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ketogenic diet and cholesterol


brendan
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I learnt about the ketogenic diet from hppdonliners of the old forum. It seems to have an effect of regulating brain activity and hence of some clinical use in epilepsy and schizophrenia and thus theoretically hppd. It sounded instinctively a bad idea and very unhealthy due to large amount of fat. My instinct, however, was informed by what i now recognise as propaganda. Most value-added food products are carb based and hence there is a very strong food lobby that wants to make carbohydrate more acceptable to health. But it is inherently unhealthy, whereas fat is only unhealthy in the presence of carbohydrate. If you assume a carb-based diet, then yes you should reduce sat fat and eat wholegrains etc. But this assumption should be challenged and move to a fat based diet. I eat unlimited non-starchy veg and nuts, not much fruit (maybe an apple and some berries per day) loads of eggs, a reasonable amount of dairy, meat and fish, and a bit too much alcohol. I feel i have a bit more edge with the diet, tho my hppd is otherwise unafffected. If ever i have a starchy meal i dose up with 5000iu of vitamin d which cuts out the carb torpor.

After 6 months or so on a keto diet i took a cholesterol test (sadly no test before for comparison). Dont have the numbers to hand but basically LDL (Bad) was high, HDL (good) was high, and triglycerides (bad) were low. So the nurse told me i need to get my LDL down, so to take aerobic exercise (fair enough) and cut down on sat fat and alcohol . What she didnt tell me:

LDL is itself subdivided into bad and benign. Not all LDL is bad. It is very hard to measure directly how much benign and bad cholesterol you have, but a good proxy is your ratio of HDL to triglycerides. As i have high HDL and low triglycerides, the LDL will be largely of the benign sort. In fact it is pretty well shown that this ratio is a much better predictor of heart disease than LDL. But LDL sells statins and is easier to prescribe than a low carb diet so the cholesterol myth persists. Triglycerides are elevated by starch, HDL is raised by omega 3. Alcohol does not actually affect cholesterol but too much raises triglycerides, but as my TGs are low, the advice to reduce alcohol was nugatory. Also, carbs cause glycation (sugars attaching themselves to protien) which causes aging (age is another better predictor of heart disease than cholesterol) including hardening of arteries. Fat does not cause glycation.

I have started running tho, which is of great benefit to me mentally - i always thought that cos i do a lot of walking this was enough, but no. I also ate a lot of brazil nuts but they are so rich in selenium that only a few a day can cause excessive levels that can cause raised cholesterol. So i cut down on them. But my fat level is still up and will see what my LDL looks like in a few months time. Not too bothered tho, as long as my hdl:tg ratio stays good.

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Interesting to know.

I don´t use any diet, I basically try to eat from every food group every day. As natural and balanced as possible is my motto. I never eat much refined sugar or too much fat (saturated and trans fat), since I really feel bad when I eat them. I eat meat, grain, fat, fruit, vegetables etc. every day. My vitamin, mineral, insulin, metabolism values etc. are impeccable. I recently did a large blood test (5 test tubes of blood) to check my values. All were excellent.

I´m really sceptical about diets, upon studying them I don´t find a really strong scientific basis for them. Apart from pseudoscience. It seems to be a way for writers to sell books about one diet after another. Many who I know have gotten really sick from GI and Atkins (high fat, low carb diets), and had to discontinue the diet.

I have read about ketogenic diet as well, it seems to have a better basis. But I also read " The diet mimics aspects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates." Starvation is generally taxing on the body, this diet should probably not be used for too long time.

Your blood type can actually be more significant to what you should eat than anything else. Since the blood types evolved from what types of food were available. I have bloodtype B, so I´m constructed for a nearly omnivore type of eating. A have a profiency for grain, 0 have a profiency for meat.

