Category Archives: foods and nutrition

Cholesterol

Pretty understandably, I think, I have been keen to make sure that eating a lot of fat doesn’t clog up my arteries and lead to an untimely death. It turns out that blood chemistry is a lot more complicated than “eat fat, get heart disease” though. Logically perhaps, if you are burning off all the fat you eat (and then some), there isn’t going be that much spare sloshing around your bloodstream. But actually the truth is a lot more prosaic.

25% of blood cholesterol come from your food intake but 75% comes from in-house production in your liver. So the level of dietary control over blood cholesterol is relatively limited. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try of course. Then there’s HDL, LDL-P LDL-C, VLDL  and non-HDL-C  to get your head around, plus the particle sizes and everything else. It’s a complex field. I found this article very helpful.

Despite the available literature, it would be a fool who embarked on a high fat diet, even if it was low carbohydrate, and didn’t at least wonder what it was happening with the cholesterol levels…wouldn’t it?

I am going for tests every 4 weeks or so. Thanks to the nice staff at Lloyds In Stockbridge, Edinburgh, for being interested in what I’m doing.

Date

Total cholesterol CHOL

HDL

Approx. LDL

TC:HDL ratio

22/03/2016

5.08

2.02

3.06

2.5

14/04/2016

3.93

1.47

2.46

2.7

26/05/2016

5.24

1.94

3.3

2.7

04/03/2017

3.91

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Foods and dietary ratios

Foods

There’s lots of advice out there. These are my favourites. You need to make it as easy as possible. Remove all the temptations and pitfalls. You have to want to do it, basically.

So I thought in a lot more detail about what I was going to eat. Eating under 50g of carbs a day and getting 3/4 of your calories through eating fat is quite hard. My favourite food/meals became:

  • Avocados with salt – you have to keep up your salt intake
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Steamed kale
  • Spinach
  • Full fat crème freche
  • Full fat yoghurt
  • Soft and full fat cheese
  • Bacon and pork including the fat
  • Chicken Caesar salad.
  • Tinned mackerel in olive oil undrained
  • Smoked salmon
  • Fresh fish generally
  • Coffee with lots of double cream
  • Up and Go breakfast drinks
  • Jointace supplements
  • Tapas & cured meats
  • Pork scratchings
  • Eggs
  • M & S edame and humous
  • M & S hard boiled eggs with spinach leaves
  • M & S teriyaki salmon protein pot

(all three above are available from M&S-equipped service stations on motorways)

50g of carbohydrates is a large man’s palmful of pasta. It’s not very much.

IMG_2317
50g of pasta and an iPhone 6 case for reference

 

No sweets, chocolate, alcohol, biscuits, crisps, fizzy drinks (except diet, from a can, not draught) etc.

Dietary ratios

This is done in terms of macronutrients or “macros”. There are three: protein, carbohydrate and fat.

Protein

I worked this out using a fixed protein % based on body weight in order to maintain muscle mass. Grams protein = weight in kg x 1.5

For me:

Protein – 110g (that’s a chicken breast)

At 4 calories/gram this gives me a base of 440 calories to deal with.

Carbs

Try for 40g (under set maximum of 50g found in research) and don’t stress too much.

Fat

Get your daily calorie requirement for your body and activity level, work out the required deficit for you weight loss target and eat sufficient to make up calories necessary (see links). For me: 160g (1500 calories – 300ml double cream, 450g walnuts).

This is a 15% calorie deficit, so ~2000cal/day intake

Helpful links:

http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/calorie-counting.html

http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/ketosis-and-the-ketogenic-ratio-qa.html/

It is hard to over-eat on this diet. Fat is very filling and psychologically quite wrong to eat in bulk, at least for a while. Such is our conditioning!