I started the paleo diet in February to try to help with lymphocytic colitis (it worked). As I kept my body happy with coconut oil, grass-fed beef, vegetables and all the other paleo goodies, there was still a little voice in the back of my head saying, “what if this is bad?” I’d always had great blood work, and now I was worried that, regardless of biochemistry and physiology, maybe the USDA and food pyramid were right.
In addition to my work here as a science writer, I also teach yoga. I am surrounded by vegans, vegetarians and raw foodists. By practicing the paleo lifestyle, I am definitely an outlier (pretty sure I couldn’t get a nutrition article into the Yoga Journal). What if they were right? I know when I tried those eating styles my belly went into full revolt.
Well, I got my answer today. There was a free cholesterol screening on my work campus – a little finger prick with results in 5 minutes – and I blew the machine’s mind!
HDL – mine was greater than 100 but the nurse doesn’t know how much because the testing device only goes up to 100 (my number was really unusual, she said).
Triglycerides – mine were less than 45 but the nurse unsure of the exact number because the testing device only goes down to 45 (this, too, was really unusual, she said).
LDL – not available on this testing device because it requires the triglyceride number to calculate and my triglycerides were too low (but we do know it is at least lower than 95 given the number totals, and in the optimum range).
Total cholesterol – 200, higher than my standard 160, but this is because of a substantial increase in HDL. I’ll have to have my blood tested again through a regular lab if I want to get my actual LDL (might be interesting).
Blood Glucose – 79, well within normal
After puzzling over my results, the nurse (who was very overweight), stated that I must be eating the “right things” and showed me the American Diabetes Association nutrition guide. I nodded and smiled as she went through the need for whole grains and legumes, dairy and low-fat foods; then I told her that, actually, I was eating all the wrong things. Lots of saturated fat, vegetables, avocados, coconut oil and meat, no whole grains or legumes, no dairy, lots of healthy animal protein, and dark chocolate. Of course, she had never heard of the paleo lifestyle so I gave her a brief overview, the title of your book, and suggested that she might help more people battle diabetes with your book than with all the nutritional insanity of the ADA diet plan.
I’m pretty sure she won’t, but, hey, all you can do is plant the seed. Thanks so much!