Friday, December 2, 2011

Lipid Results In

I received my results and low and behold, low-carbohydrate lifestyle does have a positive affect on your profile!

Here are my numbers:

Total Cholesterol: 189
Trig: 50
HDL: 51
Chol/HDL Ratio: 3.7
LDL (Direct): 117

Pretty good ratio eh? It does note *Lipid panel (includes aLDL) but it doesn't inform me as to whether most is type A.

It also states above the numbers that:

"Your lipid profile is abnormal. Please continue to work on a low fat diet, exercise and weight management. Please return in 3 months."

Do they have cherry-flavored statins you think?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ben Vereen - Diabetes Champion or Grave Digger?

I was going through health articles online the other day reading the usual garbage based on metadata and came across "Taking a 'Stand' for Diabetes" - a featured video on Fox News Health:

Dr. Manny is interviewing "legendary" performer Ben Vereen (sorry, never heard but I guess I'm not artsy enough). Ben Vereen is using his fame to alert individuals to diabetes. It is great he is trying to inform individuals about diabetes, like the fact so many individuals are undiagnosed (like he was in 2007 when he suddenly collapsed). However, there are a few things that are scary about what he says. In a nutshell, his advice is:

1)Take your insulin
3)Don't Diet

Let's look at each of his points:

1)Insulin - This is a necessary drug used to keep blood sugar stable early on in treatment. However, it is another "drug crutch" - meaning doctors and patients alike rely too much on drugs rather than attempting to change their lifestyle. This ties into #3.

2)Exercise - I'm going to drop a bomb. Most people don't need to exercise/lift weights. Obese individuals don't need to exercise. Sure it is fun, may make you feel better and tone your muscles, but for losing weight - the main reason it is suggested in conjunction with Type II Diabetes - it will not work.

Why doesn't exercising help losing weight? There are several reasons:

A)When you exercise, your body goes into a hyper mode, burning carbs, then fat...and working extremely hard for your energy. When you are done, your body at the cellular level demands additional calories to replenish what was used. You get hungry, normally for carb-laden food. You essentially end up negating your efforts.

B)When you do get rid of a small amount of fat and turn it to muscle, muscle weighs more and thus there is very little net gain.

C)Exercise, especially hard-core exercise is an excellent way to teach your body to store fat more efficiently. Why? Your body recognizes the need for additional fuel and this is the way it reacts. Counter-productive no?

3)Don't Diet. Ben states that the first three letters is "Diet" are "Die". He says, don't do that, have a great life, eat what you want and take your insulin. What a slap in the face. By looking at his physique, we know this is his mentality, but why is he pushing this damaging idea on everyone else? Diet is the number one way Type II Diabetics can actually cure them selves of diabetes!

Basically, he is saying, I'd rather live with a dangerous disorder rather than change my diet. I suppose the exercise isn't working then?

So many individuals have removed all markers of having diabetes by lowering their blood sugar. They do this by cutting down on sugar - or going low-carb. Some doctors are beginning to push eating lower carbohydrate food, but generally, all the major associations (Heart, Diabetes, etc) are mirroring what Mr. Vereen is touting. Take your medicine, exercise, eat low-fat.

Ben Vereen should be ashamed of himself.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blood Panel

Two days ago, I visited the doctor - a new doctor - for an issue I've been having. It had been awhile but part of my reason for visiting was to eagerly request a lipid panel. Ever since going low-carb, I have wanted to see what my cholesterol looked like, specifically my HDL, LDL, VLDL, Triglycerides and total cholesterol. I've read a lot about the dangers of sugar, including that it can cause and feed cancer, and want to ensure my blood sugar stays at a constant low rate.

Researching my family history for so long, I know my genetics predispose me for cardiac/circulatory issues. I want to give myself the best chance at a long life. While I normally keep my sugar intake to a minimum, I do have an apple every other day or so - had cut back from daily. I do make sure I have the appropriate nutrition - I just don't like to get it from such a sugary source. Last time I had a granny smith apple, it tasted like Fun Dip, no lie.

Prior to going low-carb, I had a horrible sweet tooth. I could down donuts with ease and a large amount of candy no problem. Now I rarely even think about them.

When I get my panel, I'll post to give further credence to the fact that a low carbohydrate diet will not only drop the pounds, but also make you a healthier individual. They did weigh me again at the doctor visit and I'm at 175. Seems between 170 and 175 is what I'm now deeming my 'frame weight'. We all genetically have a biological frame that was designed soon after conception and our diet is what determines (aside from any hormone or metabolic disorders) our weight.

Anyway, expecting the results today or tomorrow, it is like early Christmas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Low Carb Is Great!

So I've been on the low carb lifestyle for several months now after a long hiatus while my wife was pregnant (and post-pregnant) with our last child. I went from approximately 200 pounds to 170 within a couple months. I generally eat a fair amount of carbs still - in fruit, veggies and nuts. I have also moved away from most all sugar, wheat/bread and soy products (like mayonaise). I feel great.

There were a couple issues that did come up during the adjustment period to the low amount of carbs. First, I was still craving carbs for longer than 3 weeks or so. This was probably attributed to me still eating about 100+ carbs/day. I was still eating a sandwich and other higher carb foods and I think this was still making me crave other similar foods. At the same time, I also felt like crap. I know this was the "Carb Flu" that people experience, but it quickly went away after I eliminated grains (i.e. bread) and soy (mayo) from my diet.

The last and most prolonged issue was an achy feeling I felt all over my body - like a prolonged soreness in my arms, legs and body. It was kind of like when you walk for a long distance the day before and you feel it in your legs for a day or two after. Anyway, I researched it and it sounded like a potassium deficiency. I started eating more foods with potassium and these effects went away almost immediately (like seriously within an hour). I had already been taking multivitamins but most don't have a high potassium concentration.

So why low carb? I didn't do it for the weight. I didn't consider myself fat at 200 but slightly more than I wanted. I had known before but researched via books, journal articles and more - and came to the conclusion that carbohydrates and sugar are very bad for our bodies. They increase our risk for hypertension, heart attack, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and more. This, coupled with the fact that the US Government lies to us on a daily basis about what "diet" is good for us made it an easy decision.

Many people claim that the lifestyle is too difficult. It is not if you adjust your buying and cooking practices. You will be more selective and cooking a lot more, that is for sure. Some examples of what our family has eaten of late:

1)Spaghetti squash with homemade meat sauce (garlic, onions, tomato sauce, peppers, farm beef).

2)Pork chops smothered in homemade pesto (fresh farm basil, almonds, olive oil, garlic).

3)Sausage and egg casserole (cream, eggs, sausage, pepper, salt).

4)Cheese-crust pizza

5)Blue cheese burger topped with garden fresh tomato and onion (sans the bun)...throw in some turnip fries (omg they are good but gone fast).

6)Kale chips (look like glistening lettuce chips when you're done but the kids thought they were regular chips).

7)Cheese steak with jalapenos and onion. Spicy.

Now to the sugar - why no sugar?

Our bodies treat sucrose (refined sugar) and fructose (common in fruits) as toxins. I can go into the science, but why regurgitate information already explained by those more charismatic than me?

One of the bad results of sugar ingestion is the increased production of LDL (the bad kind), which drives hypertension and heart attacks.

More later