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How Does Ketosis Affect Cholesterol

Dangers Of Low Carb Diets: Keto And Cholesterol Under The Spotlight!

Dangers Of Low Carb Diets: Keto And Cholesterol Under The Spotlight!

Are the dangers of low carb diets unfounded propaganda or genuine health risks? In this article we examine ketogenic diets and their impact on cholesterol levels. The “keto diets are bad for cholesterol” argument has raged on for years and caused a lot of controversy (mainly due to the Atkins diet), but do they really raise cholesterol or is it a myth that refuses to die? We look at the scientific studies on keto diets and cholesterol levels to establish if this is one of the dangers of low carb diets that’s true. It’s generally accepted that high fat diets raise cholesterol levels which increases the risk of heart problems. As the keto diet is a high fat diet the general assumption is that it will cause high cholesterol. On the face of it this sounds reasonable but a keto diet is different to the high fat diet of your “Regular Joe” (e.g. fries, pizza, etc) so we need to look to science to provide the answers. Need some help understanding cholesterol? If so, brush up your knowledge with my Low Cholesterol Diet Tips page Scientific studies are the best place to draw our conclusions; however, the scientists themselves are not always consistent in their methods. This is why you will often studies that contradict each other Pro-keto gurus will spin the studies in their favour and keto detractors will always cite this as one of the dangers of low carb diets. I simply intend to refer you to the key studies and try to help you decide for yourself. The Original Keto Studies When keto diets were first studied, they did in fact report an increase in cholesterol. This is probably where the “keto raises cholesterol” mantra originated. Study #1 In this study, one of the original studies (1981) that monitored the impact of a ketogenic diet on cholesterol levels. It is Continue reading >>

Cholesterol And The Ketogenic Diet

Cholesterol And The Ketogenic Diet

Does the Keto Diet Raise Cholesterol? The ketogenic, or keto, diet is an eating plan based on high fat intake, adequate levels of protein and very low intake of carbohydrates. It is designed to change the way the body sources energy, forcing it to burn fats as energy, rather than glucose obtained from carbohydrates. Developed as a treatment for epilepsy in 1924, the keto diet is still used today to control the disorder. It is also used in the treatment of other medical issues, and has become very popular for weight loss. Given the high intake of fats, questions have been raised about cholesterol and the ketogenic diet, a concern that we'll look into here in detail. About The Ketogenic Diet A typical Ketogenic Diet plan involves getting most calories from fat (70-90%), a small amount from protein and very minimal carbohydrate intake. The high fat, low carbohydrate makeup of the diet is designed to mimic the fasting state, stimulating a metabolic state called ketosis. This is a state in which the lack of sufficient carbohydrates in the diet forces it to turn to fat as a fuel source. In order to use those fats, the liver includes High Fat Foods with few Carbohydratesconverts them into fatty acids and ketones, and the ketones then replace glucose as the body's main source of energy. The ketogenic diet was first developed by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic to control epilepsy. It is still considered a very effective treatment for reducing seizures in patients who suffer the disorder. While it has been largely replaced by anticonvulsant drugs today, it is still used to treat patients with drug-resistant seizure disorders. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is strong medical evidence that the keto diet is also beneficial for weight loss, impro Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol

Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol

I recently got some blood work back and I wanted to share my results in hopes that it may offer some insight to others who may find themselves at the crossroads of the ketogenic diet and high cholesterol. I have been following a low-carb high-fat diet since July and generally speaking I have been really happy with how it has impacted my body composition, athletic performance, energy and blood sugar control. I’ve written an ebook about it (specifically in relation to type 1 diabetes) and I want to be fair and share the challenges that I’m having as well. What I am presenting here is in no way advice or even a solution that I have found for myself–but rather a question that I am working through. I’ve always had elevated cholesterol (last 10 years) and I’ve always prioritized my blood sugar management over cholesterol. Simply put, there are more questions about the risks of cholesterol than the risks of elevated blood sugar, so I focus on the “devil I know”. I got my bloodwork back and found that my total cholesterol is 383 with LDL at 292. My a1c was 6.5. Neither of these individually are what I am shooting for and both in combination are a bit more alarming. Being perfectly honest it feels like a massive failure to be back at this point of reevaluating everything again. It’s hard not to be governed by numbers but it’s not responsible to ignore them either. I declined statin medication and I was told to switch to a low fat diet high carb diet. My blood pressure was 104/84 and I typically have a resting pulse rate of about 60. I immediately did an internet search on the keto diet correlating to elevated cholesterol and found a whole lot of conjecture. There haven’t been conclusive tests done to evaluate the risk of elevated LDL while on a ketogenic diet Continue reading >>

