Reducing Cholesterol on a Ketogenic Diet
Are you eating a ketogenic diet but worried about your cholesterol? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are concerned about their cholesterol when they start a ketogenic diet.
But rest assured; as long as you track your macros and stay within the recommended range, this diet is safe and healthy for most people. Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet can improve your lipid profile by lowering triglycerides and raising HDL (the good) cholesterol.
However, these changes might take time to show up on your lab tests. Meanwhile, in the first few weeks of this diet, you may experience side effects like weakness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting called keto flu.
These are usually temporary symptoms that resolve as your body adjusts to fat being the primary source of calories instead of carbohydrates. To learn more about how to reduce cholesterol on a ketogenic diet read on!
What’s the Ideal Cholesterol Range?
It’s recommended to have total cholesterol levels under 200mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L). However, the ideal cholesterol range varies based on your health, age, and other risk factors.
People who have diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension typically aim for a cholesterol level below 100mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L). As you know, the body makes cholesterol and uses it to make hormones and build cell membranes.
It’s also used to make bile, which helps with digestion. A small amount of cholesterol is also found in our blood. In fact, the average adult has about 3,500mg of cholesterol in their blood. The body makes more cholesterol when needed and releases it when it’s not needed.
Why Some People Are Concerned About Cholesterol on Keto
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is the bad type that can build up in arteries, clog them, and cause heart disease.
HDL is the good type that can keep LDL from building up. A ketogenic diet can have positive effects on cholesterol. Eating a high-fat diet can lower triglycerides and raise HDL (the good) cholesterol.
It can also decrease LDL cholesterol, but it doesn’t always happen. Some factors like genetics, age, and lifestyle can influence the effect of this diet on cholesterol. People who have high cholesterol levels or are at risk for heart disease may be concerned about how a ketogenic diet will affect their numbers.
In general, eating a high-fat diet can lower triglycerides and raise HDL (the good) cholesterol. It can also decrease LDL cholesterol, but it doesn’t always happen.
How to Reduce Cholesterol on a Ketogenic Diet
If you want to reduce cholesterol on a ketogenic diet, then you should do the following: Make sure you’re eating enough fat. For some people, eating a high-fat diet can lower LDL cholesterol, but for others it may not.
If you’ve been eating keto for a while and your cholesterol levels haven’t changed, then you may need to make a few tweaks to your diet. Eating a varied diet is key to keeping your cholesterol in a healthy range.
Some foods are better for cholesterol than others. Nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and coconut oil are all good choices for people on a ketogenic diet. Be mindful of how much saturated fat you’re eating. Saturated fats are found in animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs. The ideal is to get less than 10% of your calories from saturated fats.
Foods That Help Reduce Cholesterol on Keto
There are many foods that can help lower cholesterol on a ketogenic diet. Here are a few of them:
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are great low-carb sources of protein. They’re also high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.
- Fish – Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower triglycerides.
- Avocado – This fruit is high in healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol.
- Coconut oil – This oil is rich in lauric acid, which can lower cholesterol.
- Ghee – This is a type of clarified butter that’s high in butyrate and can lower cholesterol.
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, then eating a ketogenic diet can help. This diet is high in fat and low in carbs, so you’re more likely to improve your lipid profile. To reduce cholesterol on a ketogenic diet, make sure you’re eating enough fat, avoiding saturated fats, and eating lots of fiber, healthy fats, and other nutritious foods.