Blood Test Results After “Lubing my Arteries with Butter” for 3+ Years

In spite of the diet I have practiced for well over 3 years now (which I’ll discuss in a moment), I’ve never been very interested in getting blood work done. My thinking has always been, why should I care about results that even the people taking or requesting them don’t understand.

Point blank: if a health practitioner does not truly understand what the results mean, or even what influences them up/down/left/right or center, why is the test even worth getting in the first place?

Not to mention, I was absent an actual problem that would motivate me to have these tests done. I’m 23 years old and in observably perfect health, with the exception of a damaged left knee (traumatic injury/high school football).

Anyway, after Keith decided to get his blood work done, my curiosity was peaked, and I decided I would at some point soon get the blood work done, at the very least to make an interesting blog post or two.

Here are the results.

The Twist

Now, well known to long time TDL readers, the interesting “twist” to all of this is the “lubing my arteries with butter” bit.

This is a saying I took on a few months ago and it has stuck with me since. It’s something I say when people raise an eyebrow in person to the copious amounts of saturated fat I eat.

  • a dozen whole eggs
  • an entire stick of butter (picture of my typical shopping cart)
  • large chunks of steak fat
  • spoon fulls of coconut oil
  • the fact that I go through half & half like it’s water

and so on and so forth. I never, ever hesitate to eat saturated fat, and typically the cholesterol that comes with it.

I get hungry, I consider that real food, I eat it, end of story.

I just happen to find telling people my heart is like a car engine that needs butter as oil, intensely amusing =D.

A Look at the Numbers

For those who don’t care to scan through the documents, here are some numbers for ya. Keep in mind, these results are a one time snapshot into my blood, and we will assume (in the context of a single snapshot), these numbers were accurately taken and calculated.

So not only is this a single slice, it’s a slice that may not even be accurate in and of itself, or even calculated properly in some respects (relevant to my diet that is well outside of the norm — low in carbohydrate, very high in fat, especially saturated).

Taken on a 14 hour dietary fast and 72+ hour “exercise fast”,

  • Total cholesterol: 256
  • Triglycerides: 72
  • HDL : 78
  • VLDL: 14
  • LDL: 164
  • Glucose level: 91

My “total cholesterol” is significantly high, but, I seriously doubt this has a negative meaning. In fact, from my understanding, and to a large degree, higher total cholesterol = more protection against disease. The “upper limit” being 200 is basically a bunch of nonsense.

  • My triglycerides are very low.
  • Pushing  80, my HDL is very  high.
  • My VLDL is very low.
  • My LDL is significantly high, but I seriously doubt this has a negative meaning, and apparently this measurement can be way off.
  • My glucose level seems pretty spot on.

What I did find interesting compared to Keith is that my “eGFR” was dramatically higher than his in both measurement scenarios provided. A quick search revealed this has something to do with my kidneys.


These numbers were almost exactly what I expected. Ultra high “probably good” stuff, ultra low “probably bad” stuff, high total.

Of course, by all conventional wisdom accounts — like the American Heart Association as one example — I should be dead. Seriously. I am doing almost every single thing wrong they, your nearest medical doctor, and your nearest licensed dietitian can list, and I’ve done so for going on 41 months straight now.

I’ve gone months on end eating 30-40 whole eggs a week. I eat more butter in a given month than most people eat in a year. I use nothing but heavy cream or half/half in my coffee. I add salt to almost everything I eat. After adding a table spoon of coconut oil to my protein shake, I make sure to suck down a table spoon straight, just for good luck.

Oh, and I exercise about 15 minutes a week. If that.

I don’t do “cardio”. I don’t focus on “burning calories”. I actually lift weights for ~15 minutes every 7-14 days, and that’s it.

Bottom line: by conventional standards, and with all of the extra factors aside (like exercise), I’ve eaten enough saturated fat and cholesterol over the past 3+ years to give an elephant a heart attack.

Yet, I’m healthier than the next thousand 23 year olds you line up, including on the numbers I should be doing the worst at.

I do everything ‘wrong’, yet end up getting everything right.

Call to Action

While this should not be taken as medical advice, I recommend — for entertainment purposes only — lubing your arteries with grass fed high quality butter on a regular basis, and washing it down with raw egg yolk in a whey shake, with some coconut oil.

Lube it up!

— Anthony Dream Johnson


About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

19 Responses to Blood Test Results After “Lubing my Arteries with Butter” for 3+ Years

  1. Brett February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    You only use the egg yolks? What about the whites? I thought I read something a while ago about how they mess up the body’s ability to absorb biotin (or something like that), is that your reasoning?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

      Yes, although supposedly if you eat the whites you’ll end up net positive on more protein. However, I fail to see why this is worth playing with your gut. All of the nutrients are in the yolk. The white is pure protein.

      A good bite of tuna or chicken can make up the difference.

