Cholesterol And Keto: Debunking The Myths With Science
Keto and its effect on cholesterol is a hot topic of conversation in 2019. So many things have been said about eating fats impact on cholesterol in both the scientific and online health communities that it can be hard to tell fact from fiction.
The link between what you eat, and heart disease, is a dichotomy of well-corroborated studies and potentially sinister for-profit research, often identical to the untrained eye.
The truth about how the ketogenic diet influences heart disease and how cholesterol functions in the body lies in the evidence. Lets examine what the fuss is all about and reach a more comprehensive understanding of what keto can do for your health.
How Much Sodium And Cholesterol Do You Consume On Keto
There are no specific guidelines for how much sodium and cholesterol should be consumed while following a ketogenic diet.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that healthy adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodiumequal to about 1 teaspoon of table saltper day. The dietary guidelines do not list specific limits on dietary cholesterol, as recent research has shown that dietary cholesterol doesnt have as much of an effect on blood cholesterol as once thought.
However, it is important to note that many foods high in cholesterol are also high in saturated fat and, in effect, may increase the risk of heart disease due to the saturated fat content. Two exceptions to this are eggs and shrimp. Because of this correlation, it might be wise to limit the amount of foods you take in that are high in both dietary cholesterol and saturated fat while following keto.
Replace Some Saturated Fats With Monounsaturated Fats
In the largest and highest quality studies, saturated fat is not linked to increased heart attacks or death from heart disease .
However if you have problems with cholesterol, then it is a good idea to try to replace some of the saturated fats you are eating with monounsaturated fats.
This simple modification may help to bring your levels down.
Cook with olive oil instead of butter and coconut oil. Eat more nuts and avocados. These foods are all loaded with monounsaturated fats.
If this alone doesnt work, then you may even want to start replacing some of the fatty meat you are eating with leaner meat.
I cant emphasize olive oil enough quality extra virgin olive oil has many other benefits for heart health that go way beyond cholesterol levels.
It protects the LDL particles from oxidation, reduces inflammation, improves the function of the endothelium and may even lower blood pressure .
It is definitely a superfood for the heart and I think anyone at risk of heart disease should be using olive oil, no matter whether their cholesterol is high or not.
It is also important to eat fatty fish that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, at least once per week. If you cant or wont eat fish, supplement with fish oil instead.
Monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, avocados and nuts, may have cholesterol lowering effects compared to saturated fats.
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The Truth About Keto And Cholesterol
Most of what is known about how cholesterol works has been based on the standard American diet,, which typically includes high levels of carbs.
As scientists continue to show that low-carbohydrate diets like keto can improve your health and lead to better total cholesterol numbers, there will be more research and results to discuss.
To lower your heart disease risk and boost your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol, try adding healthy dietary fats like avocado and coconut oil and monounsaturated fat like olive oil to your diet ASAP.
These are keto-approved foods and excellent for your heart health no matter which diet you ultimately choose.
What Is Hdl Cholesterol
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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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.
Ketogenic Diet In A Crossfit Group
Studying healthy people, a 12-week investigation looked at the effects of a ketogenic diet in people who regularly trained in CrossFit. Twelve people participated in the study involving the high-intensity, interval-training workout. Five of the study participants were in the control group and continued eating a regular diet, while seven people followed a ketogenic diet.
The study concluded that changes in HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were not significant and were similar among participants in both groups. In contrast, LDL cholesterol increased nearly 35% in those following the keto diet along with CrossFit.
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Why Keto Will Lower Your Cholesterol
I know it sounds hard to believe, but keto will lower your cholesterol levels, not raise your cholesterol.
Lets present the facts. Bad cholesterol is caused by inflammation within the body. When you eat simple carbs like processed foods, the body creates cholesterol to act as a form of protection for the cells.
When you eat natural healthy fats, your blog cholesterol levels are not raised.
A common misconception is that the arteries get clogged because theyre filled with hardened plaque due to too much dietary cholesterol. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, occurs when the arteries are inflamed and damaged due to oxidized lipoproteins getting through the arterial wall.
