100% Carnivore

mprevost

Level 6 Valued Member
Thank you @kennycro@@aol.com for all your informative posts.



I plugged in my numbers above based on my blood work done in Feb, 2018. This is what it came with. Any reasons to worry?
Whats your suggestion on increasing my HDL?

View attachment 6232
The triglyceride/HDL ratio is probably the best indicator of risk. An ideal ratio is less than 2. Anything above 2 implies increased risk. Above 2 increases the likelihood of a high number of small, dense LDL particles, which are prone to oxidation and therefore plaque formation. However, the research on triglyceride/HDL ratios and risk were done on the general population, not people on a low carb diet or the carnivore diet, so who knows.

I explain the basics of LDL particle count and triglyceride/HDL ratios here:

My Experience With the Ketogenic Diet – With Advanced Lipid Testing – Mike Prevost, PhD
 

mprevost

Level 6 Valued Member
The triglyceride/HDL ratio is probably the best indicator of risk. An ideal ratio is less than 2. Anything above 2 implies increased risk. Above 2 increases the likelihood of a high number of small, dense LDL particles, which are prone to oxidation and therefore plaque formation. However, the research on triglyceride/HDL ratios and risk were done on the general population, not people on a low carb diet or the carnivore diet, so who knows.

I explain the basics of LDL particle count and triglyceride/HDL ratios here:

My Experience With the Ketogenic Diet – With Advanced Lipid Testing – Mike Prevost, PhD
da Luz PL, Favarato D, Faria-Neto Jr JR, Lemos P; Chagas ACP. High ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol ratio predicts extensive coronary disease. Clinics. 2008;63:427-32.

Li, H.-Y., Chen, B.-D., Ma, Y.-T., Yang, Y.-N., Ma, X., Liu, F., … Wu, T.-T. (2016). Optimal cutoff of the triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol  ratio to detect cardiovascular risk factors among Han adults in Xinjiang. Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, 35, 30. Optimal cutoff of the triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol  ratio to detect cardiovascular risk factors among Han adults in Xinjiang
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
Thank you @mprevost for that highly informative tutorial. Even I could understand that video. So, clearly I am not out of the woods just yet, if I increase my HDL number, the poor man's way of guessing the LDL-P, the TG/HDL ration would improve, assuming TG remains more or less the same. My HDL has always been low, I don't know why. I will look into this and perhaps get the LDL-P test done. Thanks again.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm a little confused by your reply, you correctly said "toxins are stored in fat" (which they are - if the liver becomes over run with dealing with bodily toxins then they are shipped to fat for storage).
I'm more than a little confused - can anyone explain how and why toxins are stored?

If the liver was so overcome, how does it deal with alcohol, a toxin, a deadly, nasty one? Does it send it off for storage somewhere?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
The processes for converting fat soluble toxins into water soluble ones is different from alcohol metabolism.

Although I'm unclear on what happens if the flow of fat soluble toxins exceeds the liver's capacity to convert them - why would it be shipped off to fat stores and not circulate until the liver could eliminate it?
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
Should You Try the Carnivore Diet? What 74 Studies Say
I would agree with @Antti's point. I think this article does a good job of bringing together the various considerations about a carnivore diet from the point of view of western medicine/nutrition. It doesn't do quite as well of a job of acknowledging the positive, long term results that have been seen. I think we can all acknowledge that there is an absence of carnivore-specific research. This author seems to assume that lack of research=dangerous. Which is fine, I guess. There are plenty of healthy, well researched diets out there to choose from. Personally, I've tried many of them, and find that I operate best on carnivore. I totally understand if others are less comfortable going into uncharted territory, my opinion is that the research will eventually catch up, and in the mean time I'm just going to continue doing what makes me feel great :)
 

Neuro-Bob

Level 8 Valued Member
I would agree with @Antti's point. I think this article does a good job of bringing together the various considerations about a carnivore diet from the point of view of western medicine/nutrition. It doesn't do quite as well of a job of acknowledging the positive, long term results that have been seen. I think we can all acknowledge that there is an absence of carnivore-specific research. This author seems to assume that lack of research=dangerous. Which is fine, I guess. There are plenty of healthy, well researched diets out there to choose from. Personally, I've tried many of them, and find that I operate best on carnivore. I totally understand if others are less comfortable going into uncharted territory, my opinion is that the research will eventually catch up, and in the mean time I'm just going to continue doing what makes me feel great :)
That’s about all you can do
 

