The Correlation Between Cholesterol & Saturated Fats
Have you ever wondered why there’s a correlation between your cholesterol levels in your blood and your saturated fat intake? Well, let me first say, it’s not a big deal, okay? If you did consume saturated fats and you notice that your cholesterol is higher, it is absolutely not the end of the world. There is a logical explanation for it, and that’s exactly why I wanted to to do this video. My name’s Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, here to help you understand some of the intricacies of the ketogenic diet, and what you might see on your blood work.
What are LDL Receptor Cells?
All right, here’s the thing. Inside our liver, we have these things called receptor cells. And they are LDL receptor cells. So what that means is they’re like little docking stations for LDL. LDL is not cholesterol itself. It is a carrier of cholesterol. So like I’ve talked about in other videos, it’s like a boat that carries triglycerides and carries things. So it’s not an actual cholesterol itself, it’s a boat. And this LDL boat needs to dock at specific stations. And our liver has multiple stations for LDL to dock at. It just so happens that when we consume certain kinds of fats, it makes it so that those docking stations are inactive. It deactivates them. So what that means is for a temporary amount of time, we have higher levels of LDL cholesterol floating around in the bloodstream, because it doesn’t have a place to dock. Is it bad? Absolutely not. It just means for a moment in time, whenever it is that you’re getting your blood work done or whatever, you might notice a higher level of LDL.
Not All Fats are Created Equal
But here’s where things start to get interesting. Not all fats are created equal. Now I’m not sure if you know this, but saturated fats can have different lengths of carbon chains. Now what that means is some saturated fats take longer to digest than others. A good example is going to be coconut oil, lauric acid, right? Okay, lauric acid is a 12-carbon chain saturated fat. But then you go to the other end of the equation, and you look at something that is high in what is called stearic acid, okay? Maybe some macadamia nuts or another kind of saturated fat. Well, they have an 18-carbon chain. It turns out that the longer the carbon chain, the less deactivating occurs with those LDL receptors. Simply put, coconut oil might make it so your cholesterol levels jump up a little bit, simply because it deactivates more receptor cells, whereas the 18-carbon chain, like stearic acid from macadamia nuts, might make it so that your LDL levels don’t change that much, right?
Effects of Healthy Mono and Polyunsaturated Fats
Now here’s an interesting thing to keep track of. When you consume healthy, mono and polyunsaturated fats, we’re talking about things like olive oil and things like avocado oil, that has the opposite effect. That actually turns up the LDL receptors, so it can actually lower your LDL cholesterol. Now it’s important to note that your LDL cholesterol is not the end-all, be-all biomarker for your overall health. There’s lots of studies that show that this is just not the case. But still, it doesn’t stop you from being concerned, and it doesn’t stop your doctor from being concerned.
So if you are trying to drop your LDL levels, something that you can do, as a quick hot tip, is to increase your olive oil consumption, increase your avocado oil consumption, and you’ll probably see that number go down. Anyhow, all of these are little tips and tricks that you can utilize on the ketogenic diet, or at least to develop an understanding of why your blood markers might be what they are.
Measuring your Ketone Levels
And speaking of blood markers, probably the one that you want to pay attention to the most is going to be your ketone levels. And that’s exactly why I’m standing here with Keto-Mojo, the gold standard when it comes down to blood ketone monitoring. So make sure that you’re testing your ketones frequently. That number, more likely, is going to be more important than the ever-so-fluctuating numbers that you might see on a cholesterol lipid panel.
So as always, keep it locked in here with Keto-Mojo, and I’ll see you in the next video.