The first thing about cholesterol is, while it’s a predictor or risk factor for heart disease, cholesterol was not put in the body to become a problem. It’s there to provide a function for the body. In fact, we couldn’t live without cholesterol.
How to look at total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, and HDL
There’s an old way of looking at the blood cholesterol panel and there’s a new way of looking at the blood cholesterol panel. The old way is to look at total cholesterol and LDL. The new way is looking at the triglyceride and HDL. Triglyceride is actually also bad, so think of triglyceride as something you want to have low and HDL as something you want to have high.
What do increases in LDL and total cholesterol mean?
For people who do low-carb eating, LCHF or keto, sometimes there’s an increase in LDL and total cholesterol. Most of the time, almost all the time, there’s a reduction in triglyceride and an increase in HDL, so depending on how you look at the lipid profile, it may look really great or it may look not so great.
There’s no one number that you need to worry about in the blood cholesterol. You have to look at the context of the person so you consider your age, your gender, your family history, your blood pressure, whether you have diabetes.
Low-carb eating helps decrease inflammation
Take a look at the book written by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Westman, called “Cholesterol Clarity”. In the book, the new scientists all tell the story about how atherosclerosis or heart disease begins with inflammation causing the cholesterol to increase.
If you consume low-carb foods and your inflammation has gone way down, then the cholesterol doesn’t do the same sort of damage as it would have before. The most important thing is having normal blood pressure if you can and that’s more important than any blood cholesterol level.
How do you improve your HDL good cholesterol?
HDL can be improved by eating more fat and eating more eggs. We’ve been taught not to eat those things, Dr. Westman thinks this is why we have such a metabolic issue. Many many people have low HDLs, perhaps because they’re not eating enough fat and eggs.
When to check your cholesterol levels
Dr. Westman discourages checking cholesterol while you’re losing weight and advises that you wait until you’re at your goal. When you look at the pattern of cholesterol and the time frame of how things change, you’ll see triglyceride go from 500 to 150 in two weeks. The HDL cholesterol may take six months, twelve months, may take a couple of years for the full effect of the HDL going up.
Discover why cholesterol may not be the cause of heart disease after all and how eating low-carb foods can help improve your health. Dr. Westman provides in-depth explanations on total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, HDL, their levels and what they really mean.