I AM NOT A DOCTOR NOR A NUTRITIONIST. WHAT I AM SHARING ON THIS POST IS SIMPLY MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
Yes, it has been several months since last posting on this site. Transitional doesn’t adequately define this time period. Perhaps transcending, revealing, inspiring would be better descriptions.
In 2003 I experienced a ‘cardiac event’ which resulted in angioplasty and a stent put in place. I truly regret allowing that to happen. Since then, a succession of doctors has insisted on a statin regimen and an approved ‘heart healthy’ diet consisting of volumes of whole grains, fruits & vegetables, reduced proteins, and virtually no natural fats. Encouraged were refined seed oil fats along with polyunsaturated fats. The BAD BOYS became butter, whole dairy, and any saturated fats. Also on the bad boy list was refined sugar (yeah, honey, and supposedly ‘natural’ sugars were fine). The goal was to improve my lipid profile by reducing total cholesterol to less than 200 and also lowering my LDL and triglycerides while raising my HDL. I was repeatedly warned that a heart attack or stroke would be my demise if I did not obey doctors’ orders. The statins did work, but not without side effects. I exercised to the point of exhaustion, I starved myself of the whole foods on which this farm boy was raised, and instead substituted the AMA, FDA approved heart-healthy nonsensical way of eating. I also tried to lose the belly fat. Finally I realized, “Hey, I feel like crap and I will not spend the last years of my life living this way.”
Enter keto-genic. I watched a few YouTube videos by Dr. Ken Berry, read books by Dr. James Dinicolantonio and Dr. Joseph Mercola and I was off and running pursuing an alternative (but familiar from meals on the farm) dietary plan and lifestyle. That happened on June 23, 2019. The results have been nothing short of amazing.
Most difficult to transition were the sugary snacks and night-time, TV viewing, refrigerator foraging. But as I followed my new lifestyle as closely as I could, the cravings did indeed disappear as the doctors said, and I left the dinner table satiated. No longer a continually hungry man in search of a sugar fix, I was able to implement a 16-18 hour fast between supper and breakfast and I was completely satisfied with 2 meals a day incorporating the foods recommended by the doctors. It was immensely more successful than the other diets I had tried – BLOOD TYPE, ATKINS, ZONE – and it was not a scenario of nail-biting, daunting deprivation.
I was advised that the initial weight loss would be about 8-10 pounds of water weight. I assume that to be true. And that was accomplished on a renewed effort with the ZONE diet prior to keto. However, since beginning keto, I have lost an additional 12 pounds of belly fat and I feel great.
Two weeks ago I reviewed with my Medicare doctor the latest lab results. He stormed into the treatment room and informed me that he was increasing my statin dosage to lower my LDL and total cholesterol and warned that if I did not comply I would probably die of a stroke or heart attack. Truly, as predicted by the keto advocates, my total cholesterol and LDL had increased albeit not significantly. After I allowed the doctor’s rant, I pointed out to him that my HDL had risen by 20%, my triglycerides had decreased by 40%, my glucose had dropped from 109 to 81, and I had dropped about 20 pounds of weight since the last visit. After years of being termed pre-diabetic fighting off the doctors who wanted me on Metformin, I was no longer pre-diabetic. He was momentarily speechless and we then began a meaningful dialog about my health care.
Assuming responsibility for my own health is not easy. Rebuking doctors who are following 50 years of prescribed ‘heart-healthy’ diets is not easy. But the proof is in the pudding. After 50 years of listening to what the food and pharmaceutical industries are pumping into the heads of medical practitioners, Western culture is now in the midst of epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and numerous other conditions manifested by the unhealthy foods which we are encouraged to eat.
Not surprisingly, the food industries which promote packaged pseudo-foods loaded with sugar and non-food ingredients, the pharmaceutical industry which realizes billions of dollars in profits through sales of statins and Metformin, and the medical profession which caves to pressure from the insurance and drug companies have made preventive health care a jungle for those of us who refuse to accept the status quo.
Today, I feel healthier than ever and I feel liberated. Now, excuse me while I go to prepare my fast-breaking meal of bacon, eggs, kale, broccoli and blueberries.