I have a good friend…who happens to be a naturopath…who happens to also be a patient of mine.  Have you got a few of these as well? A month ago,  looking over her recent bloods which included fasting lipids that had been steadily climbing for the last couple of years, post-menopause, she said, ‘do you think I should take something for that?’ Ahhhhhh no. My reasoning went like this:

“You love saturated fat right? You eat butter and cheese and and and…and the type of elevated lipid pattern you have LOOKS like it is at least partially the result of this, your triglycerides are low, your HDLs are good it’s just this LDL component that is too high.  You could add in another supplement…and take it…forever…or you could do a little n=1 experiment and just lower your butter, cheese & coconut oil intake for a month and repeat the test.”

The horror on her face! You see I didn’t know exactly how much she loved butter but it all became clear with the first text a few hours after I had thrown down the gauntlet…which included a sobbing emoji and the comment that her afternoon snack will never be the same…turns out it was a shortbread biscuit with butter on it!!! But as a practitioner who does pride herself on walking the talk…off she went determined to give it a good go for a month.  But boy did it hurt!

Now to address your horror at my suggestion that unlimited saturated fat isn’t fabby for everyone!!! I know…right…how very 1980s of me!  But you see I started studying naturopathy because I believed there was more to health than the conventional medical model.  What I learned in my undergraduate developed a whole new understanding that you might call, biochemical individuality, as in there is no one model for health, we are all unique and we need to therefore always find the tailored fit for our body not someone else’s or worse still an imaginary ‘average person’.  So if you’re like me, I didn’t graduate saying, ‘I NOW KNOW THE DIET THAT WILL WORK FOR ALL’ . Instead I emerged thinking…hmmmm Paleo…interesting, might work for some, plant based rainbow-child vegetarian with lots of grains and fibre…yes can see that being a winner for others etc etc. And this has borne out to be absolutely true in my practice over the past 20 yrs.

Back to my good friend….and me.

You see, the truth is I love butter possibly as much as her…but guess what, my lipids are low. I’m not bragging…I think they could do with being a tad higher.  It’s just such a great case in point of biochemical individuality…and a bitter and twisted irony for 2 friends!

Anyway her post-experiment labs just arrived on my desk.  Her LDLs & Total Cholesterol are significantly lower.  She celebrated (before seeing the results with a huge slab of butter and cheese LOL). So what have we learned?

  1. It’s always harder to walk than talk
  2. The world and our biochemical individuality can be very cruel
  3. While there is (almost) always a supplement to use – there is a dietary or behavioural change we could also use that might be better & last longer 😉

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