We consistently see people who are just beginning or contemplating the Keto lifestyle who “freak out” over cholesterol results. We also read often that people “fear” going to their doctor or fear their doctor finding out they are trying the Keto lifestyle. If you are one of them then this blog post may be right up your alley… and, if your not, you may still find you enjoy this post! Either way, drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts on our thoughts… regardless we expect an exciting discussion to ensue.First, just in case you are not familiar, let’s start with, “what is the Keto lifestyle?” The Keto lifestyle is a theory that by seriously restricting carbs, consuming high, good-quality fats, and moderate good-quality proteins a person will experience the following:
(1) Lower blood sugar levels, which may result in a type 2 diabetic becoming free of diabetes.
(2) Loss of fat from the body, which should result in weight loss and muscle gain.
(3) Lower blood pressure.
(4) More energy.
The belief is that sugars (this includes carbs because carbs convert to sugar) are the culprit in the obesity epidemic, the diabetes epidemic, the high blood pressure epidemic, and so on, you get the point, right?!
Before continuing it is important to note that this lifestyle is not new… it began back in the 1920’s as a way of helping people control their seizures! More on this in a later post but for now we will continue with this discussion.
So, here’s the deal, we encourage you to thoroughly research this lifestyle before “jumping on the bandwagon.” That way you will not be shell-shocked when your cholesterol levels rise. If you “go Keto” you are going to consume good quality fats and when you do this you are going to increase your intake of cholesterol, which will raise your cholesterol levels… at least initially. Many Keto veterans find their cholesterol levels balance out and fall within acceptable levels once they become “fat-adapted” and their bodies become use to consuming more fat and less carbs.
If you take the time to learn more before beginning you will not fear test results. And, listen, your doctor works for YOU!! If you “fear” your doctor you have the wrong doctor! Plain and simple. You may not agree but it is true. One should never fear their doctor. If you go in and say, “Hey doc, I’ve researched the Keto lifestyle and I am going to give it a good try (meaning, at least, a year or two) and I feel it is going to reverse a lot of the issues I am having,” then your doctor should respect your wishes. He/She may express concern but if they “lash out” over your choice, time for a new doctor! Medically trained doctors DO NOT receive training in nutrition, yes, you heard that correctly, they do not receive training in nutrition. What they have learned will most often contradict the Keto lifestyle… however, we ask you to go into a crowded area, sit down and look around, do you feel the majority of the people around you are at a healthy weight, feeling good, etc.? How many people do you know take medications, especially a lot of medications? Ridiculous, right? Doesn’t that tell you that something is seriously wrong with the way we’ve been taught to eat and/or the nutritional advice coming from doctors and so-called professional organizations (ex. The American Heart Association)?
Several of us associated with JordynLei.com are deep into the Keto lifestyle and we decided from the jump to not have our cholesterol tested for, at least, a year after beginning Keto… here are a few questions to ask yourself and is what drives us on our Keto journey. We hope it will help others to gauge if Keto compliments their body chemistry:
(1) Do you have more energy (gauge this from about week 3 forward as your body will take time to adjust to being strictly Keto)?
(2) How are your blood sugar levels? Are they slowly dropping? Be sure to watch out for some ingredients, in the beginning, that may halt your blood sugars from lowering, especially for Type 2 diabetics. An example would be a sweetener like Swerve or huge servings of a low carb veggie like broccoli or too many avocados. For some, not all, these could slow or halt progress, in the beginning.
(3) Is your blood pressure coming down? Some people have noted their blood pressure rose a bit during the first few weeks and then slowly came down to normal. Many people following strict Keto have reported they are able to come off blood pressure meds around month 3-5! So, be patient, it takes time to heal the body.
(4) Is your body losing fat? Be sure to take your body measurements when first starting out… it may take time for the scales to reflect the awesomeness you are doing by following Keto! Also, remember muscle weighs more than fat so as your energy increases and you are doing more and more you are slowly building muscle. Just be patient as you will lose fat if you do not cheat and count your macros. Counting your macros, especially in the beginning, is super important. Our favorite APP for keeping track of our macros is called, “Lose It.” You can get it cross platforms and even use it online. They all sync together, pretty cool!
(5) Finally, about 4 months into following Keto strictly, no cheating, have your doctor perform an A1C… when you get the results ask yourself if it improved from your last test result.
Want to learn more about cholesterol and test results? Below we provide a few of our favorite Keto “experts” whom we feel explain this issue so well. If you have not begun on a Keto journey, we encourage you to listen to the following resources so you may have a better understanding in regards to cholesterol and your body.
Cholesterol Levels and the Keto Lifestyle Videos
💚 Help! Eating Keto Increased My Cholesterol! (It’s OK, Here’s Why) 💚 with Ken D Berry, MD
“Your doctor telling you that your cholesterol level has gone up can be scary. Your doctor telling you that you need to take a Statin for your cholesterol can be terrifying.
Let me calm your fears and tell you exactly what you should worry about with respect to the risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s not what you think, and it’s not what you’ve probably been told.
There is a huge paradigm shift in medicine and nutrition. We have all be tricked to fear saturated fat and cholesterol, and now we are slowly realizing that neither of these nutrients are dangerous.”
👉 The Truth About Cholesterol – and LDL and HDL with Eric Berg, DC
“Dr. Berg explains the truth about cholesterol, LDL and HDL. In this video, Dr. Berg explains the new answers about cholesterol and debunks all the older myths.”
👉 Cholesterol with Maria and Craig Emmerich
“In this video Craig discusses all thing Cholesterol. He shows how he manipulates his cholesterol based on how much fat he eats.
If you really want to know your heard disease risk, look at CAC score. Calcium score is a cheap (usually $100) and easy test that measures the plaque buildup in your coronary arteries. The score given correlates to heart disease (and overall death risk) by orders of magnitude better that total cholesterol every does. Total cholesterol is only a couple percent correlation in the statin companies own tests. CAC score of 100 (vs. 0) correlates at 800% increase in death risk!!”
Lies My Doctor Told Me: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health by Ken D. Berry MD: https://amzn.to/2IRw6IM
Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on The Ketogenic Diet, including Simplified Science and No-cook Meal Plans by Maria and Craig Emmerich: https://amzn.to/2NtJBlc
Dr. Berg’s New Body Type Guide: Get Healthy Lose Weight & Feel Great by Eric Berg DC: https://amzn.to/2lTECxO