Low carb and cholesterol – what’s the problem?

Can a low-carb diet be bad for your cholesterol?

For most people eating low carb may only be a good thing, even for their cholesterol, raising the good HDL cholesterol and improving triglycerides. But MAYBE for some people low carb has negative effects. There are a lot of things we simply don’t know yet.

In her presentation at this year’s Low Carb Vail, Dr. Sarah Hallberg – of TEDx fame – talked about what we don’t know about LCHF and cholesterol. You can now watch the entire presentation above (transcript).


This video has been previously available to our members. Here’s what they have been saying about it:

Please add more content like this. It is very helpful
– Dennis

Agreed! More like this dietdoctor and please let us know about the results of the experiment.
– Lisa

Wow – excellent! I wonder though, isn’t the longstanding fear of high-LDL totally based on poor conclusions drawn from epidemiological “studies”? And weak associations? Has there been real science showing high-LDL alone CAUSES disease or is a disease marker? If a person has low triglycerides and high HDL is high-LDL still linked to higher CVD risk?
Thanks again for the video.
– Paul

It’s great to see that a study is being done to begin to answer some of these questions. I’m due to have my lipids looked at after a year of stable weight (after a 130 pound loss). My LDL-C was up last year after about 18 months of VLKD. My doctor was perplexed and mildly concerned, but told me that my overall health was so much better that I should keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’m going to get an NMR lipoprofile this time, though, since the LDL-C doesn’t seem to be very helpful.
I wish that I could have gone to the Vail conference, but at least I can get some of the information shared there, thanks to this site.
– Laura

Spot on! These are the questions that come up when the expected results are not realized and measurements that usually go down, go up instead. The people who get these unexpected results are the most vocal in the comments sections. We are all seeing this. Markers for increased cholesterol, inflammation, weight gain, etc. happen and the disappointed dieters howl about it. We read it. We know Sarah’s questions are out there and need addressing. The unexpected result is often loaded with “scientific” meaning.
– Joanne

Agreed! This is the kind of thing we need to share with our physicians!
– Teresa

Just read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. It explains why my diets have always failed and how to succeed. Really interesting book. A must to read.
– Pat

I don’t really understand what’s meant by the idea that insulin might be a double-edged sword for some. any ideas??
– Kay

I think it might be that the assumption has been that if you become insulin resistant that you remain insulin resistant. Is it the case that some group of people can actually flip between resistant and very sensitive such that they end up with a too low insulin value. If this is the case then these people have, potentially, a much harder dietary problem to deal with.
– Robert


  1:20  Sarah went into a science-based low-carb practice
  3:00  LDL on LCHF
  5:50  LDL-C and particle size
12:03  LDL research
15:25  Mechanisms for increased LDL
18:15  LDL residence time
23:30  We have to ask questions



Dealing With Elevated Cholesterol on a Low Carb Diet

Other Low-Carb Side Effects & How to Cure Them


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