Discover the surprising link between the popular keto diet and potential heart risks. Learn how to navigate the low-carb lifestyle while keeping your heart healthy.
- The keto diet, a low-carbohydrate and high-fat eating plan, has gained popularity for weight loss, but new research suggests that it may double the risk of cardiovascular events.
- Dr. Iulia Iatan’s groundbreaking study found a link between the low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet and increased levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), which is associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
- Individual responses to the LCHF diet can vary greatly, highlighting the importance of consulting a healthcare provider, monitoring cholesterol levels, and addressing other risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
- Despite the study’s limitations, the findings warrant further investigation, especially as approximately 1 in 5 Americans report following a low-carb, keto-like, or full keto diet.
The ketogenic or “keto” diet has taken the world by storm as a weight-loss sensation.
By slashing carbohydrates and loading up on fats, this diet forces your body to burn fat for fuel, producing ketones in the process. F
ans of the diet recommend allocating 10% of daily calories to carbs, 20-30% to protein, and a whopping 60-80% to fats.
But, before you dive headfirst into the keto lifestyle, new research suggests that a “keto-like” diet could double your risk of cardiovascular events.
Read on to find out more!
Dr. Iulia Iatan’s Groundbreaking Study
Dr. Iulia Iatan, a renowned expert in the field, spearheaded a study that unveiled a concerning link between a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet and increased levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
The rise in LDL cholesterol is tied to a higher risk of heart disease.
“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,”.Dr. Iulia Iatan
Revelations From The UK Biobank Study
Dr. Iatan’s study drew on data from the UK Biobank, a massive database containing health information from over half a million people in the United Kingdom.
The findings were eye-opening: 9.8% of participants on an LCHF diet experienced a new cardiac event, compared to just 4.3% of those on a standard diet.
Additionally, LCHF dieters had significantly higher levels of LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (apoB).
The Keto-like Diet: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Dr. Iatan’s research also highlighted that individual responses to an LCHF diet can vary greatly.
Cholesterol levels may differ based on unique factors and underlying conditions.
“There are inter-individual differences in how people respond to this dietary pattern that we don’t fully understand yet.”.Dr. Iatan
If you’re considering hopping on the keto bandwagon, Dr. Iatan offers these words of wisdom:
- Seek advice from a healthcare provider before starting the diet
- Keep a close eye on your cholesterol levels
- Tackle other risk factors for heart disease or stroke, like diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and smoking
The Road Ahead: Limitations And Future Studies
Although Dr. Iatan’s study has some limitations, such as collecting dietary information at only one point in time and relying on potentially inaccurate self-reported food consumption, the findings warrant further investigation.
After all, about 1 in 5 Americans claim to follow a low-carb, keto-like, or full keto diet.
“One of our next steps will be to try to identify specific characteristics or genetic markers that can predict how someone will respond to this type of diet.”Dr. Iatan
In Conclusion: Striking The Right Balance
The keto diet might help you shed those extra pounds, but it’s crucial to stay informed about potential cardiovascular risks.
By consulting with a healthcare provider, monitoring cholesterol levels, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle, you can ensure a heart-healthy approach to the LCHF diet.
So, go ahead and enjoy those avocados, but remember to keep your heart in mind!
‘Keto-Like’ Diet May Be Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease, Cardiac Events. https://www.acc.org/About-ACC/Press-Releases/2023/03/05/15/07/Keto-Like-Diet-May-Be-Linked-to-Higher-Risk