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Keto Diet And High Cholesterol

Can A Keto Diet Cause High Cholesterol And How To Avoid It

High Cholesterol on a Ketogenic diet? Dr. Berg on Keto and Cholesterol

by Konsciousketo Admin – June 14, 2022

Lowering carbohydrates and eating foods like grass-fed beef, bacon, and butter are great ways to lose weight quickly. But if your cholesterol health is essential to you, adopting a more Mediterranean approach to living a low-carb lifestyle may be the best choice.

Many foods found in abundance on a keto diet indeed contain saturated fat. Still, low-carb foods like mackerel and sardines are high in omega-3 fats, and they can help curb carbs and manage triglyceridesa way to support healthy cholesterol levels.

Those interested in managing or improving their cholesterol health need not give up the many benefits of ketosis. The tips we share can help you craft your low-carb meal plan with heart health in mind.

What Happens To Hdl Levels On A Keto Diet

Though eating fat doesnt affect blood cholesterol levels in a standard carb-heavy diet, when carbs are restricted and fat becomes the basis of your diet, HDL levels ultimately improve.

So on a keto diet eating fat does affect your cholesterol levels, just in the opposite way weve been told!

Supporting these observations, A 2017 review of human and animal studies found keto diets to be generally associated with reductions in total cholesterol, increases in HDL decreases in triglycerides, and reductions in LDL .

A 2020 high quality randomized control study of 34 older adults with obesity found that over 8 weeks participants on the keto diet lost three times the body fat compared with a group eating a low-fat diet. The keto group also had greater improvement in insulin sensitivity, triglyceride levels, and HDL cholesterol

A 2013 meta-analysis of 12 high quality studies involving more than 1200 participants investigating the impact of very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets vs. low fat diets, found that the average increase in HDL particles in the low carb group was double that of the low fat group .

Taken together these findings all affirm that differences in HDL are due to carbohydrate intake, not fat intake.

What Types Of Cholesterol Does Keto Allegedly Affect

The keto diet has been shown to affect both LDL and HDL cholesterol, but studies have been small and short-term with varying results.

Some studies have found that the keto diet has beneficial effects on LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, while others have found no effect. Some have reported an increase in LDL cholesterol.

Its kind of a toss-up, but science seems to agree that eating nutrient-dense foods while on the keto diet wont negatively affect your cholesterol levels or heart health.

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List Of 105 Foods To Lower Triglycerides

Foods decrease cholesterol in different ways. Some of the foods listed below deliver soluble fiber, which traps cholesterol and its constituents in the digestive tract, preventing them from entering the bloodstream.

Polyunsaturated fats, found in some foods, can also decrease LDL cholesterol. Others contain plant sterols and stanols that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol by the body.

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If You Have High Cholesterol Should You Avoid Keto

High Cholesterol on a Keto Diet

Having high cholesterol doesnt automatically disqualify you from keto. Were seeing really good cardiovascular results from a keto diet, says Susan Ryskamp, RDN, a clinical dietitian at Michigan Medicines Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor.

Doctors will want to look at the overall picture with the goal of improving biomarkers like triglycerides, A1C, blood pressure, and body mass index . On keto, if patients lose weight, get their BMI closer to, if not under 30 , and these biomarkers improve, we feel theyre at less of a cardiovascular risk, says Ryskamp.

If a patient has severely elevated triglyceride levels upwards of 1,000 mg/dL then Ryskamp would likely suggest another diet first. But a triglyceride level of 300 may still be a go, with close monitoring and frequent lipid checks. Most of the patients I see can safely go on keto, she says.

The fact is, says Ryskamp, people start down the road to heart disease in different ways , and cardiovascular patients respond uniquely to treatment. Not everyone will want to go on keto, but it may be recommended for some, she says. As a study published in November 2019 in Clinical and Scientific Debates on Atherosclerosis points out, keto is not the only option. Other diets are as effective, more sustainable and safer, the authors write. The AHA still recommends a plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean vegetable or animal protein as a good heart-healthy diet.

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What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels

The recommended cholesterol levels vary slightly among countries and health agencies. According to the US National Institutes of Health website, people at low risk for heart disease should have the following cholesterol and triglyceride values:

  • Total cholesterol: < 200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: < 100 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol: > 40 mg/dL for men, > 50 mg/dL for women
  • Triglycerides: < 150 mg/dL

LDL levels > 160 mg/dL are considered high, and levels 190 mg/dL and above are deemed very high.

Listen To Keto Podcasters And You May Be More Motivated To Stick With The Diet

If youve decided to start, recommit to, or continue following the popular ketogenic diet this year, you likely have one goal in mind: weight loss . The very low-carbohydrate diet is notoriously a complete nutritional overhaul, as you scale back your intake of carbs. Made up of up to 75 to 80 percent dietary fat and only 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day, the diet can easily be thought of as one that promotes all butter and bacon but its so much more than that.

