It’s been about 6 months since I last checked my cholesterol and I’ve had a few readers ask me how my numbers look. Before I jump into what the results are I thought it might be helpful, especially to new readers, to detail a little bit about where I’ve come from, and what I’ve been doing in the mean time.
I’ve written quite extensively on my cholesterol history and some of the research I’ve done on the subject throughout my blog. Here’s a link to everything I’ve written on cholesterol thus far.
Without going too in depth the brief summary of my history of high cholesterol goes something like this. I had a normal which inexplicably started climbing higher and higher. I experimented with the Slow Carb Diet from The 4 Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss, which got even worse when I experimented with Nutritional Ketosis, despite losing weight and improving my body composition. I tried a cyclic ketogenic diet (Carb Nite) and then a targeted ketogenic diet (Carb Back-Loading) which didn’t seem to help at all.
I experimented with a few other various things here and there without any significant impact and finally got my act together and met with an expert, Dr. Dall a board certified lipidologist. Here are some posts I wrote about my meetings with her:
- What a Doctor Asks His Lipidologist
- Consultation with the Lipidologist
- Reviewing the Labs My Lipidologist Ordered
I learned a lot from my meetings with her which helped me develop a plan of attack… which worked!
For a more detailed narrative of this history and a summary of the test results immediately following the implementation of my plan, you can go here:
The next step for me to do was to parse out which specific components of the plan had the strongest effects, which lead me down the next path of experimentation with these series of posts:
- I Stopped Taking Bergamot And Here’s What Happened To My Cholesterol
- Cholesterol Update After Stopping Bionic Fiber
- Cholesterol Update January 2016: How I Bollixed My Experiment
- Cholesterol Update March 2016: What happens after 6 weeks of VSL#3 Probiotics?
Which leads me to where I am now.
What I’m doing now
The BJJ Cavewife and I decided to join our Crossfit gym in doing the Whole 30, which is essentially a strict paleo diet. After following this diet for 15 days I had my blood drawn. If I planned things better I would have gotten the blood test after the full 30 days, but things just didn’t work out.
Here is my average daily macronutrient and caloric intake for this time period:
Sat Fat: 48
If you want to see what I ate in detail, I logged everything on MyFitnessPal.
I tested my blood ketones and saw that I was in low level ketosis for about half the time.
My activity consisted of 3-4 days of BJJ and 1-2 days of Crossfit.
Here are the supplements I took:
For more detail about what I did during this time period, take a look at this post: The Whole 30, Days 1-15.
What happened to my cholesterol?
And of course, like in all of my prior posts, I tabulated it all:
I know the text in the table is small so I just wanted to point out that you can click on it to bring up the larger image.
LDL-P: Dropped to 1974 from 2269 for a loss of more than 10%.
Small LDL-P: Now at 984 compared to 996, with no significant change.
LDL-C: Dropped to 161 from 180 for a loss of a little over 10%
Triglycerides: Still under control at 84, unchanged from before when it was 85.
HDL-C: Now at 40, the lowest it’s been in the past 6 years.
Total Cholesterol: Dropped to 218 from 255, for a loss of 14%
CRP: Still low at 0.61
Fasting Insulin: Still under control at 3.6
What does this mean?
It’s interesting to see the improvement in LDL-P, LDL-C, and Total Cholesterol without any probiotics, berberine, or bergamot. Of course the unchanged Small LDL-P is still concerning. I wonder how much of it is simply related to the reduced saturated fat intake (althought this didn’t seem to help much before) or the changes in the diet with increased fruit and vegetable intake.
While things still aren’t ideal, I think knowing that the changes brought on by the Whole 30 have this sort of effect, simply after 15 days is reassuring.
I still need to experiment with berberine on it’s own since I suspect that is the most powerful of the things that I’ve tried, but I’m getting used to this way of eating and so will also be interested to see how far this can go.
*Image found here