Ever wondered why your cholesterol can go up when you’re losing weight?
In a previous article, we discussed the importance of cholesterol for a healthy functioning body but, weight loss can result in an increase in cholesterol.
Many of RMR’s members report that their cholesterol levels have risen during their weight-loss journey. According to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, this is not surprising: “When you lose weight, you are mobilizing energy stored as fat. That fat is mobilized as fatty acids and triglycerides into the bloodstream. 10 pounds lost, for instance, means the equivalent of 35,000 calories of fat released into the bloodstream.”
Davis, explains what these fatty acids then do in the body:
“Block insulin – and thereby increase blood sugar. A non-diabetic can even become transiently diabetic during weight loss.
Increase triglycerides – A starting triglyceride level of, say, 120 mg/dl, can increase to 180 mg/dl during active weight loss. (Triglycerides contain fatty acids.)
Decreased HDL – Excess fatty acids and triglycerides modify HDL particles, causing their degradation and elimination. A starting HDL of 45 mg/dl can drop to 28 mg/dl, for example.
LDL measures go haywire – The conventional calculated LDL cholesterol, or even generally superior measures like apoprotein B or NMR LDL particle number, can go in any direction rather unpredictably: They can go up, down, or sideways. Likewise, the (miserably useless) total cholesterol value can go up, down, or sideways.
Increased blood pressure – This is likely due to the enhanced artery constriction that occurs due to increased endothelial dysfunction, i.e., dysfunction of the normal relaxation mechanisms of arteries.”
It is recommended that you don’t do any blood tests until your weight has stabilised for at least a month.
According to Kris Gunnars, it is important to get your cholesterol tested properly so that you know if you really have anything to be worried about. Here are six pointers from Gunnars:
Suggestions from Kris Gunnars to bring down cholesterol if you are part of the small percentage of people whose so called "bad cholesterol" (i.e small-dense LDL particle numbers) has been increased while Banting:
In conclusion, although cholesterol is essential for a healthy, functioning body, weight loss can result in an increase. Gunnars recommends you wait until your weight has stabilised before doing any tests to see if there is any concern. A small portion of people can see a rise in "bad cholesterol" on a low-carb diet, but it is important to rule out other factors like thyroid function and Familial Hypercholesterolemia. It’s essential to do the right cholesterol tests and that your doctor understands what to look for.