A ketogenic diet may cause a sharp rise in blood cholesterol, warns a new study
The keto diet is notable for its exceptionally high fat content, which typically makes up 70 to 80 percent of the eating plan.
“Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, which are a type of fuel your liver produces from stored fat,” explains Harvard Health.
“It’s advertised as a weight loss wonder, but this eating plan is actually a medical diet that comes with serious risks,” she adds.
A new study looking at the effects of high-fat, low-carb, and keto-like diets aimed to determine their effect on cardiovascular health.
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The research, presented at the ACC’s annual scientific session, found that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet nearly doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to a standard diet.
He came to this conclusion after drawing on data collected by the UK Biobank for information on serum lipids and dietary patterns, as well as other metabolic markers.
All data was collected from participants who recorded their diet in a 24-hour dietary survey.
Among them, 305 met the criteria for an LCHF diet, which was defined as consuming less than 25 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates and more than 45 percent from fat.
Participants were matched with a control group that was considered to be following a standard diet.
Dr. Liam R. Bruh, one of the study’s authors, said the results showed that the effects of the ketogenic diet were not uniform, but that a small portion of the participants would have “severe hypercholesterolemia.”
These individuals are bound to see the greatest increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Michelle Rothenstein, a heart health nutritionist at Entirely Nourished, a virtual consultation and private clinic consultation, told Medical News Today that the study’s findings are in line with her own observations.
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She said: “This study replicates what I see in my own practice, [as] Many individuals come to see me after following a keto diet for several months with very high levels of LDL and lipoprotein A, two important factors that help determine the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
She added, “The keto diet can be high in saturated fat and low in soluble fiber, which negatively affects these two values.”
The primary goal of the keto diet is to manipulate the body into using ketone bodies as fuel instead of sugar.
When the body switches to the keto diet, it turns away from glucose to use fatty acids instead; a process known as ketosis.
This causes your body to start burning fat within two to three weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To avoid dangerous increases in cholesterol, it is important to focus on other aspects of lifestyle.
Exercising regularly, controlling portions and including more whole grains in the diet may all help prolong health.