Cholestorol, Triglycerides, and a Mostly Meat Diet

Three months ago, I made the switch to a low carb diet. I had two goals, one was to continue losing weight. The other was to improve my health and reduce my risk of heart disease. After reading a number of things, most recently Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, I wanted to try a diet with very little carbohydrates and almost no sugar at all. I started a diet of mostly meat, eggs, cheese and vegetables (plus nuts and berries).

I have lost some more weight, another 10 pounds since I started. But I was also interested in the effect it would have on cholesterol and triglycerides. I hoped that it would lower my triglycerides, raise my HDL cholesterol and not raise my LDL cholesterol too much. Fortunately, I had my lipid profile done last December so I could compare. Here were the numbers then (the normal range is within brackets[]):

Triglyceride (mg/dl): 112 [40-160]
Cholesterol (mg/dl): 153 [<200]
HDL (mg/dl): 31 [29-67]
LDL (mg/dl): 100 [<130]
TC/HDL ratio: 4.94 [<5]

Not a terrible profile by conventional standards. Everything is within normal ranges. Still, HDL is a little low and the ratio is just within normal range. And even though the triglycerides aren’t bad, there is plenty of room to push that lower.

So after three months of meat, eggs, cheese, veggies and nuts, what is my lipid profile now?

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The James Family Farm – Sherman, IL

Saturday morning I headed down to Sherman, Illinois, about an hour’s drive to check out the James Family Farm. A few weeks back, I found the farm’s listing on and emailed Andrea James, who runs the farm, to arrange a visit.

The farm is quite close to I-55, so it’s easy to get to. There is a gravel road that connects it to one of the main roads.

James Family Farm gravel road

I pulled up to the front gate at a little past 9am. It was still closed. But even from there I could see some of the animals and I jumped out of my car to take a couple of pictures.

James Family Farm cows at gate James Family Farm cows at gate

I called and left a message, saying I would be back and found a nice diner a couple miles south toward Springfield.

Ray’s Route 66 Family Diner Sherman IL

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First Five Days on Low Carb

So far so good. I’ve made it through the first five full days on a low carb diet. Besides a small serving of berries and full fat yogurt each day, my diet has been meat, egg and cheese (usually with a serving or two of green leafy vegetables a day). My typical breakfast looks like this:

Low Carb Breakfast - Eggs and Ham

After five days, I’ve had no real weight loss. After a big meal, I’ve occasionally felt a bit overfull, which probably means I’m eating more than I need to. And on day two I had a small carb crash. But in general I’ve felt good. I haven’t felt very hungry. The food is relatively satisfying and the restrictions haven’t been hard to stay within. I miss the fruits and vegetables a bit, but I’m thinking that I’ll add a few servings of them back eventually.

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