Cholesterol is often described as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on Total, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. In these very simple terms high HDL levels (good cholesterol) indicate a low risk of heart disease and high LDL levels (bad cholesterol) indicate an increased risk.
These concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad are just too simplistic. LDL cholesterol has numerous subtypes, primarily based on the size of the particles. This means that high levels of small and dense LDL particles indicate a high risk of heart disease while high levels of large and fluffy LDL particles indicate a low risk.
When considering how a Low Carb, High Fat diet will affect your cholesterol levels this resource should be not be considered medical advice. Always discuss dietary changes with a medical professional and get your blood screened in advance. In addition to regular blood testing, have your doctor measure your LDL-p or ApoB – these are two ways of measuring your LDL particle number.
In the majority of people eat a Low Carb, High Fat diet, HDL levels tend to go up. Triglyceride levels will tend to go down and Total and LDL cholesterol tend to remain the same. LDL particle size tends to increase and LDL particle numbers tend to decrease. A small subset of people who eat Low Carb, High Fat experience increased cholesterol levels, including increases in Total and LDL cholesterol as well as increases LDL particle number.
For more information on cholesterol, Low Carb, High Fat and understanding blood test results please see our videos below featuring A/Prof. Ken Sikaris.