Q: Is It Dangerous To Lose Weight Very Quickly
When you start the Induction phase of Atkins, you may experience rapid weight loss for the first time in your life. Dont worry. What makes the initial drop dramatic is that you lose a good bit of water weight in the first 3 to 4 days. Thats because eating fewer grams of carbohydrate results in fewer spikes in blood sugar, resulting in less insulin output. Insulin makes the body retain sodium, which, as you probably know, makes your body retain water. When youre not producing as much insulin, this cycle slows. After four days or so, however, you will also begin to lose body fat. Young men and people who have a lot of weight to lose are more likely to lose weight more rapidly at the start of the Atkins program.
Losing weight too fast is an issue only if:
1) Youre not eating enough, which could make you lose lean muscle mass. To lose only body fat, be sure to eat regular meals and take in adequate calories. If you arent hungry at meal times, have a small snack with your supplements. Also, drink at least 64 ounces of water every day.
But if you feel well and arent starving yourself, youre probably not losing too quickly.
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 (
If You Have High Cholesterol Should You Avoid Keto
Having high cholesterol doesnt automatically disqualify you from keto. Were seeing really good cardiovascular results from a keto diet, says Susan Ryskamp, RDN, 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 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.
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What Happens To Your Cholesterol When You Go On A Keto Diet
Even if youre at risk for cardiovascular disease, you still may be a candidate for the popular diet.
For every person who talks up the ketogenic diet, theres another warning about the ill effects on your heart. The worry is that following a very high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate diet will create a subsequent spike in cholesterol levels, which could, in turn, raise your risk for heart disease.
The worry is certainly valid. On the keto diet, each day youre eating up to 80 percent of your calories from fat and sticking with 20 to 50 grams of net carbs, a term used in popular diets, including keto and Atkins but one that is not officially recognized in the medical community. This all means youll be eating a lot of fat per day, and in the name of meeting that quota, that may include unhealthy choices such as butter, coconut oil, and animal fat, all sources of saturated fat, which has been linked to poor heart health, according to the American Heart Association .
But the effect of keto on heart health isnt as straightforward as it sounds. Indeed, the keto diet may not have as detrimental an effect on your cholesterol as some have thought.
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.
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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.
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.
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Answering Your Questions About How The Keto Diet Impacts Cholesterol
Before diving into more details about the keto diet and cholesterol, lets start by looking at some basic facts about how cholesterol works.
For decades cholesterol has gotten as a bad rap, but in reality cholesterol plays many important roles in the body. For example, cholesterol has functions including:
- Helping with sex hormone production
- Forming structures of the brain
- Supporting cognitive/mental function, including in children and older adults
- Facilitating absorption of fat-soluble nutrients
- Ushering nutrients, triglycerides and other compounds into cells to be used for energy
Cholesterol in our body is present in the form of fatty acids that travel through the bloodstream. Whats important to understand about cholesterol is that the balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol is very important. If you have higher LDL, you also want to have higher HDL in order to help clear LDL from the bloodstream.
There are two different types of LDL cholesterol, the type that is often referred to as bad cholesterol: large particle LDL and small particle LDL . Whats the difference, and which one is more dangerous for heart health?
Pattern A carries more fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants and can actually protect against oxidative stress, while pattern B is more likely to be oxidized and to form plaque buildup in the endothelial lining of the arteries, raising the risk for heart-related problems.
How does the keto diet affect cholesterol levels?
Carbs You Should Be Buying To Lower Cholesterol According To A Dietitian
More than one-third of all U.S. adults have high cholesterol. So, if you are one of the nearly 94 million Americans experiencing this condition, know that you are not alone.
For people who want to lower their cholesterol, some good news is that there are several foods that can help with this goalcarbs included! While carbohydrates have been vilified recently thanks to diets like keto, Atkins and the South Beach Diet, there are several healthy carbs that are worth a spot on your plate. Not to mention, including carbs in an overall heart-healthy diet can actually help your body experience lower cholesterol levels naturally.
While it is true that some carbs are not the best choice when trying to support healthy cholesterol levelsthink cookies, candies and other sweet treatsthere are other carb-rich foods that are packed with important nutrients that may help reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and help support overall heart health.
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Higher Percentages Of Saturated Fat In Low
In the debate of low-fat versus low-carb diets, both can help you shed unwanted weight equally, as long as youre choosing healthy options. But it turns out a diet composed of fewer carbs and higher percentages of saturated fat might actually have health benefits outside of weight loss better blood cholesterol levels.
This finding came from a follow up analysis of the DIETFITS study, which set out to contrast the effects of low-carb versus low-fat dieting and determine which was better for losing weight. In a subgroup of 210 low-carb dieters, those who consumed a higher percent of saturated fats as part of their overall diet had better levels of blood lipids, including both higher HDLs and lower triglycerides, which are the main type of fat in the blood and in body fat storage.
