Created by potrace 1.14, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My “Healthy” Diet Food Logs

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  • Low Fat High Carb diet effects on my Cholesterol

    If you missed it, I just posted the results that 6 months of Low Carb High Fat had on my cholesterol numbers.  I knew that these results would be shocking to all, regardless of whether or not you believe that high cholesterol causes heart disease.

    I have no problem with people debating, in a healthy manner, whether these results are good or bad.  I enjoy a good debate.  I love it when people provide “evidence” for their views on what constitutes a “healthy” diet, and I especially appreciate the book recommendations.  I don’t have a problem with people telling me that I am crazy to eat a high fat diet, ESPECIALLY with the cholesterol numbers I have.

    What I do have a problem with is people blatantly (or subtly) calling me a liar as @MacSmiley & @CarbSane felt the need to do so.

    Contrary to what anyone may think, I did not read just one book, then make a decision of this magnitude. The decision to go LCFH was a very difficult on as I, like most of you, have always been told that high cholesterol was bad, fat is bad, low fat is good… blah, blah, blah.  I don’t claim to have all the answers (especially with regards to diet), and I damn sure don’t claim to be any kind of authority on the subject.  What I do know is that just because the masses believe something is true, doesn’t make it so.  It wasn’t long ago that the vast majority of people believed that women were inferior to men or that slavery was OK.  Turns out everyone that believe that was wrong.  I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that what I “know” today will probably change in the future.  I know this, because what I believed when I was 20, is different that what I believe today.

    So, I took a look back at my food logs.  I went all the way back to the beginning of this journey. I wanted to ensure that my memory wasn’t providing me with a revisionist type of history.  I was shocked by the numbers!

    My Cholesterol History

    I used to be FAT and I’ve had high cholesterol since my early 30’s.  Back then – I literally LIVED ON Big Macs, Whoppers, French Fries and Soda.  I used to jokingly say, to my then wife, “what’s all this green crap doing on my plate?”  We used to eat out – A LOT!  I don’t remember all my cholesterol numbers, but I do remember my Total Cholesterol was 320 and my LDL’s were double what they should be and my HDL was 1/2 what it should be.

    After about 7 more years of following my unhealthy fast food, meat and potatoes, no vegetables (unless they were smothered in cheese or ranch dressing) diet, I was fat and mildly depressed.  The one day it dawned on my that I was definitely headed down the road of being the 3rd generation of men in my family to suffer a heart attack in my 40’s.  I decided to get healthy and lose the weight.

    The “Healthy” diet

    So, I changed my diet from Big Macs to Subway Sandwiches (when I ate out).  I cooked at home more.  I bought Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Grain Pasta.  I added salads and fruits to my meals.  I ate power bars during exercise.  I bought Low Fat Yogurt and ate Granola.  I bought Skim Milk.  I bought Cherrios instead of sugary cereals.  I cut sugar out.  I COMPLETELY CHANGED MY DIET and I lost weight (see home page image of my blog).

    The FOOD logs – Numbers don’t lie

    Food Logs 8/3/11 - 8/19/11

    Here are my food logs from back at the very beginning of this journey.  You can see, I was right in line with what our government (and the masses) believe is a “healthy” diet.

    There are some days that I was high in some areas and yes my sodium, as a whole, was a touch high (on average). My cholesterol intake was SUBSTANTIALLY below the recommended values, and my sugar was WAY low.  As time went on, I was even better about choosing the “right” foods.  I ate low fat, high carb well rounded meals from the get go, and I ate this way for 2 1/2  years.  You know what happened to my cholesterol numbers?

    NOTHING!  THEY STAYED EXACTLY THE SAME!

    I had lost the weight, I had eaten what the doctor said, I had followed the guidelines, and according to the “experts” out there, I was still at a high risk for Heart Disease.

    So today, I eat Low Carb High Fat diet.  I did this for 6 months, and to me, the results are nothing short of amazing.  Not only do I feel better, have more energy, think more clearly and have other benefits since changing to an LCHF diet, I also think my new cholesterol numbers reflect a diminished risk for Heart Disease as from information I’ve read (that quoted studies and I verified whenever possible, the Triglyceride to HDL ratio is a much greater predictor of Heart Disease than total cholesterol or LDL levels).  I can’t wait to get my heart scan, because I believe that is the true test of my risk for developing heart disease.

