The sun finally came out, so I spent most of the day Sunday weeding my garden and looking for the plants that I'd actually planted. I did manage to find most of them. I discovered that being able to squat rather than crawling around in the dirt is a very useful (and fairly new) skill. I also discovered that six hours of squatting while weeding makes one very sore the next day. Especially when the next day is deadlift day at the gym.
There was a bit of discussion about cholesterol, and how to treat it, in the comments of the last post. I thought I'd talk a little bit about it. Keep in mind that I'm not a physician and you need to decide for yourself what will work for your situation.
When you read the history of all the studies that have been done regarding heart disease, cholesterol, etc., it becomes obvious that a lot of the stuff that the medical profession and the USDA tell us is the “right” way to eat is based more on politics and who was the “popular” researcher at the time than on good science. It can really piss you off when you start thinking about it. Especially if you have a disease that can’t be controlled as a direct result of these accepted studies. Go read chapter one of Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes for a really thorough discussion about this.
Jenny over at Diabetes Update has some interesting things to say about this today. Cholesterol must be the hot topic this week. She talks about lowering your LDL and the affect, or lack of, that statins have on reducing clogged arteries. It's worth a read. Also, check out what she had to say a few posts ago about the link between statins and how they affect insulin sensitivity.
As I've mentioned, when I started all of this back in October, I had fairly high blood sugar readings and high cholesterol. Past doctors have been very pushy about having me take statins and I've always refused to take them. It just never felt like the right thing for me since I've always had an acceptable ratio of LDL to HDL.
And frankly, I don't put much stock in the whole "cholesterol bad" movement. I never really have. I tend to be a little suspicious of all these studies that come out and end up on the evening news as sensationalistic "preliminary findings." This is not where we should be getting our health advice.
That being said, fast forward to my most recent set of labs compared over the last 7 years:
Basically, what you're looking at is the relationship between exercise and cholesterol numbers from 2002 until the last test in November where my diet had radically changed. The two items that are flagged high are barely high.
Now here's the catch: The only thing I stopped eating between 2006 and 2007 were grains, processed foods and sugar. I still eat butter, I've switched to whole milk from 2%, I eat easily a dozen eggs a week, beef or pork almost every day for lunch and/or dinner—and my numbers are going down. I suspect that my next round of bloodwork will prove this out. (I'm as bad as the evening news with the preliminary findings!) Not only did my numbers go down, but so did my weight.
You can take what you want from this. It's strictly anecdotal. But the more I talk to others that have gone this route, and read studies, etc., the more I'm convinced that we need to go back to eating what we were designed to eat—meat, poultry, vegetables, nuts, fruits.