blood test

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42 Day of Keto Chow – Day 13: week 1 blood tests

This entry is part of 13 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I got the first round of results back from the blood tests I did on January 12. For the most part, I’m not seeing anything particularly interesting but that’s mainly because these are the “baseline” ones to show what a week of eating only Keto Chow and heavy cream will look like. HDL is 52, LDL is 116, LDL-P (particle count) is 1242 (which is high). Glucose is normal and my fasting insulin is 4.4 which is quite good. You can see all the results of all my tests here.

My Hemoglobin A1c (which acts as a measure of the amount of glucose my red blood cells have been exposed to over their lifetime) has been steadily going down throughout my experiments. Glycated Hb A1c is the measurement typically used for the diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus (not to be confused with “diabetes insipidus”). In the US it’s expressed as a percentage with numbers higher than 6.5 signifying diabetes, elsewhere it’s in mmol/l with values > 48 signifying diabetes. Typically you want lower numbers with <6% or <42 mmol/l. My first test in October 2017, my A1c was 5.1; In November 2017 it was at 4.9, and now in January it’s at 4.8. I wasn’t diabetic before I started doing keto, though I had a “deranged metabolism” that didn’t handle carbohydrates properly (you can tell because I was fat) and likely would have gone that direction in a few more years.

The 2 Keto Dudes do a better job of explaining what’s going on with diabetes but the interesting thing is that most doctors will prescribe enough insulin to keep blood sugar “low” but not in an ideal range. If you use insulin to bring down blood sugar and you go too far, you’ll actually end up in a coma. The problem is that (I’m working on memory here and a search didn’t find where it’s discussed at length) for each percent of HbA1c there’s an associated increase in all-cause mortality. Meaning if you use insulin to come down to a 7.0 – you are likely to die more than a person with a 6. Dang, I’m going to have to find the reference – it may be this but I’m not sure.

People with Type 2 diabetes make too much insulin and still have high blood sugar, those with Type 1 don’t make enough. The cool thing is: insulin is just a part of the regulation of blood sugar in your body and if that’s broken, guess what? there’s a backup! Your liver is able to synthesize all the glucose needed by your body. Provided you don’t introduce extra glucose into the equation, it’ll do a very good job regulating blood sugar all by its self. This is why people can go for month long fasts and not die without eating glucose.

By | 2018-01-17T15:48:25+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 09

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I wasn’t very hungry at all yesterday doing Grape Seed Oil, so I drank my 3rd one after we went bowling. This morning I woke up to my guts making gurgling noises – which was kinda weird. Anyhow, today I spent almost all day getting speakers installed into the walls of our family room in the basement. Working like that I usually don’t get hungry either but I remembered to eat to keep the data from the experiment valid.

Tonight I mixed up 7 meals of Keto Chow with grape seed oil using a test batch of Keto Chow 2.1. Didn’t take long to mix (which is good since I’m rather tired).

Doing oil instead of heavy cream has my net carbs for the day exceptionally low and my blood ketones show it. Last night I hit 1.8 mmol/dL and tonight I was up to 2.2!

By | 2018-01-14T21:08:48+00:00 January 13th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 08 – Beginning Grape Seed Oil and a dissertation on PUFAs

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

Today I’m starting the first day of the “real” experiment (last week was a “washout” period to normalize everything). I’m starting with Grape Seed oil. Why Grape Seed Oil? well, it has the highest Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) of any oil I could find, including Soybean oil (ok, technically I think Walnut oil has a slightly higher amount but walnuts give me canker sores and I didn’t want to go there). Why am I going to be doing a week of PUFAs? let’s recap in case you missed it:

In my earlier 4 week test, I did a week of avocado oil and I got some really weird results with my triglycerides. I asked Dave Feldman about it and he suspected that part of the cause may have been that I went from using heavy cream as a fat source to avocado oil – which is going from primarily saturated fat to mostly mono-unsaturated fats with a little poly-unsaturated. My body likely wasn’t used to that much PUFA so it may have been the cause. The only way to be certain would be to isolate out an oil that was exceptionally high and compare it to saturated, and mono-unsaturated (MUFAs) fats.

So what’s the big deal about PUFA vs. MUFA vs. Saturated? Some of it is simply the way the molecules are set up, a major part is that seed oils (which are typically very high in PUFAs) aren’t something humans have consumed for very long, less than 100 years and often shorter. Our metabolism really doesn’t know what to do with them and the high Omega 6 causes inflammation and oxidative stress. By definition a poly-unsaturated fatty acid is a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms that have multiple double bonds, Mono have a single double bond, and saturated have only single bonds:

Saturated Fats are exceptionally stable and resistant to oxidation (“Reactive Oxygen Species” is a term you’ll hear a lot) – this is why your grandma kept a bucket of lard on the counter and it never went bad. MUFAs do oxidize, though they’re quite good – Olive Oil is primarily MUFAs. PUFAs oxidize like crazy – in heat and even in light! But because the Diet-Hear Hypothesis that fat = bad, cholesterol = bad depends on the ideal that lowering cholesterol is the end-all-be-all, the fact that PUFAs lower cholesterol (while causing inflammation but that’s ignored) means they are “Heart Healthy” and recommended for consumption if you absolutely MUST have fat in your diet. Problem is: our bodies LIKE saturated fats because they know what to do with them so we have companies modifying PUFAs to look, feel, behave, and taste more like saturated. Thus Trans-Fatty Acids were born. We artificially add hydrogen atoms to make PUFAs into Saturated. “Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil” is code for Trans-Fat and fortunately everyone agrees that trans-fats are awful. In part thanks to the work of Nina Teicholz. If you’d like to go down the rabbit-hole on the history of fat, I highly recommend reading “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” which Nina wrote. It’s absolutely fantastic.

