Low carbohydrate diets are reported to have an advantage over a low-fat diet in terms of weight loss. In addition, according to the National Institutes of Health, low-carbohydrate diets can also increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) in the long run. So, how low-carbohydrate diet affects body cholesterol? Is this good news or just the opposite? Here’s the explanation.
In general, low carbohydrate diets improve blood fat levels
Basically, a low carbohydrate diet affects every part of cholesterol, both triglycerides, good cholesterol (HDL), and bad cholesterol (LDL). Characteristics of low-carbohydrate diet lies in the decrease in triglyceride levels.
Low carbohydrate diet tends to lower blood triglyceride levels. That’s why most doctors recommend carbohydrate restrictions on the diet of patients with high triglycerides. Triglyceride levels are also used as a reference to determine whether patients have consistently followed the recommended diet. Therefore, the higher levels of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia), then someone will increasingly at risk of heart disease and stroke.
The other good news, low carbohydrate diet tends to increase good cholesterol levels. Good cholesterol in the blood serves to bring excess cholesterol to the liver to break down again. Good cholesterol levels also become a reference to risk factors for heart disease. The higher the good cholesterol level of a person, the risk of heart disease will decrease. So indirectly, low-carbohydrate diet also lowers 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-low risk of heart disease.
What is a good low carbohydrate diet for high cholesterol?
A low carbohydrate diet causes a change in the size of cholesterol particles associated with the risk of heart disease. Simply put this way, the risk of heart disease is seen from how many bad cholesterol particles enter the bloodstream. The smaller the size of the cholesterol particles, the easier this particle enters the blood vessels.
The good news is that low-carbohydrate diets produce larger cholesterol particles so the risk of heart disease tends to be lower. In addition, the bad cholesterol particle size also affects triglyceride levels. If triglycerides are low, the bad cholesterol particles are likely to be larger 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, the high and low cholesterol levels due to low carbohydrate diets tend to vary in each individual. Therefore, there is also an increase in cholesterol levels that can endanger health. Because of this, you need to run a proper and healthy low-carb diet with the following tips:
Adjust your carbohydrate intake. Not that it should not be consuming carbohydrates at all. Fill carbohydrate intake according to your body condition by eating vegetables, low-carbohydrate fruits, and nuts. Consult a nutritionist to get the best advice for your diet.
Choose healthy sources of animal protein such as lean chicken or beef and skin, eggs, and seafood. By 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 good sources of fat foods such as avocados, olives and nuts.