#2 Low-Carb Fear: Cholesterol

LDL cholesterolDoes a low-carb diet cause high cholesterol?

Low-carb diets tend to improve the cholesterol profile by increasing levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, and decreasing levels of harmful triglycerides. These are both good changes, associated with improved health.

Regarding the “bad” LDL cholesterol, most people experience no significant changes on low carb. However, some people can lower or (more often) increase LDL levels somewhat. Note that studies show that at least people over 60 years of age tend to live longer with higher LDL levels.1

Taken together, studies show that low-carb diets generally improve risk factors for disease, including cholesterol.2 For a small minority of people however, cholesterol may go up abnormally high on an LCHF diet. In those situations it could be worth adapting the diet to normalize the cholesterol levels.

The bottom line: Low-carb and high-fat diets on average improve the cholesterol profile and reduce most risk factors for disease. The effect of this has been demonstrated in a 2010 study that showed a reduction in atherosclerosis after two years on a low-carb, high-fat diet.3

Learn how to handle elevated cholesterol on low carb

Read recent news about cholesterol

More low-carb fears


  1. TeancumFan
    Guess I'm one of those minority people (for once). I was losing weight and feeling fantastic. Then I had my blood work done and my doctor almost had the coronary. Very elevated cholesterol. Sigh. Now what???
    Reply: #4
  2. Deborah
    Check out Cholesterol Code by DaveKeto. Will definitely try his protocol to see if it is indeed 'hackable' with my next blood test!! ?
  3. Patricia
    I am on the Atkins low carb & i eat plenty of beef, chicken, pork, cheese , bacon & eggs & lots of veggies & salad with ranch dressing ( homemade is best ) whipping cream in coffee stay with 25 net carbs a day, my cholesterol drop way aown & so did my triglycerides, i have energy & feel great net carbs are subtract fiber from total carbs & you have net carbs i will start adding carbs in April . I eat 6 oz of meat lunch & dinner & 3 pieces thick bacon breakfast June
  4. Kanel
    I'm kind of in the same boat. However, I've read about people losing weight fast (me included) that have had their cholesterol elevated for about 9 months before they go down.
    How long have you been on low-carb? Would you like to share your numbers?

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