Ok, to recap. I was on Keto three months, Carnivore 52 days, then Keto another two months or so here. I lost a good twenty pounds in all this time. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but just take a thyroid pill and nothing else for prescription medications. I’ll be 64 years old March 13th. I weigh about 118 at the moment.
My blood pressure has always been very low 105/60 is average for me. My triglycerides are always low, my blood sugar low, I have never been horribly overweight. I’ve always had pretty high cholesterol around 285, but great HDL. I exercise a few times/week using Warriormade videos.
After being on Carnivore for 52 days, though, my cholesterol soared to 446! That was a bit unnerving. Even though I research constantly, my doctor wanted me to see a specialist to tell me I was an idiot for not going on a statin. But I did make some changes. Here’s what I did: I STILL eat lots of meat, a bit of dairy, eggs, bacon, fish. But I stopped putting any butter in my coffee (however, I DO use heavy cream now and then). I added a bit of lettuce, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, tomato, onion, a bit of wine. When I say “a bit,” I just didn’t eat huge quantities of anything since my gut and overall health had been SO much better on Carnivore alone. Oh, and I added nuts, especially cocoa covered almonds or cashews for a snack and/or a dark chocolate medley, though I need to find something without sunflower oil or whatever was in that. I still felt pretty good on this modified Keto. I was careful to watch how things affected me. Cucumbers are out and I know probiotics and other fermented things like yogurt are out for me. I don’t think I’ll add anything else in besides this and a few blueberries. Blueberries, nuts and dark chocolate are plenty for snacks. Along with sour cream. Yum.
I should say that I have more cravings on Keto than Carnivore when I had NONE. Probably the biggest down side.
So I also took berberine supplements. Two pills/day. And I took a homocysteine plus supplement which is mostly B vitamins, NAC, and choline. Once a week or so, I took a supplement with vitamin D, Vitamin K and calcium, since it’s winter. Occasional vitamin C. And a magnesium pill. But not often.
That was ALL the changes I made. My total cholesterol went from 446 to 246! Two hundred points! (Which is right where I want it–people over 60 with levels below 250 don’t live as long.) My HDL went from 96 to 81, still nice and high. My triglycerides went up just slightly from 79 to 97. (I wish I’d had my glucose checked, but I didn’t–that was 93 last time). My ratio of cholesterol/HDL is 3! Very good. My homocysteine level is 9 (well below 12), and my c-reactive protein is .1 (that is statistically nonexistent for inflammation and is so protective it negates almost all other cardiovascular risks.) That inflammation number is also great news for not developing cancer or diabetes, etc. Oh, my vitamin D level did slide from 60 to 49. Could be partly just losing my stores from the winter. However, I believe Carnivore helps you process vitamin D better. Still, not a horrible level.
Not everyone’s cholesterol goes up on Carnivore. Mikhaila Peterson’s is very very low, maybe too low at 133, but she doesn’t eat bacon or dairy or eggs. She’s adding in organ meats soon. Her vitamin D level is also too low at 29.
Conclusions: It should be notable that if you FAST or LOSE WEIGHT right before a cholesterol test your number will go UP. That seems counter-intuitive, I didn’t realize it, and it seems pretty clear that since the type of eating that lowers cholesterol raises ALL other risk factors for heart disease and causes metabolic syndrome and diabetes, that they do not yet understand cholesterol properly. I feel fabulous since I’ve gone low carb. I’ve lost weight, I think clearer, my heart doesn’t race, I have more energy. My skin, though, is not as nice as it was on pure carnivore! But still ok.
It appears a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting (not over board, a day here and there, or just shortening up feeding windows to six hours) is protective for all forms of dementia. Some exercise and meditation is key as well.
It’s clear that some people will thrive on a Carnivore diet–why? Could be food intolerances, autoimmune problems, or it could be differences in muscle types and other genetic factors. So much they’ll need to explore.
But I was a little uncomfortable with a cholesterol level quite that high (and Mark Sisson agrees–until we know more, we should not blow that off) and since they have done no apples-to-apples testing on cholesterol on people with NO other risk factors or on people who eat grass fed and good fats only. So in the meantime, I feel like these changes have been perfect. A few salads and veggies. That berberine supplement makes you lose weight, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol (obviously), and it makes my gut feel great. It has anti-microbial properties. So I highly recommend you give that a try.
Adding just a few veggies back in has made cooking a lot more fun. I can make fritattas, seafood soups, broccoli cheese soup,interesting salads, a little WINE makes life more fun, though I try to limit that to a couple times/week. And nuts and dark chocolate add a bit of zip, too. Pan sauces are nice with onion and shallots.
But I will be very careful on the vegetables I eat. Keep it very simple.
On the road: we pack up tonight, head out for Florida tomorrow where I’ll be helping my dad for a month, then up north to do more of the same and help another friend out as well with a hip replacement. But I’ll be getting myself some vitamin D straight from the horse’s mouth (good old sun) and I’ll be looking for agents and making notes for revision of my book. We’ll take four days to get down there and visit some good friends in Alabama on the way. I’ll also do better on my dream diary as that will help with my revisions.
Happy Friday! I’ll drop pictures on the road!