Anyway, I got my first blood test of the experiment today. I feel sorry for the poor employees at the Draper, Utah LabCorp location. They used to be a walk-in only location but ever since I’ve been going there, you can make an appointment online (which is what I’ve always done). Well there were 3 of us doing blood tests together so we all just carpooled. Well, some people had been there waiting since just after 8 and they took all 3 of us with appointments right at 9 – ahead of the people that had been waiting. Conveniently there’s a card with info to call to express your displeasure and the phlebotomists encouraged the people to do so. I thought there was goign to be a riot =(

42 days of Keto Chow – Day 04

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

Well, I’m hitting my stride with Keto Chow only. I had a pretty good weekend. We had family get together that we needed food for, we ended up grabbing a pair of “6-foot” sandwiches from Walmart (they’re always 2 foot, you just get 3 if you order a 6-foot); knowing that a significant part of the people coming are doing keto, we also got a Meat & Cheese tray so they won’t need to throw away bread. Meanwhile, there were 3 of us there that hung out drinking Keto Chow from a blender bottle.

Yesterday I did time-restricted feeding (intermittent fasting), didn’t eat anything until about 3 pm – which was fantastic, my blood ketones were up to 1.9 mmol/dL just before I ate. Problem was I was also not drinking anything at the time so I got a bit dehydrated (I still have a bit of a headache from that Monday morning), but I’m taking care of that with some rock salt and water.

42 days of Keto Chow – Day 01, it begins.

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I’m starting a new experiment today, for the next 6 weeks I’m going to only be eating Keto Chow. I recently did a similar experiment for 4 weeks but this one has different goals. Last test I was proving that I wouldn’t die – I realize that sounds like a joke but a lot of people have romantic notions about food and eating with no factual basis and think you can’t do a high fat, nutritionally complete, liquid diet that has sucralose and not die… or something. Spoiler: I didn’t die and I have a plethora of blood tests to prove it. I made sure to hit the Brazilian Steakhouse for lunch yesterday since I won’t be going out for food anytime soon.

This new test I’m going to be specifically testing how consuming different fatty acids types affects my lipid system (cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein composition). I’m going to do this by using Keto Chow to eliminate variables and have alternating weeks where I’m consuming high amounts of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. While I’m at it, I’m also going to do a week where I replace all of the fat in my ketogenic diet with dextrose.

Standard dietary advice from most health “experts” and organizations is to eat a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates. I’m going to do exactly that and it’ll do a good job illustrating the ludicrousy of the notion that a calorie is a calorie, is a calorie and that the type of calories means nothing – just the number of calories. Each day for 6 weeks I’m going to be consuming the same number of calories and only changing a single variable. I think I’m going to get some really cool results and have it all just in time for Low Carb Breckenridge.

Anyhow, that’s the plan! At the same time, I have 3 people that are repeating parts of my earlier experiment, they’re only doing 3.5 weeks of Keto Chow only but today two of them are getting their first blood test, it’s going to be cool to see how their bloodwork is affected.

It’s finally happened: we’re doing advertising for realsies

We’ve had a few ads here and there on Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit. We’ve done booths at Keto Con and will be at Breckenridge 2018, plus an appearance at the HVMN get together in San Francisco in a few weeks. Today our ad on the Livin La Vida Low Carb show went live. Best part: I totally got “jimmylovesketo.com”

On a side note, I have 3 suckers subjects that are going to be repeating part of my earlier experiment involving living on just Keto Chow, this time for 3 weeks but importantly, they’ll be doing a week of Keto Chow with Avocado Oil and we’ll see how that affects their triglycerides. I am going to be starting my fatty acids n=1 experiment this Friday with the final test just before Breckenridge, should be cool!

By | 2018-01-02T21:58:09+00:00 January 2nd, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

N=Me – (week 1 results) 2 weeks of Keto Chow, half heavy cream and half avocado oil

My previous experiment where all of my calories for 4 weeks came via Keto Chow brought out some interesting data in my 3rd week. That week I changed my fat source from heavy cream over to avocado oil, this resulted in some remarkable blood tests. A question arises as to whether my elevated triglycerides, lowered LDL, lowered HDL, and more oddities are a result of the reduced carbohydrates (under 2g net a day average), or the composition of the fats I was eating: Saturated vs. Monounsaturated, vs. Polyunsaturated. I’m planning on doing a more in-depth experiment in early 2018 but this shorter experiment will serve to further solidify a hypothesis and steer the latter test.

