Low carb high fat diet effect on cholesterol

I have spent the last 10 weeks on a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet.

Blood results before (in brackets) and after:

Triglycerides 1.8 (3.1)

LDL 2.2 (6.2)

HDL 7.1 (1.7)

Total cholesterol 9.3 (7.9)

Total/HDL ratio 1.3 (4.6)

As you can see, just 10 weeks on this diet and my blood lipids have improved enormously.

But my GP is only interested in the total cholesterol and has hardly ever seen someone with 9.3.

What is needed is large scale research into HDL, LDL and the ratio Total/HDL.

Either HDL is good (as the NHS says) or it isn't. Can you have too much of it and if so why (there is one piece of research that suggests this but it's a small study)?

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21 Replies

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  • Stop worrying and keep eating

  • I have also begun eating that way, per my cardiologist, but I have cheated. Also I did not start out with blood tests. My tests would be older for comparison. I wonder if the cheats are going to undo me. What I'm hearing from you is I wouldn't need a statin if I continue eating high fat low carb

  • Please give few example of your food list for LCHF diet.

  • Exercise is a critical part of any dietary regimen. 30-60 minutes per day with an elevated heart rate above 120 bpm. A brisk walk and some push ups will go a long way to good health.

  • Here's a typical day. I'm now finding I only need one main meal after breakfast but have mostly had 3 meals each day.

    Breakfast: low carb yogurt, full cream, mixed chopped nuts and seeds (mainly low carb, e.g. brazils, pecans, pumpkin seeds flax seed but including smaller amounts of sunflower, walnuts, hazel, almond), berries (raspberries, blackberries, fewer blueberries), sweetener. Coffee with full cream.

    Lunch: fish salad, e.g. tuna mayonnaise (homemade), avocados, tomatoes, mixed leaves; or cheese omelette with salad

    Dinner: meat with vegetables, e.g. beef bourgignon with turnip gratin (made with cream, cheese topped with parmesan cheese); or sometimes a shake (cream, cream cheese, avocado, egg, peanut butter, cocoa, vanilla, sweetener)

    I haven't stopped drinking alcohol but try to only have whisky and coke or gin and tonic. But I quite often have a glass or two of red wine. This has slowed my weight loss but I have resumed losing weight after switching to 2 proper meals (some nuts and sweetened cream if I get peckish in the evening).

    I've resumed cooking Indian food, which makes the diet much more interesting. Also, barbecued food.

    If I stop the diet I will transition to the Montignac diet (combination + low GI) to continue losing weight (I've lost 12 lbs so far).

  • Thank you. Two items, coke and tonic is a no no! sweetener again is a no no.

    Look out for hidden and free sugar. Avocado, fish, cream, coconut oil chicken butter are good.

  • There's nothing wrong with artificial sweeteners. Look at the research. It's another great example of conspiracy theory.

  • Hi Andrew,

    Which sweeteners do you use?

    And which artificial sweeteners were you referring to as conspiracy theory?

  • I use xylitol, erythritol and trivia mainly. Aspartame mainly in drinks ; this is one of the most researched food additives. Lab studies with rats etc are not human studies. The UK government has very strict laws regulating dangerous foods.

  • Andrew, I'm afraid you lost me with your remarks regarding both aspartame and regulations.

    I beg to differ.

    🖖🏻

  • OK Google aspartame and you get two kinds of websites. One kind refers to the hoax conspiracy theory and the safety of it ; these are mainly reputable organisations. The other kind promotes the conspiracy theory ; these are mainly crackpot websites.

    Is all about the source. Where do you get your information from?

  • Andrew "conspiracy theory" was a propaganda phrase coined by the CIA to malign and smear those who were/are onto the truth.

    I get my info from Neurosurgeons.

    🖖🏻

  • We're getting off topic here.

  • Andrew,

    I responded to your remarks and I answered your question/s.

    🖖🏻

  • Shame you don't realise, Andrew, that your 'conspiracy theory, crackpot' websites, are mostly, actually telling the truth!

  • Alcohol is calorie and glycogen dense, especially hard liquor. Stick with one glass of red wine per day (5 oz or less). Anything beyond that is undermining your progress.

  • I have lived LCHF for over 2 years now, dropping 2.5 stone in the first couple of months and have maintained that weight loss. My total cholesterol was 9.7 years ago and I have no idea what it is now but I am not concerned. I stay well and have plenty of energy.

  • I'm glad you feel OK. I never used to feel sick but I do on this diet. I think it might be the cream. I'm going to lose some more weight then transition to the Montignac diet.

  • Your triglycerides are still high at 1.8 mmol/l. Normal is less than 1.7, but optimal is less than 0.79 mmol/l. For the LCHF diet to be effective, you must get into a state of 'ketosis' where your body burns 'fat' for fuel, rather than 'glycogen' produced by 'carbohydrates'.

    Your HDL number is unusually high - are you sure you didn't make a typing error and it should read '2.1' instead of '7.1' ?

    If in fact it is 7.1 mmol/l, that is almost unheard of and exceptionally good. Your LDL is good as is your TC/HDL ratio. Bravo, if your HDL is that high, it is extraordinary!

    Your TG/HDL ratio is more critical than TC/HDL - your's is 0.25 which is excellent.

    Your VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) are calculated by taking your triglycerides and dividing by 2.2. TG/2.2 = 0.82. This is higher than the recommended level of 0.77 or less. The optimal level is less than 0.23. VLDL is the atherogenic component of LDL-C and is more important than either TC or LDL-C on its own.

    You're on the right track, but you must focus more on reducing your consumption of simple carbohydrates.

  • Thanks for the encouraging reply. The figures are correct. My main difficulty is keeping off alcohol. I have given up for long periods in the past but now that I am retired there are more social occasions .... off to Berlin tomorrow to celebrate my brother-in-law's 60th.

    I'll probably remain on the diet until I am within 7lb of my target weight. Then I will transition to a healthy version of the Montignac diet to achieve my ideal weight. I'll post here my cholesterol etc after that.

  • I stopped the diet after celebrating a holiday abroad for my brother-in-law's birthday. The weigh is piling back on and I must now decide my next diet: Montignac, largely vegan, low GI, perhaps a combination of these. After 3 months on a new diet I'll get my cholesterol tested again and report back.

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