That’s not to say that saturated fats are suddenly exonerated there’s a bit of a catch, said Christopher Gardner, PhD, nutrition expert and senior author of the analysis. Those with the best lipid levels and highest percent of saturated fat intake also ate fewer carbohydrates, particularly added sugars and refined grains.
So the lesson here isn’t that saturated fats are good for you, it’s that they’re not going to topple a good dieting effort that’s low in carbs and refined sugars and high in whole foods and vegetables.
What You Can And Cant Eat On Atkins
Although each Atkins plan is slightly different, theyre all based on the same foundation of foods. Because the list of restricted items can seem like a lot, its a good idea to know exactly what is and isnt allowed before deciding to start this diet. Here are just some of the foods that you can and cant eat:
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Benefits Of The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet has been around for decades, and it has some benefits. This diet works for some people because it:
- Wont make you hangry: Protein and fat suppress the appetite, which is an advantage for people who feel hungry on other diets, Smith says.
- Cuts calories: If youre restricting your carbs, youre also cutting out many unhealthy foods that are common in the American diet. Think white bread, fried foods and sugar. Most American diets are 55% carbohydrates or higher, Smith says. If you cut out all those carbs, youll probably eat fewer calories overall and lose weight.
- Controls blood sugars: Eating very few carbohydrates can help control blood sugar, especially in people who have diabetes.
The Bottom Line On Trying The Keto Diet To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol or triglycerides, speak with your medical team first before embarking on a keto diet. If you get the green light, continue to seek their help. There are a lot of popular books out on how to follow a keto diet, but I think patients need additional support and guidance and ongoing conversations about if its working for you, says Ryskamp. Its a tool that someone can use to improve their health, but it may not be the right tool for them, or the right tool the way theyre doing it, she says.
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Lie : The Atkins Diet Causes Faster And Greater Fat Loss Than Conventional Diets
Most health, medical and nutrition organizations recommend that you lose weight at a rate of no more than 2 pounds per week. In his book, Dr. Atkins says that the average weight loss in the first two weeks on his plan is 8 to 15 pounds.
Like many diets, Atkins overstresses total weight loss , while not stressing enough the difference between body weight, body water, body fat and lean body mass.
Truth is, low-carb diets definitely cause greater weight loss, especially in the initial phases. But this is mostly due to a large drop in water weight and glycogen , not necessarily increased fat loss.
Weight loss is the wrong goal! Your goal should be permanent fat loss and you should be measuring and tracking your body fat percentage and lean body mass on a regular basis.
Don’t gloat over large, rapid “weight losses”? it might be mostly water and muscle.
Lies About The Atkins Diet
You’ll discover the real truth about low carb diets and a real solution to the problem of excess body fat that is beautiful in its simplicity, yet powerful in effectiveness. Read on to learn the 10 Lies about the Atkins diet and discover the truth!
Low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins have always been controversial, but with the recent wave of new research and publicity, the controversy is now raging hotter than ever. One headline in the San Francisco Chronicle said that the battle between the low- and high-carbers had become so heated since mid 2002 that “Knives had been drawn.”
From my vantage point , it looks more like tanks, artillery and machine guns have been drawn! Tragically, the people being hurt the most by these “diet wars” are not the experts, but the dieters.
After its original publication in 1972, The Atkins Diet was regurgitated in 1992 as “Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution,” creating a new surge of interest in low-carbohydrate dieting.
Then, in July of 2002, the controversy reached an all time high when the New York Times Magazine published an essay by Gary Taubes titled, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” The article suggested that new research was now proving the late Dr. Atkins had been right all along.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64% of Americans are overweight and 31% are obese, and it’s still getting worse.
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Q: What Is The Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet® is the original leading low-carb weight loss plan that provides quick, effective, satisfying and balanced weight loss based on an extensive body of scientific research. The Atkins Diet is designed to flip the bodys metabolic switch from burning carbs to burning fat. Graduated carb introduction limits blood sugar and insulin spikes, which cause hunger and cravings, and result in overeating and weight gain.
- Atkins has the additional application of being the weight loss plan of choice for the millions of people who have a reduced ability to process carbohydrates those who have varying levels of carbohydrate intolerance. The Atkins 40 plan allows you to start the Atkins program with 40 grams of Net Carbs. This means you can eat from all food groups on the acceptable foods list from all four phases from day one on the program, and still enjoy the weight loss success on a fat burning metabolism.
- On Atkins 40 you will eat:
- More vegetables than the USDA recommends
- Proteins including meats, fish, poultry and plant-based proteins
- Healthy fats including olive oil, avocado and nuts
- Dairy including whole Greek yogurt, as well as hard and soft cheeses
- Variety of fruits and whole grains