Can Keto Diet Cause Elevated Cholesterol Levels?
- 07 Mar, 2020
A ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet is becoming a ray of hope for many people facing weight gain and related issues like Diabetes Type 2, PCOS, etc. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that benefits your health by making fats, in your body, a primary source of energy, rather than carbs. It brings down your carb intake to a minimum level within which your body stays in a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Whereas for most people, a keto diet or a low carb diet results in improved cholesterol levels, there are some times when a temporary rise in the same occurs during weight loss. Keto diet and cholesterol are related and the typical effects of such a diet on cholesterol are of a slight elevation, largely due to the risen good (HDL) cholesterol. Most importantly, this implies a lower risk of heart ailments.Let’s take a look at what cholesterol is, how low-carb and keto diets affect blood cholesterol levels, and how to bring down the increased levels of the same.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a lustrous element that is essential to the lives of all animals, including us humans, a fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and some other substances that help you digest food.
Cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as egg yolks, meat, and cheese.
Too much cholesterol in your blood can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque accumulates in your arteries. This accumulation of plaque is known as atherosclerosis. It can lead to coronary artery disease, where your coronary arteries become narrow or blocked.
A human body produces cholesterol in every cell, and uses it for many important bodily functions, including these:
- Maintaining cell structure and fluidity.
- Synthesizing hormones like estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and vitamin D3.
- Creation of bile acids
- Myelin formation
Most of the cholesterol that is manufactured in the human body is principally produced by the liver. Unlike fat, which contains 9 calories per gram, cholesterol is free of calories on the other hand. Because of its presence in foods in extremely small quantities, it’s measured in milligrams instead of grams.
Keto Diet and Blood Cholesterol Levels
Nonetheless, the keto diet has a lot of health benefits. It can help you lose weight. Researches have suggested, at least, in the short run, the ketogenic diet helps in the reversal of many symptoms related to chronic weight-related issues like Diabetes, PCOS, Kidney issues, etc.
The ill-effects of keto diet have also been talked much about. People on a keto diet usually face symptoms like headaches, fatigue, etc.The one issue is the most debated: the effects of a keto diet on cholesterol levels. This article focuses on the same question. Keto diet and cholesterol are discussed in this section.
In most people, who follow a keto or low-carb diets, blood cholesterol increases very slightly, if at all. Some even experience a slump in LDL cholesterol as well. However, many others undergo an increase in both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.It is likely for cholesterol to rise during keto or low carb eating as a result of rapid weight loss that the body undergoes. This has been known research for decades now.
Cholesterol synthesis and its intake are intricate procedures that stand influenced by nutrition, genes, and other factors. Therefore, it isn’t really unexpected that a lot of low-carb dieters undergo significant changes in their blood cholesterol levels. Also, a rise in LDL cholesterol in some dieters is due to high saturated fat intake and/or producing a lot of ketones, which can be used for the process.
How to Control High Cholesterol Levels?
If you get a non-healthy lipid profile on a low-carb diet there are a few things to consider, in the following order:
Say No to Bulletproof Coffee (Butter, Coconut Fat or MCT Oil in Coffee):
Don’t drink too much of fat in case you’re not hungry. This can often normalize cholesterol levels.
Only Eat When Hungry:
Consider adding intermittent fasting in order to consistently reduce cholesterol levels.
Consider Using More Unsaturated Fats:
Fats like olive oil, fatty fish and avocados can be categorized as unsaturated. Consuming these will lower your cholesterol.
Finally, If Step 1-3 are Not Enough:
Consider whether you really need to be on a strict keto diet for health reasons. If a more moderate or liberal diet can still work for you, it will also likely lower your cholesterol.
The ketogenic diet, however effective at helping people at losing weight and staying healthier, there are some effects it can have on your body.The quick after-symptoms of a ketogenic diet are headaches, fatigue, lost energy, etc. The one debatable issue remains the effects of a keto diet on cholesterol levels.
The relationship between the keto diet and cholesterol is quite uncertain. Usually, in people who follow keto or low-carb diets, blood cholesterol increases very slightly, if at all. Some even experience a slump in LDL cholesterol as well. However, many others undergo an increase in both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.
It is likely for cholesterol to rise during keto or low carb eating as a result of rapid weight loss that the body undergoes. This has been known research for decades now. But there is always a solution to every problem. You can adapt the methods discussed in the article to get your cholesterol levels at that right level. These methods will help you stabilize your blood cholesterol levels when you are on a keto diet.
If you constantly face elevation in cholesterol levels, you should think about continuing your keto diet. You can consult your doctor or just go on a cyclic ketogenic diet. It will help you get benefits of a keto diet without compromising on your cholesterol levels.
If you are thinking amount starting your keto regime or get to a keto diet, please give our other related articles a read. These articles will tell you the most things you need to know about the keto diet, its benefits, and probable side effects that you might face on a keto diet if you are having any related health issues.
We wish you good luck with your keto health regime!