Symptoms, conditions and causes

High LDL Cholesterol While Following Ketogenic Diet

LDL: Not Just Cholesterol

  • LDL's Role: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) isn't cholesterol itself but a carrier that transports cholesterol through the body. It delivers cholesterol from the liver to tissues that need it.

  • HDL's Role: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) acts like a cleanup crew, taking cholesterol from tissues back to the liver for processing.

  • Cholesterol: A Vital Substance: Your body needs cholesterol for essential functions like hormone production and building cell membranes. It produces cholesterol internally and also gets some from your diet.

Why LDL Can Spike on Keto

  • Fat Cell Changes: Initially, on a ketogenic diet, your fat cells shrink and release triglycerides (a type of fat) for energy. However, they may hold onto cholesterol for a while, potentially leading to a temporary LDL spike.

  • Cholesterol Release: Eventually, your body releases this stored cholesterol. It goes to the liver, where it's combined with bile and excreted.

  • Increased Dietary Fat: Consuming more fat on keto naturally increases the amount of fat, including cholesterol, circulating in your blood.

The Two Types of LDL

  • Type A: Large and fluffy, considered less harmful.

  • Type B: Small and dense, more likely to cause inflammation in artery walls. A high-carb diet can increase Type B levels.

Keto and LDL: A ketogenic diet may lead to more Type A LDL. An advanced lipid panel can distinguish between the types for a more accurate risk assessment.

Ways to Manage LDL on Keto

  • Increase Fiber: Focus on fiber-rich vegetables.

  • Moderate Fat Intake: Maintain a healthy fat intake (at least 75g daily), but consider slightly reducing it if your LDL is very high. 

Last updated: Mar 20, 2024 20:34 PM