SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The popular keto diet is raising concerns after new research links it to a higher risk of heart disease.
“You double your heart attack and stroke risk if you are on a keto diet,” said Dr. John Romanelli, director of bariatric surgery at Baystate Medical Center.
Western Mass News is getting answers from Romanelli and we asked him about a new study out of Vancouver, Canada about the popular keto diet, which features low carbohydrates and high fat.
“Instead of burning the sugar that we get from the carbohydrates that we eat for energy, instead you burn your own body fat, which is obviously a desirable side effect and that’s the reason people do it is to lose weight,” Romanelli explained.
However, new research from St. Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation found that the diet is linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol and is tied to a higher risk of cardiovascular issues including blocked arteries, heart attacks, and strokes. Romanelli told us the weight loss happens when the body goes through ketosis as body starts to burn fat instead of sugar and it can be especially dangerous for those with underlying medical issues.
“No patients with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, that are on medication or under doctors care for those conditions should go on a keto diet…Furthermore, anyone with kidney disease should not be on this diet because in the early phases of the diet, it tends to reduce your electrolytes,” Romanelli added.
He added that diabetics should not be on a keto diet, because of the blood sugar impact. He said diets should be looked into carefully before trying.
“It sounds like a great idea, but you could end up causing yourself health problems and so any rapid weight loss diets should come with a healthy degree of skepticism that if it’s really healthy for you to do that and so the best advice I can give you is if you are trying to lose weight, consult with a physician or dietician before you do it,” Romanelli said.
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