Ask Our Keto Nutritionist: IF, Increased Cholesterol, & Glucose Levels
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Got questions for a nutritionist who “gets” keto?
We’ve partnered with a tried and true keto nutritionist who’s dedicated to helping people live their best lives through the ketogenic diet. Please note that we’re not doctors, so if you have any specific questions regarding your own health, please consult with your trusted medical partner.
I’m doing Keto and IF (16/8). Should I eat when not hungry to get my macros and to not mess up my metabolism?
Keto and IF are a great combination! If you practice IF on a daily basis:
- Eat nutrient dense meals during your eating window to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition.
- Eat normally during your eating window (do not binge; however, eating slightly larger meals is OK).
- Don’t worry about meeting your “macros” if you have included IF.
- If you’re following 16/8 IF, two nutrient-dense meals a day is typical on a ketogenic diet.
- Keto and IF should make you feel good and energetic. If you don’t feel this way or feel unwell, dial IF back to just once or twice per week.
Most importantly, always listen to your body!
Would keto cause my cholesterol levels to rise?
Higher levels of cholesterol on a ketogenic diet are linked to and associated with weight loss. As fat breaks down to be delivered as fuel, cholesterol increases… this is usually a temporary increase and typically will decrease after weight loss has plateaued and stabilized.
Remember, fat is fuel on keto and your body is breaking down stored fat, so it makes sense that cholesterol would be higher in the bloodstream. In fact, studies are showing low-carb, high-fat diets, such as keto, to be cardioprotective.
It’s also important to look at a particle size of LDL. You can request a lab called NMR LipoProfile, which will break down the particle sizes. We want the large, bubble kind to increase, and the small dense kind to decrease. A normal lipid panel will not show the different sizes, but only the general increase overall (see “Is the keto diet healthy & safe?“). High cholesterol can also be genetic, so it is important to discuss and monitor this with your doctor.
After a few months on keto, my glucose levels are up again. How can I keep the glucose and A1C benefits and prevent hormone issues?
The ketogenic diet is used to help with Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance due to the lowering effect it has on blood sugar, insulin, and A1C. If you’re following a ketogenic diet and these are elevated, then it may be time to double check for hidden carbs and excessive protein. Otherwise, you should consult with your doctor to determine if there is a medical concern or if medications are interfering. Keto typically helps with hormone imbalances, so this is another reason to consider consulting with your doctor.