Keto and High Cholesterol: What You Need to Know
If you are following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, you may be wondering if it could lead to high cholesterol. While research into this area is still ongoing, the evidence suggests that a keto diet can lead to an increase in certain types of cholesterol, including the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Here, we discuss what you need to know about keto and high cholesterol.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and all cells of the body. It is essential for the body to function as it helps to produce hormones, vitamin D, and substances that aid in digestion. But too much cholesterol can put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.
There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is the “bad” cholesterol as it can build up in the walls of your arteries and cause them to harden or narrow, leading to heart disease or stroke. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol as it helps to remove LDL from your arteries.
Does Keto Affect Cholesterol?
Research suggests that following a keto diet can increase certain types of cholesterol. Studies have found that following a ketogenic diet for 6 weeks can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol by up to 8%. This may be due to the fact that a keto diet is high in saturated fat which can lead to an increase in LDL levels.
It is important to note that not all studies have found an increase in LDL with a keto diet. Some studies have found no change or even a decrease in LDL levels when following a keto diet. More research is needed in this area to understand how exactly keto affects cholesterol levels.
What Should I Do if My Cholesterol Is High?
If you are following a keto diet and your cholesterol levels are high, it is important to talk to your doctor. They may recommend making changes to your diet or lifestyle such as reducing your intake of saturated fat, increasing your intake of fiber, and exercising regularly.
Your doctor may also recommend taking medication such as statins or other cholesterol-lowering drugs if your cholesterol levels are very high. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice as this can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can lead to an increase in certain types of cholesterol, including the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Therefore, it is important to monitor your cholesterol levels if you are following this type of diet. If your cholesterol levels are high, talk to your doctor about making changes to your diet or lifestyle or taking medication such as statins.