Knowing that the ketogenic diet is abundant in fat and low in carbs, one can easily wonder if this type of diet is bad or good for the heart. Believe it or not, the keto diet has been linked to improvement in the heart health.
So, is this diet safe for people with high levels of bad cholesterol? Knowing that the keto diet is abundant in fats, including saturated fat and the cholesterol from eggs and meat, a lot of people experience a spike in cholesterol when starting the diet. But, studies show that this spike is not necessarily negative.
How Cholesterol Works in Our Body?
For decades, cholesterol has had a bad reputation; however, this is a pivotal element in the body. Some of its major functions including the production of sex hormones, forming brain structures, supporting cognitive function, helping in the energy production, and easing the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
In order for cholesterol do to its job optimally, you need to have a balance between your bad and good cholesterol. If the level of bad cholesterol is higher, you also need higher good cholesterol to help expel the surplus bad one from the blood.
Remember, LDL or bad cholesterol comes in two different types, i.e. large particle and small particle. The former carries antioxidants and fat-soluble nutrients and can prevent oxidative stress whereas the latter may deposit in the arteries and increase the risk of heart issues.
How Does the Keto Diet Influence My Cholesterol?
According to studies, as seen on Dr. Axe, keto diets can benefit the cholesterol, cardiovascular health, and metabolic health. This is how:
- Elevates the large particle LDL cholesterol and reduces oxidative stress
- Betters the bad to good ratio by elevating the good cholesterol to fight off the bad
- Reduces high triglycerides associated with heart problems and strokes
- Lowers insulin resistance and balances the glucose levels, unlike high carb diets
- Helps decrease chronic inflammation and averts obesity by suppressing the hunger
Ketosis or the consumption of healthy fats will raise the good cholesterol and the good-to-bad cholesterol ratio- two major indicators of good health. It will also lower the triglycerides, bad cholesterol, blood glucose, and BMI. To follow a low cholesterol keto diet, boost your intake of foods like seeds, veggies, nuts, olive oil, and avocado.
It is pivotal to note that you need not avoid all foods with cholesterol like eggs and cheese to better your cardiovascular health as some cholesterol sources are rich in nutrients. The key is to find balance and to enrich your diet with natural foods that are anti-inflammatory.
According to studies, a keto diet may be beneficial for people with high bad cholesterol.