Of Bloodwork and Personal Health: The Lesson of a Plant-Based Diet

I started on the path of plant-based eating about three years ago as a means of improving my health and wellbeing. In that time period I have monitored by blood chemistry as a means of checking in on my physical health. These tests reveal a fascinating change as a result of switching to a plant-based diet.

Briefly, important markers like A1C, LDL and HDL, Cholesterol, etc have all changed dramatically. My LDL hovers in the low 40s, HDL in the high 40s, Cholesterol around 100. Those markers, in particular, tell me something about my particular issue: heart disease. I face a genetic time clock related to plaque and the development of CVD in my veins and arteries. The diet has transformed my body to the point that, according to most studies I have read, results in very positive long term outcomes for my physical health.

I’ve used as my guide Dr. Caldwell Esseltsyn’s work on plant-based diets. His work http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/ is informative and has proven to be true in my case. So, weight loss, change in blood chemistry, etc. I closely follow he requirement for very low fat intake and that has proven to be an important path to physical well being.

Despite all of the positives, I have had set backs, some weight gain and less physical activity due to a grueling work schedule. Nevertheless, I know, based on the science, that what I am doing is paying off.

I am curious about many of the nutritional plans out there in the world, and with the high interest in the Keto and Whole30 diets, I wonder at the claims of each of these eating plans. Are those plans backed up by the kind of information I have in my own experience? If someone eats a high fat diet like the Keto, will that lead to CVD? The studies I’ve seen are a bit contradictory. A recent study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452247/ revealed that weight loss on the Keto plan stops at around 22 weeks and then levels off. Studies also show a dramatic rise in lipids in the bloodstream, a problem that would be a death sentence in my case.

I’m not arguing diets here; I’m really just fascinated by the way food consumption and movement affects my body. So interesting.

Finally on these days, I am feeling pretty good about my physical health and barring a catastrophe, look forward to better days ahead.

Wishing you a wonderful day.