According to current studies, a “Keto-like” diet may increase the risk of heart disease.

According to new research, a low-carb, high-fat “keto-like” diet may increase “bad” cholesterol levels and double the risk of cardiovascular events such clogged arteries, heart attacks, and strokes.

According to a news release from the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic, St. Paul’s Hospital and University of British Columbia’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation in Vancouver, Canada, lead study author Dr. Iulia Iatan, “our study found that regular consumption of a self-reported diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat was associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol,” and a higher risk of heart disease.

At home, a lady prepares vegetables.
Keto vs. Mediterranean diet duel. Which triumphed?
A low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet was described in the study as having 25% of daily calories from carbohydrates and 45% of calories from fat. The study was presented on Sunday at the World Congress of Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session.

Iatan gave a presentation during the conference and stated, “Our study rationale originated from the fact that we would meet patients in our cardiovascular preventive clinic with significant hypercholesterolemia following this diet.

A person’s chance of having a heart attack or other harmful cardiovascular events rises if they have hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol.

This made us consider the connection between lipid levels, cardiovascular disease, and these low-carb, high-fat diets. Thus, there isn’t much information available about this relationship, she continued.

The researchers used health data from the UK Biobank database, which tracked people for at least ten years, to compare the diets of 305 people following an LCHF diet with nearly 1,200 people following a conventional diet.

Researchers discovered that persons on a low-carb, high-fat diet consumed twice as much animal protein as those on a typical diet.
Researchers discovered that persons on a low-carb, high-fat diet consumed twice as much animal protein as those on a typical diet.
AdobeStock / Brent Hofacker
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol and apolipoprotein B levels were found to be greater in those following an LCHF diet, according to the study’s findings. Higher levels of LDL cholesterol cannot predict heart disease as well as apolipoprotein B, a protein that coats LDL cholesterol proteins.

The participants in the LCHF diet consumed twice as much animal sources (33%) as those in the control group (16%), and their total fat intake was higher in saturated fat.

People on an LCHF diet had a more than two-times higher risk of experiencing several major cardiovascular events, such as blockages in the arteries that needed to be opened with stenting procedures, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease, researchers discovered after an average of 11.8 years of follow-up and after adjusting for other risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking, they found.

Because it was an observational study, the researchers noted in the press release that their work “can only show an association between the diet and an increased risk for major cardiac events, not a causal relationship,” but nonetheless their findings merit further investigation, particularly given that 1 in 5 Americans currently report following a low-carb, keto-like, or full ketogenic diet.

1 Low-carb, high-fat diet
Why is the keto diet so well-liked if experts claim it isn’t sustainable?
Iatan cited the limited sample size, measurement mistakes that can occur when dietary assessments are self-reported, and the fact that majority of the participants were British and did not represent other ethnic groups as study limitations.

While most people who follow a keto-like diet tend to do so periodically for shorter periods of time, the study also looked at the long-term effects of the diet.

Women made up 73% of the participants, which Iatan found to be “very intriguing to see, but it also validates the literature that’s available that women in general tend to follow more dietary patterns, tend to be more engaged in changing their lifestyles.”

Iatan responded that the length of time someone stays on the diet and whether or not they lose weight “may counterbalance any LDL elevation” when asked if there were any groups that were not damaged by adopting an LCHF diet.

“It’s important to keep in mind that every patient reacts differently. Hence, there is actually inter-individual variation in the reaction. What we discovered is that, generally speaking, patients tend to have higher levels of LDL cholesterol, she added.

Subscribe to CNN Health’s weekly newsletter.
Join here to get Every Tuesday, the CNN Health team presents The Findings Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

The majority of medical professionals claim that the popular keto diet, which forbids carbohydrates to force your body to burn fat for fuel, leaves out nutritious foods like fruit, beans and legumes, and whole grains. The keto diet recommends keeping your daily carbohydrate intake between 20 and 50 grams; the less, the better. To put it into perspective, the daily allowance of carbohydrates is about 27 grams in a medium banana or apple.

Keto is an abbreviation for ketosis, a metabolic condition in which your liver starts converting stored fat into the fuel ketones. When your body can no longer access its primary fuel, carbs, it is programmed to act as though it is starving.

The keto diet has been around since the 1920s, when a doctor discovered it as a way to treat epileptic youngsters who didn’t react to other forms of treatment for their seizures.

Keto and other low-carb diets mainly rely on fats to make you feel full. The keto diet must contain at least 70% fat; other experts believe it should be closer to 90%.

The diet allows saturated fats like lard, butter, and coconut oil, as well as whole-fat milk, cheese, and mayonnaise, even though you can get all that fat from healthy unsaturated fats like those found in avocados, tofu, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Saturated fat-rich diets enhance the body’s production of LDL cholesterol, which can accumulate in the arteries and obstruct blood flow to the heart and brain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *