What we don’t know about LCHF and cholesterol

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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 recent Low Carb Vail presentation Dr. Sarah Hallberg – of TEDx fame – talked about what we don’t know about LCHF and cholesterol. You can watch a segment above. Transcript

Watch it

You can watch the full presentation, with captions, on our member site:

LCHF and LDL – Full presentation with Dr. Hallberg

Also from Low Carb Vail 2016

LCHF and LDL – Dr. Sarah Hallberg
Reversing Diabetes by Ignoring the Guidelines – Dr. Sarah Hallberg
The Food Revolution 2016 Update – with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt
Practical Lipid Management – Dr. Cate Shanahan
Healthy food for your family

More with Dr. Hallberg

“Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Starts with Ignoring the Guidelines”

Dr. Sarah Hallberg Talks Low Carb and Diabetes on FOX, Plans Clinical Trial

Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s blog, Facebook, YouTube.

The Diet Doctor Guide

What to Do if You Get Elevated Cholesterol on Low Carb


  1. Stu
    The real question, after watching this presentation, does any cholesterol measure matter? Is it really all about the insulin?
    Reply: #2
  2. BobM
    My opinion: no cholesterol measure matters. It's all about insulin and high blood sugar. I think many of these (such as low HDL, high triglycerides) are simply markers for poor insulin.
  3. Karlyn
    Great presentation, thank you for posting it. Have you looked at iodine as a possible cause? I have been reading about iodine deficiencies and the connection to LDL cholesterol by a Dr Brownstein. Very interesting information. He mentions diets high in dietary cholesterol - which is prevalent on a LCHF diet - need even greater amounts of iodine. There is a solid connection to high LDLs and low iodine levels (and whole host of other issues). He reasons iodine in our food source has declined, and our society may have forgotten some of the hard lessens learned in the 1920s when iodine was added to salt to prevent a health epidemic, and then later added to our flour products. According to Brownstein, In the 70's iodine was phased out of flour products, replaced by bromine which is being linked to some pretty bad issues. And the amount of iodized salt we consume on average is less and less due to doctor recommendations that salt is bad. He claims 96% of his patience are iodine deficient. This has me thinking.

    My LDL particle count is too high, but the rest of my cholesterol panel is amazingly good! I did an advanced lipo protein test last week and my HDL is 84, trigs 82, and the 'large fully' LDLs make up about half of my LDL panel. But with 1298 LDL particles, it is still a bit too high. For 7 months I have been sugar and processed food free, and I cooked most my meals. For 4 months my diet is zero breads, grains and very little fruit. I now cook 99% of all my meals. I know I am salt deficient, a habit from dealing with high blood pressure. I have had several bad issues with low salt on the LCHF diet too, I know I need to keep it up. So I am taking steps to make sure I get adequate amounts of salt, minerals and especially now iodine. I really hope this helps, but if not I will not worry about the LDL anymore. There really isn't anything left for me to try.

  4. Anthony Mcgrath
    Worrying about my LDL and particle lipid size, tryglicerides and other midichloreans is just not necessary. Its pretty simple... i keep my carb intake low.. i try to eat healthier carbs than bread/wheat which dont agree with me. I cut right back on dairy so VERY little cheese here n there (i use it just to break up my diet rather than snack on it daily)... i dont drink much alcohol. Sugars i keep as low as possible too. My diet consists of meats, fish, salad veggies and some roasted veggies here n there. I occasionally have some homemade chips and if i get a sugar urge i consume 70% choc pieces here n there or a small piece of fruit.

    I've held steady at 112-114kg and i've never felt better. I've been this way for 5 years now. for ME - this LCHF diet works for me - i dont get any of the symptoms i used to on a wheat/sugar/carb rich diet. I sleep better.. i dont have joint and lumbar ache, bathroom visits are pleasant not like an erupting mountain, i dont have restless legs and i have energy abound. I can train, walk all day, skydive, you name it i'm active and happy!

    all i ever see is a war going on about which is the best way to eat and a ton of 'science' to try justify this and that.. which i understand is necessary for the medical community. However heres a simpler thought process... For ME... this LCHF diet works - it does for many others. But that said a vegan lifestyle is good for many ppl too.. i tried it.. cant live off seeds and cucumber sorry... more than anything else i'm just bloody unhappy! I like my meats n fish! Then there are ppl that are starchivores - they scoff down the carbs and seem to be fine and slim. good for them glad they're happy... Again i just end up ill and sat in the bathroom. I think people just need to discover the right diet for them and who knows 20 years from now that might change again for them as they change!

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