1166, DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.90637.2008.

Steve Stephenson
Steve Stephenson
2 years ago

I’ve been a carnivore since before July 2017 (Ketofest). I’ve often wondered how, say 500000 years ago, a team of hunters could have safely stored much of their fresh kill without refrigeration or the time necessary to dry the meat. With very large predators around they would very much need to “eat and run”. Perhaps our large small intestine serves as temporary storage. I.e., the “Gastric Clearance Hypothesis” may be the answer.

2 years ago

Would having the flu cause a spike in Triglycerides and halving of HDL coupled with a 7 lbs weight loss too effect the results of a blood test?

Jason Skinner
Jason Skinner
2 years ago

Dave this is awesome information!! I have been Carnivore for just over 3 months. While my LDL has increased 2-3 fold my Triglycerides have gone up 100 points as well. The Trigs really have me perplexed but, after reading this article I’ll get another blood test around the 14 hour fasted mark to see. My initial test for Trigs was 176 and then I did another test excluding coffee and my Trigs dropped 35 points. Perhaps it was the coffee or perhaps it was my fasted window was longer on test #2. I am going to schedule another blood draw this week and make sure I’m atleast on a 14 hour fast to compare. This time I’ll be consuming coffee 😉

Thanks – Jason

Jason Skinner
Jason Skinner
2 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Well the 14 hour fast window didn’t impact my Trigs, they came in at 173mg/dl. Which is still 100 points higher than they were typically prior to Carnivore. I’m going to give up coffee for 30 days and retest. If that still comes in HIGH, I think my days of Carnivore will be done.

Jason S
Jason S
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

So here are my numbers 30 days off of coffee (amazing) changes!

March 2nd – Trigs: 176 (full board coffee)
March 19th – Trigs: 141 (no coffee little over 2 weeks)
April 2nd – Trigs: 171 (back on coffee)
May 6th – Trigs: 52 (no coffee for 30 days)

–==== v0.9.3 ====–
…4 months on Carnivore/Zero Carb/Meat Only ::: 14 hours water fasted…
Total Cholesterol: 363 mg/dL 9.39 mmol/L
LDL Cholesterol: 270 mg/dL 6.98 mmol/L
HDL Cholesterol: 78 mg/dL 2.02 mmol/L
Triglycerides: 52 mg/dL 0.59 mmol/L

Remnant Cholesterol: 15 mg/dL 0.39 mmol/L >>> Lowest Risk Quintile
Remnant Chol to HDL: 0.19 >>> Lowest Risk Quintile
Go to for more on Cholesterol Remnants

AIP: -0.534 >>> Lowest Risk Third
Go to for more on Atherogenic Index of Plasma

Friedewald LDL-C: 275 | Iranian LDL-C: 224
Total/HDL Ratio: 4.65
TG/HDL Ratio in mg/dL: 0.67 | in mmol/L: 0.29

1 year ago
Reply to  Jason S

I am very surprised that coffee had that kind of effect on you. I guess I gotta stop the joe too.

2 years ago

Sorry, this is probably not the section to ask this question, but is it ok to exercise the 3 days prior to having your blood taken? I am just curious on what possible affect this would have. I would appreciate any info you might have on this.
thank you!

Amber Landsman
2 years ago

Hi Dave, Thank you for all your time and devoted effort to clarify and crack the CHOL code.
I’ve have been CV for 5 months and just had my blood work completed. I am a 43yr life long athletic female, very active (weight lifting 4-5x wk) and 21% BF (before CV – eating high protein paleo since 2012 at 24% BF). This article is helpful and Ill share with my Naturopath. My total CHOL went from 260 to 488. TG from 59 to 115 after a 12 hour fast.. LDL is 400 ad HDL 88. Previous (Fall 2018) LDL 154 and HDL 94, TG 59. A1C 5.2 to 5.3 and still waiting on CRP. All other markers are good. I think Im a hyper-responder? I could use some support/guidance from a Dr. who can accept and understand my CV WOE? I would also be interested in being part of any studies for lean hyper-responders. Do you have any suggestions of tweaks I can make to diet to bring it down but still be high protein? Then I can retest. I was thinking to incorporate more lean meats, but still no veg matter as I have had chronic facet inflammation and after 5 years am finally found a WOE/being that has reduced symptoms by 95%. PM me in email or here if you have time to share a link or resource. Im concerned and not sure who to turn to for clarity and help with such a high CHOL response. In advance thank your time.