This is due to sugar, processed foods and other detrimental foods NOT keto-friendly healthy fats.
The ketogenic diet encourages you to consume natural fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish , avocados, olives, eggs, walnuts, etc.
These foods that are rich in fats are full of nutrients and good for you. These are the same types of foods your ancestors would have eaten. Back then, there were no hydrogenated food oils to worry about.
This means that our ancestors were most likely living the keto lifestyle and producing ketones.
If you do have high cholesterol, eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the inflammation in your body.
So, no keto will not cause you to gain weight. And no, the keto diet will not raise your cholesterol levels.
Hope this helps, thanks for reading!
What Happens To Your Cholesterol On A Ketogenic Diet
Ã¢Ã¢For most people, a ketogenic diet leads to improvements in cholesterol, but there are sometimes transient rises in cholesterol levels during weight loss. During rapid weight loss, cholesterol that you had stored in your adipose tissue is mobilized, which will artificially raise serum LDL as long as the weight loss continues. To avoid being misled by this, the best time to check blood lipids is a couple of months after weight loss ceases. Total cholesterol includes HDL , which usually goes up 10-15% on a ketogenic diet. That said, some people have high calculated LDL cholesterol values even after weight loss stops. If this occurs, you should discuss further diagnostic tests with your doctor. Current research is looking at LDL cholesterol as a mix of different particle sizes, where the small ones are dangerous and the larger ones are not. With a well-formulated ketogenic diet, we see a shift away from the small dangerous LDL even when the total LDL goes up.
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Can You Please Tell Me How Many Snacks We Can Have On The Keto Diet
Can you please tell me how many snacks we can take on the keto diet? And, if we are eating snacks, what is the suggested amount of nuts? Can we take them no more than once a day?
If youre aiming to lose weight, no snacks may be the best option. If you feel you need snacks, you may be better off eating more at your regular meals. But occasionally, a snack may be a decent choice, find our recommendations here.
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Keto Diet For Weight Loss
In recent times, keto diet has gained the attention of people who are looking for an effective weight loss solution. This is because keto diet can help you to lose weight quickly and effectively.
There are several reasons why the keto diet is effective for weight loss. Some of the most popular reasons include:
The keto diet helps to reduce appetite. This is because the high-fat content of the diet helps to increase satiety, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake.
The keto diet promotes fat loss. This is because the body is forced to burn stored body fat for energy on a keto diet.
The keto diet can help to increase metabolism. This is because the low-carbohydrate intake on a keto diet can help to increase thermogenesis, which can boost metabolism.
If youre looking for a way to lose weight quickly and effectively, then the ketogenic diet may be right for you!
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What Does The Keto Diet Do To Your Cholesterol Levels
The keto diet appears to improve cardiovascular health markers, including cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Research from 2004 suggests that people with obesity and high cholesterol experience greater weight loss and bigger improvements in triglyceride and HDL levels when on a keto diet than on traditional low fat diets.
Fewer studies point to poor outcomes like increased LDL and decreased HDL levels, and those tend to improve over time. The important thing to remember is that the types of foods you eat really matter.
The Basics: What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential for the life of all animals, including humans.2 Cholesterol is found in virtually every cell of your body and is necessary for many bodily functions, including:
- Cell integrity: As an integral part of every cell membrane in the body, cholesterol is required for maintaining cell structure and fluidity.
- Hormone synthesis: Cholesterol is needed to make steroid hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and other related hormones, such as vitamin D3.
- Creation of bile acids: Your liver converts cholesterol into bile acids, which help you absorb fats and the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Myelin formation: The myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells contains plenty of cholesterol.3
Your body makes most of the cholesterol that is found in your bloodstream. Its primarily produced in the liver.
Dietary cholesterol found in animal foods like eggs, shellfish, cheese, and organ meat makes up a smaller portion of your blood cholesterol pool.
Unlike fat, which contains nine calories per gram, cholesterol has no calories. Because its present in foods in very small amounts, its measured in milligrams instead of grams. Most fatty meats and whole-milk dairy products contain just a little cholesterol, whereas some shellfish and organ meats are high in cholesterol, yet low in fat.
