Today while shopping in Sainsbury’s a voice came over the tannoy saying they were offering free cholesterol tests. And you got an extra 100 Nectar points for having it done. What’s not to like? I’ve never worried much about my cholesterol but I know my number was a bit over 6 last time it was tested and it’s supposed to be below that.
“We’ll do your blood sugar too,” said the woman who tested me as she pricked my finger for blood. I must point out the test wasn’t something they offer at the checkout while your groceries go sailing past on the black conveyor belt. Mushrooms? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Cholesterol test – this won’t hurt a bit. There’s a private booth in the pharmacy section. And I confess I was a little nervous. Suppose after all I’ve said about Paleo being healthy and sorting my blood sugar levels it turned out my number was higher, not lower? Suppose all this protein and high fat food has sent my cholesterol soaring and my blood sugar levels rocketing?
And the number is…
I’ll give you the numbers as they may mean something to you. My total cholesterol reading was 5.48 mmol/L. My HDL reading was 1.49 mmol/L and my ratio 3.7. These numbers, the pharmacist told me, were “practically perfect!” Now for the glucose reading. That was 5.6. When I was tested back in January it was 5.9. So it’s come down a bit. As has my cholesterol. Blood sugar shouldn’t be more than 7 but my surgery whips you in for a glucose tolerance test if you’re at or near 6. And so this diet began. Get that number down! That’s what it’s all been about for me. Get the number down.
My blood pressure is 124 over 81. “The best possible blood pressure result is 120 over 80,” said the pharmacist with whom you’re given a quick consultation after the test. “So your blood pressure is perfect too!” I felt like saying sorry for wasting his time. “I’m one of the worried well,” I apologised as I wheeled my trolley of very healthy food selections out the consulting room.
Paleo IS healthy
So there you have it. Proof positive, for me at least. Following a high protein/high fat/low carb Paleo diet has reduced all my numbers and made me healthier. Eating food high in cholesterol does NOT make your cholesterol high; quite the opposite. A healthy diet has lots of high fat, high protein foods. It’s the sugar cut that counts the most.
So this weekend I will be mostly eating protein. And quite a bit of fat too, saturated, not trans fat. My carbs will come from cauliflower, carrots, green beans and mixed berries. There will be no grain. No pasta. No rice and no potatoes. Also no biscuits, crisps nor cake. That aside, I reckon this is a very full, varied and highly enjoyable way to eat. Try it! I’ve had a full clean bill of health after six months on this. And I’ve lost two stone/28 llbs/12 kilos and it’s still falling off me. I’ve even lost a whole inch of my voluminous post-menopausal belly. That shape I loathe of big bosom with even bigger belly below, as if you’re permanently pregnant but forgot to give birth, is slowly changing.
A glass of champagne
And tonight Matthew, I may even have a glass of champagne to celebrate my success. It is, after all, still “our” new year. And so a belated Shana Tova to all my Jewish readers. New weekend is Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement in which we fast for 25 hours. I’m going to try and keep it this year and I’ll be saying more about that next week.
Have a great weekend. See you next week.