Why LDL cholesterol goes up on LCHF diet an... - Diabetes India

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Why LDL cholesterol goes up on LCHF diet and is it bad for health?

Following LCHF diets raises HDL level, lowers triglyceride, lowers insulin and increases LDL cholesterol. While first three are considered beneficial, there is concern about high level of LDL cholesterol. The presentation below by Dr Nadir Ali, concludes we should celebrate high LDL level because it offers:





Dr. Nadir Ali is an interventional cardiologist with over 25 years of experience. He is also the chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center. Before working as a cardiologist, he served as an assistant professor of medicine for eight years at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he also received his medical training.

Dr. Ali has championed many aspects of the science and practice of a low-carb lifestyle in the local Clear Lake area since 2013. He organises a monthly nutritional seminar in the Searcy Auditorium of the Clear Lake Hospital that receives more than 100 visitors every month from the local community. Dr Ali’s focus is on managing heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

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Hi, I used to follow LCHF initially when diagnosed. I did well, my sugar went down, Hba1c went down.. then I found the perils of LCHF if followed for long periods and I changed track immediately. I advise WFPB diet to everyone. I would say this is the healthiest diet, tested and tried for millions of years! Our ancestors were gatherers and hunters, so mostly their food consisted of fruits, roots, vegetables and leaves gathered from forests by womenfolk and occasionally animal that men hunted. There are so many things that go to prove why WFPD is better. Just a point- Dr Atkins followed his own diet that he propagated in early 1970s. He died in 2003 and at the time of death he was hypertensive, had suffered congestive heart failure and reportedly weighed 258pounds at 6ft height that classifies as morbidly obese. These facts were later denied by his widow but coroner's report said so ( not my personal views, I found this info from various sources on net).

So.. food for thought!

Very good post!


1. Eating vegetarian, plant based or non-vegetarian is a personal choice and LCHF dietary approach can be implemented with any of them. LCHF IS NOT ABOUT EATING MEAT ONLY. That is a wrong understanding of LCHF.

There are large number of people in India and world wide who are not eating meat and following LCHF dietary approach.

2. Internet is full of politically motivated wrong information about Dr Atkins. None of the information that you have provided seems to be correct. Dr Atkins died of a fall and not of heart attack. See the New York Times link on his death.


3. This post is not about analysing Dr. Atkins life. LCHF dietary approach is much older than Dr Atkins's life when it comes to treating diabetes. For example, below is a dietary prescription in 1915:


Below are the details of the macros of low carb diet in keto range prescribed for a severely diabetic patient weighing 60 kg at Joslin Diabetic Center, in the year 1915:

Carbohydrate: 10 gm

Protein: 75 gm

Fat: 150 gm

Alcohol: 15 gm

Total energy: 1800 calories approx.

The above is just one example. I am not suggesting the above macros are required for following LCHF. It all depends on individual conditions.

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At the end of my post , I am giving you a link "LDL is your friend" by Dr. David PerlMutter, a Florida based renowned neurologist, who is a celebrity doctor and author of a series of books namely "Grain brain", "Markers for Brain" etc. You must go through this webpage.

Coming back to LCHF, as you rightly said, eating Veg or non veg is one's personal choice and LCHF is not about eating Veg or Non veg. It is all about eating a Healthy diet. To-day people eat 60-70% of their daily calories from Carbs, which is the root cause of all the lifestyle diseases. LCHF is all about bringing a change to this imbalance.

I am a vegetarian following LCHF. My staple is cottage cheese, Almond , Probiotic Greek yoghurt, parmesan cheese, matured coconut meat. I take all the seasonal vegetables- non starchy in liberal quantities along with all my 3 meals. I use butter for preparing my dishes. I do take some fruits /vegetables raw: capsicum, cherry tomato, cucumber, Cherry. I started adding omega 3 free range Egg to my diet in the morning, ensuring that I don't exceed my BMR.

My BMI is maintained towards the lower end of the scale. I do a 30 mnts Tread mill workout post meal @ 6 KMPH. I am absolutely doing fine , feel energetic. Yes , my LDL has gone up at the same time my HDL also has gone up to a level which I had never achieved before. My TG has come down. My Total cholesterol level gone up ! My Blood sugar is under control.