  2. Kevin C February 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Yolks – fine raw
    Whites – reserve and fry with grassfed butter to ensure maximum benefits/absorption.

    One test you’d definitely be well suited to get is the HS CRP – Highly Sensitive CRP. Its a measure of systemic inflammation. If its high, its cause for some inquiry as to why and modifications. Definitely more interesting than the total cholesterol at 250 or so.

  3. Carnivore February 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Good numbers! Man, you get a medal for that HDL number!

    A few suggestions for other tests to get a more complete picture. (Yeah, I know it’s expensive, especially paying out of pocket as I do. Something to consider.)

    1. The “VAP Cholesterol Profile” test, also available from LabCorp, actually measures LDL and VLDL and does a density pattern of the LDL. Not all LDL is the same. There’s small, dense LDL which is “bad” while large, buoyant LDL is “good”. It also measures the two types of HDL (HDL-2 and HDL-3); 2 is “more protective” while 3 is “less protective”.

    2. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy.

    3. C-Reactive Protein (HS CRP) to measure inflammation.

    4. Homocysteine (high level is a risk factor)

    5. Fibrinogen (high level is risk factor and indication of inflammation)

    No, I’m not a doctor and I don’t work for LabCorp either!!

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm #


      Kevin recommended the HSCRP as well. If it’s inexpensive I’ll probably do it at some point. I pay cash like you as well and these recent 3 tests were only $97.20. I was happy with the price, which was a lot less than I expected.

      I’d be interested in the VAP, and the Vit D test. Although I’ve taken 5,000 IU a day for 2 years, and 7,500 IU on average over the past 4 months, so I am skeptical that it will turn out anything less than really high.

  4. Joe A February 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    “Anyway, after Keith decided to get his blood work done, my curiosity was peaked…”

    The mainstream nonsense regarding the need for these blood draw numbers has ‘peaked’. Despite your disagreement, your curiosity was ‘piqued’, therefore you had the tests performed and ‘peeked’ at your numbers.

    Sorry for being grammar police…

    Nice HDL, by the way!

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks. I was happy with the HDL as well. I was also surprised by the lymph number. Any comment on that?

      And thanks for being the grammar police as usual. Words DO have exact meanings and I agree on the importance =).

  5. Shickalee March 1, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Good stuff again Anthony, here is a post from Robb Wolf regarding cholesterol that mirror your thoughts on the subject.

    « In the News! Lou Mars update! | Type 1 Diabetes: The Gut Connection. »

    Cholesterol: We are dumb

    Posted by Robb Wolf on Oct 29, 2009 in Paleo Diet Basics, Weight Loss | 112 comments

    You may all lose faith in me and my abilities to write the book after I tell you this story. I spent over a month outlining the project. After about 5 failed attempts to ge the book going. I’m not used to organizing this much material and it’s tough to keep everything straight. So, I finally sat down and just focussed on outlining the project. I felt like I had a pretty solid outline, ran it by several folks, everyone felt it as solid so I dug in! I did the intro chapter, covered insulin, was workign my way through fats and realized I forgot a ton of important material in my outline. Important things like…oh…say…cardiovascular disease. You know, heart attacks and stroke…the most common killers of North Americans. Yea, I’m an idiot. I have worked on this paleo diet stuff for so long that the heart disease issue is completely passe. It is such a forgone conclusion that a low carb paleo diet will protect you from CVD that I forgot to include it in the damn book. Well, almost. So I sat down and outlined what I wanted to say about CVD and started collecting references and I ran across some goodies. They illustrate that I am not the only idiot apparently!

    The basics of the diet-heart hypothesis go like this: High cholesterol leads to atherosclerotic plaques that precipitate a clot which can result in a heart attack or stroke. This whole notion grew from a disease called Familial Hypercholesterolemia and subsequent experiments that involved feeding rabbits (herbivores) oxidized cholesterol. These critters do not eat ANY cholesterol so the fact oxidized cholesterol caused problems is not surprising but also completely unhelpful when talking about people. Anyway, 50 years to failed dietary recommendations to lower cholesterol have done nothing to alleviate the CVD epidemic. In fact, the epidemic is rolling along bigger and badder than ever before. Well This Study was pretty interesting. It indicates that most people who suffer a heart attack have…low cholesterol! Now, everyone is in a fix to get folks on cholesterol lowering diets and statins to save them, but most heart attacks are in folks with…low cholesterol! Ok, doesn’t make any sense and it completely calls into question the notion that we need to reduce cholesterol levels…but why not give people statins and see how folks do on those. Well, interestingly, statins appear to decrease heart attack rates in people…with low cholesterol. The mechanism? Possibly a reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of systemic inflammation. Know what else reduces systemic inflammation? A paleo diet which controls insulin levels, removes gut irritating foods, balances omega-3/omega-6 fats. Add some vit-d and consistent good sleep and you have effectively turned off the type of inflammation underlying CVD, cancer and neurodegeneration.

