blood test

Home/Tag: blood test

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 22, Macadamia Nut Oil, ruminations on Magnesium

This entry is part 22 of 44 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

Day 22, past the half-way point! I started Macadamia Nut oil today. It REALLY adds a roasted macadamia nut flavor to the shake. The one I’m drinking now, the flavor is completely overpowered by the oil. I like macadamia nuts but I’m guessing that by the end of this week of doing the oil, I’m not going to want to eat the nuts for a few months, which is a shame. Got my blood tested today, sometime on Wednesday or so I’ll have those results and add them to the spreadsheet.

Let’s talk about Magnesium. Keto Chow 0.9 up to 1.5 used an off-the-shelf Magnesium/Calcium Citrate+D3 powder. Starting with version 1.9 and up through 2.0.2, we’ve been having magnesium citrate mixed in with the vitamin/mineral mix. Magnesium citrate has good bioavailability but has a downfall: in high doses (higher than you get doing Keto Chow 3x a day), it acts as a laxative. People who are sensitive to this effect, or are already on the edge of having “bowel issues” can have problems with the citrate. To fight that, we are switching from citrate to magnesium malate in Keto Chow 2.1. On top of that, I’m increasing the amount of magnesium. Keto Chow 1.9 had 693.3mg a day, 2.0 has 736mg a day, and 2.1 is slated to have 806mg a day. Essentially it’s 2.0 plus the amount of magnesium I was getting in the magnesium malate pills I took before bed. Yes, it’s entirely for my own personal benefit so I don’t have to take an extra pill at night =)

So why Malate? Well, the most common form of magnesium supplements is magnesium oxide. By weight, magnesium oxide is 60% magnesium which means you add 1000mg to your product and you can legitimately claim on the label that it contains 600mg of magnesium. It’s also exceedingly cheap. And… it sucks. Only about 4% of its elemental magnesium is absorbed from magnesium oxide. Let’s take the 736mg of magnesium a day in Keto Chow 2.0 – 4% of that would only be 29.4mg that your body would be able to actually absorb. The citrate version we currently use and the malate version of the future both are readily bioavailable and nearly completely absorbed. If you see a “health” product that uses magnesium oxide, put it down and run away because they plainly don’t care about your health and only want to make the label look good.

By |2018-01-26T11:05:32-07:00January 26th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 20, off to S.F., Grape Seed Oil results

This entry is part 20 of 44 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I’m heading off to San Francisco in a few hours. Rather than worry about how to transport my shakes, I’m just going to do time-restricted feeding (“intermittent fasting”) by drinking all my meals this morning and afternoon, then I’ll eat again after I get home tomorrow. I had to bring everything I need with me to work, including an umbrella. Fun fact: I’ve been to San Francisco almost 10 times now, I’ve never been rained on (misted on, yes, but no rain) looking at the forecast, this might break that streak.

This morning I got back my blood tests from the week of doing Grape Seed Oil. Feel free to head over to the spreadsheet of results and check them out. Grapeseed oil is on Column O.

Let’s see… my LDL-P came way down (1242 to 849) – into the “normal” range thanks to the PUFAs, my LDL-C also came down (116 to 72) – again into the “normal” range. My triglycerides did indeed go up, though nowhere even close to the result I got with avocado oil in November: that one went from 113 to 199, this new test with grape seed oil went from 104 to 117. I guess we’ll see what happens with the subsequent tests with Saturated and MUFA: will the triglycerides go down or not?! While you’re on the spreadsheet, you can pop over to the other tabs and see the ongoing results coming in from the n=3 experiment that’s also going on. Both females have had really stable triglyceride levels, regardless of heavy cream or avocado oil. Makes me wonder if the 199 was a freak aberration (yes I was fasting at least 12 hours before the test).

So what else does the blood test show? On PUFAs my cortisol increased dramatically (9.8 to 12.7) and my fasting insulin predictably went down to 2.4. That’s actually the lowest I’ve ever gotten, 2.7 was the level when I did Avocado Oil. Oddly, my CRP (which along with cortisol is a marker for inflammation) was slightly up but still far lower compared to what I was getting in November.

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 18

This entry is part 18 of 44 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

Looks like I have a mustache =)

Day 18 of my experiment. Hey, let’s talk about weight loss! I started this experiment on January 5th and I’m currently (as of this morning) down 14.7 lbs. Some of that is due to me eating a bit more than normal right before the experiment to fit in a few more yummy foods before I stopped eating, and some is from Christmas/New Years; but I currently weigh less than I did when I finished my December experiment. I’ll call that definitive progress =). My ketones are most definitely lower doing heavy cream compared to just oil: around 1.3-1.5 compared to up in the 3’s. That’s not a problem but it is interesting.

I noticed something yesterday when I was getting out of the shower: My back wasn’t sore and neither were my arms. That’s odd because the day before (Saturday) I spent around 3 hours shoveling over a foot of snow and typically I’d expect to be exceptionally sore. Kinda weird.

This week I’m gearing up to go to San Francisco for an event we’re sponsoring on Wednesday. It’ll be rather interesting: I’ll fly there, set up a table and hand out samples, and then head back to the airport. I’ll have maybe 5 hours before my flight so I don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a room so I’ll just camp out in the airport and try to get some sleep on the chairs, maybe watch some “Flash”.


42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 15, back to heavy cream, self employed, history of Keto Chow shipping

This entry is part 15 of 44 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

In a fitting end to my week doing grapeseed oil for my fat source, last night my blood ketones were 3.9 mmol/dL (again: not chasing ketones but it’s nice to see those rise, especially since I got another person that emailed me yesterday claiming that you can’t do keto while consuming sucralose… whatever =) Why did I get higher ketones (5.5) when I did avocado oil before? It may have something to do with that I was also using MCT oil at the time and this round I’m not – in a few weeks when I do the week of liquid coconut oil (which has a LOT of MCTs) we’ll see what happens then. For now, I’m back on 400ml of 40% fat heavy whipping cream per day. Confession: the week I started this experiment I went through cron-o-meter and added EVERYTHING I would be eating for the following 6 weeks, it’s really easy to copy and paste. Each day all I have to do is enter my ketone level and mark the day as complete =) It’s kinda like cheating but not really.

I can feel my plantar fasciitis starting to act up again in my right foot. It could be psychosomatic but I’m guessing that it’s legitimately acting up due to the inflammatory properties of the poly-unsaturated grapeseed oil I’ve consumed all week (1323 ml over 21 meals). I’m really quite happy to be going back onto heavy cream again, it’s like an old (non-inflammatory) friend. In case you need a refresher, here is the breakdown for heavy cream (mine is a little different as it has a slightly higher fat content at 40%):


I went in for my weekly blood test this morning and then did my exit interview at my day job. Exciting and scary all at the same time, I’m now officially self-employed full-time. To top it all off, the post office just delivered a pair of shipping cages for Monday. They’re going to start picking up our mail every day instead of us needing to take it to the post office and unload it manually. I’m pretty stoked!

Hey, tomorrow we’re hosting a Keto Meat-up here!

By |2018-01-19T14:33:19-07:00January 19th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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

This entry is part 13 of 44 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 |2018-01-19T07:12:06-07:00January 17th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 09

This entry is part 9 of 44 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 |2018-01-14T21:08:48-07:00January 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 44 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 44 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 44 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.