My cholesterol has gone up since I started doing Atkins What can I do about it

Examine the foods you've been eating. Have you been doing Atkins correctly? If you are just starting, be sure you follow the Rules of Induction (see Chapter 11). You may also want to consider a couple of other things that could be happening. First, the increase might be temporary.

When a person loses weight, cholesterol usually rises because the body must break down stored fat for energy. Your total cholesterol should drop within two months.

Also, remember to look at your HDL (good cholesterol) levels. A rise in total cholesterol levels could even be a good thing, if it's all attributed to HDL cholesterol. Total cholesterol may temporarily go up due to the rise in HDL.

If you've been following the Atkins Nutritional Approach for some time and your cholesterol levels have not come down, something else is going on. Exercise is an important component, as is cutting back on processed meats, such as bacon, sausage and cold cuts, and limiting your intake of hard cheese. You may also need to look at a third component of your blood tests: triglycerides. Cholesterol rises in some people when triglycerides drop significantly. If that drop is greater than the LDL increase, your lipid profile may, again, be improved overall.

High cholesterol that has a genetic component usually responds to changes in diet, but may be difficult to address with diet alone. You may still need to take supplements such as pantethine, essential oils, garlic and fiber. For a detailed discussion of cholesterol-lowering nutrients, see Dr Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution.

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