How The High Fat / Low Carb Diet Dropped My Weight And Triglyceride Level

O/t today. I want to share how I lost 20 lbs and totally reduced my triglyceride level, an important factor for heart health.

In his video here, Prof. Ken Sikaris explains why triglyceride level in the blood today is a critical barometer for monitoring your cardiovascular risk and why cholesterol levels are not the crucial factors to watch. Almost everything we’ve been told about evil fat and cholesterol over the past 4 decades is wrong.

So much for consensus.

Sikaris gives us insight on why a high-fat/low-carb diet is healthier for most people. LDL cholesterol, he says, is actually good and has been given a bad name. The real enemy is sugar and refined carbohydrates.

I also used to believe all the cholesterol, low-fat consensus nonsense and 4 years ago found myself some 20 pounds overweight at the age of 52. I had resigned to accepting a future of deteriorating health – just all part of getting older. Then one day my blood pressure got stuck at 180 over 110, and I had the feeling my heart was threatening to go on strike. After an EKG and other tests my doctor put me on beta-blockers and advised me to lose weight by cutting out fat from the diet. Immediately I intensified the old low-fat diet – but no matter how hard I tried to lose weight, nothing worked.

Then 2 years ago, (age 54) I saw a video by Dr. David Diamond (hat-tip DirkH) which resonated, and it showed me how for years and years I had had it all wrong. In it Diamond tells the story of how he solved his weight and heart problems: by going on a high-fat / low carb-diet.

So I also gave it shot and eliminated much of the high carb foods, replacing them with the very foods we were told were killers: eggs, cheese, butter, meat, high fat dairy products, etc. Potatoes got replaced by lots of vegetables and moderate levels of fruit. Nuts and dark (80+%) chocolate has since become a common snack for me.

The results were almost immediate. Everything Diamond said was indeed true. Some two years later, today, I’m pleased to present the latest results:

Triglycerides_Weight Chart

As the chart shows, 2 years ago I was closing in on 90 kilograms (198 lbs.) and my triglyceride level was at an unhealthy 285 mg/dl. In late March 2014 I switched over to the HFLC diet and within 4 months (by August 2014) lost over 6 kilograms (close to 15 lbs) and triglycerides dropped to 122, below the recommended 150 upper limit.

The best thing is that I didn’t need to count calories. I simply ate until I felt satisfied. The cravings and blood sugar roller coaster disappeared. I avoid glutens as well, which for surprisingly many people can make a big difference.

Last week I got back the latest blood results and I’ve plotted my triglycerides, which is now down to a very healthy 94, see above. I’m also off the beta blockers and blood pressure is back to normal. There have been also lots of other benefits, like more energy, better digestion, much happier, etc. Today my weight is stable at about 175 lbs (80 kg).

What’s shocking is that there are still lots of doctors who still believe and preach all the cholesterol nonsense from 40 years ago.

 

33 responses to “How The High Fat / Low Carb Diet Dropped My Weight And Triglyceride Level”

  1. Bob Johnston

    Similar story here. I was 40 pounds overweight and gaining even though I was very active and watched what I ate (meaning low fat with whole grains). I went very low carb (I don’t even eat fruit anymore although I do eat veggies) and I dropped the 40 pounds w/o effort and my triglycerides are at 55. My HDL is at 66 which gives me a very favorable TG/HDL ratio, a ratio I think is a good marker for chronic disease.

    Like you, I think cholesterol is a beneficial substance and I trust my body to produce the right amount it needs. One thing to remember is that a basic lipid profile doesn’t actually measure LDL, it’s estimated using the Friedewald Eaquation which can be significantly off when TGs are over 400 or under 100. Regardless, it’s amazing how resilient our bodies are and how quickly and effectively they can recover from decades of eating crap food (grains and other carbs, vegetable oils, sugar, fructose). I love that you’re getting the message out to your audience and I hope that people will consider that the nutritional science they’ve believed their entire lives can be just as bad as the climatology they currently know to be incorrect. Science is performed by humans and humans are very, very fallible.

