Is the keto diet safe for someone with high cholesterol? However, studies suggest the connection between the keto diet and cholesterol is actually positive. For decades cholesterol has gotten as a bad rap, but in reality cholesterol plays many important roles in the body. For example, cholesterol has functions including. Cholesterol in our body is present in the form of fatty acids lipids that travel through the bloodstream.
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. 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. Some simple adjustments will do just fine and you will still be able to reap all the metabolic benefits of eating low-carb. People who have mostly small LDL particles have a high risk of heart disease, while those with mostly large particles have a low risk 4, 5. However, science is now showing that the most important marker of all is the LDL particle number LDL-p, which measures how many LDL particles are floating around in your bloodstream 6.
This guide is our attempt at summarizing what is known. It is written for adults who are concerned about cholesterol and health, especially when eating a low-carb diet. Discuss any lifestyle changes with your doctor. Full disclaimer. For even more details and relevant research on connected topics, see our guides to healthy fats, vegetable oils and saturated fats. Also see our list of core scientific studies related to heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fats. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential for the life of all animals, including humans. Your body makes most of the cholesterol that is found in your bloodstream. Dietary cholesterol — found in animal foods like eggs, shellfish, cheese, and organ meat — makes up a smaller portion of your blood cholesterol pool.