When I was eating a so called balanced diet with 60-70% carbs, I had extremely low HDL, very high TG, low Cholesterol and I had elevated blood sugar.

With LCHF diet, my body works in a normal way. My body produces cholesterol which is so important for building our Cell membranes, for manufacturing vitamin D and cholesterol makes all the body harmonies such as Testestorone, Estrogens etc. And most important it is essential for making biles.

So love your cholesterol , love your LCHF diet.

Now the findings point that we need to Love our LDL. Please find the link

" LDL is your friend " by Dr David PerlMutter.


Even NHS had also conducted a study on LDL and concluded that LDL is not bad in 2016, though they mentioned some silly limitations to the finding which seems illogical. Very interesting story. If some one is interested , I will send you the link.

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Any specific reason for you take energy deficient diet?


Dear Praveen 55

No. In fact I eat bit energy surplus.

Fact that I neither gain weight nor lose and my BMI is maintained and I feel energetic.

BTW, my Daily macro's come from full fat cottage cheese 200 gms , 50 gms Almonds, 100 gms Greek yoghurt, 2 nos of omega-3 Eggs, 20 gm's butter used in Egg Omelette and Veg dishes, parmesan cheese 20 gm's, around 400-500 gms vegetables - all non starchy ,

150-200 gms ultra low GI fruits to be eaten raw, matured coconut meat

ocassionally 20-30 gms. I take at least 3 litres of water. In summer it goes up to 4 litres.



My comment about your diet was based on your statement ''ensuring that I don't exceed my BMR.'' It was not based on my calories calculation of your diets.

I was just thinking there is no need for calories restriction as you are not overweight as you mentioned in the past. Yes, ingredients described above are good and not deficient in energy.


Dear Praveen55

👍You may be right in your thinking that I could take more calories than my BMR so that I can put up some weight and thanks to LCHF diet, it is possible to eat as much calories as you want (1gm fat gives 9 calories as against carb/ protein giving 4 calories) .

I definitely wanted to eat more calories than my BMR with an expectation to add some weight. (My BMI is just 20).

I went up to more than 2000 kcal / day. But for me it did not work out the way I thought . My body did not allow the surplus energy to get absorbed and I had to do more intensive exercise to keep my blood sugar under tight control. (After all a part of protein and fat also get converted in to sugar)

What I found is that metabolism is such a complex issue that it differs from individual to individual depending upon one's body structure and many other internal body conditions.


BMR is bare minimum isn't it? That is the energy needed by the body if you do not do any activity at all. Anyway, your diet is not energy deficient.

BMI of 20 is good as long as you are feeling okay. There is no need to add more fat. If you want to add more lean mass, you need do some strength training.


Are you using thid formuls?

Equation to Calculate Your BMR

The Harris-Benedict Equation is often used to estimate basal metabolic rate.

Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) - (5.677 x age in years)

Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) - (4.330 x age in years)




May I very politely ask for clarification as to "how" or in what way namaha's diet would be perceived as "energy deficient diet" without meaning to cause any offence? I would like to learn a little more.

There have been more articles on the papers re. red meat consumption and shortening a life expectancy.


One interesting aspect in their discovery is that red meat apparently leads to the substance in the Gut that damages our DNA, nothing to do with saturated fats. I did post the link over the British Heart Foundation Hub recently. . .



I have answered the first part of your question above in reply to namaha.


First of all, I am not promoting eating of any meat - white or red. There are several studies and research conducted with various pros and cons. And the debate about this is not likely to end in the foreseeable future. Eating meat or not eating is an individual choice based on what one feels comfortable with. Make your own judgement.


Thank you, Praveen.



Normally I do not like veg/non-veg pros and cons discussion because we can never come to a meaningful conclusions. However, I would like to make few points based on my observation to people's reaction;

Printed words published by establishments, reputed news papers are perceived as truths by many people. This is a very powerful tool. Sometime we do not even try to use our own intellect and get carried away by the report- myself included, I am no different.

