One of the many things that people, like yourself, will face when choosing to make public their decision to follow a carnivorous lifestyle is that it will raise their cholesterol level. While they may be trying to "keep you safe" what they are spouting isn't actually based on the facts.
How does the carnivore diet affect cholesterol? For almost all carnivore diets your overall cholesterol levels will drop down to a normal level or maintain there. For some, they may experience issues that are described as lean mass hyper responders who see a dramatic rise in their LDL cholesterol when on a low to zero-carb diet.
Contrary to what you have been told your entire life or at least the last 50+ years of it, cholesterol is VITAL to your body's complete health. If you remove cholesterol from your body you will die, this isn't hyperbole, without cholesterol you can't live.
To a certain extent, this has been due to some fairly poor science and nutritional understanding. When people were autopsied they would show high levels of cholesterol which led them to believe that it was the cause of the issue.
When you make the change to a carnivore diet you will typically experience the benefit of your cholesterol levels balancing out. This won't mean they are super low or super high but should find a nice leveled out normal rating.
75% of heart attack patients have normal or low LDLScience Daily
This lowering is due in large part to the removal of the carbohydrate content from your body's processing. See your body processes the carbohydrates first as it has tight control of the blood sugar levels, once it has enough for the glycogen stores it begins conversion to store of the rest for later use.
If you are staying on track and making sure you aren't taking in hidden carbs or eating a large volume of non-meats, milk and yogurt can have larger carbohydrate counts, then in most cases the carnivore diet isn't bad for you.
The pervasive myth of saturated fat causing heart attacks is still quite prevalent in the older medical school of thought, though newer doctors are turning their backs due to total lack of evidence.
The most dangerous thing for cholesterol and health is a mixture of carbohydrate and fat in the diet together, this formula is similar to a tinderbox and requires very little to spark into a raging fire.
For many just consuming a meat and water diet will dramatically drop their overall cholesterol levels. It won't lower your cholesterol to non-natural numbers like a statin does, instead it helps repair the damage and the need for as much cholesterol in your blood stream, in fact it is dangerous for cholesterol to go too low.
According to the NIH, low cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk for nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) in diabetics, proving again that statins aren't a solution but part of the issue and crisis.(source)
The one thing you need to understand is that cholesterol is a repair molecule to fix things inside your body. As we age this repair process becomes something that is more and more vital to long life.
We are told statins lower the cholesterol in your body, the only issue is they shut down the processes in your body that interfere with essential repairs and functions. This means that while it makes a test value look good it isn't in actuality helping your health!
If you were to consume a diet that has a high level of carbohydrates and fat together is when the dangers can start for a carnivore, many of these could be hidden within items like spices and sauces. For example, many people love ribs, but most barbeque sauces are very high in sugars and can be 20+ grams in one tablespoon.
It all starts with Ancel Keys, a person who should be ripped from the world as a cause of mass harm because he decided to manipulate data and win prizes instead of supporting health, someone with an agenda. He "studied" many countries, 7 by his paper, 30+ by real data and then dumped all data that didnt fit his agenda.
This heart hypothesis has led to so many deaths that can't even be counted, its death from science on a gargantuan scale, honestly quite immeasurable.Josh
He wanted to be famous, not right. Thats where nutrition health is today and why it continues to say each day that X is healthy and then tomorrow X is unhealthy.
Cholesterol supports so many processes we can't even explain them all without this being super over the top, from helping to prevent dementia, protection against infectious diseases, shown as no direct bearing on heart disease, along with a reduction in all cause mortality. (source, source, source, source)
For many who have been told cholesterol itself isn't a very good marker for your heart attack risk, though maybe it is the least expensive? If you want to look at your heart health then the best form of test you can do in today's current age is to look into finding a hospital around your area that offers a CAC, or Coronary Artery Calcium scan.
The Coronary Artery Calcium scan is a test where they use radiological imaging to look at the levels of calcium buildup on your coronary artery. This buildup area in the coronary artery is largely known to be highly correlated to actual heart attack events.
These typically aren't something your insurance may cover but for peace of mind, they can be an inexpensive test to let you know if you are in a safe area of calcium buildup in your arteries overall.
While I am not a doctor or nurse I am able to read and comprehend information and apply it in a non-dogmatic fashion. Cholesterol has been bastardized forever due to bad ideological beliefs which were then applied to a country.
Without cholesterol, you die. I think if there is one thing you could leave from my post thinking about its that we know far less about our body then science would let you believe.
You need to understand and read the actual information that is out there and not let other people "interpret" it for you, please don't blindly follow my beliefs as I am ever evolving and learning from all the data the information age provides, here are my favorite podcasts to listen in for more data!
If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!