  2. nzrobin

    Typo. First para. 40 decades.

  3. patrick healy

    Congratulations Pierre, I was 74 (2 over par) two weeks ago and thank God a friend gave me a copy of Drs Mary Dan and Michael Eades wonderful book called Protein Power published by Thorson.com, about 6 years ago.
    I am as fit now a I was 20 years ago – maybe more so apart from a visit from Arthur (artheritis) in my left knee and big toes.
    The beauty of this eating regimne is that I can occasionally pig out, and then return to the first tee and start again.
    I golf 2 or 3 times a week and mostly carry my clubs.
    More power to protein power!

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Nice post (2 typos below) and having been less active since early November my weight has been creeping up. Mostly too much sugar, I think, as I never actually did the high carb thing. I have a blood series around from last September, if I can find it, and can check the triglycerides. I have to carry the extra pounds up and down mountains when the snow melts and I begin some trail work in the Cascades. I’m about 20 pounds and ~20 years past you – can’t do much about the years, though.

    [40? –over the past 40 decades]
    [now? – my triglycerides, which is not down to a very healthy 94,]

  5. Val

    Bravo!

  6. Ingvar Engelbrecht

    There is also another side of the “fat” issue.
    After reading some books written by Bruce Fife about coconut fat I was absolutely intrigued and convinced. The coconut and palm oil are saturated fats and almost magical.
    Forbidden: Polyunsaturated fats.
    Recommended: coco and palm. Stable. Never get rancid. Stable on high temperature. Perfect for frying.
    Allowed: Olive oil. Not for frying. Not old. Easily get rancid and that is bad.
    Read his books, available in kindle format on Amazon.
    He gives good scientific explanations and case studies.
    Dont take may word for it but read his books. It is very interesting

    1. Gentletramp

      Hi Ingvar

      And what about linseed and its oil? That’s very rich in polyunsaturated fats but of the Omega-3 type? Was it mentioned in this book as well?

      Thanks for your answer and Best regards,

      Gentletramp

      1. DirkH

        Take care it’s cold-pressed; that goes for all vegetable oils.
        (I add a mixture of olive, linseed and dark sesame oil to soups I cook, not least to help the dissolution of oil-soluble ingredients like Curcuma.)

        1. DirkH

          Curcuma = Turmeric.

          1. yonason

            I started growing that this year in a pot, but haven’t sampled any yet. Still using what’s left on my spice rack, first. I now have enough to plant a fairly good sized patch in the garden this spring. I’m in zone 9, but it’s hardy to zone 7b. If you’re further North, they are perfectly happy in container in full sun.

      2. Ingvar Engelbrecht

        did a quick search in one of his books but found no reference o linseed specifically. He talks about omega-3 and omega-6 in the book The New Arthritis cure

  7. Analitik

    Great post – I only ever did high carbs when I was doing endurance sports. It always seemed silly to me that high carbs were recommended for a general diet since they don’t make the body feel “full” so you eat more and it just means excess calories for your body to convert to fat.

    What has your doctor said about your turnaround, Pierre?

  8. DirkH

    Nice chart! Thanks for conserving that data!

  9. DirkH

    Oh, and my original interest in that whole fat/carb business was, I need to maintain a perfect physique just like the next guy; even though nobody from my entire family ever visited a doctor for weight problems… obviously the traditional fat-rich German food that we eat has never even allowed the problem to occur. Butter, Bratwurst and beer.

  10. Keith Minto

    Interesting comments.

    I picked up “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz at the local library and stuck to it, as it detailed poor nutrition science that started with Eisenhower’s heart attack and found favour with high levels of government. This was interesting as it mirrored closely the current climate scenario.
    As a stable heating fat, I now make my own ghee, no more heating polyunsaturated oil.

    The book http://bit.ly/1RUhCtX

  11. Gentletramp

    Hi Pierre,

    Thanks for your interesting nutrition hints.

    May I ask 2 questions?

    First, how do you get your dietary fibers in order to avoid constipation?