I quickly had a glance over the link you provided. I am just quoting from the report:

''The authors acknowledge that they cannot prove that red and processed meat were the causes of death because it is an observational study.''

The observational studies and the real cause may not be same. At best one can say there is a possibility and therefore further research is suggested to confirm one way or the other.

The flashy headlines give diametrically opposite message!

Having said that, excess consumption of red/white meat and processed meat in particular is indeed bad and unhealthy.

There is a general perception that LCHF dietary approach requires one to eat excess meat which is far from truth. LCHF diet followers are advised to eat real food and avoid processed food altogether or at least use them in moderation. Most of the plate will be filled with fresh vegetables may be up to 600 gm or more in a day plus healthy nuts and seeds. Those who eat meat, the total amount of meat in a day will be approx 300 gm which will include every thing e.g. eggs, fish, red meat, white meat etc. This is based on average person's requirements of 2000 cals/day.

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Sounds extremely sensible to me.

Thank you for taking time to educate and inform others, Praveen.


To add further, I am not a vegetarian.

When I was younger, I could be living on anything and feeling just fine.

For "health reasons" as we know, I tried a plant-based diet throughout my life. It was fine when I was younger. Not now.

I no longer eat dairy and its products. Switched to nut milks as others did. That didn't cause many issues, none, in fact. I used to love yogurt, it's hard to believe we "change". In fact, I haven't changed, but physiology/ the way body reacts to it had changed. So I had to follow. . .

So, I began to realise saturated fat is the necessity in middle years.

Only when you are taking it excessively, it causes problems.

When I eat extra lean Turkey, I don't feel well next day.

I tried to combine with Tofu with no good results.

My hair falls out a lot, my eyes get dry, so as my skin.

Skin feels distinctly lifeless.

I take olive oil, but it seems that's not the same.

So I decided to re-introduce lean white meat (non-Turkey).

My aged gut/GI do not appear to tolerate the "fibrous" red meats (pork I used to enjoy when it's one with soft, succulent quality) or wild game/lamb in stew . . . socially, that's fine. It's not an every day thing.

Fibre from leafy vegetables definitely seems to be in as data accumulates on GI microbiome and anti-inflammation.

As for Omega 3 supplements, I have seen quite a few counter arguments. So at the moment, I need to work on real food.

Fruits. Since I prefer not to take Vit C supplements, I may have to consume some so long as they are not over-ripe/loaded with sugar, which is a major player in inflammatory process.

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I agree with you that we all have to choose a healthy diet that suits our conditions. I am not against vegetarian/vegan/plant based diet. In fact, my diet consists of all of these. I am quite flexible as such and I enjoy variety. The only consideration in my case is limiting the dietary net carb intake in order to keep my blood sugar in control. It becomes an issue when someone starts imposing a particular diet saying that is the only one which is good based on his/her experience. Human have survived and thrived on various diets and even on NO DIET i.e. fasting.

Have you considered chia seeds/flax seeds/hemp seed hearts for omega 3?

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I cannot agree more, Praveen.

Excellent nuggets of wisdom.

As for Omega 3, I opted for wild salmon.

I used to have those seeds on a regular basis.

I saw no positive effects.

Could be digestive issues.

Thank you for your help and support.

Most appreciated. :)


NHS may have reported the summary of the research conducted by some other institution.

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You are right. NHS analyses and publishes the summary of all studies such as Cohort etc. Here is the link, please read the concluding part at the end.



In continuation with my post, please consider this too :)



Total cholesterol and lipids. LDL is a calculated value, there are three methods of calculating LDL. The one from 1973 method, the second one 2003 method and the third one 2013.

It all depend on the age of hospital alb equipment! and funding to get the latest equipment.

no one gives allowances to this variation!

We need to ask questions to get a better understanding on lipid numbers.


Very fruitful discussion. I am a vegetarian and while I was on LCHF, I remained a vegetarian throughout. Yes, NYTimes published the report that you said, what I mentioned was coroner's report. Please read Wikipedia post about him. Its all a bit chaotic since people interpret the findings differently.

I am posting a video, about long term effects ,of LCHF or other high fat diet, on insulin resistance here that may be of interest to members:


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