I just got back my week 1 blood tests and have those posted on my Experiment Results page. I expect I’ll get the final blood tests on Wednesday of next week.

For the most part, it’s been nice to be back on exclusively Keto Chow. The only real downside is that this experiment falls right in the middle of the run-up to Christmas with the accompanying parties and dinners. That sucks in that I’ve passed on some really awesome Keto food that I normally would have eaten, but what better time of year to skip all that? =)

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like bringing a blender bottle to a big dinner and not eating anything else =).

By | 2017-12-13T13:18:58+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

N=me experiment, final results – Dave’s making me do it again =)

OK, I got the blood test results for my final week back – you can see all 5 results on this spreadsheet. I haven’t done a thorough write-up on the results of the experiment yet because I have indeed convinced Dave Feldman to give me his thoughts. The short version is: my week 3 results (pure avocado oil, spiked my triglycerides, tanked glucose, etc…) got Dave pretty excited. Something about hypothesis validation or other =) He asked me if I was willing to go back and try it again. For Dave? Absolutely.

So, I took a week off experimenting and I’m going to start it right back up again: this time I’m going to do a week of Keto Chow only with 1/2 of the fat from avocado oil and half from heavy cream – the idea is to see if I hit a half-way point relative to the lunacy of my 3rd week results. Then I’ll get a blood test, do it for another week, and another blood test.

Meanwhile, Dave has promised to analyze my results. It may be a week or more as he’s busy with family and I don’t want to call down the wrath of his wife upon me =)

By | 2017-11-27T13:42:18+00:00 November 27th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |3 Comments

N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 3rd week tests back

This entry is part 190 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have the second-to-last test results from my experiment back. To quickly recap: I’m doing a test where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water. Nothing else. No snacks, no diet soda, no gum, no nothing. I am taking the Keto Chow fish oil pills as they are required to get the right EPA and DHA Ω3 fatty acids, and I was taking a magnesium malate supplement (I need more than normal) but I recently stopped that because the version of Keto Chow that I’m testing (v2.1rc2) has additional magnesium malate in it and the supplement I was taking had a gram of dextrose (which sucks). Here’s my complete food log and information from Cron-o-meter for the experiment so far, and here are my blood tests, updated with the results of my latest blood test.

The week proceeding this test was interesting. The short version is: I was at a tech conference with no refrigeration so I was using avocado oil instead of heavy cream. Because of this, I was getting around 2g of net carbs (or lower) A DAY. On the test, my insulin was low, my glucose showed in the red because it’s so low, my LDL-P is below 1000 and my triglycerides are higher. It’s almost like my body is using lipoproteins to transport energy (adding another data point to Dave Feldman’s hypothesis).

The last 5 days since this blood draw, my ketones have come down from the 4.5-5.5 range to the 3.0-3.5 range and my weight loss has slowed a bit too. I’m guessing this is due to using heavy cream as the fat source. Starting today through the end of the experiment, I’m switching from all heavy cream to half heavy cream, half avocado oil. Avocado oil is OK but not nearly as yummy as heavy cream, so I’m hoping that by splitting it I can get the good taste plus lower net carbs. Even with 100% heavy cream, I was still under 10g net carbs though. Protip: heavy cream has half the calories as oil for the same volume. If you’re replacing heavy cream for oil you use 1/2 as much (roughly).

A few days ago a post showed up on the Keto Chow Subreddit: Full month on KetoChow – 13 lbs lost and loving it and this showed up last night: Week 1 with Keto Chow and not much else . . .– looks like I’m not the only one doing this, N=3 then =)

 

On a final note, I’d like to illustrate one of the interesting challenges with this experiment. The evening after I got this blood draw, I was in charge of preparing the food for a neighborhood game night (I was also in charge of bringing the Raspberry Pi with the 4 player arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I had previously prepared a brisket with my sous-vide (recipe and more coming =) so I just needed to smoke it, along with the chicken legs and the bratwurst. I also made pulled pork using the InstantPot. It was a truly glorious sight to behold once it was all done.

I didn’t eat any of it.

I had thought about eating some before, but I decided that there were too many variables shifting around (coming back from a trip, switching back from avocado oil to heavy cream, etc…) plus I wanted to keep the inputs clean. I fully intend to do a press release after all this is done announcing that I lived for 4 weeks on JUST Keto Chow and I didn’t want to have to add a little asterisk footnote: “*except that one meal where I pigged out on brisket” (on an aside, anybody know how to do a press release? =) Really, it was just like cooking any other meal I didn’t eat these last 3 weeks (like the CavemanKeto chili I made Sunday). Once committed to this course of action, I just keep going. It’s a little like fasting in some respects. I’m not the only one cooking though, my awesome wife has been feeding the kids some really great keto meals too.

Don’t worry: I put a bunch of the meat in the freezer for lunch on Friday after my final blood draw =)

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