Keto Diet & Hdl: an Unusual Relationship
By Tom Seest
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Lipoproteins are made up of both fat and proteins and deliver fats directly to cells for utilization.
Your kidneys are also responsible for transporting cholesterol from your liver into your bloodstream.
People often fear that adopting the keto diet will raise their cholesterol levels, increasing their risk for heart disease. If this is your concern, however, and if your levels of cholesterol or triglycerides have already increased significantly before making changes to your diet, it’s wise to consult your physician first before altering anything regarding nutrition or lifestyle changes.
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Cholesterol is an essential lipid found in your blood and is needed for good health; however, excessive amounts can be harmful and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
One can distinguish two forms of cholesterol in their blood: low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), respectively. HDL carries excess cholesterol away from arteries to the liver for removal while low-density lipoproteins deposit it back in your arteries, where it builds up into plaques that narrow arteries leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
One way to boost HDL cholesterol levels is to consume more healthy fats. On a keto diet, monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts contain heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Regular exercise is another way to increase HDL. Regular exercise increases the amount of HDL in your blood, helping remove cholesterol from arteries and decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Exercise and diet may not be the only methods of raising HDL levels, but they can certainly be very effective. Studies have revealed that HDLs increase in size after weight loss, and exercise-based weight loss programs increase both their number of particles as well as their capacity for absorbing bile salts.
There is evidence to suggest that small, dense HDLs may offer greater heart protection than their larger, buoyant counterparts due to either different molecular composition or increased RCT function.
Also, smaller HDL particles are more effective at inhibiting pro-inflammatory cells such as macrophages than their larger counterparts; this makes them particularly crucial in protecting heart disease patients.
Research has also revealed that small, dense HDLs are more effective at stimulating cell nitric oxide production and anti-apoptotic, meaning they prevent cells from self-destructing by overproducing apoptotic proteins – both essential components in reducing inflammation and improving arterial health.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are small particles that distribute cholesterol throughout the body and have often been described as the “bad” kind due to higher LDL levels being linked with an increased risk of heart disease.
LDL cholesterol is produced in liver cells and transported through the bloodstream to various tissues via LDL particles. LDL also transports triglycerides which provide energy for brain tissue as well as other areas.
Once LDL particles have become oxidized, they can quickly penetrate your arteries and compromise cardiovascular health, so it is best to keep LDL levels as low as possible.
High levels of LDL cholesterol can put your heart in jeopardy, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues. But there are ways you can lower LDL levels to protect it and keep yourself healthier.
Your cholesterol can be improved by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of healthy fats and proteins, helping reduce LDL while increasing HDL.
Additionally, you should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables – particularly leafy greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and spinach – as well as include various kinds of meats and fish in your diet.
On the keto diet, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese can also be considered nutritious options, providing beneficial probiotics as well as calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. To limit sugar and carb consumption more effectively, opt for unsweetened/unflavored options when selecting dairy products to increase nutrition while decreasing the consumption of calories and carbs.
Dairy products low in carbs, like almond or coconut milk, can make for an excellent addition to a ketogenic diet. But be careful if following an aggressive keto plan. Limit these foods accordingly.
Studies from the University of Rochester Medical Center reveal how diet can impact cholesterol levels. One such research paper found that people who follow a very low-carb, high-fat diet tend to have higher LDL cholesterol levels compared with others; additionally, such diets seem to boost high-density lipoproteins, which are thought to be good for your heart.
Triglycerides are fats produced by your body when it processes extra calories, then stored in fat cells. Triglycerides are one of the most prevalent types of body fat and, when consumed at excessively high levels, can pose health issues.
Triglycerides can be found in many foods, such as butter, oils, and red meat. You may also increase your triglyceride intake through alcohol consumption and eating too many refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, or soda drinks containing too much sugar.
Triglycerides provide energy for muscles, the heart, and other organs in your body. However, too high blood triglyceride levels can pose serious health problems such as pancreatitis and cardiovascular disease.
As you eat, triglycerides break down into fatty acids which enter your bloodstream and are used for the production of hormones and cell building as well as storage as fat.
Test your triglyceride levels is essential if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, such as those living with diabetes or being overweight. If your levels are elevated, your physician may recommend making changes to both diet and exercise habits in order to manage them better.
Keep your triglyceride levels under control by decreasing your consumption of meat and dairy products containing saturated and trans fats while increasing your intake of healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in nuts, fish, and olive oil.
Substituting water with beverages containing too many sweeteners or calories – like sodas and fruit juices – as a way of lowering triglycerides is another effective strategy for keeping them under control. Instead, strive to consume lots of liquid throughout your day!
Assimilate healthy, balanced meals that include plenty of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Maintain sensible portion sizes; do not overindulge!
Break the habit: Smoking increases triglyceride levels, can clog your arteries, and lead to heart disease and other serious health complications.
Cut back on sugary and starchy foods: Easy-to-digest foods such as white rice and potatoes can significantly increase triglyceride levels; in its place, choose whole-grain pasta and bread instead.
Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help lower triglyceride levels. Fatty fish is an excellent source of both protein and dietary fiber – both essential factors when managing triglyceride levels.
People generally refer to cholesterol in terms of its presence in lipoproteins. These tiny transport vessels in your bloodstream transport cholesterol between cells. They’re also capable of transporting triglycerides – fats your body uses for energy – as part of this equation.
Cholesterol is essential to our bodies, helping prevent heart disease by maintaining cell integrity and producing hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and vitamin D.
Your cholesterol can become dangerously high if it exceeds an acceptable range. An elevated level can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels and arteries that narrow and become stuck together, potentially forming blockages or blood clots that lead to heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular issues.
On a keto diet, many people report their cholesterol levels staying the same or decreasing. This is likely because fat instead of carbohydrates is burned for fuel, forcing your body to switch its energy supply from glucose to fat instead.
A ketogenic diet typically consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and five percent carbohydrates – this means foods like meats, cheese, and eggs may be included as long as you consume them sparingly.
Although research into the connection between keto diets and increased levels of cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides remains incomplete, it’s possible that eating foods rich in unsaturated fat could have a beneficial impact on cholesterol. This is especially true if certain genetic factors increase your risk for high levels of cholesterol.
Consuming foods high in both saturated and trans fats can contribute to an increase in LDL (known as “bad”) cholesterol. Therefore, when embarking on the keto diet, it’s crucial to limit consumption of such products as they could increase LDL levels significantly.
If you are uncertain if a keto diet is right for you, it is wise to consult your healthcare provider. They can assist in designing an appropriate plan to suit your individual needs while checking cholesterol levels to make sure they don’t rise excessively.
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