The ketogenic diet or keto diet has become quite popular over a short period. Many people have observed positive results after following the keto diet. But the question is if the ketogenic diet is good for everyone or not.
If you take a close look at the ketogenic diet, you will find out that this meal program includes 55 to 60% fats. So, if you are high in cholesterol, then the keto diet may not be appropriate for you.
If you want to learn more facts on the ketogenic diet and cholesterol levels, then this article is for you. Here you will get the ultimate answer if the keto diet can lower the cholesterol level or not.
Keto diet and cholesterol
Before getting deeper into the ketogenic diet and cholesterol levels, let’s take a quick look at the daily micronutrient allowances of this meal plan:
- Carbohydrate – 5 to 10%
- Fats – 55 to 60%
- Protein – 30 to 35%
You can see from the micronutrient distribution that the ketogenic diet basically cuts off the carb from the meals and adds more fats. You will find 3 basic types of fats that can affect your cholesterol level. Such as saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans fats.
So, how the ketogenic diet affects your cholesterol level depends on which kind of protein you choose to consume. Saturated and trans fats are harmful to our health. These two facts can destroy the HDL or the good cholesterol and increase the production of the LDL or bad one. As a result, you can suffer from high cholesterol.
On the other hand, unsaturated or monosaturated fats are good for cholesterol levels. They can eliminate the LDL from the bloodstream and increase the production of HDL or good cholesterol.
So, the keto diet can have both a positive and a negative impact on your health. The effects will totally depend on the choice of fats. Here are some of the good impacts of the keto diet on cholesterol level:
- This diet improves the HDL and triglyceride ratio.
- If you can choose the right type of fats, this diet will increase the HDL or High-density lipoprotein ratio.
- The keto diet reduces the risk of chronic inflammation.
- This diet is very helpful for people who are trying to lose weight.
- Your blood sugar level and blood pressure will be in control.
Is the keto diet risky for people?
The answer is no. But sometimes people can feel a bit uncomfortable when they start this diet. For example,
- Muscle cramps
- Keto flu
- Unstable blood pressure
These symptoms do not mean that the Keto diet is unhealthy or risky. You just have to continue the diet for some days and your body will get used to the meal plans. Among these terms, the keto flu might sound new to you. Here are the signs that indicate you have keto flu:
This phase will pass after a few days. But if you are worried then consult a nutritionist or doctor.
How to lower cholesterol on keto
I have mentioned above that with the proper meal choice you can lower your cholesterol level with a keto diet. In that case, you just have to modify your meal chart a little, and the diet will be ready for you. Here are some tips that will help you lower the cholesterol level on a keto diet:
1. Add fiber-enriched carb foods
Even though you have to cut off carbs from your meals, a little amount of carb is still important to keep a balance in your body. Choosing the carb wisely can actually work in your favor. You know that soluble fibers can help you lower the overall cholesterol level. So, target to add those items as the source of carbohydrate.
You can eat fruits every day. Some people prefer adding one or two pieces of potatoes, or bean items at dinner or lunch.
2. Say goodbye to the traditional style of coffee
I know for some of you coffee is the engine booster. I have friends who can not start their days without a cup of coffee. Well, I am not telling you to remove this item for good, but to modify it a little.
When you add sugar or milk to your coffee, it can raise your LDL or low-density lipoprotein level. So, here is what you can do. Cut the size and amount of coffee you drink every day, and there will be nothing to worry about.
3. Replace the fats
Fats play an important role in the keto diet. If you can avoid the harmful fats and go for the healthy ones, then your cholesterol level will stay in control.
The saturated and trans or artificial fats can raise your LDL level, which increases the risk of having heart diseases. Red meat, steaks, restaurant foods contain a high amount of saturated or trans fats.
On the other hand, unsaturated or monosaturated fats can lower the LDL level and higher the amount of good cholesterol. Lean meats, fatty fish are good sources of unsaturated fats.
Foods you have to avoid in a keto diet
If you have high cholesterol, you can not blindly follow the ketogenic diet. You have seen the relationship between ketogenic diet and cholesterol levels. So, now you can tell which food items can harm your health and which are safe.
For your convenience, here is a list of food you should not buy:
- Bakery goods
- Coconut oil
- Red meat
- Junk items
Instead of these items, add lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to your diet.
Diet to lower cholesterol
If the keto diet is not working for you then you can switch to a better and effective one. Here is a list of diets that you can try for high cholesterol level:
- Mediterranean diet
- DASH diet
- The engine 2 diet
- Vegetarian diet
- Flexitarian diet
I hope you have got the basics of the ketogenic diet and cholesterol levels. Even though the keto diet works for some people, it is not important that you will be one of them. You can switch to another diet or consult with a professional if you need.