One thing doctors used to be worried about with low carb diets is that the cholesterol value would skyrocket. Of course nowadays we know that it's not true - that the infamous 'egg study' back in the 50s was funded by the Cereal Industry and only tested dried-out-yolks.

Out of curiosity, I bought a really cool home cholesterol tester which can test both total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. I really recommend having one to anyone on low carb just to prove to friends and family that your cholesterol is actually going down <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I dug out my old records to see how my cholesterol was doing. Each entry has the month and year, the total cholesterol, the blood pressure, the weight and then the HDL. I didn't know all the values for each time period.
 6/1989 - 166  bp 106/68  wt 127
11/1994 - 167  bp  94/68  wt 124  (HDL 63)
 9/1995 - 165                     (HDL 83)
 1/1997 - 167  bp 100/44          (HDL 52)
12/2000 - 193             wt 135
 2/2003 - 193             wt 140  (HDL 50)
 6/2003 - began low carb  wt 140
 1/2004 - 164  bp  91/44  wt 120  (HDL 74)
So back in 1989 I was doing OK. Heck I was 19 <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> By 1995 I was mountain biking pretty much daily and in great shape, so that was the best shape I've ever been in. But then I got sedentary and by 2000 I was a slug.

You can see how relatively bad things were in Feb of 2003. And in just under a year I've really made a BIG difference in my weight, my total cholesterol and my HDL cholesterol, all because of the low carb diet. My activity level has NOT changed in that time.

Does anybody else track their cholesterol? What are you seeing?

Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum