The goal of this article is to give you information about lowering your LDL cholesterol on a low-carb diet. This article will explain the mechanism of action of LDL cholesterol lowering and give you some tips to effectively lower your LDL cholesterol. It will also give you some tips on what to eat and some recommendations on the best way to follow a low-carb diet.
The jury is still out on whether low-carb diets are good or bad for health. If you are interested in learning more about low-carb diets and your health, this article aims to give you an overview of the health effects of a low-carb diet.
According to the American Heart Association, the optimal blood cholesterol level for preventing cardiovascular disease is about 120 mg/dL. However, the ultimate goal is to reduce LDL cholesterol levels to below 100 mg/dL, which improves the overall health of the heart and arteries.. Read more about what can i eat on a low cholesterol, low-carb diet and let us know what you think.
Updated 17. June 2021, based on a medical opinion from
Have you observed that when you eat a low-carb diet, your total cholesterol and LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels rise? Do you want to learn how to reduce your cholesterol? This article will show you how to reduce your LDL cholesterol while on a low-carb diet.
Denial: While a low-carb diet has many established advantages, it also has some contentious elements. When measured in the context of a healthy low-carbohydrate diet, one such issue is whether high LDL values matter for cardiovascular risk.
Any changes in your testing, medicines, or suitable lifestyle modifications should be discussed with your doctor. Disclaimer in its entirety
Saturated fat, cholesterol, whole grains, red meat, salt, and calorie restriction for weight reduction are some of the other hot issues surrounding the low-carb diet and our opinions on it.
It is yet to be shown that cholesterol is the primary risk factor for heart disease in individuals who follow a low-carb diet, and that lowering it is critical. High LDL levels, on the other hand, are thought to increase cardiovascular risk. Many individuals who see the substantial advantages of a low-carb diet yet have high LDL readings recognize their predicament.
It’s difficult to fathom giving up a diet that has helped you lose weight, improve blood sugar and insulin resistance, regulate blood pressure, decrease cravings, and offer other advantages. Fortunately, there are methods to reduce LDL without sacrificing many of the benefits of a low-carb diet.
LDL cholesterol is not the same as total cholesterol.
Total cholesterol is still used by some physicians as a crucial indication. We don’t know whether the rise in total cholesterol is due to an increase in LDL, HDL, or both since total cholesterol is made up of LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Low-carb diets are known to boost HDL levels, which in turn raise total cholesterol, in addition to possibly raising LDL levels. High HDL levels, on the other hand, are not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So, before you respond to an increase in total cholesterol, be sure you know your LDL/HDL ratio.
Knowing the difference between LDL-C and LDL-P is important.
LDL-C, or the total amount of cholesterol in our LDL particles, is measured in the majority of cholesterol blood tests. LDL-P, or the total amount of LDL particles in our blood, is a better indicator of cardiovascular risk. In several low-carb diet trials, LDL-C levels rose while LDL-P levels remained constant or dropped (or Apo B, which is a common indicator of LDL particles).
What gives that this is possible? Carbohydrate restriction has been shown in studies to increase the size of tiny LDL particles. As a result, overall cholesterol levels may be higher, while LDL particles may be lower. This does not seem to suggest a substantial increase in cardiovascular risk, therefore remedial action may not be required.
How to Reduce LDL Cholesterol with a Low-Carb Diet
Reduce your saturated fat intake.
A little adjustment may sometimes make a huge impact. While this is mainly based on clinical experience, just eliminating liquid saturated fats may bring LDL levels back to normal. In coffee, fat bombs, and other keto delights, this means avoiding MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil and butter.
Limiting saturated fat consumption to whole foods (beef, cheese, eggs, etc.) has been shown to increase LDL levels in certain individuals.
Saturated fats should be replaced by unsaturated fats.
Small adjustments like those described above may not be enough to produce a substantial shift in LDL levels in some individuals. Instead, patients should decrease saturated fat intake from all sources and replace it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In reality, this means eating more fish, macadamia nuts, avocado, and olive oil instead of meat, cheese, and cream.
Liquid polyunsaturated fats, such as B. seed oils, continue to be a source of debate. Observational studies indicate little benefit for the heart, whereas randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that they may decrease LDL levels, but they may also increase cardiovascular events and mortality risk. Furthermore, while clinical trials have not shown it, there is molecular evidence that seed oils may enhance oxidation and inflammation. See our scientific guide on vegetable oils for more details.
A low-carb vegetarian or vegan diet, which usually includes less saturated fat, is another possibility. See our low-carb vegetarian and vegan diet guidelines for additional information.
Many individuals have discovered that following the LCHF diet and decreasing or eliminating saturated fats reduces LDL cholesterol levels. The issue is whether such a feeding paradigm can be maintained indefinitely. The solution is very individualized and requires trial and error.
Consume a lot of fiber.
Avocados, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds are ketone-friendly, high-fiber foods that may help reduce LDL cholesterol. However, if you’re getting more carbs from these meals, try adding 5 grams of psyllium husks twice a day to help reduce your LDL levels.
Feeding practice for the time being
Although there isn’t much research on time and fat restriction, a tiny pilot study found that individuals who ate all of their meals within 10 hours had lower LDL-C values. While additional research is needed, it is reasonable to assume that combining this practice with some of the other recommendations in this book would result in a greater reduction in LDL levels.
Recognize your carbohydrate limit.
The last thing you should think about is increasing your carbohydrate intake. It’s okay to question whether or not you should be in ketosis. Is a low-carb diet with 50 or even 100 grams of carbohydrates sufficient to achieve your health objectives?
Staying in ketosis may be necessary if you want to manage and maintain your diabetes. You may safely increase your carbohydrate consumption if you attempted the ketogenic diet to decrease carb cravings and lose weight in the first place. See our comprehensive carbohydrate consumption guide for additional details.
It’s crucial to be cautious and honest with yourself when it comes to how things change when you add carbohydrates to your diet. Also, keep in mind that not all carbohydrates are made equal. Even if you raise your daily carbohydrate consumption to 100 grams, grains and sugars aren’t necessarily back on the table.
As far as new carbohydrates go, try to stick to non-starchy veggies, fruits, and legumes. If you find yourself bingeing, losing control, or suffering other negative consequences, return to a stricter carbohydrate restriction to avoid jeopardizing your health gains.
We suggest that you perform a series of personal trials since many individuals react differently to the aforementioned treatments. Before you begin, consider the following essential questions:
- Do I want to make a single modification or a series of changes? It is better to alter one item at a time if you want to discover the adjustment that will have the most effect. For instance, instead of coffee and butter, have a steak cooked with cream and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates. This will assist you in answering your only query.
If you want to obtain results as soon as possible, though, you should utilize as many exposure techniques as feasible. If you succeed, you may change your course or add additional elements along the way. You may, for example, resume eating steak twice a week and then retest to ensure that your results are within the required range.
It’s all about establishing a way of life that you can stick to in the long run. It’s difficult to get long-term success if you limit yourself so much that you become sad.
- How much longer must I wait? It’s unlikely that skipping the butter and MCT oil in your coffee for a week will have a significant effect on your outcomes. But how much time is enough?
There is no clear answer, but most practitioners think that 6 weeks is the least period to anticipate a meaningful improvement, while many admit that the greatest benefit may not be observed for 3 to 6 months. As a result, determining whether you have given your experiment enough time may be challenging. One option is to test again after 6 weeks and then again after 3 months to see how far you’ve progressed and then determine whether or not further testing is necessary.
- What kinds of lipid testing should be done? LDL-C, rather than LDL-P or LDL size and density, is the emphasis of traditional cardiology. This is partially due to the fact that statins and other lipid-lowering medications do not alter the size or density of LDL particles and decrease LDL-C more than LDL-P. Dietary modifications, on the other hand, seem to be more successful in reducing LDL-P and LDL size. As a result, we suggest a complete lipid analysis, which includes measuring LDL-P and LDL particle size, when assessing the impact of lifestyle modifications on lipids.
Unfortunately, in the United States and other countries, insurance does not usually cover these tests, so you will have to pay for them yourself. If this isn’t possible, the ratio of triglycerides to LDL may be used as a proxy for LDL particle size. It’s not perfect, but there is a link between metabolic health and happiness.
The TG/LAP ratio has been linked to cardiovascular risk and death in studies. Despite the fact that there is no general agreement on the optimum level, studies indicate that more than 4 is dangerous, and clinical opinion is that less than 2 is a realistic aim, with lower levels being better (provided HDL is greater than 40). This ratio has also been linked to insulin resistance in both adults and children, according to research. You may look at the trend to check if the ratio isn’t rising, since a smaller ratio is usually preferable.
- Is there anything else that needs to be measured? It’s important to remember that LDL isn’t the sole risk factor for heart disease. If you want to decrease your LDL, be sure that other indications aren’t harmed. As a result, basic measures like weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure should be checked, as well as indicators of insulin resistance including fasting blood glucose and insulin levels (and HOMA-IR calculation); and HbA1c for long-term blood glucose monitoring. See our evidence-based guide for additional information about insulin resistance.
Remember to tell your doctor about your encounter to protect your safety, particularly if you’re on diabetic, high blood pressure, or cholesterol medication.
You can look into it.
You may take control of the issue by creating your own studies to understand how to alter laboratory findings by following the procedures outlined above. Remember to concentrate on your overall health; the aim should be to reduce your LDL without sacrificing any of the low-carb diet’s advantages. Consult your doctor to ensure that it is both safe and effective. Check out our list of low-carb physicians if you need a doctor who is more acquainted with the low-carb diet.
/ Bret Scher, Ph.D.
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Our high-carb or low-fat diets, along with a lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyle choices, are the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, is a primary risk factor for heart disease. High levels of LDL cholesterol interfere with the body’s ability to remove cholesterol from the blood, known as reverse cholesterol transport, which contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. The more cholesterol in your blood, the more plaque you accumulate, and the more likely you are to die from a heart attack or stroke.. Read more about how many carbs should i eat a day to lower cholesterol and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you lower LDL cholesterol on a low carb diet?
LDL cholesterol is a type of cholesterol that circulates in your blood. It is also known as the bad cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of your arteries and cause heart disease. There are many ways to lower LDL cholesterol, but they all involve making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
What is the fastest way to lower LDL cholesterol?
The best way to lower LDL cholesterol is through diet and exercise.
Can I eat low carb and lower my cholesterol?
Yes, you can eat low carb and lower your cholesterol.
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