Getting and staying in ketosis takes skill. You can read some great books on keto that show you how to eat this way and follow clever keto bloggers for recipe inspiration , but nothing compares to the deep dive that these keto podcasts provide.

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During your journey as a keto-er, youll want practical information, such as exactly what to eat, how to get back on track, and the best products in specific categories . But food is only part of your health, and the best podcasters go beyond that, tackling topics like inflammation and its role in disease, good sleep, stress reduction, and learning about yourself and what holds you back from your health goals. They also attract some of the top keto celebrities. More than that, these hosts are engaging, knowledgeable, and like chatting with a friend.

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Will Keto Diet Lower Cholesterol

The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a popular low-carbohydrate diet that has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control. One potential benefit of the keto diet that has garnered a lot of attention is its ability to lower cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the fats in your blood. High levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease& stroke. There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein , commonly known as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein , commonly known as good cholesterol. The keto diet can help to lower your levels of bad cholesterol and increase your levels of good cholesterol.

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that causes your body to enter a state of ketosis, in which it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This can lead to a number of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation.

One study found that people who followed the keto diet for six months had significant reductions in their levels of bad cholesterol and significant increases in their levels of good cholesterol. In addition, the study found that the keto diet was more effective at lowering cholesterol levels than a low-fat diet.

Does It Affect Cholesterol Levels

Why High LDL Cholesterol on the Ketogenic Diet? Dr. Berg

Research here is a bit mixed since there are some studies where an increase in cholesterol levels and LDL had been shown in patients who adopted a high fat low carb diet. However there is also plenty of research showing that a keto diet will improve and decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL levels which is desirable to manage and prevent cardiac disease and metabolic disorders.

There is also plenty of research that shows that a well executed Keto diet will help reduce fat accumulation in the liver and improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome ,even when there is no weight loss. This helps improve liver health and other conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome in women. Other studies also show that there is significant weight loss without inducing hypercholesterolemia.

It is also evident that there will be an increase in ketone bodies and free fatty acids in the blood system because that is what is desired to get into ketosis and start using those as fuel for the cells in our body.

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Replace Saturated With Monounsaturated Fat

Keto is a high-fat diet. Because of this, going Keto entails eating more butter, animal fat, coconut oil, and other sources of saturated fat than most people otherwise would.

And as we covered earlier, higher intakes of saturated fat are well understood to raise cholesterol levels. Thats why Keto and high cholesterol often go hand in hand.

One way to mitigate high cholesterol on Keto? Replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats.

The best sources of monounsaturated fats are olives, avocados, and nuts . Instead of a fatty ribeye, you have a chicken and spinach salad drenched with olive oil. Instead of cooking with butter, you cook with avocado oil. You get the idea.

Effect Of Saturated Fat

A review of low-fat diets versus low-carb, high-fat diets greater than 12 months long looked at the effects on cholesterol levels in overweight or obese people.

Researchers found that decreases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly more noticeable in those following low-fat diets. In contrast, an increase in HDL cholesterol and a reduction in triglyceride levels were more apparent in high-fat-diet participants.

Whether cholesterol increases or decreases largely depends on how the very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is followedparticularly with the types of fats consumed.

The study authors further found that in high-fat diets, decreased total cholesterol levels were associated with lower intake of saturated fat and higher polyunsaturated fat intake. In comparison, increased HDL cholesterol was related to a higher intake of monounsaturated fat.

Lower saturated fat intake was marginally related to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, increased triglyceride levels were associated with higher intakes of carbohydrates.

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Important Of Cholesterol In Our Body

Since the body needs it to build the foundation of cell membranes, we require a small amount of blood cholesterol. Hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and adrenal hormones are formed. Cholesterol is essential for your body to generate vitamin D, helping your metabolism work effectively.

Then, should I worry about high cholesterol? Unquestionably, yes! High cholesterol in the body indicates that developing cardiovascular diseases, increasing the risk of heart failure. If you have high cholesterol in your body, within the arteries walls, which carry blood to your heart, cholesterol can build up to create a blockage.

What Is Hdl Cholesterol

A Closer Look: Keto and Cholesterol [Connection, Impact &  More ...

HDL cholesterol is frequently known as the good cholesterol. In addition to transporting cholesterol around the body, HDL collects cholesterol that is not being used by cells and brings them back to the liver to be recycled or destroyed.

Additionally, HDL cholesterol may have anti-inflammatory effects. A recent research study published by De Nardo et al shows that HDL may be responsible in reducing inflammatory activity by regulating immune system cells called macrophages. Furthermore, epidemiological studies have noted an inverse association between levels of HDL and certain forms of cancer.

More research needs to be performed to investigate the source of these relationships as well as the molecular mechanisms through which HDL operates. However, there is a general consensus among clinicians and scientists that HDL-cholesterol is healthy for the body and that higher levels of HDL-C are healthy for the body. In fact, one study observed that, with every 1 mg/dL reduction in HDL cholesterol, diabetes risk increased by 4%.