But you should do what you feel works best! ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone is on a diet! Even if it is pies and mash. You are on a diet that is basically low GI, but cos you dont read the books and count the numbers you dont consider yourself to be 'on a diet'. I dont count carbs, i just dont eat them most of the time. Your diet is such standard issue establishment advice that it is often called a balanced diet, as tho anything else is unbalanced so inherently a bit dodgy. But carbohydrate is completely irrelevant to providing a balance of the things you actually need, and has long term degrading effects on your body. You can have a balanced ketogenic diet, and live longer for it. The guff about mimicing starvation is also propaganda. Your body burns carb before fat, so when you run out of carb, such as when starving, you burn fat stores. But you arent starving cos you are eating fat! Also, because you burn carb first doesnt mean it is inherently better. You burn alcohol preferentially to carbs, but no-one says carb burning mimics alcohol starvation!

You say there is little scientific evidence for low carb diets - this is simply not true. In fact, one of the remarkable things is that the weight of scientific published evidence strongly favours a low carb over a low fat diet for general health, but this evidence is subverted once it turns into a political health message. There is also good scientific evidence for using keto diets for treating epilepsy, some for treating schizophrenia, and some for treating diabetes. I should also point out that the scientific evidence for eating according to blood type is very weak, which doesnt necessarily mean it is not true tho.

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LDL is itself subdivided into bad and benign. Not all LDL is bad. It is very hard to measure directly how much benign and bad cholesterol you have, but a good proxy is your ratio of HDL to triglycerides. As i have high HDL and low triglycerides, the LDL will be largely of the benign sort. In fact it is pretty well shown that this ratio is a much better predictor of heart disease than LDL.

Thank you for this ! My total cholesterol is high, in spite of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs (not statins), but my triglycerides are low and HDL high. Can you tell me what a good ratio of HDL:triglycerides is? Or where I can read further?

By the way, another thing the doctors don't seem aware of is that the drugs they prescribe to prevent migraines (depakote and other epilepsy drugs) deplete vitamin D. After a year of (unsuccessful) treatment to control my migraines, I had no detectable vitamin D in my blood. (And I was in considerable pain!).

Polly

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Plenty of info on net - top result from googling 'triglyceride hdl ratio' http://www.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/523.cfm

Doctors dont generally have the time to get to the bottom of patient's problems for thorough healing so do a quick fix with a drug to suppress symptoms, and often simply by refering to a text book rather than consulting some god-like vat of knowledge in their head. You can do that yourself, and probably would do a better job cos tho you dont have the background medical knowledge you do have the motivation and perhaps time to dig around, and you know yourself better than a doc does. I'm not saying docs are rubbish, just know they have limitations, and take their prescriptions with a pinch of salt.

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Plenty of info on net - top result from googling 'triglyceride hdl ratio' http://www.yourmedic.../public/523.cfm

Doctors dont generally have the time to get to the bottom of patient's problems for thorough healing so do a quick fix with a drug to suppress symptoms, and often simply by refering to a text book rather than consulting some god-like vat of knowledge in their head. You can do that yourself, and probably would do a better job cos tho you dont have the background medical knowledge you do have the motivation and perhaps time to dig around, and you know yourself better than a doc does. I'm not saying docs are rubbish, just know they have limitations, and take their prescriptions with a pinch of salt.

I was always wondering about this. Since being on the Ketogenic diet, I eat serious amounts of red meats and fats. Mostly good fats like olive oil but I won't lie, if I can't have cereals and carbs then Bacon is my vice. Love bacon with a passion. Always wondered how my blood test would look after being on this diet for a year. I have gained some weight, but I was always too skinny and never could gain a pound before, so i'm happy with it.

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I was always wondering about this. Since being on the Ketogenic diet, I eat serious amounts of red meats and fats. Mostly good fats like olive oil but I won't lie, if I can't have cereals and carbs then Bacon is my vice. Love bacon with a passion. Always wondered how my blood test would look after being on this diet for a year. I have gained some weight, but I was always too skinny and never could gain a pound before, so i'm happy with it.

i would think you will be ok from a fat point of view, tho eat loads of fibrous (not starchy) veg, and nuts. If youre eating a lot of protein and too little veg then you'll have a high acid and purine load so making you more susceptible to kidney stones, gout, osteoporosis etc. Also I'm pretty dubious about the ethics of industrial meat production, so i always get outdoor reared or organic meat, free-range eggs etc. I dont think i spend more money on food cos i eat less - no sugar swings means less hunger.

