Can I Do the Ketogenic Diet if I Have High Cholesterol?

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by Elyse Tursi, DC

Remember when science once thought the world was not round and if a penny dropped from the Empire State Building it could kill a person walking on the sidewalk? We have come a long way in our once-thought-to-be-true scientific theories that have been proven to be wrong. The most held onto theory I hear at least once a day is, “I can’t eat egg yolks or fats because it will raise my cholesterol level.” Fat doesn’t make you fat, and cholesterol from food won’t raise your cholesterol levels.

The premise of a ketogenic diet is one of high fat, high protein and low carbohydrate intake for a sustained period of time. Although the clinical application for this nutritional profile was made for epileptic seizure disorders in children, it has gained popularity because it can shed body fat quickly.

There is a lot of misconception around dietary cholesterol intake causing bad blood chemistry numbers, when in reality, ketogenic diets have great chemical benefits that can lower cholesterol. A diet high in cholesterol can actually improve your total cholesterol number and cholesterol ratio. Does this mean start eating lard and saturated fat? No! It does mean to incorporate wild-caught fish, olive oils and grass-fed organic meats. Not all fats are created equal, so always choose superior quality. 

You may be wondering, “Well, if it is not egg yolks, bacon or butter that is causing my high cholesterol, what is it?” It’s likely you need liver and/or gut support. Eighty percent of cholesterol production occurs in the liver and intestines, aka “the gut.” Gut bacteria should also be evaluated as a contributing factor for abnormal blood lipids.

Source: Dr. Elyse Tursi, a doctor of chiropractic and nutritionist at Pollack Wellness Institute, located at 100 Manetto Hill Rd., Ste. 307, in Plainview. For more information, call 516-299-9313.

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