    Second, what is your personal body height?

    Best regards,

    Gentletramp

    BTW: The two videolinks above are identical. Is that correct?

    1. John F. Hultquist

      GT,
      Read about Psyllium (sold as Metamucil** and other brands in the USA),
      a bulk-forming fiber that is used to treat constipation and may also reduce cholesterol when taken every day.

      Psyllium absorbs liquid in the intestines and swells and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass. The active ingredients are the seed husks of the psyllium plant.
      Consult a health care pro before starting.

      ** a Proctor & Gamble label, orange colors used, lots spent on advertizing

      1. DirkH

        “Psyllium absorbs liquid in the intestines and swells and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass. ”

        I had some dried apricots over the weekend… same effect. I didn’t buy them for that, mind you. Now of course some will say, but that’s fruit so it’s sweet but the point is, it’s not as sweet as a sugar bar or bread and is way up their in general healthiness.

      2. yonason

        When I do use that sort of thing, these are preferred.

        http://www2.netrition.com/barleans_forti_flax.html
        (available in health food stores and some groceries)

        http://www.bcn4life.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=F-0122-03&Category_Code=Detox
        (I can only find this one on-line. They say it’s 110 doses, but a pound bottle lasts me forever, maybe because I don’t take it every day.)

  12. Hasbeen

    Do confirm why a cholesterol medication has been prescribed for you, before coming off it.

    After my first heart attack the cardiologist put me on a range of medication, including an anti cholesterol. I have always had low cholesterol, [love all those fatty foods], & after a couple of months my GP doctor took me off it, saying I didn’t need it.

    After the second heart attack, same story.

    After the third a cardiologist bothered to explain to me that the cholesterol medication was to consolidate the plaque already in my arteries, to reduce the problem of bits flaking off. It was these that were giving me my heart attacks.

    That GP, who is actually a very good doctor usually, had a small gap in his knowledge, that could have killed me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these specialists had to brief us on why they have prescribed any medication. That would give us a chance to second guess, & ask questions, when things like this occur.

  13. ed doda

    For me 40+lbs(18kg)lost in twelve weeks going LCHF. Also included stretches of fasting which was quite easy after the second day. Google any of these fine researches; Jason Fung, Tim Volek, Steve Phinney,Tim Noakes and Peter Attia. They all have lengthy YouTube presentations and what I like is that they don’t try to sell you anything and most of all they have lived and suffered through the low fat, high carb regime..ed

  14. M E

    Yes low starch and sugar from vegetables and fruit.

    It’s not so long ago in Europe we only ate fruit and vegetables in season. Before Bottling and Canning on of the usual ways of preserving was drying.. dried apple and plums and so on.

    I often use “dripping” from roasts for frying and other savoury cooking, have you tried that?

    1. DirkH

      Got a pound of goose lard/drippings from my mother once, she wanted to throw it away. I used it to fry bacon and eggs. Delicious!

  15. Lars P.

    Thanks for the post!
    Great to have this push back against the “anti-fat dogma”/cholesterol consensus. My preferred eggs & ham breakfast is finally vindicated 🙂
    A perfect example of “consensus science” and unfortunately of all the harm that such science is causing.
    And another typical point… don’t expect any “mea culpa” statements from the perpetrators.

  16. J Martin

    Low carb diet first reached prominent CE with Atkins diet. Atkins admitted in print he got the idea from a UK do tors pu location in an NHS paper. That UK doctor was Dr Richard Mackarness who emigrated to the USA and achieved consistent results with his low carb high fat diet. It was too controversial to be accepted and his book “Eat fat, grow slim.” didn’t get the sales it deserved now some 45 years ago.
    Long out of print the paperback is worth reading, though I doubt that copies can be found.

    1. DirkH

      Even older UK source:
      Letter On Corpulence, 1869
      http://www.lowcarb.ca/corpulence/corpulence_full.html

    2. Ingvar Engelbrecht

      24 offers of Richard Mackarness book available on Amazon.com
      🙂