I'm surprised you gained weight tho - maybe you just were'nt getting enough calories before.

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Changing my diet also helped my acid reflux. Used to get it real bad all the time and it used to curb my hunger. Even had throat ulcers show up.

I wanted to gain weight so now I eat significantly more calories then I use to and thats mostly why. Plus I never used oil in cooking and always ate really lean meats etc. I dont do that anymore.

Grocery store for me is also mostly jus meat and vegetables although meats damn expensive. I don't buy organic but to be honest I really would like to. Just need to save every penny I can for a while. Since I'm eating more calories I eat alot at least 3000 calories, typically much more so grocery bills aren't cheap and I try to buy in bulk.

Do you eat anything besides nuts, meat as vegetables? Also, if you running late and don't have time to cook anything what's your go to item? Curious, as this happens to me occasionally and tend to be at a loss.

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Changing my diet also helped my acid reflux. Used to get it real bad all the time and it used to curb my hunger. Even had throat ulcers show up.

I wanted to gain weight so now I eat significantly more calories then I use to and thats mostly why. Plus I never used oil in cooking and always ate really lean meats etc. I dont do that anymore.

Grocery store for me is also mostly jus meat and vegetables although meats damn expensive. I don't buy organic but to be honest I really would like to. Just need to save every penny I can for a while. Since I'm eating more calories I eat alot at least 3000 calories, typically much more so grocery bills aren't cheap and I try to buy in bulk.

Do you eat anything besides nuts, meat as vegetables? Also, if you running late and don't have time to cook anything what's your go to item? Curious, as this happens to me occasionally and tend to be at a loss.

For a quick meal i knock up some greek yoghurt and/or marscapone and/or creme fraich with berries, sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts. Make a big pot of something to keep in the fridge - boil up your old chicken bones with an onion, carrot and celery for 2-3 hours to make a stock, then add veg, chopped tomatos etc to make a chicken soup or stew or curry. Also make some flax bread: http://video.about.com/lowcarbdiets/Focaccia-Style-Flax-Bread.htm

My food bills are fairly low - i've got a local Sainsbury's which do organic mince meat for £4/kilo and 2packs of really nice outdoor reared 'taste the difference' branded sausages for £4. I've got a good local fishmonger too. Cheap fish are under-rated (jackfish is especially tasty but cheap). I get most of my veg from the market (whitechapel, east london) which is ludicrously cheap mostly. I make up a nut mix (mainly almonds with brazil, hazel, and walnuts), a pot of which (maybe 100-150g?) does for lunch. Lots of eggs (£1 per 6 free range at local health shop). Berries are expensive tho - dont know why you cant usualy get them frozen.

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For a quick meal i knock up some greek yoghurt and/or marscapone and/or creme fraich with berries, sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts. Make a big pot of something to keep in the fridge - boil up your old chicken bones with an onion, carrot and celery for 2-3 hours to make a stock, then add veg, chopped tomatos etc to make a chicken soup or stew or curry. Also make some flax bread: http://video.about.c...-Flax-Bread.htm

My food bills are fairly low - i've got a local Sainsbury's which do organic mince meat for £4/kilo and 2packs of really nice outdoor reared 'taste the difference' branded sausages for £4. I've got a good local fishmonger too. Cheap fish are under-rated (jackfish is especially tasty but cheap). I get most of my veg from the market (whitechapel, east london) which is ludicrously cheap mostly. I make up a nut mix (mainly almonds with brazil, hazel, and walnuts), a pot of which (maybe 100-150g?) does for lunch. Lots of eggs (£1 per 6 free range at local health shop). Berries are expensive tho - dont know why you cant usualy get them frozen.

Made some flax bread tonight man, came out ok, I suppose.. Kind of spongy and wet.. (This how yours turned out?) Also made some coconut, flax and almond bars. Trying Stevia for the firs time, tastes decent.

