How Will the Keto Diet Affect Your Cholesterol Levels
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The interesting thing about a keto diet is that it often leads to weight loss, something that by itself can improve blood lipid levels. At the same time, you may be consuming more saturated fat than ever, in the form of butter, bacon, cream, and coconut oil.

We’ve long been warned that eating excess saturated fat can raise cholesterol, and thus put us at risk for heart disease. For that reason, many experts express concern that increased fat intake may be especially harmful for people who already have heart disease or have risk factors for it.

A study on obese patients on a keto diet found that after 24 weeks, total cholesterol levels dropped, while “bad” LDL cholesterol decreased and “good” HDL cholesterol increased.

This could be reflective of the fact that any weight loss, no matter how it’s achieved, tends to lower cholesterol. Also, as already mentioned, people who have risk factors for heart disease need to consult their doctors before attempting a keto diet. 

Research, as in this study in the British Journal of Nutrition in April 2013, has concluded that a diet low in carbs but high in fat and protein impaired arterial function in those who were at risk for cardiovascular disease.

What it may come down to is what type of fat you’re consuming on keto. A review and meta-analysis in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at the effect of a low-fat versus a low-carb diet on blood lipids.

While lower intakes of saturated fat were associated with lower cholesterol levels, higher intakes of monounsaturated fat (like olive oil or avocado) in the context of a high-fat diet was associated with increased levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol.

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