The Truth About the Keto Diet And High Cholesterol (And A Few Tips!)
We have decided on changing our lifestyle for a reason. Some of us have many reasons on our lists of why we want to change to a more healthy lifestyle, some of which may include health concerns, weight loss, disease prevention, mental health management, etc. The best part of the Ketogenic Diet is that its effect on disease and illnesses is undoubtedly one of the most amazing aspects of the Keto Diet. The Keto diet can help decrease our blood pressure, aid in managing our blood sugar, help manage epilepsy, and even lower our cholesterol among so many other health benefits.
Those of us who suffer from an elevated cholesterol level or who have a history of heart disease or heart attacks in our families have expressed concerns regarding some aspects of the Keto diet. For example, since fat is the primary source of energy for our body when we are on the Keto diet, those of use with high cholesterol, blood pressure or other heart issues are rightfully concerned. The amazing paradox here is that the Keto Diet can help make us healthier and essentially lower our “bad” HDL levels of cholesterol. How is this possible, we inquire, when we are told not to worry about the fat in our diets on the Ketogenic diet?
We are used to our doctors providing us with a list of suggestions and ideas on how to lower our cholesterol and maintain better heart health. One of the things our doctors generally urge us to do is to increase exercise and decrease our fat intake, including all types of fats. They may have suggested low-fat versions of different foods that we love such as low fat butter or cheese. The truth is that when we choose to live a Keto friendly lifestyle, we want to incorporate as many whole and organic foods into our bodies as possible. Many low-fat or no-fat versions of the foods we love contain unnecessarily processed components and chemicals that can literally make us sicker. The Ketogenic diet works best if we moderately incorporate full fat, whole versions of these foods into our diets as well as add in many more healthier fats.
When we eat a no carbohydrate, low protein, high fat diet, such as the Ketogenic diet, we naturally are putting our bodies into a state of ketosis. When we are in ketosis our body starts producing ketones. The presence of ketones basically means that our body is breaking down fat for energy. There have been many reputable studies that have reliably shown that eating a Keto friendly diet can aid in lowering elevated cholesterol levels and eliminating our risk for heart disease and other heart-related conditions.
When we take the Keto plunge and begin to educate ourselves about the implications and nutritionally powerful Ketogenic diet, it is important to select the type of fats we are eating carefully. Some of the best fats for our Keto diet include plant based oils, avocados, olives, and a variety of nuts and seeds. When choosing our fat intake, it is better to choose more of these types of high fat foods and moderate the use of high fat dairy for example. Either way, increasing our fat intake in a more natural way will aid us in maintaining our optimal levels of ketosis and allowing our bodies to burn fat as its prime energy source. The bottom line is that a low carbohydrate diet can help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (the bad one!) and increase our HDL cholesterol (the good one!).