My Cholesterol Numbers After a Year of Butter

In part 1, I went over where my cholesterol numbers were last year and why I wanted to improve them.  In part 2, I talked about what I ate to lower my cholesterol; things like butter, coconut oil, veggies, and meat.  What did this high-fat low-carb diet actually do to me?

The New Doctor (PA)

Flashback to a couple weeks ago when I dove into another physical and more blood work.

This time I saw a Physician Assistant.  We’ll call him PA B.  My previous doctor (Dr. H), the one that said I was fine, left general practice and became an orthopedist.  Not having any clue what background PA B had, I was a little nervous.  I decided to test him.  I had him take a look at my numbers from last year and tell me what he thought.  To my relief, he agreed with Dr. H.  In fact, he ran my numbers through an online CVD risk calculator and it said I had a 0.6% chance of experiencing a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) in the next ten years.  He even spotted me two years since the calculator won’t let you enter an age less than 40!

PA B: “I wouldn’t even consider prescribing a statin to someone unless they had at least a 7% chance of a cardiovascular event.”

Awesome!  No eminent danger.  But, I still wanted to see if my year of fat worked.

Let’s get to the Numbers

A couple days later I got my new blood test results back.  The numbers were even better than I expected:

2016 - 2017 Cholesterol Comparison

Goodbye LDL

As you can see, I lost a boat load of LDL, a whopping 35% decrease!  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, I’ve leap-frogged from “borderline high” to “optimal.”

LDL Guidelines
LDL guidelines. Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Hello Desirable

With regards to total cholesterol, I’ve dropped 11%, going from “borderline high” at 215 to “desirable” at 191.

Total Cholesterol Guidelines
Total cholesterol guidelines. Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

I Feel Awesome!

My year of fat has resulted in some pleasant, less mathematical side-effects.

My energy is smoother throughout the day.  I no longer feel like my day is a rollercoaster ride of energy peaks and valleys.

I don’t crave food, especially sugar or carbs.  When my carb intake was higher, I noticed it was difficult to go more than 2-3 hours without wanting more food.  I would even get stomach aches if I went too long.  Now, with a lower dependence on carbs, it doesn’t really bother me to go 4-6 hours, or longer, between meals.

Brandon Biking Central Park
Me biking around Central Park in NYC

My endurance is up.  In a recent trip to New York City, I walked and biked everywhere without feeling tired or terribly hungry.  Before this experiment, I probably would’ve needed a few pit-stops to resupply with fruit or a carb-based snack.

All with no meds

As I explained in my first post, my original doctor (Dr. G) was concerned about my LDL and total cholesterol numbers.  So much so, that he wanted to put me on a statin drug.  Fortunately, I said no.  And, instead of going the traditional diet-change route of cutting my fat intake and increasing my whole grain consumption, I did a 180, increasing my fat consumption and cutting my any-grain consumption.  Based on the numbers and how I feel, I’d say this experiment in taking control of my own healthcare was a success!

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