Cholesterol and keto is something that is brought up over and over again. “Keto will give you high cholesterol” “All that fat isn’t good for you.”
To understand how this all relates, you must first understand what each type of cholesterol does.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is considered “bad” cholesterol. Elevated LDL cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. LDL cholesterol often increases with a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fats. For many people, their LDL cholesterol is based on heredity. Lifestyle choices including diet and many medications are effective in lowering the LDL cholesterol level. Reference Range: < 130 mg/dL (calc)
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is commonly called “good” cholesterol. Unlike other cholesterol levels, the HDL cholesterol test result is best if it is high. Elevated HDL cholesterol is associated with decreased risk of heart disease. A low level of HDL cholesterol can be associated with increased risk for heart disease. Genetic factors or conditions including liver disease, malnutrition, or hyperthyroidism may decrease HDL cholesterol levels. Smoking and drinking alcohol may also decrease your HDL cholesterol level. Good levels for HDL: > OR = 50 mg/dL
Triglycerides are fats composed of fatty acids and glycerol. They are moved through the bloodstream by combining with proteins to form particles called lipoproteins. Triglycerides pass from the liver to other parts of the body that need lipoproteins for energy. Triglycerides then return to the liver where they are removed from the body. The level of triglycerides in your blood tells how well your body processes the fat in your diet. Accurate results require fasting for nine to twelve hours (no food or drink except water and medication) prior to testing. A good reading is < 150 mg/dL
Total Cholesterol is a combination of three types of cholesterol: HDL, LDL, and part of triglycerides. High cholesterol may put you at risk for heart disease or stroke. A low cholesterol measurement can indicate other health conditions. It is possible for your total cholesterol to be high when your other cholesterol results are in healthy ranges. In this case, we recommend focusing on your triglycerides (if available), LDL, and HDL cholesterol results. A good reading is: 125-199 mg/dL
A third type of lipoprotein is very low density (vLDL). This package transports triglycerides in the blood; high levels of vLDL and triglycerides have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. There is no direct way to measure vLDL cholesterol, so it’s normally not mentioned during routine cholesterol screenings. The vLDL measurement is usually estimated as a percentage of your triglyceride value, with a normal value between five and 40 mg/dL.
Total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio is a calculation obtained by dividing the total cholesterol level by the HDL cholesterol level and is another indicator of heart disease risk. A ratio of less than 5.0 is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. A ratio of less than 3.5 is highly desirable. A good reading is: < 5.0 (calc)
After 2 Years How Did My Blood Work Look? Cholesterol and Keto Works for Me
I started changing the way I eat Jan 1 of 2016. My husband’s employer reqires us to get blood work done every other year for our health insurance. I have the benefit of seeing how my numbers look. Keep in mind that in 2014 and 2016 I was on 3 different medications for blood pressure. For me, cholesterol and keto are working very nicely together.
As you can see, all of my readings are pretty dead on perfect. My HDL and my Triglycerides made the biggest change along with my A1c and glucose. All of these numbers improved after switching to a high fat low carb diet. This way of eating has allowed me to come off my medication. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to mention how I feel, because if you follow me at all, you KNOW how much better I feel. I am so much more active eating this way. My mind is clearer. My inflammation is gone. I feel years younger than I did before.
That’s Great for You, But What About Me?
If you want to read more, and really get into the nitty gritty about it, here’s a great video that explains it all. Jimmy Moore explains cholesterol and keto very well and makes it easy to understand.
If you’d like to get started in one of my eight week classes, shoot me an email and we can see if eating this way is right for you. My group classes start the first Monday of each month.