    Oh! Then there is the fact low cholesterol increases stroke rates!!

    So, just to clarify:

    1-Cholesterol supposedly causes CVD, But

    2-Most heart attacks are actually occurring in people with low cholesterol, Yet

    3-Doctors insist on cholesterol lowering protocols, including statins, Even though,

    4-The benefit of statins has nothing to do with cholesterol, but rather it’s mild anti-inflammatory action, Which

    5-Can be accomplished with simple dietary modifications and a few inexpensive supplements.

    It would be funny if people were not dying from this stuff.

  6. Hugo March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Mmm… wash it down with some whey, some blueberries, a kale leaf, some spinach, ginger, and a cucumber.
    It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to… lol jk these shakes Rock!


  7. Alex Tatem March 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I appreciate the enthusiasm Anthony, but I want to offer some caution about your bloodwork and resulting conclusions (along with the article mentioned in the previous comment by Robb Wolf).

    Your HDL is awesome, and actually reduces your cardiac risk by 2 other risk factors as long as it’s that high. However…

    The high LDL is not a good thing. No it won’t kill you this moment, but this complex of lipids and protein responsible for carrying lipids and TG’s from your liver to your periphery has been shown to ultimate increase risk for coronary artery disease and stroke.

    LDL, when in high enough concentration, diffuses into the epithelial lining of arteries and evokes an inflammatory response (it’s recognized as foreign to that particular environment). This results in the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, which take YEARS to fully develop. These plaques can get so large that they occlude the vessel themselves, or they get ripped off when exposed to increased pressure (like sudden exertion) and then clot off cutting off flow to that muscle.

    So Robb Wolf isn’t totally off by saying inflammation is the real culprit, but high LDL causes inflammation which causes plaque formation which ultimately causes vessel occlusion. They are all connected. And statins do NOT work by decreasing inflammation, they inhibit the enzyme HMG co reductase, which helps make cholesterol.

    So no, you shouldn’t be dead by any standards, but your risk later on in life is increased significantly.

    Take it from someone who went to medical school. Much love.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment, but your caution falls on deaf ears. I cannot stress enough how meaningless the warning is, because I know what it’s based on, I understand the contradictions, and I know the argument is fundamentally unsound to the point of being laughable.

      Your comment as a med school graduate on a basic lipid profile is a micro expression of a snowball-like culmination of contradictions spanning 50 years of outright nonsense, government propaganda, intellectual treason, and a general anti-reason/anti-reality “thump” of mindless brutes trying to make a dishonest profit from fraud, misinformation, and the indirect use of government violence in the form of farm subsidies, the FDA, raw milk raids, etc.

      I don’t care how shiny your medical degree is or what you use it for. It means nothing to me if you are still in the cholesterol craze circle jerk of pseudo intellectuals clinging to 50 years of bad tradition and what borders on malpractice.

      LDL is not “bad”, and I am in no way, shape, form, or fashion on the road to any type of heart disease.

      You are a sheep. Wake up.

      • ben sima March 18, 2012 at 11:54 am #

        I think it’s more about LDL particle size than total LDL count, which wasn’t directly measured in the test, only VLDL was measured and came out as low. I don’t think that tells us everything about LDL particle size, tho. So the best we can say is that your probably totally fine.


        I’m kinda wondering why lymphs registered as high. I’m not sure how high 49 is considered (ie. I don’t know if it’s really that abnormal) but a high lymph count would mean you’ve been sick lately. Or there’s an autoimmune problem. Or it’s just an anomaly.

  8. Anthony Dream Johnson March 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    The top of the “normal” range is 46 according to LabCorp.

    I registered a 47 on this single blood test, putting me 1 point out of the “normal’ range. Considering that my diet and health habits are well outside of the norm that that range is based on, I’m not the least bit worried about it.

    I would actually bet it’s a normal reading for someone eating paleo … not unlike a high total cholesterol count. Even Keith at 300+ for TC has nothing to worry about, which is way, way, way above the norm on that count.

  9. Ari October 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I’m curious why you’re under the impression that this diet you’ve chosen will show immediate health consequences? I don’t know of anyone that thinks that a diet high in fat and high in cholesterol (or even high blood levels of these) will make you worse for the wear right now. These are things that are going to deposit in your vessels over time (as in starting at childhood) and you won’t really know the difference until some pretty serious vascular events can show up. Even imaging won’t really show the build up until it gets past a pretty serious point.

    It’s all risks and statistics and you may never get disease because of it but I don’t think saying “Hey I’m looking pretty good in my youth. What could go wrong?” is really convincing anyone.

    • Dan July 23, 2015 at 10:01 am #

      Evidence of the negative impact of the SAD diet is all around you! personally I choose paleo because I feel considerably better in every way!


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