Keto diets could increase risk of heart attack and stroke, says new study
The low-carb ketogenic (keto) diet has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years among people trying to lose weight.
A new study, however, suggests that a “keto-like” diet may increase “bad” cholesterol, which can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries and a significantly higher risk. Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events.
The study results were presented Sunday at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session in New Orleans, Louisiana, along with the World Congress of Cardiology.
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“Our study found that regular intake of a self-reported diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat was associated with a higher risk of LDL cholesterol — or ‘bad’ cholesterol — and heart disease,” a press release about the findings said. In M.D., Ph.D.
Iatan joins the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic, St. Paul’s Hospital and the Center for Heart Lung Innovation at the University of British Columbia as a physician-scientist. Vancouver, Canada.
“To our knowledge, our study is the first to examine the association between this type of dietary pattern and cardiovascular outcomes,” he added.
What is the keto diet?
Although there are various variations, the ketogenic diet generally includes very few carbohydrates, usually less than 50 grams per day.
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According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, the target ratio is usually 75-80% healthy fats, 10-20% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates.
Basically, the body’s metabolic system will try to burn carbohydrates for energy.
With the keto diet, because the amount of carbohydrates is very low, the body starts looking to fat to use for energy instead of carbohydrates (or glucose).
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The liver then breaks down the fat and creates an alternative fuel source called ketones, which is where the keto diet gets its name.
A ‘keto-like’ diet doubles the risk of heart events
For the new study, researchers looked at data from people who ate a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet with 25% or less carbohydrates and more than 45% fat.
(It wasn’t as low-carb as the standard keto diet, so it was called “keto-like.”)
To compare, they looked at participants who ate more Also a standard, balanced diet.
The data was drawn from the UK Biobank database, which includes more than 500,000 UK residents who were monitored for at least a decade.
A total of 1,525 people were included in this study; 305 ate an LCHF diet and 1,220 ate a standard diet. Participants were of the same gender, age group (mean age 54 years) and body mass index range.
Those on the LCHF diet were found to have higher levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (apoB), a protein that binds to LDL and can help measure heart disease risk. were
“People on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets have double the risk of several major cardiovascular events.”
“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 pressureObesity and smoking – People on a LCHF diet have a two-fold increased risk of several major cardiovascular events, such as blockages in arteries that require stenting procedures to be opened, heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease,” A press release from the American College of Cardiology noted.
A total of 9.8% of Participants who were on an LCHF diet experienced a new cardiac event during the study, compared to 4.3% of those on a standard diet.
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Kim Culp, a registered dietitian in San Francisco, California, who was not involved in the study, was not surprised by the findings.
“Previous research has shown that excess intake of saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol levels, or increase the risk of heart disease,” he told Fox News Digital via email.
“Saturated fat is that found in high amounts in popular foods such as butter, ice cream, cheese, and fatty meats such as bacon and sausage. That’s why the American Heart Association limits total fat intake to no more than 35% of daily calories. recommends limiting, and saturated fat to less than 7%.”
Ethan wrote that before starting any low-carb diet, it’s important to consult a doctor.
“On the diet, it is recommended [patients] Monitor their cholesterol levels and … try to address other risk factors for heart disease or stroke, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and smoking,” he added.
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Lindsay Allen, registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Back in Balance Nutrition, LLC in Tampa Bay, Florida, was not involved in the study but cautioned that many people who go on a keto diet do not balance fats properly. .
Some experts believe that it is healthier to go on and off a keto diet than to follow it for a long period of time.
“If you’re eating 60-80% of your calories from fat, you should make sure you’re getting monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA from fish), and foods like meat. Not much saturated fat, cheese and bacon,” he told Fox News Digital via email.
“Most people unknowingly consume too much saturated fat without balancing a healthy ratio of all other fats, and when they do, they have cholesterol problems.”
Some experts believe it’s healthier to cycle on and off the keto diet rather than stick to it long-term.
“Eating too few carbohydrates for too long can deplete the antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber we need to balance our cholesterol levels,” Allen said.
The study had some limitations
The study authors cited some limitations.
Participants self-reported their food intake via a questionnaire at only one point in time, which may affect accuracy.
“With only one day of food choices reported, there can be a lot of variation in what diet these subjects actually follow on a consistent basis,” said San Francisco’s Kulp. .
“There’s nothing inherently bad about keto, but it’s not for everyone.”
Furthermore, because this was an observational study, it only shows an association — and not causation, the authors wrote.
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“There’s nothing inherently bad about a keto diet, as long as it’s for the right person, the fat consumption is balanced, and the diet is balanced to allow for antioxidants and fiber,” Allen told Fox News Digital. ,” Allen told Fox News Digital.
“This study shows that the keto diet is definitely not for everyone, and it would be helpful to get guidance from a professional to make sure you’re a good candidate.”
Ethan said more research is needed on the link between a keto-like diet and heart health.