Thursday, July 09, 2015

Whole30, more or less

My daughter lost 15 pounds following the Whole30 way of eating, so I gave it a try. The first time, I lasted about two days. The second time, I kind of eased into it, but still could not make it all the way through 30 days. And I lost only 2 pounds. Nevertheless, I continue to eat Whole30 sorta - consuming lots of vegetables (averaging 2 cups at each meal) with animal protein and fruit on the side, avoiding processed foods, avoiding sweeteners (artificial and otherwise), avoiding grains and legumes, making my own mayonnaise using olive oil, etc. - because it feels like a healthy way to eat.

And now I have pseudo proof that it is good for me: my total cholesterol dropped 40 points and LDL fell 30 points, as compared to last year. Whoohoo! So often we do this or that, because someone somewhere says it is the healthy thing to do, but rarely do we see direct results from our efforts. While there may be other factors at work in these results (e.g. my life is less stressful since I retired), I am choosing to believe my new way of eating has a lot to do with it.

My doctor was not impressed, however. True, my numbers are still too high, but I received no kudos for my accomplishment, no questions about how I did it. Instead, I received the Statin Lecture (and a few other lectures - I'm a non-compliant patient). I held out, but left the office rather upset with the doctor.

Two days later, I think I have figured out why she was so adamant about statins, when in the past her attitude has been "You have no other risk factors, so I wouldn't worry about it": the Affordable Care Act. It is my understanding that doctors are now being held responsible for the outcomes of their treatments, just as teachers are being held accountable for their students' success. I'm generally in favor of the ACA, just as I am generally pro-education reform. However, I take issue with how they measure accountability. I don't know how best to measure accountability, but using test results, be they medical or educational, does not make sense to me.

Now excuse me while I go eat a bit of BBQ beef and a whole lot of cole slaw.

1 comment:

flurrious said...

Congratulations on your cholesterol. Sorry about all the vegetables.

The ACA doesn't tie payments to outcomes; it has that authority with respect to Medicare payments, but even there, it's only currently being implemented on a trial basis for a couple of different surgical procedures.

I won't take statins either because the risk of adverse reactions is too high in women (particularly Asian women). I did try taking an older cholesterol drug called colestipol, but it actually made my numbers worse. It decreased my LDL, but it also decreased my HDL and increased my triglycerides, so I quit taking it, but didn't tell my doctor because I knew she'd just say, "but ... but ... your LDL was better." Doctors are very focused on NUMBER, PILL. This is why I like Chinese doctors because they're more likely to say, "you need to eat more cabbage."