Had a lipid panel done today, about 2 weeks after my last one. Over the past week I did the following:
- Aimed for a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. I found this difficult because I don’t particularly like sweet food, so I fell short some days.
- Aimed for a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, because Ray Peat says.
- Ate no starchy foods, getting all of my carbohydrates from sugar (fruit, honey, juice, and white sugar)
- Maintained a lower-fat diet (averaged 59g fat/day or about 24% of total calories, on average).
- Took niacinamide and aspirin 3x a day
- Doubled thyroid supplement (Cynoplus, a combination T3/T4) from a very small dose -1/4 tablet (7.5mcg T3 / 30mcg T4) to two 1/4 tablets per day.
The results of today’s lipid panel:
- Total Cholesterol: 316 (first time ever above 300). Shouldn’t increased thyroid supplement decrease cholesterol?
- Triglycerides: 495 (a 3% improvement. I’m not impressed.)
- HDL Cholesterol: 30 (lowest ever)
- LDL Cholesterol: Couldn’t be computed because Trigs were so high (this was the case last time too).
So, not great.
Here’s a handy chart showing my lipid panels over the last 2 years, along with brief notes about my diet during that time:
So you don’t have to turn your monitor on it’s side, here are the notes that correspond with the different testing dates:
3/27/2012 – Low Carb/Leptin Reset
11/14/2012 – Low Carb + Stress (Moved to a new state, started a new and very stressful job, was doing the Wiley Protocol and supplementing estrogen + progesterone).
6/19/2013 – Low Carb, without following any particular plan. When I ate carbs they were in the form of starches from potatoes and rice, some vegetables, no fruit.
12/30/13 – Ray Peat, low sugar – around a 1:2 carb:protein ratio. I was fiddling around with eating fruit, juice, and sugar but I was scared by the effect it was having on my blood sugar. It was about this time I realized I was diabetic and was afraid of eating more carbohydrates.
4/19/14 – Ray Peat, high sugar – 2:1 carb:protein ratio – I decided to jump in with both feet and start eating more carbohydrates. When this test was done I was eating high fat (90-120g/day), high sugar (over 200g/day, some of which were starches), moderate protein (about 110-120g/day). Pressure under my left ribcage was making me concerned that something might be wrong.
5/2/14 – Ray Peat – high sugar (2:1 carb:protein), low fat (around 25% of calories), taking niacinamide/aspirin/increased thyroid to address scary lab results.
According to this, my body (well, at least my lipid panel) responds best to a low carbohydrate diet, with minimized environmental stress. I can tell you I didn’t feel great eating low carb after a while – I felt tired all the time, irritable. But maybe that was because I wasn’t getting enough nutrition – I wasn’t tracking my food back then – vitamins/minerals were pretty much off the radar for me. I wasn’t eating liver or taking progesterone then.
Of course, other things were worse then. My BUN/Creatinine ratio for example, got worse the longer I was on low carb, and improved since then.
Maybe eating too much meat is stressful on the kidneys after all?
Let’s look at thyroid:
Seems sort of unrelated to sugar intake, actually, and more related to environmental stress. When I had the labs drawn in 12/2013 I was experimenting with resistant starch. I think that was stressful on my body – I know it was stressful on my emotional state. So that may account for the increase in TSH last December. I know TSH isn’t the ideal measure for thyroid function, according to many people…but Peat seems to think it’s a decent gross measure, so good enough.
And of great importance to me is my blood sugar. Let’s see the data:
This is a crazy graph, right? There was definitely an increase in fasting blood sugar when I started following Peat and adding carbohydrates to my diet, but that’s to be expected. Anyone can have “well managed diabetes” with a low carb diet. I wanted to actually FIX my diabetes, so I was experimenting with adding carbs back in to see what it would take to do that. From the graph it looks like the best things I did for my blood sugar were bicycle for 30 minutes a day and eat a low-fat diet.
Holy crap! Just like my conventional doctor told me! Exercise and eat a low fat diet!
It does seem my current supplements are confounding things. The graph shows that eating a low-fat high sugar diet results in lower fasting blood sugar…but not if I add niacinamide, aspirin, and increase thyroid. Hm…interesting. If I was a patient person, and if I really loved sweet food, I’d probably just eliminate the supplements I’m taking and go back to high-sugar/low fat for a while to see if that trend continues.
I’m neither patient nor in love with sugar.
And considering that I’m STILL having hot flashes – even while sitting right here, right now, I’m going to stop taking niacinamide, aspirin, and thyroid. One of them is bothering me. Later on I may try to add them in one at a time and see what I can tolerate.
So to sum up: It looks like the best thing for my lipids is low-carb. The best thing for my BUN/Creatinine is low meat. The best thing for my thyroid is low-stress. The best thing for my blood sugar is low fat and bicycling 30min a day on flat terrain. The best thing for my enjoyment of life – to not have to eat so much sugar. I really don’t look forward to it.
So what kind of diet is low-carb, low-meat, low-fat, and lower-sugar? Maybe one with dairy (mostly low-fat), some lean meat, lots of vegetables, some fruit (when I feel like it). Plus avoid stress and get exercise.
I still love Ray Peat – he gave me progesterone, Vitamin E, red lights, liver, vitamin K, dairy, raw carrots, and taught me that estrogen, PUFAs and serotonin are bad guys. I’m continuing on with much of what he has to say. Just less sugar. More vegetables. More exercise.
I might as well retire the blog. I have nothing original to say anymore.
So there it is. That’s my new plan.