Ernie Berlic
Ernie Berlic
1 year ago

Hi Guys, An observation from my Recent start to a LCHF way of life. I suspect I am FH ( Genotype test underway now – results in 20 days)

April 2019 LDL-C 10.0 Trig’s 2.90 HDL 1.0mmol A1C 7.1 ( Just Before Keto start )
July 2019 LDL-C 9.5 Trig’s 2.36 HDL 0.92mmol A1C 5.6 ( 3 months into Keto)

Is my stubborn persistence of high Trig’s and low HDL possibly affected by the lipid disfunction caused by my FH.
Is it possible that the long life of the LDL in the blood and the inability to be cleared is the cause ?

Siobhan Huggins
1 year ago
Reply to  Ernie Berlic

Hi – it is difficult to tell without an FH diagnosis/genetic testing. Regarding the HDL and trigs have you checked out this post to see if any apply? Were you 12-14 hours water only fasted? Any liquid fats? Etc

1 Year Personal Health Intervention Summary – random($foo)

[…] measurement. Some doctors will tell you that fasted measurements are unnecessary, but they’re probably wrong. While non-fasted FBG/TG measures may be useful, fasted measures are better for standard risk […]

John A.
John A.
1 year ago

Thanks Dave for all your insights into Triglycerides.
I wonder if you might have any thoughts or advice for me in my situation:
Just took cholesterol test at doctor’s office – just 3 hours after a high fat breakfast:
Total cholesterol = 253
HDL = 61
LDL = 162
Triglycerides = 150
Me: Age 66, male, weight 140 lbs, 5 ft 8 inches, small & lean build
No smoking/drinking/coffee/drugs ever
Been on low carb high fat diet for about 14 years (not ketogenic)
No family history of heart disease or stroke
Only eat food prepared by self, no packaged or canned foods, no sugars, no fruit, no starchy vegetables or grains, no nuts, plenty of eggs, meat & bacon, full fat butter + cream, fish + green vegetables.

I can rationalize the high LDL number based on factors you have explained so well on your website, but the high triglycerides number stands out.

If I have this test done again after a 12+ hour fast and the triglycerides number is still high, where do I go from there to protect my health?

Siobhan Huggins
1 year ago
Reply to  John A.

Hi – yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the results were due to the non-fasted tests, as this is something we see occasionally with low carbers in particular.Likewise, if it were me, I’d want to investigate further to verify this. What I’d likely do in this situation if it were me, is – as you said – re-test 12-14 hours water only fasted. If they’re still higher than expected, this post may be useful to further troubleshoot.

Jay Dee
Jay Dee
11 months ago

I took my lipids the other day on my home device and was quite shocked as to the trig count. Hence my finding this page. I am around 10% BF and lift frequently, although not now because of the pandemic. I am doing carnivore and have cut out all liquid fats and coffee.

On the 26th of April my device managed a full reading (I’m normally too high to register)
LDL 8.34
HDL 1.04 (40.2 mg/Dl)
Trig 1.85 (163.7 mg/Dl)

On the 28th April I finished eating at around 3pm
Here are my readings from the 29th April 0855:
LDL off the scale (> 10.36, 400md/Dl)
HDL 1.01 (39)
Tri 1.85 (163.7 mg/Dl)

Then at 1130, 2.5 hours later, still fasted
LDL – off the scale
HDL 1.06 (40.9)
Tri 2.97 (262.8) (not a typo)

Any ideas as to why my trig would shoot up even though I am just fasting a bit longer?

Siobhan Huggins
11 months ago
Reply to  Jay Dee

Hi – I would likely want to follow up on this as well if it were me, to figure out what is causing it.
Although I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice, I can provide patterns/info from what we’ve seen in ourselves and others.
Since you’ve already ruled out carb leaks and liquid fats, that leaves three possible causes that might be worth investigating.

1) Were you 12-14 hours *water only* fasted – e.g. no coffee, no tea, no caffeine during the fasting period?
2) You also mention you were fasted slightly longer than 14 hours – this does pop up occasionally as something that can skew numbers including triglycerides. If it were me with my next test I’d want to be sure to be 12-14 hours fasted, no less, and not significantly more.
3) Do you habitually drink coffee? This can sometimes pop up in people who have unusually higher than expected triglycerides and can be verified via cessation of coffee consumption for 10-14 days

Hopefully these follow up questions help to narrow down what it might be.

