Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How I Got My Blood Work to Look This Good (well how I think anyway)

By: Joel Luedke

*First off as we get into this article I want to be very clear; nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice and the ranges used for the blood levels and other measurements are based off of the recommendations from Quest Diagnostics.  I'm not a doctor and in the words of Tim Ferriss, I don't play one on the internet and am just sharing interesting data and how I got there.  Please see a medical professional for any questions or concerns about your own markers.  Now, how we got here.

Each year through my employer we have the option to do a health and wellness screening  Its a great way to see where some markers are at, get marginally good health advice and make a $150 back (who can argue with that?).  I've done these for several years and there are some themes.  I continue to be obese as the BMI takes no information into account other than height and weight. So if you have a little muscle, you're most likely overweight.  Don't let this stress you out there are better options (Check out this article by Dr. Jagim-'Why do we measure success with a Scale?). My lipid panel was never great but it was always within the ranges but this year it surprised me.

I don't have the best diet ever but I try to work within the 80/20 rule.  Do great 80% of the time and have some fun the other 20%, there is such thing as mental health.  Along with this I've really tried to dive into a modified intermittent fast (similar to the Bulletproof style) where I stop eating at 8:00pm the night before (earlier if it works out) and then not eat again or take in protein calories until after 12:00pm the next day.  My first meal typically comes in as a post workout protein shake.  I do however have my coffee (Caveman Coffee currently) with butter (Kerry Gold or Organic Valley) and MCT or coconut oil.  While I'm technically "breaking the fast" I am staying in a state working towards ketosis by only consuming fat calories in the morning.  This coffee also prevents the "hangries". (LINK: Intermittent Fasting)

The day of the testing was no different except the testing wasn't until 1:45pm so I really didn't get to eat until later but I still had my coffee with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon (or more) of coconut oil.  Basically pure fat.  Here is what resulted:

Health & Wellness Screening Numbers
BMI: 31.7 (Goal: 18.5-24.9)
Waist Circumference: 40 inches
Blood Pressure: 128/88 (Goal: 119/79)
Total Cholesterol: 206 (Goal: 125-199)
HDL Cholesterol: 52 (Goal: >40)
Triglycerides: <45 (Goal: <149)
LDL Cholesterol: N/A (Goal: <129)
Non-HDL Cholesterol: 154 (Goal: <159)
Total Chol/HDL Ratio: 4.0 (Goal: <4.9)
Fasting Glucose: 80 (Goal: 65-99)

Fasting glucose was low-isa (80) which was good and to be expected with being "fasted" and not putting in any carbohydrates or protein.  Now we get into the interesting stuff.  Total cholesterol was a little high but more and more research is coming out and opinions are changing that total cholesterol in general isn't bad and that number alone isn't a good predictor of heart disease (Here is an article by Dr. Mercola who is an expert in these areas).  What you don't want is high triglycerides (TGs) and along with that high LDL cholesterol.  You'd like to see your HDL's be pretty high as this is the "good" type.

Back to the results.  TGs didn't even register on my test as anything below 45 isn't read by the machine and I was at least over 100 counts below the upper recommended limit.  Beyond that with the TGs not registering my LDLs didn't either.  This was great news along with the fact that my HDL was a good amount of the goal of over 40 (52).  Tie all this in together and the Total Chol/HDL Ratio I had was 4.0.  A highly respected 'anti-inflammation' doctors suggest 3.5 but being at 4.0 when high is 4.9 felt pretty good. (LINK: DeFlame Nutrition-Dr. Seaman)

So how did this all happen.  One thought was that to have the HDL spike and drive down the TGs and LDLs I upped my omega-3 intake.  Well I do eat fish once a week now (compared to zero before) and I do take fish oil but I actually take less than previous. Even though I think it is helping I ruled that one out as the main cause.  How could it be though that only consuming coffee and fat that morning that those number didn't even register?  This is where the "well how I think anyway" part comes in.  As we've seen in a lot of areas fat has a bad rap and that is slowly coming down and fat is no longer the enemy.  Even while consuming more of it than ever my results suggest it isn't a big deal and I think it has to do with the inflammation.  By modifying a longer fast and not introducing any carbohydrates or protein until later I can keep inflammation levels down and over the course of time that improves my blood count.

Again, I don't have the answer but I think the results give way to showing that there are ways to get healthy that aren't "common".  While I don't do regular lab work (I need to) this is the start of it for me and I look forward to checking it again soon and seeing what happens.  Don't diet, experiment with you food and figure out what works for you and measure that progress. You might be surprised.

If you have any questions or would just like to discuss, shoot me an email at

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