Cholesterol is another demonized word, but we NEED cholesterol to live. Cholesterol is produced in the liver, and the body is so dependent on it for a variety of reasons that the liver makes sure the body always has enough to function. Not only does the liver make sure we have enough cholesterol, it also regulates production so that if we eat more cholesterol, it will produce less.
Those of us who follow a ketogenic lifestyle do tend to have higher total cholesterol levels. Here’s why: our production of high density lipoproteins (HDL) increases. HDL transfers cholesterol from the body’s tissues to the liver. It is ESSENTIAL for survival, which is why HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol.
Low density lipoproteins (LDL) is known as the ‘bad cholesterol’, but that’s only partly true. The body still needs LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) for cholesterol transportation from the liver to the body’s tissues, but high levels of LDL particles (LDL-P) put you at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Finally, triglycerides are the form that fat takes as it travels from the body’s tissues and into the bloodstream. Again, this is a normal function of the body, but high triglyceride levels with low HDL levels are a red flag; the body may be insulin resistant, Type-2 diabetic, inflamed, have cardiovascular disease. What causes high triglyceride levels? lots of carbs and sugar.
If you want to truly be schooled in cholesterol’s role in the body, and keto’s role in cholesterol, I highly recommend setting up a time for a quick chat…
Some major markers to check, if you are worried:
- Apolipoprotein B
- Lipoprotein (a) (check this in mmol)
- LDL Particle size