Three Month Test Results – A1c & Cholesterol Panel

I do not have my test results from my previous A1c and Cholesterol panel, so I am just going by what the doctor said during my visit.

May’s Weight – 245  —  Today’s Weight – 240

In May, my A1c was 9.2, today it was 7.2
My glucose went from 233 in May to 178 today.

Today’s total cholesterol is 234. The doc said it is DOWN
HDL is 43, doc said it is UP
Triglycerides is 109, doc said they are DOWN
LDL is 169, doc said there was no change

According to this, I have a 5.4 risk factor for a Coronary

Doc wanted to put me on cholesterol medication, but I declined. Then he told me that he was on cholesterol medication, had a heart attack, and is still on cholesterol medication… did he honestly think that would make me say “Oh sure doc, put me on the same thing as you since it worked so well for you!” Crikey! Finally he said, “Okay, but don’t come back to me in 5 years after a heart attack and say I didn’t warn you.” Blow me, dough boy!

He didn’t lower any of my insulin. Said I could lower it a tiny bit at a time myself. Ha! I already have *bigcheesygrin*

He did say that he was glad I am on a low carb diet, then he told me to watch my salt intake *rolls eyes* Stupid stupid doctor! I do not even have high blood pressure! Mine is actually pretty low most of the time. Thanks for nothing, doc!

He was also glad that my A1c came down and said whatever I am doing, to keep doing it. I would say these are pretty good results considering that I’ve only been on the LCHF WOE for 5 weeks.

Advertisements

The Wonders (or not?) of Bullet-Proof Coffee

There is a sensation sweeping the LCHF world. It is called Bullet-Proof Coffee (BPC). Many sing its praises as a quick alternative to a full breakfast of eggs and meat, giving them energy, fullness for hours, aids in weight loss, and mental clarity. Some (like this ONE) discount it because it has little to no nutritional value and they don’t believe that consuming that much saturated fat is good for you.

Here is the premise of the coffee drink: 1 Tbsp of butter, 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 cups of coffee, and LC sweetener of choice. Some even add HWC (I do).

Personally, I don’t see the problem. I AM on a high fat diet. I try to consume about 80-100 grams of fat per day. I KNOW I am not getting that much in the foods that I eat because my appetite has diminished and I only eat 2 meals per day with maybe a snack at night. So adding that extra oomph in a cup of coffee is a great way for me to get those added fat grams. I am also NOT worried about saturated fats because I have already seen what adding fat to my diet has done for my body in just the two weeks I’ve been on this WOE.

I do not use it as a substitute for a meal though. I consume one cup of this coffee in the morning with 3 eggs and a meat. Then I just use the HWC and stevia in cups of coffee that I drink the rest of the day.

I plan to continue doing this until I see the lab results for my cholesterol in October. If my numbers haven’t improved, then and only then, will I make changes.

It’s All About the Fat, Baby!

Not all fats are created equal… I am sure you have heard that term before and it is true. The Low Fat craze nearly killed me, especially mixed with a lower carb diet. I am sure you have heard the debates about saturated fats being evil and the hype of all these vegetable oils being good for you. But just how true is all of it? Time for research!

The information I am about to share here is from my own research and observations. I subscribe to eat what you want, or as your doctor ordered, not as I say. Do your own research on all of this!

Let’s begin with the typical fats in most processed products: partially-hydrogenated, usually in the form of soy, hydrogenated, vegetable oils like corn, soy, safflower oil, canola oil and I am sure there are others. Most of these oils come from plants, which in itself should not be bad, right? However, they are ALL over processed and many turn to trans-fats.

Back before the 50s and 60s, the few fats found in processed foods were lard, coconut oil and palm oil. These did not have long shelf lives, unfortunately. Can’t have aisles and aisles of boxed food sitting around for months or years if the fats in them do not last a long time. Did you also know that the government was subsidizing soy and corn farms and had an excess storage of both? What to do with all that corn (we will discuss HFCS soon) and soy? hmmm… So they began using processed partial-hydrogenated oils like corn and soy, mostly. And then butter got a bad rap, so along came a host of margarine (vegetable oil based).

Side note: have you ever set out a bowl of butter and a bowl of margarine for a day or so and watched the gnats and flies’ reactions? They will attack butter, but stay away from margarine. Did you know that margarine has a similar chemical make-up to plastic? No kidding.. do the research!

Back to the history of fats/oils. So, lard, coconut oil and palm oil were outlawed, deemed evil and swept away from our shelves (mostly!).  Then in recent years, what did they discover? Those partially-hydrogenated oils had trans-fats in them that messed with cholesterol! So much for good science, eh? And yet, they are still found in almost all processed foods!

In the 90s, along came the Low Carb, Higher Fat diets of people like Atkins. Suddenly fat was good for you! But not just any fats – mostly saturated fats!

