New research shows that the keto diet could cause serious heart health problems in the long run. Researchers found that a “keto-like” diet was associated with higher levels of “bad” cholesterol and a doubled risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.Experts explain the risks of a keto diet.
The ketogenic or “keto” diet has been the topic of conversation in the health world for a while. But as the diet gains in popularity, researchers are finding that the diet does pose some serious side effects. A new study found a link between a keto-like diet and heart health.
A study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology suggested that a “keto-like” diet may be associated with higher blood levels of “bad” cholesterol and a doubled risk of cardiovascular events such as chest pain (angina), blocked arteries requiring stenting, heart attacks, and strokes.
Researchers utilized data from the UK Biobank and identified 305 participants who indicated that their diet during the 24-hour reporting period met the study’s definition of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet. These participants were categorized by age and sex and compared with 1,220 individuals who reported eating a standard diet.
For this study, the researchers defined an LCHF diet as consisting of no more than 25% of calories from carbohydrates and more than 45% of total daily calories from fat. They dubbed this an LCHF diet and “keto-like” because it is somewhat higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat than a strict ketogenic diet. They defined a “standard diet” as individuals not meeting these criteria and having more balanced eating habits.
Compared with participants on a standard diet, those on an LCHF diet had significantly higher levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. After adjustment for other risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking—the researchers found that people on an LCHF diet had more than a two-times higher risk of having several major cardiovascular events, such as blockages in the arteries that needed to be…