Low Carb Diets and Cholesterol Numbers

I know the cholesterol matter can be confusing and worrisome to low-carb dieters and their doctors. It is well known that consuming foods that are high in fat can seriously impair our blood biochemistry. When this conclusion is automatically transferred to a low-carb dieting, it's a misconception.

Low Carb Diets and Cholesterol Numbers

To begin with, here are some guidelines and definitions:

o LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is "bad" cholesterol. LPL levels should be below 160.
o HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is "good " cholesterol. HDL levels should be above 45.

The best advice I can give you is to consult your family doctor. Be sure to tell him or her that you are on high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet and not on a high-fat only diet.

It is well known that consuming foods that are high in fat can seriously impair our blood biochemistry. When this conclusion is automatically transferred to a low-carb dieting, it's a misconception. Clinical data shows that the high-fat, high-carb diets -not high-fat, low-carb diets - made blood tests numbers worse.

A few cases in point:

o Researchers from Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Texas, concluded, "Compared with the low-carbohydrate diet, the high-carbohydrate diet caused a 27.5-percent increase in plasma triglycerides and a similar increase in LDL ("bad cholesterol") levels; it also reduced levels of HDL ("good cholesterol") by 11 percent.."
o In the article "Treatment of Obesity With Low-Carbohydrate Diets," Drs. Rabast et al. wrote: "Concentrations of plasma triglycerides and cholesterol turned to normal during [low-carbohydrate] therapy. There were no side effects."
o "Serum triglycerides decreased more after the high fat diet (52 mg/dl) than after high protein diet (67 mg/dl)." (Ibid.)
o Out of my About.com weight-loss community members, 39 low-carb dieters mentioned cholesterol changes along with their weight loss. Two of them have had their numbers worsen and 37 had their numbers improve. Six reported that their blood pressure also decreased.

Atkins dieters also reported improvements in their cholesterol levels:

o A friend of mine went on it and her cholesterol went from 266 to 184!
o After 3 months on the diet, my total cholesterol has dropped to 160, my HDL is up to 35, (a high for me) and my triglycerides are down to 107!
o Blood lipids, when measured at six weeks, six months and one year progressively, reduced from mildly elevated to normal.
o I dropped my cholesterol level by 33 percent.
o [My] HDL ("good") cholesterol increased so much, my general practitioner asked me for the name of this book!
o I had a 100-point drop on my cholesterol level from a very high 360.
o My "good" cholesterol went to 162 from 206! Tryglicerides went 106 from 268.
o My cholesterol was 208; it has actually lowered to 181.
o My readings average 111-123 ? not 170+, as was the case with my high-carbohydrate diet.
o My total cholesterol went from 176 (already O.K.) to 153.
o My LDL/HDL ratio went from 2.83 to 1.39 and my triglycerides from 82 to 47.
o My total cholesterol went from 219 to 168.

Only two dieters reported increases in LDL:

o My cholesterol went up from 230 to 278.
o I lost 7 lbs., but my cholesterol sky-rocketed to 343.
As with any diet, it's important to exercise to boost your weight-loss, increase your muscle tone and help keep your cholesterol levels in check


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What low carb plan have you tried the most?
Atkins Diet
South Beach Diet
No White Diet - no white flour, potatoes, white rice
No sugars, high sugar fruit, starchy vegetables
I created my own low carb plan
Total votes: 1076

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