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Skeptical of the Paleo Diet? Anthony Johnson’s Blood Work Revealed


A paleo type diet is widely endorsed by speakers of The 21 Convention, and is often directly discussed. Example speakers include Mark Sisson, Anthony Dream Johnson, Doug McGuff M.D., Drew Baye, Keith Norriss, Skyler Tanner, Richard Nikoley, and James Steele II.

As you may have heard however, a paleo type diet is one that does not shy away from high quality animal fats, and the dietary cholesterol/saturated fat content that comes with them.

In fact in many cases, speakers not only do not discourage their consumption, they outright encourage eating these nutrients!

Of course, recommendations like these run diametrically opposed to standard medical practice in the United States (and elsewhere), as well as the recommendations of major health organizations like the AHA,  the ADA, the federal government of the United States, and so on.

Suffice to say, advising people to eat diets relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol, is something short of “popular” these days. In light of this, some people may be hesitant to or skeptical about making changes to their diet.

If you’re one of these people, perhaps the following will give you that extra boost to start making controversial changes to your diet, TODAY. They are the results of Anthony Johnson’s — CEO and founder of The 21 Convention — blood work.

The tests are fairly basic, but do include a standard lipid profile, revealing the highly touted (and probably over-hyped) “cholesterol numbers”, which in Anthony’s case, should be “a living nightmare”, having eaten a paleo type diet for over 41 months straight — and extremely high in saturated fat/cholesterol intake (even for a paleo style diet, and due to his personal preferences).

Click the images for an enlarged version (new window).

 To quote Anthony from his blog,

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.


And there you have it.

While Anthony’s total cholesterol may raise an eyebrow without further and more advanced testing for the LDL type (to verify the types of LDL present), everything in his standard lipid profile indicates and points to an abnormally healthy cardiovascular system, with extremely high HDL results,  extremely low VLDL/triglyceride results, and a solid fasting glucose level.

Be sure to visit the comments section on Anthony’s blog for further insight from readers like yourself, and if you need a full length primer for the “paleo diet”, simply check these videos out.


Leave a Comment

  1. Mike says:

    You say that regardless of your very high cholesterol, your cardiovascular system seems to be running strong. But, that is expected. High cholesterol does not affect your heart directly, especially at such a young age. It does lead to clogged arteries and in the time that you’ve had on this earth, it is unlikely that you have clogged artery signs yet. Thus, everything should run normal. Take an angiogram now and then take one in 10 years and if your arteries are not being clogged at a fast rate then perhaps you have a case for saying cholesterol was irrelevant. It has been my experience that these levels of cholesterol will catch up to you at an older age.

    Check the older paleo diet followers cholesterol levels. If they are high and have been for years, then do an angiogram. If their arteries are clear, then that’s partial evidence at your case.

    • Actually, and truthfully, there’s nothing to indicate (or to cause suspicion) that the way I’m eating — and my resulting lipid profile — would in any way, in any fashion, or at any point in time ever lead to clogged arteries, or any other cardiovascular disease for that matter. I cannot appreciate the case your making because it is based on accepted basic premises that have no bearing, no relevance, and no meaningful correlation to reality, nature, and human evolution.

      Your problem is not in medicine, biology, or statistics, it’s in epistemology. If I live to be 100 in good health, I suspect you would equate that to a lifelong smoker living to 100 without lung cancer. While there are plenty of people today in old age and good health that have eaten this way for many years, as well as entire tribes of people throughout history, that is aside the point.

      The point is that there has never been a single shred of evidence in the past 50 years of cholesterol craze to suggest that great health from eating like I do, should be anything BUT the norm. The thoughts and concepts that spawned your comment, are based on 50 years of intellectual circle jerks.

    • Edward says:

      “It has been my experience that these levels of cholesterol will catch up to you at an older age.”

      Your experience? What experience? You have been tracking people with high cholesterol levels for many years? What people? In what studies that you directed?


  2. Mark says:

    Nice work Anthony!

    If you want to take your diet to the next level check out one of my 2 most recent documentaries:

    1. Good Meat Bad Meat

    2. Colostrum – The Healing Miracle

  3. BMan2012 says:

    “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.”

    Dairy and salt not paleo; just sayin’.

    • High quality dairy is definitely “healthy”, which is more important to me than food re-enactment.

      Salt is also very healthy.

      • Prada says:

        Please stop eating meat, your cholesterol numbers are alarming. For about 100 years we have linked hight fat and cholesterol to heart disease. You can learn a lot by reading the china study. My ldl used to be 130 now its 75 because I elimated all meat dairy and oil.

        China study by Colin b cambell

        • Jason says:

          There are no studies that offer solid proof that cholesterol has anything to do with heart disease. The china study was an observational study in which the researchers looked for correlations between data to verify their already held beliefs in a vegan diet. Using their reasoning and their own data you can also conclude that owning a car puts you at greater risk for heart disease and cancer.

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