If you look back on day 7 of the chronicles of this journey, you can see the initial labs. Below are the results after 30 days on an animal based diet.
A typical week’s macro levels were around:
220-230 grams of protein/day
150-160 grams of fat/day
640-650 mg of cholesterol/day
25-35 grams of carbs per day (prior to the experiment I was having about 2 cups of coffee with maple syrup and half and half so I kept it the same).
60-70 grams of saturated fat/day
3 grams of fiber/day
The initial labs were to quantify the fears people have with meat, especially red meat: increase heart disease, increase cancer, and increase diabetes. What happened? Long story short, my total cholesterol went up and my LDL went up with my insulin resistance staying great and inflammatory markers staying great. Like I said previously, I expected this to happen but would only be concerned about increasing cholesterol if insulin sensitivity suffered and inflammation exploded.
This begs the question: Is a higher cholesterol level beneficial? I’ve never been scared of a high cholesterol level with clients in context. But the strength and recovery benefits I experienced with consuming more fat, protein, and cholesterol were undeniable. Could higher cholesterol not just be a poor marker of heart disease predictability but actually a marker for better recover and protection? After all, it is the building block of virtually every cell in your body. The more available, the better recovery, right? It’s also the main building block of hormones like DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, and Vitamin D.
As I move away from this journey, I want to explore the literature for the potential benefits of high cholesterol, especially a higher LDL. I’ve already come across some information regarding low cholesterol and immune challenges like cancer and infections, increased suicide risk, and no difference in cardiac events between high or low cholesterol levels. I’m not a point to put a stamp on my stance but I have always leaned in the ‘higher is not a danger’ box. Could it actually be protective and a better predictor or longevity is a question I have never explored.
If you’re curious the lab panel I did on pre and post, it’s this:
NMR Lipoprofile with Insulin Resistance Markers and Graph
High Sensitivity Cardiac CRP
Total Serum Testosterone
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxycalciferol
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