Jay Dee
Jay Dee
11 months ago

Hello Siobhan,
Thank you for your time. Sorry for the late reply, I wasn’t notified.
To answer your points…
1) Yes, I had only had water. Perhaps eating only meat takes longer to digest, so my last meal lasted longer than usual. Having said that, all the carnivore bloods I see have low TG.
2) Next time I will aim for 13 hours and ensure the last meal is a small one.
3) I drink tea and coffee, but having read the page on coffee and TG I had stopped all coffee and liquid fats.
I have also checked the calibration of my lipid meter. It is within spec. I’m currently waiting for some pippettes then I can start testing again.
Are TGs a health problem? If they are elevated most of the time and only come down after 12 hours of fasting it would seem not so much. I did think my low insulin might be a factor so had a bit of fruit. That bumped my TG up haha. So I clearly have no clue what is going on…

Siobhan Huggins
11 months ago
Reply to  Jay Dee

For the tea/coffee how long did you quit drinking it before the test? From what I’ve seen it can take 10-14 days of no coffee for levels to normalize in cases where that is what was causing the high triglycerides.
As far as high triglycerides I can’t say whether you should worry or not, or if they’re a health problem if they’re elevated in isolation. For one because I’m not a doctor, but also because I don’t know and without knowing what’s causing the elevation couldn’t be sure. If it were me I’d want to troubleshoot to try and figure out what is causing it, for sure. After figuring out what is causing the higher than expected levels, I could at least have a bit more information. If still not sure, I’d likely want to get some additional blood markers for a bit more information to help narrow down what may be causing it.

Su-Chong Lim
Su-Chong Lim
11 months ago

Hi Siobhan and Dave:

If you have read my first and subsequent comment a couple days ago following the Lipid Model Presentation to Stanford you will understand that I’m in panic mode, trying to formulate a plan to learn and integrate the Feldman Protocol to manipulate my metabolism to obtain a blood sample with normal or even low ish LDL-C to balance my high HDL-C and low TG to get the cardiologist off my back. But I’m stewing how to get it right on the first try, because the Cardiologist has already declined my suggestion to repeat the single test that shows a high LDL-C, so she’ll be pissed that I didn’t fill the Crestor prescription and had the audacity to obtain a repeat test against her express wishes. The only way to calm her down and not be seen as antagonistic is to innocently come up with a normal pre-treatment LDL-C as though I misunderstood her.

But in Alberta here you normally get blood tests through Alberta Health Care so the results will be forwarded, or at least available, to the cardiologist. I was trying to fiigure out how to get the tests done privately so I can practice and get it right.

But I see everyone else here on the comments page seems to have an in-home lipid meter. I have never seen one and don’t know how to get one or what to get. Are they as precise as the commercial lab ones? I guess I shouldn’t need to worry — all I need to get is close enough, I mean from my last 6.12 mmol/l to about 4.5 would be great and good enough.

I have no trouble taking finger sticks — I do the glucose and betahydroxybutyrate sampling already. The lipd meter uses capillary blood too, right? Can you give me some guidance what to get and where?


Siobhan Huggins
11 months ago
Reply to  Su-Chong Lim

Hi Su-Chong – I did indeed see your prior reply and was about to reply to it when I saw this one. Regarding the lipid monitor, I use the CardioChek Plus from PTS diagnostics, and I believe you can order it in Canada – I ordered off of their site. There’s also a more affordable home version (I think the main difference is you test HDL, TG, LDL etc separately, but if you’re mainly worried about LDL that might not matter). You might also want to ask in the Lean Mass Hyper-responder facebook page as there may be a better one available in Canada, or is more affordable, etc. But yes, the home monitors use capillary blood. If it were me, I’d be sure to do each test 12-14 hours water-only fasted after doing the protocol to make sure it is not confounded by improperly fasting before checking it.
With that said, neither Dave nor I encourage the use of the protocol to “trick” your doctor, but this is of course up to the individual. In a best case scenario it can be used to introduce the idea of the Lipid Energy model, but it seems that this is not likely in your case. Perhaps (if possible) it might be worth looking into other doctors in your area, or who can give remote care if the current doctor doesn’t mesh with what you’re trying to achieve and your personal health goals. It can be a big benefit to have a healthcare team who is willing to work with you, and address your concerns, while providing their own input respectively. I do realize this isn’t always possible, and am not sure how easy this is to do in Canada.
There is this list from Diet Doctor which has a list of low carb friendly doctors if it is something you were interested in though, especially as it may be beneficial as they can get to know your history, concerns, diet, etc to help with your care.

