Hey everybody and happy Monday! The new week has started, and I'm psyched, there's so much awesome stuff to do this week and life is so amazing and such! I hope you're having a great day as well and looking forward to the adventures of the week - whatever there may be!
Now that the necessary happiness rant is over with, let's talk about the title. Last Friday, I gave some blood to have it tested for some basic values. You know, like hemoglobin and glucose levels and so on. I hadn't had my blood tested for five years so I thought it would be interesting to see how changing my lifestyle and going keto has affected my blood levels. A few things popped up.
- I had cured my low hemoglobin. A few years back I was forbidden (yes, literally) to donate blood because my Hb was too low, but now, it was perfectly within the recommended range.
- The glucose value, meaning my blood sugar level, was clearly under the recommended range. This is neither surprising (since I'm doing keto and don't eat carbs that would turn into glucose in my body) nor alarming (it wasn't zero or negative or pi or anything else weird). I consider this a good thing.
- My total cholesterol was off the charts. It had been high before, and the tendency to have high cholesterol seems to run in my family, but my current value was over twice the recommended upper limit. (I laughed out loud when I saw it.)
Now, since I'm doing keto and I know about the lipid hypothesis and such, I know that having a high total cholesterol doesn't necessarily mean anything with respect to your health. Besides, what matters more (in my opinion at least) is how you feel in your body, and the ratio of triglycerides to high density lipoprotein (HDL), which in my case was insanely low. You can do the research and choose for yourself if you trust the dominant view of medical professionals about cholesterol (the one that's been emphasized for maybe 40 years now, that saturated fat will make you die of a heart attack), or if you trust the other view according to which saturated, minimally processed fats (like animal fats, butter, coconut oil) are essential to your body and brain to function optimally and help you fight heart disease among others. I wouldn't try to shove my opinion down your throat even if I knew for a fact that my stand was the right one. (Mind you, I don't know for a fact if my stand is correct; I chose it because living according to it makes me feel better in every respect than the other way does.)
What is interesting, however, is not my cholesterol level (duhh), but the psychological reaction I had to the news.
Apparently the general opinion that cholesterol is bad was so ingraned in the back of my head that my initial reaction was this cannot be healthy. Then I took a step back, remembered that I do eat a lot of egg yolks and butter and coconut oil, reminded myself that all my other blood levels were completely awesome, and did some research about cholesterol and how there's no causation between cholesterol and heart disease and how the ratio of triglycerides and HDL is a better indicator of your lipid health. I compared margarine and vegetable oils with butter and coconut oil in my head and figured one category is definitely more natural than the other - a conclusion I'd already reached back when I first learned about keto. I feel better than ever. I eat naturally; somewhat the same way that allowed out Darwinistic ancestors to survive. My total cholesterol value is just a number. All was fine again.
So, whatever your blood results are - and even if you yourself think they're undesirable! - you don't have to do anything about it. You don't have to go on medication. You don't have to live according to the general recommendations, or according to marginal views for that matter. You don't have to change your lifestyle.
Medicine can be wrong, but that's not the point. The point is that you choose to live however you want. After all, you're the one who gets to benefit, or pay, for the consequences.