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Defying Doctor’s Statin Advice, Jennifer Improves Her Cholesterol On LCHF

Nothing thrills me more than when I hear about the lives of real people being changed for the better as a result of embracing the healthy principles of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) living. My life will never be the same again since I discovered nearly a decade ago how this way of eating provides such incredible power and control over not just weight management, but virtually every aspect of your overall health. The passion that burns deeply inside of me for sharing this life-changing message with as many people as I possibly can could not burn any brighter and the energy to keep on educating, encouraging and inspiring others in every way imaginable is what drives me to press on in this journey to give hope and a lifeline to others.

Jennifer Zabel (pictured left) is the perfect example of why I continue to blog, podcast, write books and do everything that I can to spread the message of healthy living to the masses. She was merely browsing the Internet earlier this year looking for information about low-carb diets when she came across my n=1 experiment of nutritional ketosis (NK). Jennifer was so inspired to give this low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet to create adequate blood ketones for maximized fat-burning and health benefits a go for herself that she decided to begin doing it in earnest starting on June 1, 2013. She got herself a blood ketone meter and testing strips while continuing to learn as much as she could about ketogenic diets for improving health (which will be the subject of my next book coming in 2014 entitled Keto Clarity–more details on this coming in a few months).

Before she even began her LCHF journey at the beginning of June, Jennifer wanted to see what her cholesterol levels looked like as a virtual “before” snapshot so she could see how eating a ketogenic diet would change them. Here were her results:

Not surprisingly, her doctor freaked out at her total cholesterol being 230 despite some truly stellar triglycerides (44) and HDL (108) levels as her starting point. In fact, if you look closely at those numbers, her HDL “good” cholesterol comprised a whopping 47% of her total cholesterol, so what the HDL is wrong with this doctor telling her these numbers are “not good”?! In typical fashion, the doctor quickly pulled out his prescription pad for a cholesterol-lowering statin medication.

“My doctor wanted to put me on Lipitor and to see a dietitian,” Jennifer explained. O…M…G! But to her credit, she declined the prescription and asked her doctor to give her new LCHF ketogenic plan a chance to work for 60 days. He reluctantly agreed. Interestingly, when Jennifer went to see the registered dietitian and immediately told her right off the bat she was beginning a low-carb, high-fat nutritional health plan, the snarky response she received back from the RD was not at all surprising: “We don’t condone fad diets. No one here can help you.” YIKES! No, she never went back for a follow-up visit.

Tracking her daily nutrition in FitDay, Jennifer started eating a fat/protein/carbohydrate ratio of 77/17/5 as a means for producing an adequate amount of blood ketones to produce the weight and health changes she desired after watching what happened to me during my n=1 NK experiment. In just over two months of doing this, she’s already lost 15 pounds, dropped three pant sizes and says she “feels amazing.” And check this out–remember how Jennifer’s doctor was adamant about her taking a prescription medication for lowering her cholesterol because of her total cholesterol came in at 230? She got retested on August 6, 2013 and here were those results:

Whoa, did you see that? While maintaining her stellar triglycerides and HDL cholesterol levels, Jennifer’s LDL actually DROPPED 41 points, or 36% in just those two short months–WITHOUT THE USE OF ANY STATIN DRUGS! This is huge people and underscores just how ridiculous the notion that you need a medication to lower your cholesterol levels really is. For Jennifer, all it took was a very slight shift in her nutrition to make what were actually very good numbers look even better. So you can see the side-by-side comparison of her progress over such a short period of time, check this graph out:

WAY TO GO, JENNIFER!!! The power of the ketogenic diet for improving your health cannot be denied. Jennifer’s story is one of so many who have seen positive changes result from consuming more real food-based healthy fats in their diet, moderating their protein intake to the appropriate adequate threshold level and limiting carbohydrates to their own personal tolerance level. She shared with me via e-mail how excited she is about my upcoming new August 27, 2013 book release Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? with my coauthor Dr. Eric Westman, MD and hopes it can have an impact on the way doctors treat their patients with elevated cholesterol levels.

Jennifer is living proof of just how incredibly effective making some rather simple nutritional changes that run counter to the conventional dietary wisdom we have always been led to believe is true can be on your health. Eating MORE fat, even the supposedly dastardly saturated fat? Consuming less “healthy whole grains” and sugars? Getting rid of the so-called “heart healthy” vegetable/seed oils? Yep, yep and yep to all three and we hammer this message loud and clear throughout my book. Perhaps Jennifer could share about Cholesterol Clarity with her doctor and even this dietitian (GOOD LUCK!) to offer them food for thought on an alternative hypothesis to the low-fat, high-carb, take a statin drug mind-numbed robot solution for preventing heart disease. We can only hope this message will begin to seep into the mainstream of medical and nutritional thinking sooner rather than later.

Do you have a story like Jennifer’s about how adopting a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat ketogenic diet improved your weight, cholesterol numbers and other health markers and conditions? I’m starting to compile stories for use in my next book Keto Clarity and would love to hear YOURS! E-mail it to me at livinlowcarbman@charter.net if you are interested in telling others about about ketogenic diets turned around your health.

  • charles grashow

    so – how come your number are so crappy Jimmy??

    • LLVLCBlog

      Okay, I’ll play along–how are my cholesterol numbers “so crappy” as you describe them?

  • Bestemamma

    You know high Cholesterol isn’t bad for you? My very low cholesterol is bad for my brain and my health otherwise …

    • LLVLCBlog

      I’ve heard this somewhere before. :D

      • Bestemamma

        Many studies confirm it….. BTW, people with high cholesterol live the longest….

        • LLVLCBlog

          LOL! Ummm, I know. It’s all in Cholesterol Clarity.

  • Hallie

    Hello Jimmy- Do you know what she was eating? I was under the impression that HFLC typically raised Total Cholesterol, but ultimately improved other markers. It appears that her TC went down?

    • LLVLCBlog

      Not universal that cholesterol goes up on LCHF. Some do, some don’t. But her LDL fell while other markers stayed the same–thus it lowered the total.

  • rchrd881

    That sky-high HDL concerns me a little, especially coming from someone NOT low-carb in the first of the two tests. I wonder if any inflammation markers were checked (like CRP) along with liver function….

    • LLVLCBlog

      She was probably low-carb before, but the last two months were ketogenic.

  • LLVLCBlog

    Dayspring certainly has his position on LDL-P being the be all end all. I let him make his case in my book. But many other of my experts believe it is the size that matters. It’s interesting he left out the Small LDL-P number in the case study. Why? Because it doesn’t support his position.