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Is ketogenic diet safe to have to reduce high cholesterol?

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Posted on Fri, 18 Jul 2014
Question: My husband (60) is about 80 pounds over weight. He has CAD, kidney stones, and osteoporosis. I am 65 and have high cholesterol (otherwise healthy). I am about 23 pounds overweight. We would both like to lose our excess weight. I have had pretty good results with weight loss by just eating smarter and eating smaller portions. My husband, however, has many more pounds to lose and he gives up because he is not losing weight as fast as he would like to and he craves the foods he loves, such as baked potatoes, hamburgers, french fries, and all the high carb things he shouldn't be eating. My question is this: My husband's daughter (diabetic) and her husband (over 150 pounds overweight), went on the ketogenic diet and they are both losing weight quickly. They say they are eating the foods they love (lots of meat, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, cheese of all kinds, etc.) and they say they don't crave the carbs anymore. My husband, of course, was very interested in this diet and came home and looked it up on line. He found hundreds of articles which talked about the benefits and effectiveness of the diet, but I found nothing about the risks, especially if there is a heart disease, high cholesterol, and a propensity for kidney stones involved. In fact, the articles said this diet can actually reduce cholesterol levels and reverse heart disease (???!!!). Would you please advise me as to whether or not this diet is just a passing fad which is inadequately researched, or does it actually have merit?
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Answered by Meenakshi Attrey (12 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You may start Ketogenic diet

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Greetings from HealthcareMagic.

Ketogenic diets are rich in fat, with moderate protein and low carbohydrate content. Reduced carbohydrate in the diet triggers the generation of Ketone bodies during metabolism of fat.

Our body can use these ketone bodies in place of glucose to fulfill its energy needs. In fact, certain body parts / organs prefer ketone over glucose as the fuel. Lack of carbohydrates accelerates fat metabolism for increased production of ketone bodies. This results in reduction of the accumulated fat and hence weight.

Ketogenic diets may cause diabetic ketoacidosis in people with insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes and insulin dependent type 2 diabetes. Also, fatigue, weakness, headache and general but mild irritability is seen during the transition period. This actually is the phase in which the body is getting adjusted to the use of fat and ketone for its energy requirements. The symptoms settle within a week in most cases. Once adapted, a person needs to stick to the diet as withdrawal may lead to increase in weight. I would also recommend cholesterol check ups during the transition phase.

Following the ketogenic diets help in management of cardiovascular risk factors, weight, non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes and even epilepsy.

Ketogenic diets which are not too low in carbs are mostly safe and may be followed. However, since your husband is in pre diabetic stage and has history of CAD, I would advise you to talk to your health care provider about his sugar levels before starting the diet. His cholesterol values along with blood sugars need to be moderated frequently until the body is able to handle excess fats.

Hope I satisfied your query. Please feel free to contact us again for further discussion.

Meenakshi

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
Meenakshi
Meenakshi Attrey

Dietitian & Nutritionist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 228 Questions

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Is ketogenic diet safe to have to reduce high cholesterol?

Brief Answer: You may start Ketogenic diet Detailed Answer: Hi, Greetings from HealthcareMagic. Ketogenic diets are rich in fat, with moderate protein and low carbohydrate content. Reduced carbohydrate in the diet triggers the generation of Ketone bodies during metabolism of fat. Our body can use these ketone bodies in place of glucose to fulfill its energy needs. In fact, certain body parts / organs prefer ketone over glucose as the fuel. Lack of carbohydrates accelerates fat metabolism for increased production of ketone bodies. This results in reduction of the accumulated fat and hence weight. Ketogenic diets may cause diabetic ketoacidosis in people with insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes and insulin dependent type 2 diabetes. Also, fatigue, weakness, headache and general but mild irritability is seen during the transition period. This actually is the phase in which the body is getting adjusted to the use of fat and ketone for its energy requirements. The symptoms settle within a week in most cases. Once adapted, a person needs to stick to the diet as withdrawal may lead to increase in weight. I would also recommend cholesterol check ups during the transition phase. Following the ketogenic diets help in management of cardiovascular risk factors, weight, non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes and even epilepsy. Ketogenic diets which are not too low in carbs are mostly safe and may be followed. However, since your husband is in pre diabetic stage and has history of CAD, I would advise you to talk to your health care provider about his sugar levels before starting the diet. His cholesterol values along with blood sugars need to be moderated frequently until the body is able to handle excess fats. Hope I satisfied your query. Please feel free to contact us again for further discussion. Meenakshi