    Debate on, but please @CarbSane & @MacSmiley, don’t call me a liar again.  I pride myself on my honesty and my integrity and I take it very personal when people question those.  I am not benefiting from posting the results of my experiment on MY BODY, and my only reason for sharing is to provide information for anyone else considering challenging the status quo.

    In my personal case, and from what I understand, LCFH appears to be lowering my risk for Heart Disease.

     

     

    6 Responsesso far.

    1. Hi.

      Your fasting TG’s are low, because your high exogenous fat intake is suppressing your endogenous hepatic TG production. Your average TG’s will be high, due to very high postprandial TG’s. See Ultra-high-fat (~80%) diets: Fat storage, and a delicious analogy

      In addition, postprandial TG’s are atherogenic. You want evidence? See Ultra-high-fat (~80%) diets: The good, the bad and the ugly and I’m NOT a lipophobe, I’m a very naughty boy!

      Cheers, Nige

    2. MacSmiley says:

      Chad,

      Please accept my sincere apology for my miscommunication on Twitter. Intentions can get lost in such a short form of communication.

      We were in no way calling you a liar, blatantly or otherwise.

      (The same can not be said of the authors of LCHF diet books, however. The blogs of Evelyn Kocur/CarbSane and others are exposing the numerous ways they use to mislead people.)

      Since words like low carb, low fat, even “healthy” are vague, meaning different things to different people…even different things in different nutritional studies… we were challenging you to elaborate on your diet. As this post here demonstrates, you have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into your regime. And for good reason.

      Admittedly, we could have gone about challenging you in a considerably more gentle manner. For that I’m sorry.

      Like you, both Evelyn, aka @Carbsane, and I have struggled with obesity. We come from different perspectives: she from years of low carb dieting and me from years of vegJUNKtarianism (including LOTS of Cliff and Luna bars and BK Veggie Burger value meals). I had hypertriglyceridemic MetS with normal fasting blood sugar. Family history, etc.

      While I am merely a nutritionally inquisitive layperson for reasons of my own health, Evelyn is a college science professor who has done actual lab science and is talented in evaluating the academic studies on nutrition. We don’t agree on everything, of course, but we both agree that the LC proponents are misrepresenting nutritional science, scientists, and history. And it appears to be deliberate.

      So with our respective backgrounds, we both understand only too well how often there is a disconnect between our perceptions of our diets and the reality of what we actually put in our mouths. What we think of as healthy is often nothing of the sort. That’s what Evelyn and I were calling you out on.

      Most people think of the USDA Dietary Guidelines of 30% total fat as a “low fat diet”. It is not. It has the same level of fat in the diet the French were eating in the 1950s. I agree that your “healthy” diet was within these guidelines.

      However…

      A truly healthy low fat diet has a 10-20% fat content found in the meals of people around the world who eat, or until recently, have eaten mostly vegetarian: minimally processed plant foods close to their natural state. Think steel cut oats instead of Cheerios.

      Speaking of Cheerios, mechanically pulverizing a grain’s fiber into nanosized particles raises its glycemic load and robs it of most of its cholesterol-lowering power. That’s part of the problem with modern fluffy whole wheat bread and even whole wheat pasta.

      And that was the point of my tweet:

      “Fruit/veg, nuts/seeds, beans/lentils, unprocessed whole grains gave u CVD? Not!”

      A whole foods, plant-based diet which has been demonstrated to reverse atherosclerosis by drastically lowering TC/LDL/TRigs was not what you were eating.

      A WFPBD including nuts, avocado, and shredded coconut, even though supplemented with some animal protein, plus a little exercise, not only lost me 100+ pounds but has bumped my HDL back to a desirable 47, TRigs dropped close to 60, and LDL under 60. That’s potentially atheroma regression territory.