What To Do If A Low-carb Diet Raises Your Cholesterol

What To Do If A Low-carb Diet Raises Your Cholesterol

Low-carb and ketogenic diets are incredibly healthy. They have clear, potentially life-saving benefits for some of the world's most serious diseases. This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, epilepsy and numerous others. The most common heart disease risk factors tend to improve greatly, for most people (1, 2, 3). According to these improvements, low-carb diets should reduce the risk of heart disease. But even if these risk factors improve on average, there can be individuals within those averages that experience improvements, and others who see negative effects. There appears to be a small subset of people who experience increased cholesterol levels on a low-carb diet, especially a ketogenic diet or a very high fat version of paleo. This includes increases in Total and LDL cholesterol... as well as increases in advanced (and much more important) markers like LDL particle number. Of course, most of these "risk factors" were established in the context of a high-carb, high-calorie Western diet and we don't know if they have the same effects on a healthy low-carb diet that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. However... it is better to be safe than sorry and I think that these individuals should take some measures to get their levels down, especially those who have a family history of heart disease. Fortunately, you don't need to go on a low-fat diet, eat veggie oils or take statins to get your levels down. Some simple adjustments will do just fine and you will still be able to reap all the metabolic benefits of eating low-carb. Interpreting cholesterol numbers can be fairly complicated. Most people are familiar with Total, HDL and LDL cholesterol. People with high HDL (the "good") have a low risk of heart disease, while people with high LDL (the " Continue reading >>

Does A Ketogenic Diet Change Your Lipid Profile

Does A Ketogenic Diet Change Your Lipid Profile

Wrong and outdated health information often causes worry about the healthiness of the ketogenic diet. One of the biggest concerns is: does a ketogenic diet change your lipid profile? In order to tackle and address these concerns, we’ll be covering what lipid profile means, why it’s included in myths about the ketogenic diet and why you don’t need to worry about most of what you’ve been told. Lipids and the Ketogenic Diet The main purpose of the ketogenic diet today is to provide a measurable state of metabolism through nutritional ketosis. There are many benefits of ketosis, including weight loss, better mental clarity, and more energy. These benefits make the ketogenic diet enticing, but what about how it affects lipids in the body? To understand this, let’s discuss what lipids are and the beliefs surrounding them and the keto diet. What is a Lipid Profile? A lipid profile is the measure of fats and fatty substances (lipids) that your body uses as energy. These are usually measured via a lipid panel of blood tests meant to look for any irregularities in your lipid amounts. Lipids include: Triglycerides Cholesterol High-density lipoprotein (HDL, often know as “good,” cholesterol) Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, often known as “bad,” cholesterol) The ketogenic diet raises some concerns around the diet negatively affecting one’s lipid profile and increasing their risks of diseases related to high cholesterol or triglycerides. Let’s take a look at these concerns. Myths About Fat and Cholesterol Below are some of the myths when it comes to the ketogenic diet and lipid profiles. We’re used to hearing many of these due to bad or old science — and we all know the internet is rampant with poor (and sometimes harmful) information. Myth: Cholesterol is bad Continue reading >>

Keto And Cholesterol

Keto And Cholesterol

If you’re keto, you’ve heard it before. The single most common response given by people who are not familiar with the ketogenic diet and lifestlye is that you’re going to clog your arteries, get heart disease, and die. I’m asked all the time how keto people should respond to that objection. I’m asked by keto people about what kind of evidence they can use to prove that keto isn’t dangerous. I’ll be honest with you, that irritates me. What irritates me isn’t the fact the keto people are seeking evidence. That’s great. I love that. What irritates me is that keto people feel like they should be playing defense. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or defense of what you choose to eat. Your health is your responsibility and you can only answer to yourself. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation for your food. Okay, so enough about my irritation. Back to the question: What do you say to someone who claims that keto will result in clogged arteries, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, or death? The first thing I say, in response, is: Why do you think that’s true? The thing is, most people don’t really know WHY they believe that keto is dangerous, they’re just parroting what they’ve heard all their lives. And they have no real basis for their belief. I mean, they have no real scientific basis for their belief. The idea that high levels of cholesterol is dangerous is known as the Diet Heart Hypothesis. This hypothesis was first put forth by Ancel Keys in 1955. It states that eating high levels of saturated fat will increase your cholesterol, and increased cholesterol will clog arteries and cause heart disease. The first part of that hypothesis is correct. The second part is wrong. Eating a lot of saturated fat will increase your cholesterol. So Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Cholesterol