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Limit Sugar Refined Carbohydrates And Too Much Alcohol

Do you have to eat a keto diet to lower triglycerides? Not necessarily. Reducing sugars, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol may be enough to lower your levels.

As we mentioned, any caloric excess can increase triglycerides. However, the most likely sources of extra calories are excess sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol.19

One reason carbs and sugars commonly increase triglycerides may be that carbs and sugars are two of the most commonly overconsumed foods. However, another reason could be that fructose and alcohol are more likely to cause fatty liver, which can raise triglycerides.20

One study reports that simply replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water reduced triglycerides.21

And another reports that decreasing alcohol consumption lowered fasting triglycerides.22

Other factors, such as baseline obesity and insulin resistance, may make it more likely that eating carbs would cause an individuals triglycerides to rise.23

If youre overweight or have insulin resistance, the evidence shows its important to reduce carbs. However, the data suggests that most people with high triglycerides even people with normal weight would benefit from reducing sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol.

Best Food To Eat In A Keto Diet To Potentially Improve Your Cholesterol Levels

The keto diet can have variable effects on LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. But if you are opting for a keto diet, try limiting saturated fats and eating an abundance of unsaturated fats. Otherwise, LDL levels may remain as they are or could even increase.

Healthy foods you should opt for include:

  • Lean meats and seafood – including chicken breast, turkey, tuna, and salmon

  • Plant proteins – including tofu, legumes, and beans

  • Fat-free milk and dairy products

  • Soy milk and other plant-based milk products

  • Healthy fats – including unsaturated fats from avocados, olive oil, and nuts

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Ldl And Carbohydrate Restriction: What Is The Relationship

Lets go back to the research assessing how the low-carb, high-fat diets such as the ketogenic diet affect your LDL levels. In the meta-analysis by Bueno et al., low-carb diets were shown to increase HDL twice as much as low-fat diets after randomized controlled interventions. It also showed that there was a small increase in LDL-C in low-carb subjects compared to low-fat diet subjects who experienced no increase.

The research study by Brinksworth et. al also showed that low-carb diets yielded greater increases in HDL cholesterol when compared to a low-fat diet.

Key Takeaways: Some research suggests that high-fat, ketogenic diets can increase LDL-C by a small amount.

Carbohydrate Moderation Increases Hdl In Healthy Non

Correcting High Cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol on Keto Diet Dr.Berg

The majority of studies assessing the effects of carbohydrate restriction on HDL have been conducted on primarily Caucasian, obese subjects.

In 2006, researchers sought to investigate the relationship between carbohydrate intake and HDL cholesterol in a healthy, diverse population. Scientists examined data from Canadians of South Asian, Chinese, European, and Aboriginal origin from two cross-sectional studies conducted in the late 90s.

They included participants who were 35-75 years of age and who were not born in Canada but had lived there for at least 5 years. Subjects who suffered from moderate to severe medical conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and active cancer were not included. Subjects of all different weights and BMIs were included as long as they were considered healthy.

Scientists then randomly selected 619 subjects who met these inclusion criteria and examined their carbohydrate intake and levels of HDL cholesterol.

After adjusting for demographic factors such as age, sex, and ethnicity and lifestyle factors such as smoking, researchers noted that subjects in the lowest third of carbohydrate consumption had significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol than subjects in the highest third of carbohydrate consumption.

Fewer servings of sugary drinks were also associated with higher levels of HDL. Because of their findings, the researchers attributed differences in HDL concentration to carbohydrate intake.

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How Does Keto Affect Your Arteries

How the keto diet affects your arteries depends on your individual health and the types of fats consumed while on the diet. Saturated fats have been shown to negatively affect your cholesterol levels mainly by increasing your LDL cholesterol levels. This can contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries.

However, unsaturated fats have the opposite effect on heart health by decreasing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol levels. This can improve your heart health, decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Keto Diet And High Cholesterol: When Your Doctor Wants You On Low

Keto Diet and High Cholesterol: The link between saturated fat and cholesterol is outdated, and the use of statin drugs to solve high cholesterol problems does not line up with the latest science. Today we explore the history of this old paradigm, what you need to know about cholesterol and diet, and how to successfully use keto to help fight cholesterol problems.

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High Cholesterol On A Ketogenic Diet

High cholesterol is a concern for many people as they begin following a ketogenic diet. The keto diet, or even just a higher-fat, low-carb diet, has now gained massive support as a modern-day healing strategy. In fact, our ideas about fats and cholesterol seem to have been almost completely reversed in recent years.

That being said, many people see their cholesterol go up after beginning more of a ketogenic lifestyle. Some people get concerned when this happens, so in this article, I am going to address the phenomena of high cholesterol on a ketogenic diet.

In general, cholesterol is traditionally misunderstood. I am going to show why high cholesterol is not inherently bad, and how to lookout for some real warning signs that you are in an inflammatory state. Knowing how cholesterol works in the body and how to interpret your cholesterol numbers will empower you to move forward on your ketogenic journey with confidence.

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