      How this works is layed out in pages of videos at NutritionFacts.org with cited and linked studies:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=Lower+cholesterol

      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=Atherosclerosis

      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=Heart+disease

      Even amongst fruits and veggies, some work better than others at getting the cholesterol-lowering job done. For just one example:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dried-apples-dates-figs-or-prunes-for-cholesterol/

      and eating a portfolio of foods known to lower cholesterol is smart. Emphasizing vasodilating dark green leafies to raise your endothelial nitric oxide production is essential as well.

      As for @DrLipid, Thomas Dayspring is an award-winning Lipidlogist. IMO his knowledge of plant-based nutrition leaves much to be desired (and his association with Gary Taubes is a disaster), but he knows his lipids and CVD risk factors backwards and forwards.

      http://www.biomarkerbliki.org/author/show/5

      What qualifications does Jimmy Moore have? Have any of his “cholesterol clarity experts” been awarded the National Lipid Association’s (NLA’s) President’s Service Award? Are they on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology? Nope. Dr. Dayspring? Yup.

      When Dayspring tells you that an LDL over 300 is alarmingly dangerous no matter what your trigs and HDL are, it pays to listen. HDL is more complicated than “more is better”.

      http://www.biomarkerbliki.org/articles/20

      I understand that you have been frustrated by your heretofore inability to drop your LDL, and that you felt the need to do something radically different.

      But pretending that LDL is a meaningless figure and following a diet unproven to eucalorically reverse CVD may be doing you and your heart a potentially catastrophic disservice. I hope your exchange with him on Twitter proves beneficial.

      Again, please accept my apology for appearing to question your honesty and integrity. That was never my intent.

      PS. Progenitors dying of heart attacks in their 40s sounds very much like familial hypercholesterolemia. But I’m your you know that by now.

      • Muskrat37 says:

        Apology accepted and I appreciate the well thought out, very informative response. Thank you for the links of information. I will read them. I know some most people in the nutrition community (on both sides) can be very dogmatic (and therefore close minded to views that oppose their beliefs). I am not one of those. While I can be stubborn at times, I will look at all sides then make my decisions. I also believe you (and those who generally think I’m nuts for eating a high fat diet with cholesterol numbers like mine) probably have some level of concern for my overall health, even though you don’t know me. I appreciate the concern.

        A couple of clarifications:

        1. My father & grandfather did NOT die in their 40’s – they suffered their 1st heart attacks in their 40’s. My dad is now 65 (the age at which my grandfather died after having several heart attacks, a quadruple bypass, and many strokes) in poor health, and has taken a Statin drug for 20 years. He has suffered a brain aneurysm, esophageal cancer, and several melanoma’s in the last 10 years. Cancer DOES not run in my family, but he seem to be getting cancer at an alarming rate. I’m not saying the Statin caused all his health woe’s, but it would be incredibly ignorant to not consider it as a possible culprit and avoid putting a drug in my body that turns off an essential function of my body.
        2. I have not come to my conclusions based solely on Jimmy Moore’s “proof” in his book. What his book did for me was open my eyes that what we’ve all be told for years might not be true (which I’m sure you’ll agree with). I’m primarily referring to the link between Total Cholesterol, LDL and Heart Disease. He also opened my eyes to the fact that my doctor, by virtue of his degree alone, is not an all knowing god incapable of mistakes.
        3. I don’t think LDL is meaningless, but based what I’ve read, the LDL number we get on a basic LIPID panel is pretty much worthless – which is why I’m going to have a particle size test done. While I think this proverbial line in the sand of a TC of 200 (and prescribing statins to anyone over 200) is ridiculous – having a TC of nearly 400 MAY be of concern. That said, I have not seen any studies yet that definitely link High Cholesterol as a marker by itself, to risk of Heart Disease.