Ryan T

Level 5 Valued Member
I would agree with @Antti's point. I think this article does a good job of bringing together the various considerations about a carnivore diet from the point of view of western medicine/nutrition. It doesn't do quite as well of a job of acknowledging the positive, long term results that have been seen. I think we can all acknowledge that there is an absence of carnivore-specific research. This author seems to assume that lack of research=dangerous. Which is fine, I guess. There are plenty of healthy, well researched diets out there to choose from. Personally, I've tried many of them, and find that I operate best on carnivore. I totally understand if others are less comfortable going into uncharted territory, my opinion is that the research will eventually catch up, and in the mean time I'm just going to continue doing what makes me feel great :)
Been reading again about Carivore diet. I don't know that I'd ever do it, but I keep coming back to it fascinated by how it seems to defy (at least short term) what we'd think would happen with such a restrictive diet with such a shift in macro nutrients and seeming lack of certain micronutrients. A couple of questions around hormones... Do you happen to know where your testosterone and cortisol levels are at? Based on your subjective experience, it sounds like they're actully in pretty good shape and you're doing great but just curious.

I listened to the Robb Wolf podcast where he reviewed Shawn Baker's labs with him (really enjoyed it too). Some of the interesting things were lower T (which he didn't display and symptoms normally associated with it). CRP and insulin sensitivity sounded like they was in a really good spot.Fasting glucose and A1C were borderline diabetic so concerning. I know the point has already been made that our current medical research is geared only towards what is healthy or low pathology risk in the SAD or at least more standard mix of macro nutrient profiles, but it's still something that gives me pause before moving towards anything other that what I'm doing (which really isn't much. Also seems hard to give up my comfort foods and fruit as well). To be fair, we can't completely take the approach that there are no really studies done on this WOE as the existing literature and studies must have some merit. Markers of health can be inferred and applied even if it's not a direct study of those that approach this WOE?
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
A couple of questions around hormones... Do you happen to know where your testosterone and cortisol levels are at?
I wish I knew. I haven’t had them tested, and since I don’t have a pre-carnivore test anyways, it might be of limited utility. I tend to be limited by what I can convince my doctor to order for me, since I don’t really have the financial means to go around my insurance and order tests on my own.

Fasting glucose and A1C were borderline diabetic so concerning.
I think there’s definitely some merit to this concern. There’s a few factors that muddy the waters, but nothing that really gives a clear view of what’s going on. One issue is the possibility of an artificially elevated A1c. Red blood cells can live for 3-4 months, but we look at A1c based on the assumption that the RBC’s are living an average of 3 months. Theoretically, a diet that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress would extend the average RBC life span by a significant amount. If that’s correct, then the A1c would be elevated because the RBC’s were sticking around longer, not because blood sugar has been elevated.

I’m skeptical that this phenomenon could independently explain a pre-diabetic A1c. There is some research in low-carb athletes that indicates there is often a surge in blood sugar after power/strength training. Baker does this sort of training on a near daily basis, so that could explain a lot of it, especially if he normally runs a higher blood glucose. The question in my mind is whether or not periods of elevated blood sugar as unhealthy in an individual who maintains very stable, low insulin levels. As far as I know, it hasn't really been answered yet.

To be fair, we can't completely take the approach that there are no really studies done on this WOE as the existing literature and studies must have some merit.
Definitely true. There are different levels of uncertainty, and just because there is a lack of specific, clear evidence doesn’t mean that you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That’s why I hesitate to make definitive statements about this stuff. Making a bunch of declarations before the data is in is a good way to make sure that you’ll be wrong about something.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
@Ryan T you reminded me, I haven’t posted my latest set of labs. I can go over them in detail if you want, but they were essentially unchanged since last time (I looked at lipids, c reactive protein, A1c, and a metabolic panel). The only thing worth noting is that my A1c has creeped from 5.4 last time to 5.5, which are the highest two A1c’s I’ve had. Not quite pre-diabetic (5.7), but definitely enough to pique my interest and warrant some investigation. Given the possible explanations that I’ve discussed above, I’m not worried per se, but I’m not comfortable with it either. It would actually be pretty simple to figure out what’s going on. I just need to wear a continuous glucose monitor for a few days, instead of looking at a surrogate marker like A1c. Then I could get my actual maximum and average blood sugars, and see how they’re affected by training.

