More questions than answers on this one. What is high cholesterol? Is it your total number? did they look at HDL vs. LDL? LDL particle size? Triglycerides? If by “high cholesterol” you mean having a total cholesterol over 200, I would say that is fairly meaningless- your HDL could be very high leading to this number. Furthermore, cholesterol is a poor predictor of cardiac risk- the real driving force behind heart disease is likely inflammation. Regardless, I wouldn’t say keto would be my first choice for lowering cholesterol (if it is indeed high and if it indeed needs to be lowered. Eat a diet based on lots of plants, pasture-raised meat and wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, little starch, minimal sugar. Exercise in nature regularly. Get enough sleep. Manage your stress. Then ask for a re-test of your cholesterol with a breakdown of LDL particle size and count, along with A1C and HSCRP. That will give a much better picture of your cardiac risk. And if your doctor doesn’t understand why you want all these tests or that you want to take a few months to adjust lifestyle factors and then re-test, find a new doctor.
- Excellent answer, Matt. My snarky answer would have been that the OP could benefit from not listening to docs who still preach the outdated gospel of cholesterol as the root of all evil. Cholesterol is the internal body “band-aid” system. It is used as a temporary patch to repair damaged blood vessels and such. So, when someone has a heart attack and then the docs are inside their chest and see a lot of these cholesterol bandaids around, they jumped to the conclusion that the cholesterol causes the heart issues. This is like saying that, since fire fighters always seem to be around when there is a fire, they must be arsonists. The internal damage is real and the root cause is inflammation. Keto can definitely help with that.
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Jimmy’s book helped a lot. There is serum CHO and particle CHO. LDL particle “size matters”. Big fluffy LDL particles are harmless. Small dense LDL particles are toxic. You can have yours measured as part of the panel someone else mentioned. Also, insulin resistance is important. Triglycerides, CRP…all those give a complete picture. Total CHO is important to Big Pharma to get you on statins and then on Co-Q 10 or other supps to manage your side effects from the statins.
This might be information overload, but follow the work on Ivor Cummins and Dave Keto for information on cholesterol specific to keto and low carb. Most people see improvements to the standard health markers, but there is a lot of debate about what those markers mean.
I learned a lot from Jimmy Moore on his podcasts, and by reading his book Keto Clarity. He also co-authored the book Cholesterol Clarity. I hope that you have access to these books, and find them useful as you search for the right answers for you.