Su-Chong Lim
Su-Chong Lim
11 months ago

Siobhan: Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply and advice.

It’s not so much wanting to “trick” the Cardiologist, (except for the fact of obtaining a confirmatory repeat baseline lipid review against her wishes before embarking on allegedly life-long mandatory Crestor treatment).

The issue for me is that in 2015 I had an HDL-C of 1.66, TG of 0.87 and LDL-C of 4.06.
in 2018 I had an HDL-C of 2.12, TG of 0.78 and LDL -C of 4.7.

I also found a 1979 report where my Total Cholesterol was 179mg/dl (we were doing different units back then).

In 1980 my TC was 182 mg/dl and my HDL-C was 41 mg/dl.

Therefore, it appears that her assumption of me having familial hypercholesterolemia is invalid in that my LDL-C has not always been elevated.

Furthermore, the April 30, 2020 lab test showing the high LDL-C of 6.32 was preceded by a chaotic personal situation where I was highly stressed, had slept very poorly and had eaten very little and irregularly for the preceding 3 days. Ironically, it seems from perusing this website, particularly the Feldman Protocol post, that I had unintentionally created the circumstances for shooting up my LDL-C levels to even higher levels than might be typical for me in a steady state, that is, even as a LMHR.

Does that seem reasonable?

Siobhan Huggins
11 months ago
Reply to  Su-Chong Lim

Yes, if just looking for a more accurate baseline I’d definitely want that too, personally. I always try to get bloodwork when things are pretty typical for me (in terms of diet, stress, etc) if trying to capture what my bloods normally look like, and thus try to avoid common confounders (undereating, not water-only fasting 12-14 hours prior to the test, not eating normally, etc). If I were in the same situation I’d likewise want to re-test as I’d suspect due to the context they may not be representative.

Likewise, if my prior results showed normal LDL levels I’d likely want a second opinion on the FH presumption, as – as far as I’ve heard – it should be lifelong elevations. Likewise, if returning to a prior diet (likely higher carb/lower fat) and LDL “normalized” I’d be more likely to suspect diet as well – which is something I’ve seen pretty commonly in LMHRs who want to move away from the profile (that it’s reversible with diet change). Of course, LMHRs are a bit of a unique situation, so it’s possible doctors just aren’t sure what to make of it and thus assume it must be genetic – I’ve heard that from a couple doctors, in passing, myself upon chatting with them.

Hopefully you are able to capture a more accurate baseline, as it’s something I personally value a lot. And of course, if you have any follow-up questions – please do check back!

7 months ago

I am following a low carb diet.
I drink one coffee in the morning and tea occasionally.
And my trigs have gone up.
What can I do to drop it please?
Can you please advice about my lipid report pls thanks so much. m

Maryam Mariya
Maryam Mariya
7 months ago
Reply to  Maryam
  • there is a correction I need to make. The TG is 1.1 and not 2.4. Sorry and thanks so much.
Siobhan Huggins
7 months ago
Reply to  Maryam

Hi, apologies for the delay in reply. Did you have tea/coffee on the morning of the blood test where you got this result? Did you water-only fast for 12-14 hours, no more, no less, water only? Typically higher than expected triglycerides paired with normal/high HDL tends to indicate something has confounded the test from what we’ve seen, although we’re not doctors and thus can’t give medical advice.

EDIT: Just saw your update about the triglycerides. Which invalidates the above text! So please ignore that. You mention your triglycerides have gone up – what were they before? In our experience, there can be some pretty significant fluctuation even day to day.
I’ve also put your numbers through our report tool.

