Have you noticed that a low carbohydrate diet raises your cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein)? Are you interested in learning how to lower your LDL cholesterol on keto? This guide will help you figure out what you can do to reduce your LDL by following a low-carb diet.
It remains to be seen whether cholesterol is the most important risk factor for heart disease in people who eat low carbohydrates – and whether it is necessary to reduce it. However, the modern medical consensus is that elevated LDL levels increase cardiovascular risk. We recognize the plight of many people who have seen significant benefits from a low-carb lifestyle but have experienced an increase in LDL.
It can be hard to imagine giving up a diet that has helped you lose weight, improve your blood sugar, reverse your diabetes, normalize your blood pressure, reduce your appetite, and so on. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce LDL without losing the many positive effects of a low-carb lifestyle.
Mix Total Cholesterol With LDL
Some doctors still consider the value of total cholesterol to be a significant number. If total cholesterol is made up of LDL and HDL cholesterol, how can we tell which total cholesterol is rising?
Low-carb diets are known to raise HDL cholesterol, which in turn raises total cholesterol. However, this increase is not alarming in terms of cardiovascular risk. So before you react to high cholesterol, make sure you know how to break it down into LDL and HDL.
Understand the difference between LDL-C and LDL-P.
Most cholesterol blood tests measure LDL-C, which is the total amount of cholesterol in our LDL particles. However, LDL-P, or the total number of LDL particles in our blood, is an even better indicator of cardiovascular risk. Some studies on low carbohydrate diets have shown an increase in LDL-C without a change in LDL-P (or Apo B, which is an indication of LDL particles).
How does it happen Studies show that carbohydrate restriction can convert small LDL particles into larger particles. Therefore, there may be more total cholesterol, but fewer LDL particles. In theory, this would not indicate a significant increase in cardiac risk and would not require corrective action.
How To Lower LDL Cholesterol on A Low-Carb Keto Diet?
Cut out excess saturated Fat
Sometimes a small change can make a big difference. Although we say this based primarily on clinical practice, just cutting off excess liquid saturated fat can normalize LDL levels. This means cutting MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) butter and oil into coffee, fat bombs, and other keto “goodies.”
Some people may find that limiting their saturated fat intake to whole foods (beef, cheese, eggs, etc.) is what they need to improve LDL levels.
Consider Replacing Saturated Fat With Unsaturated Fat.
For others, the small changes mentioned above may not be enough to make a significant difference in LDL. In these cases, it may be necessary to reduce saturated fat from all sources and replace it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
In practice, this means less beef, cheese, cream, and more fish, macadamia nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
Liquid polyunsaturated fats, such as industrial seed oil, are a source of controversy. This is because observational studies show a small cardiovascular benefit, but randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that they can lower LDL levels but do not reduce cardiac events. You can read more about this in our guide on vegetable oils.
Another option is to go on a vegetarian or vegan, keto, or low-carb diet, which is usually low in saturated fat. You can find more details on our vegetarian and vegan low-carb diet in our guides.
For many people, reducing or eliminating saturated fat by following a low-carbohydrate, high-unsaturated fat diet can successfully lower LDL cholesterol. The most important question is, is it a sustainable diet? It is very personal and requires individual experience.
Eat Plenty Of Fiber
High-fiber keto foods such as avocado, leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds can lower LDL cholesterol. However, if increasing the intake of these foods adds too many carbohydrates, you may want to consider supplementing with 5 grams of xylem straw twice daily to reduce LDL.
Try To Eat on Time.
Although there is not much data on punctual food and lipids, a small pilot study showed a significant decrease in LDL-C in people who ate 10 hours a day. Although more data is needed, it is understandable that combining this exercise with some other suggestions in this guide may have additional LDL-lowering effects. If you would like to learn more about how to implement it, you can read our Guide to the Timely Diet.
Know Your Carb Threshold.
The last option to consider is increasing the number of carbohydrates you eat. Sometimes I have to ask myself, do I need to be in ketosis? Or, will following a low-carb diet of 50 or 100 grams of carbohydrates be enough to reach my health goals?
If you have changed your diabetes and want to make sure it doesn’t come back, you may need to stay in ketosis. However, if you have tried a ketogenic diet to curb your cravings and lose some weight, you can safely increase your carbohydrate intake.
In recent years, the keto diet has grown in popularity. Its aim is to lose weight by lowering the carbohydrate level. But it may increase your cholesterol level by increasing the ketones.
Cholesterol is necessary for all animals, including humans, to survive. Almost every cell in your body has cholesterol, which is essential for many biological processes. The keto diet is a low-carb eating plan that emphasizes consuming a lot of fat and little protein. Making your body a fat-burning machine is a goal.
Unsaturated fats such as those present in olive oil, avocados, and almonds may reduce cholesterol. Many claims that the keto diet raises their LDL cholesterol levels, nevertheless.
The bulletproof coffee trend is big in the paleo and low-carb worlds. You must mix 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil into your morning mug of coffee. Eliminate bulletproof coffee from your diet if possible. Your issue might be resolved by doing this alone.
The majority of research demonstrates that these kinds of diets can raise LDL cholesterol while lowering HDL cholesterol. You might want to reevaluate a ketogenic diet if your cholesterol is already elevated.
From week 1 to week 24, the overall cholesterol level dropped. Following treatment, LDL cholesterol levels dramatically fell while HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased. After 24 weeks of treatment, there was a considerable drop in triglyceride levels.
Chicken eggs are cheap sources of protein and other nutrients. They naturally contain a lot of cholesterol. However, unlike some other foods, such as those heavy in trans fats and saturated fats, eggs don’t appear to boost cholesterol levels.