The issue is that I need a doctor to order that for me. That’s currently second on my list of self-experiment priorities, though. First is getting a baseline CAC scan, so in a few years I can check it for changes to make sure I’m not clogging my arteries. I'm fairly confident that I'm not, but I'll take data over theory any day. I hope to get the CAC done sometime this spring, and then do the CGM testing before the end of the summer.

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll mention that I started taking magnesium (125 mg Mag Citrate 1-2x/day). After starting carnivore I noticed that I was getting muscle cramps a little more often. It wasn’t an issue for 6 months or so, until I started BJJ. It turns out that wrapping people up and tightening your muscles in a contracted state is a good way to knot things up. After a couple months of BJJ I decided to see if playing around with my electrolytes would help, and the magnesium ended up doing the trick. Obviously, if the cramps were that bad, I wouldn’t have waited 8 months to do something about them, but it’s still worth noting that they were there, they were irritating, and I’m taking a daily supplement in order to prevent them.

I’ll also mention that, after 9 months of eating a lot of meat with me, but also eating other foods, my wife decided to give the carnivore thing a try. While I don’t think she’s been truly carnivore for more than 24 hours at a time during the last week and a half, she’s pretty dramatically cut back on all the “other stuff.” After the first few days I noticed a significant improvement in her mood/energy, which is pretty notable given her history of anxiety and depression. In fact, she had five “good days” in a row (as opposed to regular days and bad days), which hasn’t happened since our son was born over two and half years ago. It will be interesting to see how things progress, and where they end up.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
How's your sleep? Fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly? Wake up feeling refreshed, optimistic and energized?
Good, no, yes, usually, usually, and usually ;)

Falling asleep has always been a chore for me. My brain usually prefers to run in circles than go to bed. It's something that I've been working on for the past few years, and have gotten a little better at managing. Still have a ways to go, though.

With regard to the diet, improved sleep was the first thing I noticed. Between waking up more refreshed and the remarkably more vivid dreams (which started around day 2 or 3), I think I can say with a certain degree of confidence that sleep quality improved. The second week (when my body seemed to be working the hardest to adapt) was actually pretty strange. I simultaneously felt more rested, but also a little slow. Like a race car stuck in first gear. Then my body sorted itself out and I was all set. I wish I could say that I wake up feeling awesome every day, but life is still in full effect, so it's not uncommon to end up with just a little less sleep than I would like to have.

I haven't spoken to my wife at length about it, but I do know that she went from taking a 1-2 hour afternoon nap about 5-6 times per week, to just once or twice a week. Essentially, her daily sleep demand dropped from around 11 hours to maybe 9 hours. To be fair, it's hard to tell if this is from improvement in sleep quality or in baseline depression symptoms. Likely both. And they likely influence each other.

Honestly, part of me thinks that many of the hormonal/metabolic/performance benefits that I've seen with carnivore could be in large part simply due to the improved sleep quality. It's definitely part of it.
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
@Ryan T I don't have any trouble sleeping. I sleep sound and wake up refreshed. I am thankful. Sometimes I sleep late, I blame my bad habits and "glowing rectangles" for that, and it is something I am working on.

What is the context of this question? I do not do all meat diet. I generally tend to eat paleo way. But recently its not going all that well. When I return (currently overseas) I plan to get a good handle on that.
 

Ryan T

Level 5 Valued Member
@Ryan T I don't have any trouble sleeping. I sleep sound and wake up refreshed. I am thankful. Sometimes I sleep late, I blame my bad habits and "glowing rectangles" for that, and it is something I am working on.

What is the context of this question? I do not do all meat diet. I generally tend to eat paleo way. But recently its not going all that well. When I return (currently overseas) I plan to get a good handle on that.
Sorry, I thought you were eating Carnivore as well, but thanks for the update!
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
He wants to try it after Thanksgiving
I am looking to do the same thing, after Thanksgiving.
Should be interesting. A little mid-holiday meat cleanse o_O. Assuming things are kept pretty strict for 2-4 weeks before Christmas, the effects of a lavish Christmas dinner will likely be pretty instructive.

I didn't realize how much sugar affected my workout recovery until I had a nice socially mediated chocolate binge. My wife didn't realize how much sugar affected her mood until after Halloween. Indulgence and suffering, all in the name of science...
 
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