Monday, April 16, 2007


Some may remember me having to do a class assignment regarding cholesterol. I had my cholesterol tested at the beginning of the semester and was then supposed to design a diet and exercise program to lower my cholesterol. My beginning total cholesterol level was 98 and I already eat a cholesterol lowering diet with very little that I could change. So I decided to trick the system.

In addition to a high fiber, low fat, low cholesterol diet, a caloric deficit will decrease cholesterol levels. Recognizing that my dietary changes would likely have a minimal affect on cholesterol, I decided to gain and lose a little weight. So I gained two pounds during the semester and then in the last few weeks I lost that weight and a little more.

It worked, my end of the semester cholesterol was 75. Unfortunately my HDL (good) cholesterol also fell a little, but I think I'm still healthy.

The point-- I remember reading an article about how the Atkins diet lowered the cholesterol levels in those who ate that diet. I wondered how a high fat, high cholesterol diet could lower cholesterol in your body. The reason is that the caloric deficit (the act of losing weight) was more powerful than the really bad diet. The problem is that people on the Atkin's diet will eventually stop losing weight and they will then have major issues with cholesterol which can be deadly. Don't take everything at face value, there are a lot of people out there to market to you and try and persuade you with a little less than the whole story.


Vertigo said...

I have also wondered about how Atkinsians can lower their cholesterol levels while eating that kind of diet. Thanks for the info.

I tried Atkins for a couple months. I lost a whole wack of weight and then quit after one of my students asked me if I had been sick because I looked terrible.

Emily said...

thanks for the insight into cholesterol. how are you doing???

we are hitting a wall right now where it is obvious one of us needs to make a diet change, before it gets physically dangerous to continue the current diet.

how do you get someone to see that the very things they are eating, and the amounts they are eating, is exactly what effects their health and is making them feel ill?