Day 14: Cholesterol

Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Burger and pesto; sweet potato
Dinner: Salmon, broccoli and sprouts
Snack: Omelette

Exercise: Weights

I woke up with stiff calves. I started running for the first time in a long while and I guess they’re getting used to it again. I iced them a few times yesterday but I don’t think that did anything.

However, my arms aren’t stiff from the work-out yesterday, which is a bit of a worry. Muscle growth isn’t necessarily associated with DOMS (delyed onset muscle soreness), but I’m usually a little stiff after a workout if I’ve pushed myself. I’ve heard that low carb diets make it harder to reach maximal speed/power/effort, like the kind you would do lifting weights. Maybe that’s inhibiting me.

I weighed myself first thing. 77kg. Eating a burger, chips and 200g of cashews is gonna slow anyone’s fat loss down. Burger and chips aside, I think I need to manage the timing of my meals better at the weekend. I should probably throw in a third meal in the afternoon. Still, I’m a kilo down over the week which is reasonable.

I’ll fill the rest of this post in with some chat about cholesterol. We need cholesterol to make vitamin D and testosterone. Every cell in our bodies needs cholesterol to maintain their membranes and it is essential for a healthy nervous system. Most of the cholesterol that we use is made in our livers.

How does that description compare to the way the general media presents cholesterol? If you only listened to the general media would you know any of these facts?

LDL particles take cholesterol from your liver and bring it to your cells via the blood stream. If LDL particles get stuck in the arterial wall, there is an inflammatory reponse, which can eventually increase our likelihood of getting heart disease. In the past scientists saw heart disease and cholesterol at the same time, and mistook correlation for causality. Today we know that a different variable, the LDL particle, is the problem.

We shouldn’t focus on minimising our cholesterol. Sure, that will decrease the number of LDLs floating around, but we still need the cholesterol. Instead, we should make sure we get enough cholesterol, and then try to reduce our LDLs.

One way you can do that is to reduce the refined grains in your diets. Grains increase triglycerides. Triglycerides and cholesterol travel around your body in LDL particles. The more triglycerides, the less room for cholesterol and so, more LDL particles are needed. Another great reason to get rid of grains. I’ll write a more comprehensive post on cholesterol once this diary is finished.