Does the Ketogenic diet raise cholesterol levels?

Does the Ketogenic diet raise cholesterol levels

The ketogenic diet is one of the hottest trends today in weight management. It was touted to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight.

However, like any dieting programs out there, most often neglect one important issue.

Yes, we get it. You lose weight, and you achieve a more slender physique.

But one factor we should all be asking is safety.

The idea of the Ketogenic diet is that you consume 75% fats, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.

Although it does produce results, with that high of fat intake, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask if it’s healthy or even safe.

For one, a high cholesterol level is often the result of too much fat clogging your arteries.

But you lose weight while doing keto, you might argue. But remember that there are individuals who are thin but does have high cholesterol level.

This was elaborately discussed in a 2008 study. It was found that about a quarter of people living in the US are at risk of cardiovascular diseases due to high cholesterol levels. This is despite that they are not obese or overweight. (1)

Does the ketogenic diet raise cholesterol levels?

You might think so, but let’s explore them in detail, shall we?

Let’s begin…

What are some of the proven side effects of the ketogenic diet?

Before anything else, we take a look first what are the proven consequences of the ketogenic diet.

Initially, they may experience what is called the keto flu. It is characterized by the following one or more symptoms—

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Intensified cravings
  • Sleep problems

Some say that the keto flu is the result of withdrawal.

Its symptoms normally start to kick in within the first to the second day.

The keto flu may last for about a few days to weeks, while in some cases, it would reach months.

Does the Ketogenic diet raise cholesterol levels

Does the Ketogenic diet raise cholesterol levels?

Although the Ketogenic diet requires high-fat consumption, it does not necessarily mean that it includes all types of fat.

You have to take note that there are two types of fats—Healthy fats (HDL) and Unhealthy fats (LDL).

What the Ketogenic diet advocates are HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) over LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins).

While LDL increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases, HDL counters the negative effects of LDL and improves the overall condition of the heart.

This diet typically recommends the following foods that are rich in HDL—

  • Avocado
  • Seafood
  • Low-carb vegetables
  • Lean meat
  • Eggs
  • MCT oil
  • Olive oil
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds

Although HDL reduces the risk of heart diseases, it can still result in negative consequences if consumption is unmanaged.

How safe is the diet?

Several studies claim that keto diet significantly affects cholesterol levels. (2)

But also have to take note a high carbohydrate raises the cholesterol levels as well.

As mentioned, the ketogenic diet advocates high HDL consumption and lower carbohydrate intake.

Now, HDL counters LDL and prevents the clogging of our arteries.

Also, a lower carb in itself aids the production of more HDL levels by limiting the release of triglycerides.

This may be the case—the Ketogenic diet may still not be recommendable for everybody.

This is because the diet may cause a higher LDL level to some individuals.

For instance, it may not be suitable for people suffering from fat-induced lipemia.

Individuals with such conditions may cause their triglyceride levels to increase. Continuing with the diet may eventually lead to pancreatitis.

Final thoughts

The Ketogenic diet doesn’t only lead to weight loss but may also be beneficial to our overall health.

But we have to take note that anything in excess could be potentially unhealthy or even life-threatening if not managed properly.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking the Ketogenic diet to avoid any negative consequences.

Related Article: The Ketogenic Diet

Sweet Freedom Team

Sweet Freedom Team

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