The Ketogenic Diet And Cholesterol

A common misconception is that because ketogenic diets are high in fat, they must increase cholesterol in your body and clog your arteries. However, much of the recent research shines light on how low-carb diets can optimize your cholesterol levels and in fact improve your heart health. Here we show the most up-to-date research on how different types of cholesterol impact the body and how the ketogenic diet can be a useful tool in maintaining a robust cardiovascular system. Cutting through the Fat: What are Lipids and Cholesterol? Before we can examine the research, we need to understand the roles fat, cholesterol, and carrier molecules called lipoproteins play in the body. Fats, also known as lipids, are a diverse group of molecules with a “non-polar” characteristic that repels water. This means that you if you put a fat such as oil or grease in water they will not mix. In the human body, fats are most commonly found in the bloodstream in one of two forms. The first is triglycerides, a fatty acid that stores energy for later use. These long molecules can be broken down into other fatty acids and glycerol to create fuel for the body. Glycerol can further be broken down into forms of glucose. Elevated levels of triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses, and other life-threatening diseases. [1] The other important class of lipids in the body is a waxy substance called cholesterol. These molecules have a variety of functions in your body such as building hormones including estrogen and testosterone, maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, and aiding in the absorption of vitamins. Your body produces all the cholesterol you need through the liver and other body cells. Cholesterol is also obtained by consuming Continue reading >>

Lipid Changes On A Very-low-carb Ketogenic Diet: My Own Experience

Lipid Changes On A Very-low-carb Ketogenic Diet: My Own Experience

I'd like to preface this blog post by apologizing for its length, including links to several long articles. Also, for anyone who doesn't know me, I'm a vocal and enthusiastic supporter of low-carbohydrate diets, but I always strive to be balanced in my writing. I'm very nonconfrontational and don't like "getting into it" with people who disagree with me. However, I expect I'll receive plenty of negative feedback from this article because of the controversial topic. Cholesterol Results From June 2013 through November 2013 My cholesterol levels have always been higher than average. LDL has ranged from 120s-150s as far back as I can remember, long before I began following a moderately carbohydrate-restricted diet back in 2011. In June of last year, I reported my NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) LipoProfile results after almost a year of consuming a very-low-carb ketogenic diet (VLCKD) containing less than 50 grams net carb per day. I was very happy with these values and frankly a little surprised that I achieved them while eating delicious, satiating foods. Lipid Profile from November 2013 In November of last year, I had a standard lipid profile done as part of lab work for my annual physical: Total Cholesterol: 300 LDL-C: 160 HDL-C: 128 TG: 56 My numbers had increased, but I wasn't terribly concerned about the LDL-C, since on a few occasions it had been nearly that high in the past. Seeing a total cholesterol of 300 was a bit troubling, but I knew it was partially due to having extremely high HDL (Apparently high levels of some types of HDL can also be problematic, although I didn't realize this at the time). Looking back, although I wasn't tracking my intake online regularly back then, I'm pretty sure I was eating the same or perhaps a little more fat than when I had the Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol (the Hyper-responder’s Ultimate Guide)

The Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol (the Hyper-responder’s Ultimate Guide)

