Do Cholesterol Levels Go Down With Weight Loss?

Watch Dr. Posner's video here

High cholesterol levels are linked to an increase risk of cardiovascular disease. This specifically refers to the “bad” cholesterol, referred to as “LDL” (low density lipoprotein). On more comprehensive testing, there are different particles of cholesterol that confer different risks. Most often, testing will include a total cholesterol level (normal should be under 200), an HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (should be under 100). The cardiac risk is often predicted based on the total cholesterol divided by HDL ratio, with the lower the ratio, the less risk of a future cardiac event.

The cholesterol and the various components in your bloodstream are not simply a reflection of what you have eaten. When you ingest foods that contain fat, cholesterol and triglycerides, your intestines break these down to “fatty acids” and these are carried to the liver, where the cholesterol is then produced that appears in your blood levels. Genetically, there are some families that produce lots more cholesterol, especially of the “bad” variety (LDL and other more risky components). These families tend to show members having heart attacks, the need for bypass surgery, etc.

So, there are two issues involved with people that have high cholesterol levels: One is the dietary intake…the more fats/cholesterol you eat, the more fatty acids are brought to the liver for production and secondly, the genetic component plays a role.

The SP Program focuses on high protein and low fat yet we encourage eggs and red meats as helpful to weight loss. Does the increase ingestion of these food sources increase cholesterol and thereby the risk of heart disease?

What we consistently see is that the weight loss reduces cholesterol levels despite the use of foods (such as eggs) that contain cholesterol. Also, remember that cholesterol levels are just one of the “cardiac risk factors” and the other weight-related risk factors include obesity, diabetes and hypertension. All of these are made better by weight loss as well.

The bottom line for cholesterol: Weight loss does a great job of improving the numbers, even while eating foods that contain cholesterol.

Nataliya P Serotonin-Plus Counselor

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