I want to tell you a story.
I went to a chemists some 2 years ago and on the way out, I was asked by a lady if I wanted a cholesterol blood test. I had no idea why I agreed to one, but I did. “Oh dear”, she said “Your cholesterol is awfully high – 7.5!”. I immediately felt concerned. Why should I have high cholesterol? I was a bit chunky (86 kg – 5´11″) but took regular exercise (dog walks, cycling and lots of swimming), but why was it “high” . What did it mean?
“You had better go and see your doctor!”
Off I went to the dooctor. Blood pressure – normal and “You are not diabetic!” , as if that was a big surprise (I was 59 at the time). I should have a proper blood test.
On returning to the doctor, she told me that, yes, my cholesterol numbers were high -6.5, but, hey, 50% of Danish adults were at this level anyway. (That should have given me a clue). My LDL was high and my HDL was low and my Triglycerides were- well- a concern. So was I about to have a heart attack?
What could be done? “I could give you statins”
“No thanks”, I said. “Well, at you age, you have a 20:1 chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years”, the dosctor said, referring to a card calculator. Not a big betting man, but 20:1 are long odds, so I asked what else I could do
“Lay off of fats – especially saturated fats like eggs, butter, etc ”
So I left the surgery, feeling a bit sorry for myself. Hell, man, I was fit for my age – not overweight, and for a long time had avoided fats, because I was told that fats were the cause of my indegestion and reflux that I have had all my adult life.
In the next months, I took up baking bread and tried to avoid any more fats. I started eating skyr, a type of Icelandic yoghurt with very low fat. I started to put on weight……
Fast forward to the Raimundas story: I was fascinated as to how he had cured himself, so I asked. One of the disciplines was a ketogenic diet, which avoids carbohydrates. I pointed out that I had been diagnosed with high cholesterol, This was met by a lot of material with the simple message; There is no such thing as high cholesterol for the vast majority of people. There is no such thing as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The whole myth is based on forced feeding rabbits (herbavores) on animal fat in a test. Guess what? They died. Research results? Cholesterol is bad! When statins were invented, the drug company that invented them realised that the market was too small – only 5 million potential customers in the US, so they lobbied to have the “dangerous” limit reduced – succeeded – and got 35 million customers. Smart marketing!
This is still going on today. New recommendations make 56 million Americans eligible for statin treatment, up from the current 43 million!
This is the important part here: I stopped eating white bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. I started eating all manner of meat and dairy products. I stopped eating “free sugar”. I cut down dramatically on any form of processed food (ketchup, etc). I made all the food I eat from the basic raw organic materials. I started eating salds drenched with olive and flax oil.
The result? I weighed 87.8 kilos as of mid-June. It is now the end of August and I weigh 80.5 kilos.
I have more energy: I used to have to take a 2 hour nap after swimming 2.5 km. Now I do not.
I have not had a new measurement for cholesterol, but according to this web site, I should have lower triglycerides (the nasty stuff). Their check list says:
- Lose weight – done that!
- Cut the sugar – done that!
- Stock up on fibre – yep, always done that
- Limit fructose – okay, I still eat fruit, but I avoid the dreaded corn syrup in most processed foods
- Eat moderately low fat diets. – No . I do not agree with this!
- Watch what type of fats you eat – well, this is complex, which I will explain at some stage, but I will not EVER eat trans fats or hydrogentaed fats – so no margarine, biscuits, industrially-baked cakes.
- Add omega 3 acids – Do this and you will have your LDL and HDL out of balance. (I will explain later)
- Exercise – do that!
- Cut down on alcohol . done that
- Take triglycerides lowering drugs – NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Has my doctor failed me? Should I trust the health system in future? Is it morally right that drug companies should market their products by appearing to help people by giving free tests in chemists/drug store/apoteks? Should we all take responsibility for our health in our own hands? If you are on statins, tell me why?