Sounds like your have a decent food market over there. I feel supermarkets are pretty poor quality (in terms of preservative,chemical free) here.. I basically survive off meat and vegetables nowadays.

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yes, i know what you mean about spongy and wet. try not adding water. Also, when i make it i make double of that recipe, and reduce by an egg (ie 9 instead of 10). I use 3 cups of flax to 1 cup of sesame which tastes better i reckon. Instead of baking powder i mix my own from 1.25 teaspoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons ascorbic acid, and reduce the salt (1.5 tspn instead of 2). Plus a teaspoon or two of pepper powder and a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon (barely noticeable, just a background note). I sweeten with xylitol. I bought some cheap stevia off ebay but it had a very strong bitterness to it. Maybe i'll try a more expensive brand. I like the idea of your bars - got a link to a good recipe?

Try adding dessicated or creamed coconut and sweetener to high fat greek yoghurt - very tasty.

I feel bad about eating meat and dairy. Animals arent machines but i fear we treat them like they are (like we treat ourselves i spose). Slaughterhouses are big places with a high throughput and i doubt the welfare procedures are effective, especially as they are manned by miserable minimum wage labour with minimal training. I dont think people who care about animal welfare go into these jobs so i expect they are pretty brutal places. So even if your free-range animal had a reasonable life i suspect the chances of it having a grim death are pretty high. Electric stunning seems to be ineffective at removing conciousness, especially if applied kack-handedly. Got any low carb, high fat vegan recipes?

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yes, i know what you mean about spongy and wet. try not adding water. Also, when i make it i make double of that recipe, and reduce by an egg (ie 9 instead of 10). I use 3 cups of flax to 1 cup of sesame which tastes better i reckon. Instead of baking powder i mix my own from 1.25 teaspoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons ascorbic acid, and reduce the salt (1.5 tspn instead of 2). Plus a teaspoon or two of pepper powder and a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon (barely noticeable, just a background note). I sweeten with xylitol. I bought some cheap stevia off ebay but it had a very strong bitterness to it. Maybe i'll try a more expensive brand. I like the idea of your bars - got a link to a good recipe?

Try adding dessicated or creamed coconut and sweetener to high fat greek yoghurt - very tasty.

I feel bad about eating meat and dairy. Animals arent machines but i fear we treat them like they are (like we treat ourselves i spose). Slaughterhouses are big places with a high throughput and i doubt the welfare procedures are effective, especially as they are manned by miserable minimum wage labour with minimal training. I dont think people who care about animal welfare go into these jobs so i expect they are pretty brutal places. So even if your free-range animal had a reasonable life i suspect the chances of it having a grim death are pretty high. Electric stunning seems to be ineffective at removing conciousness, especially if applied kack-handedly. Got any low carb, high fat vegan recipes?

Thanks for the bread advice, I think next time will be much better. One less egg seems like a good idea plus cinnamon. Stevia was actually alright, but I did go ahead and buy the more expensive, organic kind.. I heard they all taste slightly different.. Here's the link to the bars- http://thecandidadiaries.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/almond-bars-gluten-free-low-carb-delicious/ .. I omitted the chocolate and vanilla. Although, I think it would taste better with a little unsweetened cocoa powder and I need to pick up some good vanilla. I used a bit more coconut oil and some olive oil because I made my own mixed nut butter instead of almond butter.

I read all about this yogurt but I have no idea where to buy Greek Yoghurt.. I do feel pretty bad about the way animals are treated in slaughterhouses. There was a documentary that turned my friend vegan/vegetarian but I didn't want to watch it- I already know it's bad. I've driven by a few slaugtherhouses while roadtripping across the U.S. and you can smell them miles away and visually they look disturbing. No room to roam and generally poor conditions- always out in the middle of nowhere.

I wish I could help with the vegan recipes, but I don't really know any. I live less than 7 hours from Mexico so avocados are generally big here, they are high fat, low carb nutritional power houses. So i eat a ton of those with olive oil. Recipes with these are probably good- I eat them straight normally though. Don't know if they're common in the UK or not.

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