Remember in the 90s when low-carb diets were getting all the media attention?
At the time, for a lot of people, low-carb was just another fad, questioning whether low-carb was healthy at all.
Concerns were raised over whether a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Since then, however, low-carb diets have been studied extensively.
Not only is low-carb great for losing weight, but it turns out it is the healthiest diet you can eat, including benefits for your cardiovascular health!
Low-carb might have been a fad in the 90s, but it isn’t ‘just another fad diet.’ It works.
1. Low-Carb Increases Your HDL (‘Good’) Cholesterol Levels
If you have concerns about your cardiovascular health or you are just a health-conscious person, you probably have heard of HDL vs. LDL cholesterol.
HDL stands for ‘High-Density Lipoprotein,’ and is often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol, whereas LDL stands for ‘Low-Density Lipoprotein,’ and is typically called ‘bad cholesterol.’
Neither term refers directly to cholesterol itself, so the phrases ‘HDL cholesterol’ and ‘LDL cholesterol’ are misnomers.
Rather, HDL and LDL are names for the specific types of lipoproteins which ferry cholesterol around your bloodstream.
- LDL moves cholesterol from your liver to other body systems
- HDL transports cholesterol from areas throughout your body back to your liver
- Once at your liver, cholesterol can either be used again, or it can be excreted as waste
Increasing your HDL levels decreases your risk of heart disease (1, 2, 3, 4).
Interestingly enough, one of the best ways you can boost your HDL levels is by eating more fat in your diet, not less (5, 6, 7).
This may seem counterintuitive to you if you have heard time and again throughout your life, as so many of us have that fat is terrible for your cardiovascular system.