Some proponents of low carb, high fat, and meat-based diets promote the idea that a high HDL protects against cardiovascular disease. They like this idea because diets rich in meat and fat typically raise total cholesterol levels and LDL levels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating fat and protein raises HDL (while also raising total and LDL cholesterol), so proponents of high fat, high meat diets like to think that this elevated HDL protects them from the negative effects of elevated LDL and total cholesterol.
"It's been assumed that if a patient, or group of patients, did something to cause their HDL levels to go up, then you can safely assume that their risk of heart attack will go down," said senior author Sekar Kathiresan, director of preventive cardiology at MGH, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an associate member of the Broad Institute. "This work fundamentally questions that."
This study found that people with 15 genetic variations resulting in naturally elevated HDL had no lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those with lower HDL levels.
Thus, don't believe those who claim that raising your HDL by eating fat and meat will protect you from cardiovascular disease.