Cholesterol, a Love Story

Carla asked if my cholesterol improved after being diagnosed Celiac. As usual, I can’t tell a short story and it’s not even well-told.

My Cholesterol’s Character Arc

Short answer: No.
Medium answer: I fixed it before Celiac diagnosis.
Long answer: Since a KID, doctors said:  You inherited this and you’re screwed. I had high cholesterol and triglycerides.
I flung myself into a vegetarian lifestyle, eating meat once a month, around my period when I’d crave tacos or chili. I wouldn’t eat turkey at Thanksgiving so I could have dressing! I adhered to the prescription of low fat, whole grains, vegetarian as best model for lowering cholesterol and cardio health. BEFORE that, I was ‘quasi-vegetarian.’ I’d skip meat so I could have vodka — that was about calories cos I was young and dumb 🙂
My cholesterol grew worse over those 20 years. Doctors repeated their BS about whole grains, low fat… I’d show them my food journals (tracked most of the time since 1985). They’d shrug. With everybody in my family on cholesterol lowering or BP meds, I’d have to get on them SOME day. Then, that day came.
With nowhere else to go, I tried something crazy, based on what I’d seen lifters doing:
eat animal protein — lots of it —  healthy fats and remove processed foods (which excised a LOT of grains!).
In less than six months of eating ~1g animal protein per lb of body weight, increasing fat intake (avocados and EVOO) but mostly binning the low fat Wheat Thins and 17 grain breads…
I had blood panels for which people would kill. My doctor was GIDDY.
Let me digress: I was 98% on program  during this period because I knew what was waiting at the GPs: meds. It’s a strong incentive!
She said most people aren’t willing to do what I’d done for health. I proved that I would. I’m going to be honest: those first three weeks of meat-eating after non-meat eating was ROUGH. My body didn’t know what the hell to do with it!
My GPs next move was to tweak my autoimmune. My first food challenge was wheat.
After the Celiac diagnosis, my gut healed and I packed on a layer of blubber that I still haven’t shifted. I was deeply worried (just KNEW that I’d ruined my ‘fixed cholesterol’). To my RELIEF, my blood panels are still great!
Then, mum had her latest big hospitalization where they found she had to get quadruple bypass and that sent me into another tizzy about heart health. I had a full work up. Turns out, mine’s fantabulous. My genes are still my genes. I’m fighting them (sometimes I hit the frozen custard, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Doritos — and vodka).