–===== v0.9.5.15 =====–
• Female • <Unspecified Age> • Coffee: 1 cups/day •
• <Unspecified time and/or diet> •
• <Unspecified fasted time> • Cholesterol Rx: false •

Total Cholesterol: 305 mg/dL 7.9 mmol/L
LDL Cholesterol: 209 mg/dL 5.4mmol/L
HDL Cholesterol: 78 mg/dL 2.02mmol/L
TG Cholesterol: 97 mg/dL 1.1mmol/L

Atherogenic Index of Plasma: -0.264 mg/dL >>> Lowest Risk Third 
—-> Go to for more on AIP

 Framingham Offspring: 0.7 Odds Ratio >>> Low Risk
—-> Go to for more on this Framingham study

 Jeppesen: >>> Lowest Risk Third 
—-> Go to for more on the Jeppesen study

 Cholesterol Remnants: 18 mg/dL >>> 0.22 mmol/L >>> Low Risk
—-> Go to for more on Cholesterol Remnants

Friedewald LDL-C: 208 | Iranian LDL-C: 198
TC/HDL Ratio in mg/dL: 3.91
TG/HDL Ratio in mg/dL: 1.24 | TG/HDL Ratio in mmol/L: 0.54


**This does not constitute medical advice**

• Your triglycerides of 1.1 mmol/L are typically considered optimal.

• We would consider your HDL of 2.02 mmol/L as strong.

• We’d consider your LDL cholesterol as in range for what we’d call a “Standard Hyper-responder”. This is common for many going on a low carb diet. For more on hyper-responders, visit For a deeper explanation on our proposed mechanisms for this when powered by fat, see

Last edited 7 months ago by Siobhan Huggins
2 months ago

Hi, I have been on the carnivore diet for 1 month, then had bloodwork done. LDL has increased a lot (is through the roof), HDL is normal, triglycerides has increased but is still normal.Usually I eat an organic vegetable rich paleo diet. The numbers june-11-2020 and jan-25-2021 (after one month on carnivore) are:
LDL: 4,6 nmol/l and 7,6 nmol/l
HDL: 1,6 nmol/l and 1,5 nmol/l
TG: 0,98 nmol/l and 1,69 nmol/l
I always take bloodwork on a fasting stomach, always more than 12h and usually about 14h fasting. I take all bloodwork around 8am at the local lab. The morning of the draw I eat nothing, only drink water.
Would you have any comment to these blood values?

Siobhan Huggins
1 month ago
Reply to  Peder

Hi Peder, we’re not doctors and can’t give medical advice but we can offer our thoughts where it may be of interest.
One thing that stands out on the newer test is the combination of higher than expected triglycerides for a low carb/carnivore diet, plus the expected level of HDL – from what we’ve seen this typically indicates that something has confounded the test.
Based off of what we’ve seen in ourselves and others, this could be due to not water-only fasting for 12-14 hours (e.g. no coffee, no tea, no caffeine during this fasting period), as you mentioned, but it sounds like this isn’t likely in your case.
You may want to check out this post as it lists potential other options.
Another possibility we have seen come up occasionally is results not being representative until around the 4 month mark, if going from a higher carb diet to a ketogenic diet (including carnivore).

If I were in a similar position, I’d likely want to clarify what is causing the higher than expected triglycerides, in order to get a non-confounded test and see how things look in that context.

1 month ago

Hi Siobhan,

Last month I was surprised with a triglyceride level of 157 mg/dl which is high for me. It is usually within the 70-99 range. I’m a carnivore(ish) and have been for a while. My A1c was 5.1 which is what it has been since going Keto in 2017. I had other labs spike as well. My cortisol jumped from 8.3mcg/dl to 17.3mcg/dl and my Insulin went from 4.8uIU/ml to 14.4 uIU/ml.

Interestingly, I had been feeling extremely run down after donating blood for the first time which was about 2.5 weeks before my lab draw. After reading your response regarding the elevation of triglycerides when sick, I’m now wondering if the stress response from donating 500ml of whole blood may have caused the temporary elevation in my triglycerides.

I tried searching for the transient elevation of triglycerides in the journal database CINAHL but have come up blank. If you can recommend any studies that I can review about the elevation of triglycerides during illness it would be appreciated.

Siobhan Huggins
23 days ago
Reply to  Sandra

Hi Sandra,
I’m not sure if I’ve heard anything regarding triglycerides increasing after blood donation specifically, but here is one paper talking about the mechanism (TNF – a pro-inflammatory cytokine), and another talking about infection (again cytokine involvement). This one, too, talking about potential role in the immune system with regard to infection.

