15-month “before” and “after”Tanya 15 months

2-year “before” and “after”Tanya 2 years

Along with her obvious physical transformation, Tanya experienced other positive changes in health, including an improvement in her cholesterol panel, with wheat elimination.

I’ll let Tanya tell her story:

“I first heard about you on Dr. Oz. I thought this lifestyle of yours was way to complicated for me to follow, so I didn’t buy your book. Instead, I was at work and my coworkers were talking about your book. One of my coworkers was a severe diabetic, and she was talking to another coworker about how she eliminated the wheat after seeing you on Dr. Oz and she wasn’t using her insulin any longer. After I heard this, I KNEW I had to go buy your book. During lunch, I flew over to Target and finally owned your book.

“I had been on Weight Watchers most of my life but recently had been gaining weight and no one could tell me why. I exercised like crazy, ate whole grains and tons of fruit, and was getting fat, really fat. I knew I was a walking heart attack. I also suffered from severe IBS, asthma, and horrible acid reflux. I was taking close to 500 pills a month. I would buy the jumbo size Gas-S from Costco and go through it in a month, on top of all of my other IBS medicines the doctors had me on.

“I eliminated wheat/gluten/sugar on January 29th, 2013. I have so far lost 52.5 pounds. I’m only 5’0”, so I would like to lose another 30 or so. My one concern is that my cholesterol is bad:

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“I was sent to a preventative cardiologist and of course was told I needed a statin. I don’t want to be on drugs, but the doctor said because I have a family history of high cholesterol I didn’t have much of a choice. She, of course, wanted me to go on a low-fat diet and see her back in 3 months.

“I have obviously lost a lot of weight over the last 6 months and I know that, when you lose weight, cholesterol is released from fat cells which can show up in your blood work. Given the brief history I have given to you, do you think I should worry about my cholesterol numbers? I feel 100 times better than I did back in January, but I hate the fact that my cholesterol numbers don’t show how awesome I feel.”

I reassured Tanya that, yes, weight loss will introduce distortions into cholesterol panel values, not due to cholesterol release but to triglyceride and fatty acid release from fat cells that defines weight loss. The flood of triglycerides and fatty acids distort the values that are unreliable during ongoing weight loss and should NOT be used to make long-term decisions. Cholesterol values should only be checked after weight has plateaued for a minimum of 4 weeks.

“The cardiologist wanted to put me on statins, and I told her I wouldn’t. She wasn’t very happy with me, and I went on my way. Well, 4 months after seeing the cardiologist, I had my cholesterol levels checked:
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“I know my HDL will go up if I start exercising more, but these numbers are based on eating bacon and eggs EVERY day for the past 15 months. I have a follow-up scheduled with the cardiologist and I can’t wait to see her face when I show her my numbers.”

Tanya accomplished these changes without drugs, without statins, without cutting the fat in her diet. She accomplished this by eliminating wheat and sugar, even though wheat is the cornerstone of every conventional dietary program, including that from the American Heart Association. She did the opposite of their advice and achieved astounding improvements.

Tanya’s HDL is indeed too low, a value associated with increased cardiovascular risk. But this is the last factor to recover after profound weight loss. Along with restoring vitamin D, supplementing omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and some other strategies (detailed in Wheat Belly Total Health), Tanya will likely watch her HDL value drift up over time to 50, 60, 70, even 80 mg/dl or more.

Wheat elimination, or even better grain elimination, followed by some simple strategies, can eliminate the “need” for cholesterol reduction using statin drugs in the majority. But why ruin a $23 billion a year party for the drug industry? I’m still looking forward to hearing what Tanya’s cardiologist says about her new numbers.

Let’s start a movement: #SayNOtoStatins. Statins are not necessary for the majority of people if truly effective advice is provided, not the nonsense that passes as nutritional advice to cut fat and eat more “healthy whole grains.” Even when there is an inherited tendency to “high cholesterol,” dramatic improvement in these values is possible by following some simple natural steps.