ok. I have been in a low-carb diet for the last 3 weeks. My lab report from friday showed a 213 MG/DL Total cholesterol from my last read on 2010 of 189. Is there any scientific correlation between low-carb diets and increase of cholesterol?

Another question is, if I change my low-carb diet to not include any red meat, will that make any difference?

I checked this question, but it did not help.

Do high protein diets pose any serious risk to health?

  • Off topic according to the FAQ since the scope change of the site excluded questions not related to exercise. – Baarn Sep 13 '12 at 15:57

It's really hard to have any definitive study about the digestive system because there are a number of interrelated systems and you can never be fully confident that the trends you are seeing are because of the stimulus you changed. To that end I can only offer my own experience.

  • As I lost weight all my numbers improved: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc.
  • Cholesterol is most affected by exercise--i.e. the more active you are the less bad cholesterol you have in your system.

Now the folks at my weight loss center suggested the following:

  • Lean protein (90% lean or better for red meat, white meat for poultry, or fish)
  • Keep reasonable portion sizes. I.e. land meat is the size of your closed fist, seafood is the size of your open hand, eggs are limited to 2 whole eggs at a meal.

It very may well be the type of protein you are eating that is contributing to the high cholesterol. Even though I don't have links for you, there are studies that show that dietary cholesterol doesn't directly translate to blood cholesterol. Higher blood cholesterol can be a symptom of other things going on in your body.

Last thought is this: fish is the most protein dense food you can eat, which will help lower your cholesterol and not overdo the calories. Essentially an 8oz tilapia filet has something on the order of 40g of protein and only about 300 calories. The oils in the filet are good Omega-3s, and not the harmful Omega-6s. Most of my lunches are some form of sea meat right now.

  • Not only studies, but even a nobel prize (1985) nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1985/press.html In essence it says that if LDL is available in the blood, LDL receptors will detect it and reduce the body's LDL production. However genetic and environmental factors can reduce the number of LDL receptors resulting in higher LDL production. – Daniel Rikowski Jun 21 '11 at 13:48

Maybe it's because you're not paying attention to the fats you intake. You may be so focussed on the carbs and protein that you're not paying attention to anything else.

Also it would seem to me that you're assuming that the last 3 weeks are what's responsible when in fact it could have been the whole 5 months prior that caused the bad cholesterol to go up.

I've been reading around and haven't been able to get a solid answer on how long it takes for LDL and HDL levels to change. Some sites say 14 days, others 6 months.

Here's a good article on how to bring your LDL down. Then go see your doctor again in a couple of months.

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