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Friday, April 6, 2012

Belly Fat Cure and Cholesterol

The #1 claim you hear from low carb diet opponents is that all that meat, eggs and cheese will raise your cholesterol. But everything I have read said it's NOT the fat that makes you fat and causes high cholesterol. Instead it is sugar, that your body converts to fat, that is the culprit.

These are simply MY test results and I can only atest to my own results. I was a little worried, but for me this was proof in the pudding. I feel better, I look better - there is no argument with these two things. But now my test results are better too! 
These are my actual cholesterol test results from 1 week BEFORE I began the Belly Fat Cure in 2009 and then AFTER I had been on the plan consistently for 2.5 years. I have had intermittent periods where I also did grain-free (Paleo, except with limited dairy). Currently I have been grain-free, following Jorge Cruise's Fast Track diet plan, since October 2011.

Cholesterol Break Down:
LDL is your "Bad Cholesterol" and mine was okay before, not considered high. HDL is your "Good Cholesterol" and mine was a little low before and is now excellent. My triglycerids are the most impressive change. I guess they didn't test for VLDL before, so I only have the after number. I don't claim to be an expert at reading these tests, but from what I know, I think they look great! 

What I Eat: 
What I eat has evolved a bit. I am currently trying to maintain my weight loss and not gain anything back. If I lost a handful of pounds along with that, hurray for me! But my goal is to really maintain at my goal weight and figure out what my body really needs and truly rid myself of cravings and impulsive eating. Right now, that means no grains or legumes. But I lost my 53 lbs simply following the Belly Fat Cure 15/6 S/C Value rules.

Right now I am actually MORE strict in maintenance than I was in the losing phase... weird I know. The one thing I have learned is that it is all a process and I have learned so much about my body and how it reacts to food, that I made the decision to go grain-free for 1 year.

I have the Minute Muffin everyday for breakfast, along with coffee with either coconut butter or coconut oil. I recently cut out the cream in my morning coffee :( I often skip lunch depending on my schedule and have a spinach shake (water, soaked chia seeds, flax seed oil, handful of organic blueberries and a heaping handful of organic fresh spinach) with salami and cheese instead. But if I have time I will have yesterday's dinner leftovers, a friend egg or tuna/chicken salad with spinach. For dinner I will usually have beef, sometimes pork, lamb or fish with a vegetable. I love butternut squash, zucchini and cauliflower in the evening. After dinner I usually have a few squares of dark chocolate and a pot of unsweetened tea. 

If you have seen changes in your cholesterol on a low carb diet, or Jorge's plan, I'd love to hear about it too!

15 comments:

  1. That's fantastic! Your numbers look great. Since our move, I have no idea where my previous blood work results are. I'll have to dig around and find them.

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  2. Hey Amber.......We have been dioing the grain free thing for a month now, and find it hard when I'm running. Any tips??

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  3. Hi Amber, I started BFC 6 weeks ago and have been following your blog (it's great - thanks!). I'm so glad to see you post this information. I hear this all the time from people when I say I'm cutting down on carbs. I read Gary Taubes' book and it sure seemed to make sense to me. It's wonderful to see (at least in your case) that it really is true.

    I’ve done Jorge’s 3 day Extreme plan twice now and lost weight but every time I go back to regular BFC I gain weight back. I’m starting to think that I’m really sensitive to carbs. I’m going to try and stay below the 6 servings allowed and see if that helps. I’ve lost 12-1/2 pounds in the 6 weeks so I’m not complaining I just get nervous every time the scale goes back up that it might not stop. I’m trying to psych myself up to do the Fast Track.

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    1. Hi Trina,

      Just something to consider. People are vastly different and what affects one person will not affect another person. I suggest that you experiment on yourself with different carbs (grain/fruit) and see if you notice a difference. I don't eat grain carbs at all because I have sooooooooooooooo many health problems if I eat them. So, fruit replaces my carb intake in place of the grains. I have to be careful not to allow my carbs to go too low because of my hypothroid issue, and I've read that you can develop reverse T3 by eating too few carbs if you have hypothyroid issues. So, be careful not to go too low in your carbs if you have hypothyroidism.

