High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Fasting, on the other hand, has been shown to have a variety of health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. But what is the connection between cholesterol levels and fasting? In this blog, we’ll explore the relationship between these two factors and how fasting can affect cholesterol levels.
First, let’s define what we mean by cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in every cell of the body. It plays an important role in the production of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances that the body needs to function properly. However, too much cholesterol in the blood can build up on the walls of arteries, leading to blockages and an increased risk of heart disease.
Now, let’s talk about fasting. Fasting is the practice of abstaining from food and sometimes drink for a certain period of time. There are many different types of fasting, including intermittent fasting, which involves alternating periods of eating and fasting, and extended fasting, which involves abstaining from food for several days.
So, how does fasting affect cholesterol levels? Studies have shown that fasting can lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol that can build up on artery walls. One study found that intermittent fasting reduced LDL cholesterol levels by up to 25%. Fasting has also been shown to increase levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, which helps to remove excess cholesterol from the body.
It’s not entirely clear why fasting has these cholesterol-lowering effects, but one theory is that it reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a key contributor to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, and reducing inflammation can improve overall health.
It’s worth noting that while fasting can have positive effects on cholesterol levels, it’s not a magic bullet. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking are all important factors in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.
In conclusion, there is a clear connection between cholesterol levels and fasting. Fasting can lower levels of LDL cholesterol and increase levels of HDL cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. If you’re interested in trying fasting, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure it’s safe for you. And remember, while fasting can be a helpful tool, it’s just one part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.
Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.