Ketogenic Diet High Cholesterol: the Hyper-Responders Ultimate Survival Guide for dealing with super high cholesterol on a LCHF or Keto Diet. As discussed in my last article, the ketogenic diet may not be for everyone. One of those reasons is cholesterol and, although most people should experience an improved lipid profile whilst following a LCHF diet, it seems to be fairly common for a subset of people to see detrimental results, especially related to LDL. I am one of those unlucky people and, as a result, I’ve been doing a lot of research on what this is all about. If you’re in the same boat, fear not, things may not be as bad as you think and there are some reassuring things you should understand before you take any further steps. The rationale behind my desire to write about this stems from a very lengthy, confusing and frustrating experience with various GPs which, until now, has been without conclusion. To corroborate that my experience is not unique, and to set the tone for the article, please enjoy the words of Dr.Peter Attia, directly ‘borrowed’ from post 1 of 8 in his ‘The Straight Dope On Cholesterol’ series: “The topic bears an unsettling parallel reality to nutrition science in that virtually all health care providers have no understanding of it and seem to only reiterate conventional wisdom (e.g. “LDL is bad”, “HDL is good”)”. In summary, whilst the standard approach to cholesterol testing has its place, the science of cholesterol has moved on and, if you have high cholesterol, you must look beyond the pale. My objective here is to provide a comprehensive guide to support anyone experiencing issues with high cholesterol after adopting a ketogenic or LCHF diet. Thus, by reading this article you should have a much better idea of what Continue reading >>

Low Carb And Cholesterol – A Case History

Low Carb And Cholesterol – A Case History

Three months ago I had a visit from a 53 year old gentleman who was worried about his health. His name is Peter. He had been gaining weight for some time, his knees were aching and he was having trouble playing his weekly tennis with his old classmates. He told me he had probably put on approximately 55 lb (25 kg) in the past five years. “It all started when I quit smoking” he said Peter was working as an accountant. There was a lot a stress at work, long working days and sometimes he had to go in on the weekends as well. Apart from his weekly badminton, he wasn’t really exercising at all. Although he had quit smoking, he had never really bothered about his lifestyle and was totally uninterested in diet and nutrition. His wife took care of the cooking at home and was trying to limit his intake of calories. She was very conscious about cholesterol and tried to use low-fat varieties. At work however, Peter relied mainly on fast food, sandwiches, sodas, chocolate bars, chips, and an occasional fruit in between. Usually a few beers and some red wine on the weekends, bot otherwise not much alcohol. Peter had suddenly become worried about his weight gain and felt his general condition was slowly becoming worse. He was feeling out of breath. For the first time in his life he was really thinking about his health. He appeared to have suddenly realized that, he himself might have to take action. Peter told me he wanted to try a low carb diet. A friend of his had been getting good results with such an approach, was feeling well and had lost a lot of weight. Peter thought this might be the way for him to go. However, his wife was reluctant. She didn’t like the idea of eating so much fat. She had a history of elevated cholesterol herself, and had been trying to avoid animal Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Cholesterol Quandry

The Ketogenic Cholesterol Quandry

“Won’t my cholesterol get worse and increase my risk of heart disease if I eat more fat?” I get asked this question at least 3-4 times a day. The answer is, “NO. Not if you cut out the sugar and starch.” “But, wait?! What about my heart? All that fat can’t be good for my heart?” they ask. Cholesterol Defined Let’s start with the contents of the standard cholesterol panel or “Lipid Panel.” For the last 20-30 years the following labs have been looked at as the holy grail of heart disease risk: Total Cholesterol HDL (the measured number for “good” cholesterol) LDL-C (the calculated number for “bad” cholesterol). VLDL-C (the calculated number for very low density cholesterol) Triglycerides The first problem with this panel is that it makes you believe that there are four different forms of cholesterol. NOT TRUE! Actually, cholesterol is a steroid precursor that either makes up a part of the lipoprotein molecule or is transported with the triglycerides as a passenger. The lipoproteins are just transporters made of lipid that are only slightly different from their passenger load (causing increased or decreased density). The proteins that are contained within the wall of the lipoprotein transporter is what makes them different. These lipoprotein particles can be thought of, simplistically as buses, carrying triglyceride passengers. Here size does matter, and size determines the function of the molecule at that moment in time. Cholesterol is Really Just a Triglyceride Bus These buses, big and small, carry the passengers up and down the vascular system of the body. Glucose can float freely through the blood stream, but the other form of fuel, triglyceride, must be transported via the “lipoprotein bus”. The triglyceride and cholesterol are actual Continue reading >>

Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients.

Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients.