        I, like you, am a layperson without any qualifications or titles or awards behind my name. It does not mean we are stupid, nor that we can’t glean information from studies and learn from those smarter than us. Same with Jimmy Moore. I could care less about his lack of titles. To me a title does not make someone any more or less intelligent. He has been reading, researching, and following this subject for over 10 years. He provided references to studies in his book (I started to read CarbSanes “critique” of his book, but haven’t finished it), he didn’t just make bold baseless claims. Is he guilty of ulterior motives? Did he make sensationalist claims to sell books? Has he looked at data in studies he quotes from a skewed perspective, thereby seeing only what he wanted to see to prove his point? If he had research bias, was it intentional or subconscious? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but it’s not my place to say. What I do know is that anyone who researches a subject for 10 years is going to be very knowledgeable about that subject. I could care less if he has a title or not. When I am reading a study, post, forum or other source for information, I rely on people who have more knowledge than I about a subject. I love it when someone posts a study, then someone else responds as to why that study is garbage and should be discarded.

        I am solely motivated by my desire to live a long healthy life. I like to think I have a lot of “common sense” and to me it just make sense that we were designed to eat meat, and lot’s of it. Even a vegetarian would be forced to start eating meat if they were suddenly placed in a remote region of Alaska. In my opinion, it just makes sense that our bodies were designed to process and eat meat. I also believe we were designed to eat meat in larger quantities than vegetables due to the availability of it because wherever humans were able to live, other mammals would also have been present. I also think that we were NOT designed to eat fruit year round the way a lot of people do. It just makes sense and I don’t have to go back to Paleo times for this to make sense, I only have to look back a couple hundred years. 200 years ago, people couldn’t get banana’s from South America, Oranges from Florida, nor Peaches from Georgia. Yet in today’s world, people eat (especially vegetarians) massive amounts of fruit. Fruit triggers an insulin response. Carbohydrates trigger an insulin response. That doesn’t mean a banana, orange or peach are not good for you, it just means that we weren’t designed to eat several servings of fruit per day (or even per week). We would have most likely gorged ourselves on local fruits when they came in season though..then been right back to fat & protein. To me that logic just makes sense. (I am open to hearing why my logic may be skewed) 🙂

        There is a tendency in our society to think that if “some is good for you” then “more is better.” One serving of fruit(or fat) might be good for you, but that doesn’t mean 10 are.

        I have a question for you:

        – would you agree that if a person has a ZERO Calcium score – their Cholesterol is probably not a concern? (regardless of the diet they consume)

        Lastly – I will create a post with supporting studies I have found. Due to my real world job and responsibilities I don’t have the time to read through every study. I have to read the posts, the links, the summaries and the conclusions. I have seen time and time again that Total Cholesterol and LDL levels are a VERY POOR predictor of Heart Disease, and that Triglyceride to HDL ratio is a much more accurate predictor. From my “common sense” point of view – If you look at the December numbers and the June numbers as 2 separate individual 42 year old males – anyone (regardless of what “side” they are on) would say that the male with the June numbers has a LOWER (I never said zero) chance of developing heart disease due to the Triglyceride to HDL ratio being so much better…. that’s why I am VERY pleased with my results of 6 months of LCFH. I have also seen that there are many more tests (like particle size, Apo B, and C reactive Protein) that can be even more accurate. I will be getting these tests done in the near future.

        One other recurring thing that keeps popping up is that LOW cholesterol may be worse than high cholesterol. I have read that low cholesterol has been linked to various cancers and other ailments – but this is a subject for another post.

        I will post some of the studies and statements I have read, and I hope @drlipid and others have the time to help me understand the studies quoted in greater detail.

        I know that I have taken this to an extreme – my “plan” is to follow this “extreme” way of eating for about a year – get another CT Heart Calcium Scan done, get my particle size test done, THEN see where I go from there. Most likely, as a result of this diet, with my TG and HDL ratio at a great range, I will start adding in foods and see what it does. Probably start with fruits (I miss bananas)…then MAYBE add in some occasional whole grains (steal cut oats, whole grain pasta) – but only once in a while.

        This experiment will be fun to follow, and I look forward to our interactions. Thanks for taking the time.

    3. charles grashow says:

      10/5/12
      LDL-P 1430 nmol/L
      Small LDL-P 132 nmol/L
      LDL-C (Calculated) 199 mg/dL
      TC – 274 mg/dL
      HDL-C 69mg/dL
      Triglycerides 31 mg/dL
      Trig/HDH ratio – .45
      HA1C – 5.6

      So – I eliminated coconut milk and oil and reduced the number of eggs eaten.