The common usable fats now for a LCHF diet are: coconut oil, olive oil, butter, lard, bacon grease, avocados, nut oils like walnut and macadamia, nuts (with the exception of too many cashews because of their high carb content and peanuts, which aren’t nuts but legumes – there will be a post on this later), full fat dairy products, and olive oil based (low carb) mayonnaise (think homemade).

What are NOT acceptable are: corn, soy, peanut, sunflower, safflower, canola oils and margarine. Also no low fat dairies.

Here are my personal preferences in the order that I use them the most: Coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocados, full fat dairies, nuts (mostly almonds), and bacon grease. I tend to stay away from bacon grease and lard the most because FOR ME, they are just too heavy and tend to upset my stomach and make me nauseous.

So does saturated fats really hurt cholesterol levels? Think of it this way. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. Your brain needs it the most to function, fire those synapses, regulate moods, think clearly, etc. Your joints need it to help keep those joints moving. What do you think the effects on our bodies has been in the last 50 years from the “medical attitude” toward cholesterol which is found in saturated fats like animal fat, coconut oil, and palm oil? Think about the diseases that have been steadily (sometimes rapidly) increasing. And then ask yourself just how evil is a High Fat diet of saturated fats. I will let you draw your own conclusions. I’ve already drawn mine. Do the research!

How This Journey Began — My Story

When I was 35 (back 14 yrs ago), I weighed 307 lbs and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Here is me at 307 lbs.

at307lbs

All the doctor told me was to take these pills (metformin and glipizide) and cut out sugar and processed sugary foods. I struggled over a period of 6 years to lose 60 lbs on various diets — Vegetarian, Lower Carb/Low Fat, Weight Watchers, and a few I made up myself. The results was a slow weight loss and increasingly high blood glucose levels. In 2005, I was put on two insulins, Levimer (slow acting) and Novalog (fast acting). Even being on metformin and these insulins, I struggled to keep my blood glucose levels down and kept gaining weight from the increases in insulin. My overall cholesterol was high and I was gradually feeling the effects of neuropathy in both of my feet. Needless to say, I was a mess.

Before I get to how I came around to the LCHF diet, let me tell you about my own experiences with dietitians and nutritionists. The current  ADA standard guidelines are 45 gm of carbs per meal for women and 60 gm for men. It is suggested that you eat 3 meals per day plus up to two snacks per day (15 gm for women, up to 25 for men). I was told to eat low fat and lean proteins. I could chose from whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fruits in moderation, low fat dairy, and of course lean mean meats like chicken and fish, to go easy on beef and pork, not to eat too many eggs, and use oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil and margarine, definitely no butter and as little animal fat as possible. Saturated fats was a no-no. Mono and Poly fats were the way to go.

The effects of this diet were devastating! Not only did my blood glucose levels stay high (175-300 on average), but my cholesterol continued to climb, my hair became brittle and began falling out, my skin was ultra dry, I began having severe joint pain and the pain in my feet from neuropathy was excruciating!

Just a note: I did not overindulge in cakes, cookies, candy, pies, white breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. I ate a few of those, according to the guidelines, in moderation. I was told that if I wanted a sweet, to save my carbs for such things. If I wanted rice, switch to brown —  I did so. If I wanted pasta, switch to whole wheat — I did so. If I wanted potatoes, eat sweet potatoes — I did so. If I wanted bread, switch to whole grains — I did so. As long as I stuck to the 45 for meals and the 15 for snacks, I would be okay. I was NOT okay! And I have NOT been okay for the last 14 years eating this way.

On August the 27th of this year, I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change in hopes of saving what’s left a good life for myself. I began doing some extensive research into Low Carb eating. I’ve known for a while that eating fewer carbs helped my blood glucose levels. I’d already begun to cut back on carbs, eating on average of 50-75 gms per day, as opposed to the 150-165 gms as recommended by the dietitians and nutritionists. I was still doing the low fat and lean meats. I stayed hungry all the time and craved carbs like crazy! This led me to further research and lo and behold I came up with the solution: High Fats! But not just any kinds of fats — coconut oil, olive oil, butter, avocados, and animal fats (I will discuss fats further in another post). I also learned that when you lower your carbs, you must add fat! My carbs are now 20 gm per DAY or lower. I’ve continued to eat the leaner meats, in moderation.

The results have been amazing! My blood glucose is in the “normal” ranges now (80-140) at any time during the day and as of today (9/2/15), I’ve only been on this WOE for 7 days! I will be making a post later about my observations from the first 7 days of this diet, so stay tuned for that. I have no idea how this is affecting my cholesterol, my A1c or if I have lost any weight. I will be seeing my PCP on Oct. 1st and will post my lab results then.

I do recognize that the LCHF WOE is NOT a fad diet. I will have to eat this way for the remainder of my life if I want to maintain healthy weight and glucose levels. I am in this for the long haul.

Note of Caution: It is not recommended that Type 1 diabetics eat a LCHF diet due to possible low blood sugar readings.