Abstract BACKGROUND: Although various studies have examined the short-term effects of a ketogenic diet in reducing weight in obese patients, its long-term effects on various physical and biochemical parameters are not known. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet (consisting of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat) in obese patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m(2), and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administerin Continue reading >>

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Cholesterol

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Cholesterol

What happens to your cholesterol when you eat high-fat, keto? Jimmy Moore and I review my 9 month cholesterol numbers since going low-carb, high-fat, keto. I’ve been following a high-fat, low-carb, keto eating style for 9 months (as outlined in my 30-day keto program) and my blood test results are in! Today; with the help of Jimmy Moore, we’re reviewing my results and chatting about what eating high-fat, low-carb, keto does to your cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. AND! We show you how to interpret the results of your blood tests, the cholesterol numbers you should watch for, foods that put you at risk, the connection between triglycerides and carb intake, and how to change your numbers for the better. If you’re curious about cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, today’s video will give you the full picture so that you can make a healthful, informed decision about yourself, your health and your high-fat, keto life. Highlights… What eating “high-fat” or “keto” did to my cholesterol (HDL, LDL and triglycerides) What cholesterol numbers to watch for The food your body needs to increase your HDL The connection between carb intake and triglycerides What eating high-fat, keto does to your cholesterol numbers Resources… Get Jimmy’s Book, Cholesterol Clarity My 30-day Meal Plan + High-Fat, Keto Guidebook, The Keto Beginning VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION Leanne: Jimmy, you’re here in the flesh. Jimmy Moore: Hey, hey, hey. Leanne: For those of you guys who don’t know Jimmy Moore, first of all you’ve probably been living under a rock because this guy’s huge. Excited to have you here on the show today. Jimmy busted on health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180 pound weight loss that enabled him to come off of his prescription drugs for high cholesterol, Continue reading >>

What Do You Do If You Get Elevated Cholesterol On A Low-carb Diet?

What Do You Do If You Get Elevated Cholesterol On A Low-carb Diet?

It’s a question I often get. Isn’t a low-carb and high-fat diet bad for the cholesterol? And what if you get an elevated cholesterol on LCHF, what should you do? The good news First the great news: A low-carb high-fat diet usually results in an improved cholesterol profile, indicating a lower risk of heart disease: The classic effect of a low-carb diet on cholesterol is a slight elevation, partly due to an elevation of the good (HDL) cholesterol, indicating a lower risk of heart disease. This especially as the cholesterol profile also typically improves in two more ways: lower triglycerides and larger, fluffier LDL particles. All things that reduce risk of heart disease, statistically. It has also been shown that two years with low-carb, high-fat diet advice results in a reduction of atherosclerosis – people actually got less signs of heart disease. The bad news However, there are also potential problems, even if they are rare. On average the elevation of total and LDL cholesterol is so small that most studies do not even pick up on it. But for a smaller number of people – possibly around 1-2 percent of the population – there can be worrying elevations of LDL and total cholesterol, beyond what can be considered normal. This potential risk is worth taking seriously. It can also be worth taking steps to correct it. I’ve written more about it on the page about potential side effects of low-carb diets: Low Carb Side Effects & How to Cure Them More Continue reading >>

The Fasting Disaster

The Fasting Disaster

Fasting has been all the rage lately. Jimmy Moore and Jason Fung released a book on it that quickly shot up the New York Times Best Sellers list. In fact, it has been so popular that they launched a podcast on it at the beginning of this year. Oh, I did I mention the episode featuring Jason Fung and fasting is still the most downloaded of the 2 Keto Dudes podcast? Yet other high profile low carbers such as Dr. Stephen Phinney are not part of the fan club. My personal favorite article on the subject was Not So… Fast… (A Rant) from the prolific Amy Berger. While on low carb myself, I’ve only ever intentionally fasted for 14 hours at a time, which was only done to meet the requirements of a blood draw. But while I don’t feel hungry when fasting, I don’t feel… right. To be sure, I’ve wondered if I want to eat all the time so that I either maintain or gain weight, given I’m underweight right now. And therefore my feeling odd when not eating is perhaps entirely mental manifestation. Regardless, a fast of a few days probably wouldn’t be that bad anyway, right? The Experiment The plan was pretty simple: I’d take a blood draw in the morning at the beginning of the fast. Fast for three days while both supplementing and keeping electrolytes high, but otherwise drinking only water. Take a final blood draw for comparison on the morning 72 hours after the first blood draw. So in all, 86 hours will have passed since my last meal, making it a total of 3.5 days. Execution Day One: I was surprised to find I wasn’t hungry at all. This seemed to back up my theory that if I had already made the commitment to myself to forgo eating, my brain wouldn’t send me subconscious “shouldn’t we be eating?” signals. As happens with me when I’ve lowered my total calories Continue reading >>

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