Regarding higher than expected triglycerides on a ketogenic/carnivorous diet, although I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice, one thing I’d want to double check if it were me would be fasting time, as this comes up fairly often. E.g. were you 12-14 hours water-only fasted (no coffee, no tea, no caffeine) during the blood draw where you got triglycerides of 157 mg/dL? This is one of the common reasons we see for this, mentioned in this post.

Charlene Ocampo
Charlene Ocampo
25 days ago

In Feb 2019 I happened to get my triglycerides over 1,000 while on a dirty keto/SAD diet. I didn’t bother to redraw my labs until my next yearly exam in Feb 2020. I ate carnivore for a month before my lab draw and my lipids were “normal.” This year I ate dirty keto/ SAD, and again have a “bad” lipid panel with triglycerides in the 1000’s. I plan on going carnivore for a month and retesting in a month. I expect them to be just as beautiful as when I did carnivore last year. Can anyone explain to me how I am getting triglycerides in the 1000’s?
Feb 2019
Chol= 240
HDL= 37
Trig= 1422
No LDL value because a “calculated value cannot be determines with triglycerides over 400.”

Feb 2020 on Carnivore one month
Chol= 160
HDL = 54
Trig = 128
LDL = 80

This year on SAD diet/heavy meat
Chol = 329
HDL= 75
Trig = greater than 1100

Siobhan Huggins
19 days ago

That is certainly interesting, thanks for sharing your experience.
I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice but to further expand on what might be happening I’d be interested in the following:
1) Did you get other markers that could provide additional context like insulin and inflammatory markers?
2) What exactly were you eating during the times you experienced very high triglycerides levels?
3) Were all of these tests 12-14 hours water-only fasting (e.g. no coffee, no tea, no caffeine during the fasting period)?
4) Are you a habitual coffee drinker, and if so did this change when you switched over to carnivore?

Based off of the current information, it’s difficult to tell, but the above may help narrow down the cause. The difference is definitely notable, and if not intending to stick to carnivore longer term I’d likely want to investigate further to help narrow down the cause (of course taking care to use caution and work with my healthcare team to keep an eye on things while doing so – for example, using carnivore as an elimination diet and reintroducing items slowly until the cause was found, etc).

Charlene Ocampo
Charlene Ocampo
17 days ago

After this lipid panel, I asked my doctor for a fasting insulin, hsCRP, and NMR lipid. He was hesitant at first and asked me why I wanted them. I said, I am overweight (BMI 27), and my lipid panel is abnormal. I told him that my A1C of 5.1 looks good now, but it could be better. I am actually getting these labs done today, but I have already been 5 days 0 carb/high fat carnivore. I wonder if my lipids will go down since I have been high fat, zero carb for five days? This is so interesting!

I was eating the standard American diet during the times of high triglycerides. A lot of processed food, coffee, and energy drinks. How many other people get their triglycerides in the 1000’s?

Yes my labs were all 12-14 hours fasted.

I think the first time I was carnivore and fixed my lipid panel, I was still drinking coffee, but not energy drinks.

I will let you know my labs when I get them! Thanks for helping me out!

Siobhan Huggins
9 days ago

Ah, I see, thanks for the additional info.
I do know maybe a couple dozen people who anecdotally have had triglycerides in the 1000-2000 mg/dL range, and similarly saw a reduction in triglycerides on a ketogenic diet (some to <100 mg/dL). There's also this case series which details someone with triglycerides of 1200 mg/dL and another with triglycerides of 800 mg/dL who both saw notable decreases on ketogenic diets as well (to 209 mg/dL in one case, and to 187 mg/dL in the second case). Most of the people I know who experienced this also had high HbA1cs, though, (aka diabetic) which doesn’t sound like it’s the case here, so it is interesting. I’m interested to see if the change you saw is replicated as you suspect – and what the context markers (like insulin) will show, as well.

Charlene Ocampo
Charlene Ocampo
6 days ago

My LP-IR score is 50. This NMR lipid was taken 2 weeks after I got my first lipid panel done, and I was animal fat and protein for 5 days. I wanted to see a normalized LDL in 5 days but did not. Hehe. Can you help me interpret this NMR. It looks bad. I plan on getting a CAC score and carotid US. I am only 38 years old- will a CAC score and US be beneficial for my age? All I know is that I need to be on keto carnivore to try to improve my labs, especially my LP-IR score.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x