Hello there my keto – low carb friends!
In this blog I’m pouring all my research and heart into talking about high cholesterol and the ketogenic diet. This is MY story.
Let me say – Firstly I am NOT a doctor, nor am I offering any advice that might affect your medical condition. This is what happened to me.
Anything I speak about comes from experience and research solely on my behalf for my own medical help. Lets get to it……
This is really hard for me to say, especially publicly. BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE. In hopes of saving people like me from bad health.
As you may know, I’ve been following a ketogenic way of life for about 4 + years.
I teach it. I cook it. I’VE DESIGNED IT.
I am pretty strict, eating only keto approved ingredients. I was however eating a lot of dairy, coconut, and baked goods for my cookbooks and experiments.
The first few years on keto my blood results were great. My HDL Cholesterol was great and triglycerides were always a low normal; I also battle PCOS and it was an amazing feeling to finally find a way of eating that not only – didn’t spike my blood sugars, but helped me lose the 110lbs of unwanted weight I gained so quickly from PCOS, also regulating my ovulation cycles and becoming fertile again. (my now 22 month old is living proof)
Until Recently, I was picture perfect health on paper and starting to see it in the mirror myself.
What happened next was not very fun.
I started to have severe heart palpitations. They were pretty scary and would last a few minutes – multiple times a day. I knew something wasn’t right. I thought it was because of the stress I was under with work and being a mom full time. So I went to my Doctor.
He did a full work up on me and also put one of those heart monitors on me for a week.
My blood results came back and I was astonished by the results. My cholesterol was severely high. Which in the keto world isn’t always a bad thing because they bunch the good cholesterol and bad cholesterol results together. I knew I wasn’t lacking minerals and vitamins because they were always perfect on my blood tests and I always ate foods high in anything I lacked on keto. The heart palpitations were not a magnesium or potassium deficiency. My LDL cholesterol was super high. My solid fat eating, way of keto – life, was killing me. Keto Fat bombs, bacon, butter, cheese – I could not have any longer. I also have had kidney pain and stones for the past year which is also genetic. But a lot of dairy can cause it. I wasn’t too worried about those. When it comes to your main blood pumping organ – the heart – It’s time to get serious.
I didn’t want to believe that it was a bad thing happening to me because I was so healthy compared to before I was keto – so I researched everything I could about cholesterol or cholesterol on keto. Feelings of despair came in a quick, overwhelming wave. “How could I let this happen to me? How did I get so unhealthy again?”
I started looking for answers on how the results could be wrong, or that my Doctor was uneducated on the keto way of life. (He is the one who told me to be keto 4+ yrs ago.)
I did speak to several other advanced keto enthusiasts (I won’t name them but they know who they are) that said I was fine and it was nothing to worry about. I started to believe them. The keto “police or community” can kind of be motivating in the opposite direction of how modern day medicine is taught. But the heart pains didn’t go away. I listened to my body. So I asked my Dr for a more specific tests for my cholesterol. I fasted for 20+ hours and went to do blood again. The results didn’t change much and that’s when I knew it was time to take action on my own body. My LDL Cholesterols were still super high. How could this be? I have eaten so healthy for so long – or so I thought. My liver wasn’t doing its job and my arteries were feeling the effects. ” How am I going to tell my students, clients and followers that this is happening?” Is what I started thinking. But If anyone can turn a bad situation into a positive one – It’s me.
I came across an article by a Dr saying 1-2% of the population will encounter adverse effects of fats processed through the liver on keto. Especially if you have heart disease that is genetic in your family. (Which I found out I did.) My grandfather and uncle both passed away from complications from heart disease. It was time I took this seriously. I am the 1-2%.
I owed it to my daughter and family to be the healthiest I could be, so I could live a long, healthy life. This is my story. “I will survive this.”
I know I might get some bad feedback from my followers and the keto community for what I’m writing. Just know there is NO ONE – MORE PASSIONATE ABOUT KETO AND BEING HEALTHY THAN I. I Literally live for this. This is my job, my liveliness, my purpose. I started this journey educating people and teaching them how to keto, to better their lives and lose weight, but I also want my community to be aware of what they could potentially be doing to their body when eating unhealthy fats. Especially if heart disease runs in their family. I also did this FOR ME. I cannot sit back and watch people think it’s okay to mess with heart disease.
Keto isn’t about eating bacon – filled nitrates and fatty butter. It’s a wholesome diet and organic. A clean food way of life. I highly recommend you try to consume most of your fats from monounsaturated choices like nuts, avocado, chia, olive oils, fish ect. Eating too much saturated fats like butters and coconut could have an adverse effect on you and I’d hate to see that happen to anyone. Just because it’s a keto approved ingredient, does not mean you should abuse it’s use.
Keto is not a – “I can eat cheese everyday diet.” For some, you might be fine doing that because your liver can process the fats well. For some, you could end up like me. Why risk it? End goal here is to bypass all the unhealthy disease.
So, here I go on my journey
to continue to make not only keto my way of life still – but to eat the healthiest I’ve ever eaten. I can’t eat carbs because I have PCOS – and I can’t eat unhealthy fats because I have genetic heart disease. I’m on my journey to find out what happens to my cholesterol when I only consume healthy fats with low carbs. No Dairy. No Bacon. No Fatty Meats. Just vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds. A Keto – Mediterranean way.
I’m 3 weeks in, and already I feel better. The heart palpitations have stopped 100%.
I go back for more blood results in a fasting state at the 8 week mark to test my cholesterol again and I will be reporting back here with the results in May 2019.
The plus side
Going forward, you can expect some super wholesome – organic – healthy monounsaturated fat recipes from me at Healthy Wholesome Homemade! I will be educating everyone in my path about the safety of heart disease and healthy fats. If I can make a difference in anyones journey, It will be worth it. “This is what I’m meant to do.”
To the “fellow keto experts” of whom I reached out to for help.
Thank you. But if I could offer advice to your advice giving – you’re not doctors. You should be telling the public to reach out for more studies, tests and medical advice from specialists rather than telling them their cholesterol will even out over time or it’s normal. Because it might not be, everyone is different. You could be harming people by telling them high cholesterol is okay on keto. In some circumstances it is okay – but in my case with heart disease – it’s not okay and if I were somebody who didn’t seek medical research and testing on my own, I could have been at risk for a heart attack at the age of 34.
THE HEALTHY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY
If you can take anything to heart from this blog or my story, I hope it’s motivation to not give up on your health. NO MATTER what life throws at you – there is a cure. Food heals all. I truly believe there is a specific way of eating that will not only heal my body – inside and out – but will do great things for the world and for YOU. A way of eating that is not only sustainable – but affordable and delicious. My goals – although have taken a slight turn in the road with ingredients – are still the same destination. I will get to my ideal healthy state. I will always teach they healthy, low carb way of life and I will guarantee you that I will not teach the unhealthy keto way to my clients, followers and listeners. You will always get the straight up truth about health on Healthy Wholesome Homemade when it comes to The Ketogenic Diet.
So come out to one of my seminars, join my keto program, attend one of my cooking classes. I am here to HELP and GUIDE you to keto safely.
Be healthy – Be safe and last but not least – STRIVE FOR GREATNESS!
With Love & Ketones,
Stephanie Jamie, Healthy Wholesome Homemade
Here are some related articles I found helpful
Stay tuned in May 2019 for my 8 week blood test follow up results.