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Ketogenic Diet = Cholesterol?


Do you need to completely cut out cholesterol from your diet? No. What you do need is to control the amount you have and maintain healthy cholesterol levels in your body. 


Cholesterol doesn’t have to be the antagonist in the story. Does it contribute to anything positive?  Of course, it does!  It’s a building block for hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, it’s part of your cell membrane structures, it helps in absorbing those lovely vitamins you always want a good amount of and it helps produce vitamin D from the sun [1]. 80% of the cholesterol your body requires is produced in the liver and small intestines while the other 20% is obtained from our diet [1].

Leaving all the complicated science behind, all you need to know is that higher levels of HDL cholesterol is good for you while higher levels of LDL cholesterol will be bad. 

So is a low-fat diet the way to combat your cholesterol levels? 

Low-fat diets, contrary to popular belief, are not that effective in lowering your LDL cholesterol. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a low fat diet was only able to lower the LDL-cholesterol levels of their participants by 3% [2].

Why not give the keto diet a try?

We have discussed about the keto diet numerous times on our site so if you’d like to know more about what it exactly is, check out this link: . In terms of lowering your cholesterol levels, it showed a 9.6% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels [3]. Moreover, HDL cholesterol  levels were observed to have increased by 20.6% compared to only 4.9% in the low-fat diet [4]. Looking at these numbers you can definitely deduce which diet might be more useful in lowering your cholesterol levels.


Corliss, J. (2011). “Portfolio” beats low-fat diet for lowering cholesterol. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from:

Jenkins, D.J.A. (2011). Effect of a Dietary Portfolio of Cholesterol-Lowering Foods Given at 2 Levels of Intensity of Dietary Advice on Serum Lipids in Hyperlipidemia A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medicine Association. 306(8). 831-839.   

Wood, Richard J., et al. (2006).  “Carbohydrate restriction alters lipoprotein metabolism by modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL subfraction distribution and size in overweight men.” The Journal of Nutrition, 136(2). 384-389.

Brinkworth, Grant D., et al. (2009).  “Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo.” The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(1). 23-32.