      I eat fruit every day and am still losing weight. I actually seem to be doing better since eliminating grains and eating fruit in their place. I love having fruit as an every day part of my life, but others may find that they can't do this. You just need to experiment some and track your results. Happy eating. :)

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    2. Thanks Minichick! I just had blood work done a few weeks ago and they checked my thyroid ('cause I asked). All seemed to be OK with it. I'm starting to discover that we may be sensitive to various things (and not really be aware of it). I'm most successful doing the 3 day Extreme but of course it also eliminates breakfast. I also notice I feel less bloated and puffy.

      That's a good tip about fruit. I used to make smoothies a lot (Greek yogurt, almond milk, fruit and stuff like goji and cacao) - I miss them but I'm not craving them. I might try having some berries and forget the carb item. I love Jorge's "skinny shake" with Jay Robb protein and Ezekiel cereal but it's a two carb - maybe I'll put a few berries on instead and see how that goes. I do love the crunch of the cereal though. Agh ... so much trial and error.

      I REALLY appreciate all the support on these blogs. It's difficult trying to figure it all out when it's going against your ingrained beliefs and most everyone around you thinks you're doing it wrong ("you should be eating steel cut oats not eggs for breakfast").

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  4. See - we keep saying that the BFC is healthy. Great job. Have a great weekend :-)

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  5. My eye Dr. told me I had cholesterol flecks in my eyes. My LDL is borderline. I was eating BFC with fewer carbs than recommended for 9 months. I started losing my energy. I am now eating low carb one or two days and high(healthy carbs) 1 day and repeating. I allow a couple servings of fruit every day and I'm losing weight and fat. I think the amount we are all eating (and no sugar) is what is making us lose weight. We are all eating less calories and that makes a difference.
    I have studied cholesterol too and exercise makes your cholesterol readings go down. Your running may have had something to do with it.
    Congrats on the good tests!

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  6. Thanks for posting your numbers Amber ... Like you, I also believe it's the sugar we eat that raises our blood cholesterol (and wrecks havoc on our immune system) and not the cholesterol we consume through our diet. I'm hoping my numbers will show improvement as well when I have them done again this June. Will be sure to post the results here. Thanks again! :)

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  7. Congrats Amber! I'm curious, do you still use stevia?

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    1. I do still use Stevia and Stevia in the Raw. Not as much though... I only use it in my tea on occasion and not even in the minute muffin. It has been a long process, but it was a goal to break myself from all sweeteners with time!

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  8. Hi Amber, I'm a lurker who never posts but wanted to see if you'd seen this 60 minutes piece from 6/1?

    It very clearly explains how sugar elevates the LDL bad cholesterol. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n It also expounds on how sugar feeds cancer. Watching this and so glad we're eating a low-sugar lifestyle! Thank you for posting, keep it up please. I appreciate your inspiration. Even if it seems boring to you, like what you eat every day, is seriously interesting to me.

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    1. Yes!!! That was great and I have a whole with all the video links next week. Thanks, you are a total sweetheart and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

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    2. I sent the 60 minutes piece to everyone I know. Validates what I've been telling them for the last two years. I may be slow on this but have you seen the video, "Hungry For Change"? I saw Food Matters by the same creators (which was excellent). I have not seen this whole video yet but I plan to watch it. Just an fyi. http://www.hungryforchange.tv/press

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    4. Hi Trina,

      I saw Hungry For Change, and loved it. The people who promote the video are vegetarian, but they at least get it right about eat real food and not processed foods. I like that they at least gave a nod to meat in the documentary.

      Have you seen Fat Head? If not, I'm sure you would LOVE it. It's really good. You can see it on instant watch if you have Netflix.

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