A few weeks ago I had the honor of presenting at the WTHR Health and Fitness expo. I was on the live cooking stage Saturday and Sunday in the 2pm time slot.
After my demo on Saturday in which I had made Thai Slaw and Bacon Hash I cleaned up the prop food and made my way back inside to check out the expo.
In the middle of the expo floor was a health screening area, I was interested in getting some n=1 data so I signed in and joined the line.
The first markers they took were height ad weight. I was 5'10" and hit the scale at 162lbs. This is approximately the same weight I have held for the previous two years while paleo. I have never had a super accurate body composition test done, but look and feel like I have more lean mass than I ever have. They checked my BMI based off these numbers and I was in the healthy ranges. BMI can be pretty misleading and I would much rather know my lean mass or body fat percentage.
The next marker was blood pressure. I was just high of normal, which the nurse who helped me and I agreed was very likely due to the nervousness I had being a live presenter.
The final station was a blood draw in which you were given blood glucose, HDL, triglycerides, LDL-c, and total cholesterol.
These were the markers I was most interested in. I had not taken any pre-paleo baseline numbers, but wanted some info for all the people who asked me what a nutrition plan that consisted of 50-70% of daily calories from fat was doing to my cholesterol numbers. No doubt many of these people had been told by there doctors that high cholesterol was bad and fatty foods would raise it.
The fact is that many current leaders in cholesterol research take a different view. The current science really points to numbers by themselves telling very little, what is more important is the ratios and other inflammatory markers.
The other inflammatory markers that really give the whole story are Apo-b (apo lipoprotein) and CRP (c-reactive protein). Since the complimentary health screening only offered basic numbers I only had the ratios to look at.
A few minutes and drops of blood later and I had data. It was after a meal as I had made lunch of the leftover prop food after my cooking demo. Next time I test I would like to see my fasting numbers.
Blood glucose: 113
Total cholesterol: 216
I found an online ratio calculator and entered my data. Here is what came back.
Interesting! While my total cholesterol is "BORDERLINE" all other numbers are near ideal! I think this beautifully illustrates how looking only at total cholesterol is meaningless. While many American doctors would want to prescribe a Statin based off my total being over 200 all my ratios are great. A recent meta analysis actually linked total cholesterol of >238 with INCREASED lean body mass!
This was a great learning experience for me and reason to think that anyone who is told their cholesterol is "too high" should dig deeper before they fill the prescription for a cholesterol drug.