Took two girls to the OMSI science museum today and was delighted to find that OHSU (that's Oregon Health & Science University to you non-Oregonians) was conducing a research study on the links between diet, weight, and chronic disease. They were doing a body composition analysis, along with blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar screenings.
"Count me in!" I said. I gave the girls $5 and sent them off to the cafeteria to buy something to drink while I got myself all analyzed. ("Milk or juice," I told them. Ironically, while I was having my own diet analyzed, they managed to buy and consume the most unhealthy option: Tropicana Pink Lemonade "Juice" Drink with 250 calories worth of high-fructose corn syrup in every bottle. Grr.)
Here's the good news: In a very clear example that dietary cholesterol has very little to do with the cholesterol level in your body, my LDL cholesterol is at 63 (less than 100 is optimal), despite the fact that I enjoy at least a half-dozen eggs a week (and in fact had just had two for breakfast a few hours before the test). My good cholesterol is high and my total cholesterol is at 151 (under 200 is desirable).
But DANG! I knew that the Fat-O-Meter method of measuring my body fat percentage had to be off. The trainer at my gym had used calipers to measure my body fat a couple of weeks ago and came up with the astonishingly (for me) low number of 20.6 percent. Well, apparently my intuition about that number being way too low was correct, as the true number is more like 24 percent. Still in the "desirable" category, but no where near the "athlete" category.
I guess I still have some work to do...