Medical Video: Everything You Need to Know About the Keto Diet
Low carbohydrate diets are reported to have advantages over low-fat diets in terms of losing weight. In addition, according to the National Institutes of Health, a low-carbohydrate diet can also increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the long term. So, how do low carbohydrate diets affect body cholesterol? Is this good news or just the opposite? Here's the explanation.
In general, a low carbohydrate diet improves blood fat levels
Basically, a low carbohydrate diet affects every part of cholesterol, both triglycerides, good cholesterol (HDL), and bad cholesterol (LDL). The distinctive feature of a low-carbohydrate diet lies in decreasing triglyceride levels.
Low carbohydrate diets tend to be reduce blood triglyceride levels. That's why most doctors recommend limiting carbohydrates on the diet of patients with high triglycerides. Triglyceride levels are also used as a reference to find out whether the patient is consistently on the diet as recommended. Because, the higher the level of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia), then a person will be more at risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
The other good news is that low-carbohydrate diets tend to increase good cholesterol levels. Good cholesterol in the blood functions to carry excess cholesterol to the liver to be broken down again. Good cholesterol levels toobecome one of the references to risk factors for heart disease. The higher a person's good cholesterol level, the risk of heart disease will decrease. So indirectly, low carbohydrate diets also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Meanwhile, the relationship between low carbohydrate diets and bad cholecerols tends to be more complicated than triglycerides and good cholesterol. This is related to the size of bad cholesterol particles that determine the high and low risk of heart disease.
What low carbohydrate diet does not make high cholesterol?
Low carbohydrate diets cause changes in cholesterol particle size that are associated with risk of heart disease. Simply put, the risk of heart disease is seen from how much bad cholesterol particles enter the bloodstream. The smaller the size of the cholesterol particles, the easier the particles will enter the blood vessels.
The good news, a low-carbohydrate diet produces larger cholesterol particles so that the risk of heart disease tends to be lower. In addition, the size of bad cholesterol particles also affects triglyceride levels. If triglycerides are low, bad cholesterol particles may be bigger and harder to enter the blood vessels. So it can be concluded that a low carbohydrate diet is beneficial for people with high levels of bad cholesterol in blood vessels.
Tips for maintaining cholesterol levels with a low carbohydrate diet
However, high and low cholesterol levels due to low carbohydrate diets tend to vary in each individual. Because, there are also those who experience an increase in cholesterol levels so that it can endanger health. For this reason, you need to run a low-carb and proper diet with the following tips:
- Adjust carbohydrate intake. Not that you can't consume carbohydrates at all. Fulfill carbohydrate intake according to your body's condition by eating vegetables, low-carbohydrate fruits, and nuts. Consult a nutritionist to get the best advice on your diet.
- Choose a healthy source of animal proteinsuch as lean chicken and beef and skin, eggs, and seafood. Eating fish twice a week can help lower your cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna and sardines are also good for heart health.
- Avoid saturated fats from fried foods and processed foods. Eat foods that are good sources of fats such as avocados, olives and nuts.