We’ve all grew up with the knowledge that fat is bad for you. It been part of our society for so long, even when we hear that there is proof to the contrary, we struggle to believe it. How can fat be good for you? It causes heart attacks and high cholesterol, right? You have to avoid it and eat a low-fat diet in order to be heart-healthy, isn’t it?
For decades the heart foundation pushed a low-fat diet. They linked fat directly to heart disease and it was something to avoid at all costs. They introduced the food pyramid, with fat and protein high up in small quantities and complex carbs at the base. We were taught to divide our plates in quarters and 1 quarter should be protein, one quarter should be carbs/grains and the remaining half veggies.
Think back to when you were in school…. You had sandwiches for lunch. So the majority of your meal consisted of carbs. Maybe you had peanut butter and jam on your sandwich. More carbs…. Some days you had some kind of processed meat like ham, and probably processed cheese too. But mostly our meals consisted out of carbs. And the food pyramid promoted this idea.
The point I’m trying to make is that fat was always bad and fat had to be avoided, while carbs were pushed on us. Animal fat was especially bad, so they made transfats, which turned out to be worse. You can just as well chew on a piece of plastic.
At one point there was multiple studies that said you have to avoid butter, since it is an animal fat. Rather eat the healthy alternative, margarine. So people switched to margarine and butter was banned from most shopping lists. Like I said, you can just as well chew on a piece of plastic.
We’ve got a history of high cholesterol in our family. My mom was on cholesterol medication and the doctor told me and my brother to have our cholesterol tested once a year. So when I first started off on the keto diet a few months ago, I was a bit concerned with what impact it will have on my cholesterol.
Hubby went on the keto diet with me. Considering that males have to be extra careful about cholesterol levels (or so they tell us), I was more worried about his cholesterol than mine.
In November 2019 we had our annual cholesterol tests done. Doctor was concerned because mine was a bit high (5.8 total) and she prescribed me some cholesterol drugs. I threw the script in the bin and thought to myself that there is NO WAY I am going to take those tablets. I will rather try another way, like diet and exercise. And I will have another test in three months to see what happened.
With going on the keto I was a bit worried about all the fat I’m suddenly eating. I looked at what fats are considered healthy fats and I started focusing on those. I struggled to eliminate the less healthy fats, since I love some of them. But I always tried to have more of the healthy fats in each meal. And if the ratio looked a bit dodgy, I added and avocado just for good measure.
In March 2020 we had our cholesterol tested again. And what a surprise we got!
So here is my doctor earlier this week, and she is super-excited, because the cholesterol meds that she prescribed me, is working wonders. And how do I feel, and how do I find the side-effects, and do I think I can take the meds for another month or two? And I am trying to say something, but she doesn’t give me a chance. So eventually I interrupted her and say stop, stop… I haven’t been taking the meds….. And she looks stumped and asked me what I was doing then? So I explained that I was focusing on diet mostly… And then she showed me the results. Man, was I happy about the improvement!
And yesterday hubby went to his doctor for his test results. And secretly I hoped that he’s results will be just as good as mine, because that will prove it is the diet. What will I do it that is not the case? What will I do if he comes back and tells me his cholesterol levels are worse? How will I attribute it to the diet if it only works for one of us? I was worried the whole day, couldn’t wait to get home and talk to him about it. And there was the paperwork on the kitchen counter when I walked in….. And I was not disappointed.