Keto-like diet might double the risk of cardiovascular issues, finds new research
The ketogenic or keto diet, which involves consuming high amounts of fats and very low amounts of carbohydrates, may double the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, blocked arteries, and strokes, according to some researchers.
Since the diet is gaining popularity among the masses, it has become the subject of several research studies in recent days. And, a new study presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with the World Congress of Cardiology has found that a "keto-like" diet may be associated with higher levels of "bad" cholesterol and a twofold heightened risk of deadly cardiovascular problems.
"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. To our knowledge, our study is one of the first to examine the association between this type of dietary pattern and cardiovascular outcomes," the lead study author, Dr Iulia Iatan, 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, said in a news release.
Meanwhile, Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center who was not involved in the study, said, "This study provides an important contribution to the scientific literature, and suggests the harms outweigh the benefits. Elevated LDL cholesterol should not be dismissed as simply a negligible side effect of a VLCD (very-low-calorie diet) or ketogenic diet."
Several previous studies have suggested that an LCHF diet can lead to elevated levels of LDL cholesterol in a few people. And, elevated LDL cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease. For this study, the researchers defined an LCHF diet as consisting of no more than 25 per cent of total daily energy or calories from carbohydrates and about 45 per cent or more from fat.
For the new study, the researchers analysed data from the UK Biobank, which is a large-scale prospective database with health information of over half a million people living in the United Kingdom and followed for at least a decade.