      I still eat saturated fat (full fat dairy, grass fed beef, nuts, etc) though not as much as you do

      I eat more carbs (fruits, some potato, etc) but more than you do

      I added supplements which have been proven to lower cholesterol on pathways different from statins

      I added 10mgs/day Atorvastatin

      MNR test results – 2/28/14
      LDL-P 401
      LDL-C 47
      HDL-C 44
      Trigs 34
      Small LDL-P 209
      LDL size 21.5
      HDL size 10.3
      HA1C – 5.2

    4. charles grashow says:

      http://www.lecturepad.org/dayspring/lipidaholics/pdf/LipidaholicsCase291.pdf

      “My goodness! If a new healthy looking, normal weight patient showed up with an LDL-C ~ 230 mg/dL, we are all presuming that familial hypercholesterolemia is present. At the age of 54 we would be searching for arcus senilis, a sternotomy scar or xanthomata. Although there is no premature CHD, there are certainly cholesterol issues in her family. Although we do not have a baseline LDL-P or apoB, how can one go from a perfect lipid profile to a seeming very high risk one in a very short period of time? Can CV lipid/lipoprotein-related risk be worsened by the weight loss? Or perhaps the question is – does it matter what one consumes to lose weight? Is there a danger too low carbs/high fat in some people? Or how about this absurd question – can an LDL-P of ~2600 nmol/L not be associated with atherothrombotic risk? It has been reported for years that diets high in saturated fat raise TC and LDL-C and diets with reduced saturated fat lowers them (Evidence Level IA in NCEP ATP-III). MUFA and PUFA can be neutral or lower LDL-C. MUFA may raise HDL-C. Of course we now know what any therapy does to CV outcomes likely has little if any relationship to what that therapy does to HDL-C but the story that raising LDL-C is associated with or causal of atherosclerosis is widely accepted. I, other lipidologists, and many patients themselves, are starting to see that the above lipid response to a high fat diet as not being very rare response in people who abandon carbs and replace it with saturated fat, especially in those doing extreme carb restriction to achieve nutritional ketosis.”

      “Let’s get rid of the nonsense seen all over the internet that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, not a cholesterol disease. That is baloney-with the reality being that it is both. One cannot have atherosclerosis without sterols, predominantly cholesterol being in the artery wall: No cholesterol in arteries – no atherosclerosis. Plenty of folks have no systemic vascular inflammation and have atherosclerotic plaque. However clinicians have no test that measures cholesterol within the plaque – it is measured in the plasma. It is assumed, that if total or LDL-C or non-HDL-C levels are elevated the odds are good that some of that cholesterol will find its way into the arteries, and for sure there, are many studies correlating those measurements with CHD risk. Yet, we have lots of patients with very low TC and LDL-C who get horrific atherosclerosis. We now recognize that the cholesterol usually gains arterial entry as a passenger inside of an apoB-containing lipoprotein (the vast majority of which are LDLs) and the primary factor driving LDL entry into the artery is particle number (LDL-P), not particle cholesterol content (LDL-C). Because the core lipid content of each and every LDL differs (how many cholesterol molecules it traffics) it takes different numbers of LDLs to traffic a given number of cholesterol molecules: the more depleted an LDL is of cholesterol, the more particles (LDL-P) it will take to carry a given cholesterol mass (LDL-C). The usual causes of cholesterol depleted particles are that the particles are small or they are TG-rich and thus have less room to carry cholesterol molecules. Who has small LDLs or TG-rich LDL’s? – insulin resistant patients! After particle number endothelial integrity is certainly related to atherogenic particle entry: inflamed endothelia have inter-cellular gaps and express receptors that facilitate apoB-particle entry. So the worse scenario is to have both high apoB andan inflamed dysfunctional endothelium. Is it better to have no inflammation in the endothelium – of course! But make no mistake the driving force of atherogenesis is entry of apoB particles and that force is driven primarily by particle number not arterial wall inflammation.”

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