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The Importance Of Ongoing Monitoring
People who follow the keto diet should consult their doctors to arrange .
If a doctor notices that LDL cholesterol levels are rising, the diet may no longer be appropriate.
People with high levels of fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, in their blood have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
People with high cholesterol should adopt a lifestyle that reduces these levels. This is because high cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
The keto diet emphasizes high amounts of fat, but not all fats have equal value. For example, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the 20152020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans .
Saturated fats occur in foods such as cookies, cakes, and other snacks. Coconut oil, butter, and ghee contain high levels of saturated fats, whereas extra virgin olive oil and margarine are higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and cod can be an excellent source of protein, and they contain unsaturated fat, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial for the body.
People with high cholesterol who follow the keto diet can snack on certain nuts and seeds that are generally low in carbs and rich in fiber and protein. Chia seeds have a higher content of polyunsaturated fats.
Keto May Harm People With A Genetic Mutation That Affects Ldl Regulation
Where things get possibly dangerous is if youre one of the people who has an inherited genetic mutation that affects the way LDL particles are regulated. If these individuals follow a keto diet, their LDL levels can skyrocket, says Soffer. This result doesnt happen often enough to skew overall results in population studies, but what matters most is the effect the diet has on your individual health. Its a long-recognized phenomenon that hasnt been published well, he says, adding that the genetics that drive this response arent completely understood.
You may not be aware that you have a preexisting genetic mutation, also called familial hypercholesterolemia . In fact, as the AHA notes, for people with FH, only 10 percent know they have it. Being aware of your family history, including members who have had a heart attack at a young age, is important and can help point your provider in the right direction. In some instances, research shows that a low-carb diet may actually be beneficial for those with FH who also have insulin resistance, suggests an analysis published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine in July 2015. This is not something to tease out on your own. Instead, its just another reason why you should talk to your doctor about a dietary change, particularly if you have other health conditions, like high cholesterol.
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How Your Body Maintains Cholesterol Levels
A diet high in cholesterol has almost zero impact on your cholesterol levels because your body is smarter than you think.
Since its such a major producer of cholesterol, your body hustles hard to make sure your cholesterol levels are in constant balance all on their own .
Too much cholesterol hanging around and your body will slow down production, too little cholesterol in your diet and your body will kick production into overdrive.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the first to get rid of the daily dietary cholesterol limit something many countries eliminated years ago.
So if dietary cholesterol isnt a high risk, and foods with high cholesterol dont build up in your arteries like a clogged shower drain, what causes plaque formation?
Five Ways To Lower Your Ldl On A Keto Or Low
Has your cholesterol increased on a low-carb diet? Do you fear that you may need to abandon this way of eating and its potential benefits?
Here are five ways you can reduce your total and LDL cholesterol levels while maintaining a keto or low-carb lifestyle. Consider trying them in this order.
1. Avoid Bulletproof coffee
Bulletproof coffee refers to adding butter, coconut fat or MCT oil in coffee. Avoid drinking significant amounts of fat at all when youre not hungry. This alone can sometimes normalize elevated cholesterol levels.23
2. Eat only when hungry
Only eat when hungry and consider adding intermittent fasting. This may reduce cholesterol levels. Although most research on intermittent fasting and LDL reduction come from low-quality observational studies during Ramadan, a recent pilot study of time restricted eating showed a significant reduction in LDL.24 While we need more data, this remains a promising intervention.
3. Eat foods higher in unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats
Foods higher in unsaturated fats include fats like olive oil, fatty fish and avocados. Replacing sources of saturated fat with these foods may be enough to lower LDL cholesterol.
However, remember that many unsaturated oils are highly processed. As with food, we recommend focusing on the least processed oils like olive oil, macadamia oil, and avocado oil.
4. Eat LDL-lowering keto-friendly foods
These low-carb plant foods may help lower cholesterol levels somewhat:
5. Eat more carbs
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