The latest medical research indicates that a low-carb, paleo style diet may improve blood lipid profile. According to scientists, going paleo could lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol. Despite its high content of saturated fat, this eating plan promotes cardiovascular health and reduces heart disease risk.
High cholesterol is the second leading cause of heart disease. People with high blood cholesterol are twice more likely to develop cardiovascular problems. Yet, only one out of every three adults has this condition under control. Less than half receive treatment for hypercholesterolemia. In the UK, half of all adults have high cholesterol, but only 15 percent have been diagnosed.
This health condition has no symptoms. Many times, it’s diagnosed too late when it has already caused major damage to the heart and arteries. Children can have high cholesterol levels too. Statistics show that about 28,000 British children suffer from this disorder. Reducing bad cholesterol levels by as little as five percent would prevent 64,000 cases of cardiovascular disease.
The modern diet is one of the primary causes of hypercholesterolemia. Junk food, margarine, deli meats, pastries, and other common foods raise blood cholesterol levels. The paleo diet eliminates these products, encouraging the consumption of whole, natural foods.
A recent study conducted on people with hypercholesterolemia has found that those who embraced the paleo diet experienced a 22 percent decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They have also reported lower levels of triglycerides and decreased blood pressure. This shows that the paleo diet could be just as effective as statin drugs, which are typically prescribed for high cholesterol.
The beneficial effects of paleo on blood pressure did not surprised researchers since this diet is high in potassium and low in sodium. Other studies have revealed that eating like a caveman may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce diabetes risk. The paleo diet appears to be a natural, drug-free way to lower bad cholesterol and boost cardiovascular health.
Some people may experience increased cholesterol after switching to the paleo lifestyle. However, this isn’t necessarily due to the paleo diet, but rather to their genes and poor food choices. Genetics play a major in lipid levels. Some individuals are prone to hypercholesterolemia and heart disease, so they need to eat a low fat diet to prevent these problems. Compared to the western diet, paleo delivers up to 70 percent less saturated fat, three times more protein, four times more omega-3 essential fats, and two times more fiber, making it ideal for those with high cholesterol.