Thin at 60 – a new taboo?

I have had a great morning! I fasted since yesterday afternoon. I started the day with a glass of water with bicarbonate of soda. Followed that sometime later with a Bulletproof tea. That is tea with coconut oil, dairy cream and butter. Delicious!

I then went swimming. With bags of energy, 2,500 metres crawl was no problem. Then a sauna and a cold plunge. I came out of the swimming hall feeling energised and healthy.

I went to the local supermarket to buy lunch and met a friend, E., whom I had not seen for quite a while.

“Steve, you look so thin! Are you ill?”. I can tell you that I am used to this question. What she said next was new, though. “You know, you should not be so thin being over 60 – it badly affects your looks!”

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Here is a photo of me taken when I got home. What do you think?

OK, I thought. How would I look if I was in a wheelchair. Having had both my legs amputated, due to Type 2 Diabetes? I didn’t say this. I could have retorted, “You’ve gained a lot of weight, are you ill ?” Because that would be speaking the truth.

I tried to explain my lifestyle change.

“Oh, I want to enjoy the pleasures of life -I smoke, I drink, I do not eat ecological food – it’s rubbish! Besides, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is good”

Knowing that the BMI is not an accurate way of measuring obesity, I asked her a question.

“Have you heard of the waist/height ratio?”

“No – what is that?”

I explained that this was a far better method of indicating if you are overweight or underweight. She asked me for something to write on. I gave her one of my Sakharoff.com cards. “Now, tell me the formula?”

I said that you take the waist measurement above the navel. Divide this by the height. If the result is over .5, then it shows you are obese. I showed her using my measurements on the calculator on my smartphone. 82/179 (cm)  =.4581.  She was in no hurry to let me calculate hers!

We continued the conversation as we walked around the shop. She had a friend in Spain who has always been so thin and now, at 71, she was ill. I said that it was possible to be underweight as well. The art of it is to find a weight where you reach homeostasis – normality. Or in Nature’s eyes, perfection.

If you follow a ketogenic diet, your body will find its right weight. Automatically. Because your blood sugar  levels are stable. Your insulin is thus stable. That means that the insulin is not storing excess carbs as fat for a rainy day. It worked for me. According to everyone I meet, I seem to have the DNA from a different species. They are not built like that. It won’t work for them.

Bullshit!

We left each other at the checkout. E., thinking I was a health fanatic. Me, thinking that she was cheating herself of life. Well, you win some, you lose some.

The Road to a Low-Carb Diet

I digress. I have said that the breathing was key, but in learning of the Ketogenic diet I expressed a concern that I had “high” cholesterol. Lots of material came my way and the message very clear that there is no such thing as “high” cholesterol. So I could go on a Ketogenic diet if I desired. Why would I want to do that? It’s complicated – but if you want a medical paper as a refernce as to why it is beneficial and how it contradicts previous thinking, see “Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism“. This type of paper becomes a recurring theme, and opened my eyes to the fact that the medical profession may be parrotting what they learnt years ago instead of looking at new research OR the evidence is detrimental to the drug producers’ sales figures. Probably a combination of the two.

I will get back to the Ketogenic diet thing later.

Anyway,  after reading The Physicians Guide to the Cholesterol Myth (link to the PDF download) , I started to get upset, because it contradicted something I had been told by doctors. I realised that I had possibly been taken in by the medical industry.

Have you ever been tested for cholesterol in a chemist’s? A couple of years ago, I was buying something in the chemist’s, when I was asked if I wanted a free cholesterol test. “OK”, I said. A prick on the thumb and then: “Oh!, your cholesterol is terribly high – I advise that you go to see your GP”. It was 7.1. I duly went along to the doctor’s after having a full blood test at a lab.

It was 6.2, but apparently I had too much LDL and too little HDL, plus my Triglycerides were high. I was offered statins, a treatment that reduces cholesterol. Luckily, I had heard about this drug and its side effects. Such as lowering testosterone. You don’t really need that at 60! Well, my odds were 20:1 of having a heart attack in the next 20 years. I am not a big betting man, but I thought those odds were acceptable. If I had a horse come in at  20:1 I would be a very happy and lucky man.

I was advised not to eat fats, especially eggs, butter and other dairy products.

If you take the time to read the report and follow the references to medical research, you would learn that this advice is crap! Now, I had been advised since the age of thirty or so that I would get gall stones unless I cut down on eating fats and also, eating fats was a factor in getting reflux and an acid stomach. Therefore, I have always cut the fat off the steak, had no butter on bread and eaten no eggs.

But now I was going to change that. In mid June 2015, I started eating fats, mainly by putting olive and flax oil on salads, fish, meat and eggs. However, I stopped eating bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. That is, all starchy or grain-based carbohydrates. I still ate porridge oats for breakfast but in smaller amounts. I also vowed to avoid “free” sugar if at all possible. Up until the end of July 2015 (about 6 weeks) , this is what has transpired:

  • I have lost 6 kilos (about a stone) (87.8 kg. down to 81.8 kg.)
  • I have not had to have one single Pantoprazole or other indigestion tablet, because I have not had indigestion! (for the first time as an adult)
  • I have slept better (probably because of improved breathing)
  • I no longer suffer from athlete’s foot
  • I am never hungry – I do not feel the need to eat between meals

So what is going on? Is it just me or is this the same for everybody?

I might add that my Body Mass Index (BMI) was 27.4, which put me in the “overweight” class. It is now 25.5, which is slightly overweight. My Body Fat Index (BFI) has fallen correspondingly, to about 21. This is still over what is recommened (20), so I have 2 kilos to go.

This experience has caused me to put a question mark against the medical profession’s wisdom and the medical/drug/food industry’s motives. If eating a fatty diet has no connection with high cholesterol and avoiding carbs leads to weight loss, then why do we get medicated with statins and insulin to deal with heart problems and diabetes type 2?

We will go deeper into this.