Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Is Keto Healthy For Your Heart

Warnings About The Keto Diet If Youre At Risk For Heart Disease

Is Keto Bad For Your Heart Dr. Eric Thorn

If youre at risk for heart disease , one overarching factor to consider is that the keto diet is restrictive, and its tough to stick to a restrictive diet, says Steinbaum. People go on keto and in the short term lose a lot of weight, but its not sustainable. So when they go off it, they gain the weight back and maybe even more, she says.

Yo-yo dieting can put stress on the heart. One large study in the October 2018 issue of the journal Circulation found that people who have the greatest variability in measures like fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight are 2.3 times more likely to die from any cause and more than 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared with those who stay more stable. Staying stable in these measurements is healthier than constantly going up and down. Ultimately what youre doing is setting yourself up for developing metabolic syndrome, says Steinbaum.

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One concern is the effect a keto diet has on cholesterol levels. As an article in the Harvard Health Blog explains, data shows that cholesterol may spike when you first start a keto diet but then decrease after a few months of ketosis. The author points out something critical: There isnt long-term research showing what happens to cholesterol levels. And that uncertainty matters especially when were talking about your heart health.

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Keto Vs Triglyceride Levels

In contrast to cholesterol, there is much less controversy surrounding how diet impacts triglyceride levels. In fact, meta-analyses show a strong relationship between carb consumption and blood triglycerides: With every 5% decrease in total fat intake, triglyceride levels are predicted to increase by 6%.

Furthermore, researchers also discovered that with every 1% isoenergetic replacement of carbohydrate with each category of fatty acid , there was a predictable decrease in triglyceride levels. The most significant decrease was found with polyunsaturated fat .

It also didnt matter if the carbohydrate was from table sugar or whole food. Replacing any carbs with the same calorie content from fat led to a decrease in triglyceride levels. Plus, these results may be even better for people with type 2 diabetes a condition that can also be improved by reducing carbohydrate consumption.

For a closer look at the research on triglycerides and what it means for you, check out our article on triglyceride-lowering diets.

Inflammatory Fats Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease And Premature Aging

One of the most popular foods on the keto and paleo diets is bacon. What doesnt taste better with bacon, right? The problem is that the fats in that bacon are contributing to your toxic load, which leads to heart disease. You may think Im about to villainize saturated fats, but thats not where Im going with this. Saturated fats arent the problem its how youre cooking them thats increasing your risk for heart disease and premature aging.

When you cook your food using high heat, the proteins or fats react with even small amounts of sugars and form inflammatory molecules through a process called glycation. These toxic, sticky, complex moelcules are called Advanced Glycation End Products , and not only do they accumulate faster as you age, but they age you faster as they accumulate, and contribute to heart disease.

Low levels of AGEs are not a problem. Your body has enzymes and antioxidants that can quickly break these compounds down and render them harmless. But, when you consume too many AGEs through your diet, by your cooking methods, or have high levels of toxins in your body that inhibit your ability to break AGEs down, then they start to accumulate and cause damage to everything from your immune system to your vital organs and all the way out to your skin.

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Level 4 One Meal A Day

Many people eventually eat only once a day, but I recommend letting your body tell you when to eat.The rule of thumb is only eat when you are hungry and DO NOT EAT IF YOURE NOT HUNGRY.So many people snack at night and between meals when they are not hungry at all: either they’re at a social occasion with food, or its a bad habit, or eating gives you something to do when you are bored.Most people eat their one meal at dinner. You have to make sure that it is nutrient dense and supply all your nutrients. You dont have to eat the same calories as you did at three meals a day because it would be too much food. Eat what you can and realize that your body will lower its nutrient requirements when you fast.

Myth #3 The Ketogenic Diet Reduces Your Lifespan

Keto Diet For Your Heart #AKetogenicDiet in 2020

I found one study that claimed that a low-carb diet shortens a lifespan. When I took a closer look, I found that the researchers had a conflict of interest because they had received fees from large pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, this study was based only on questionnaires using peoples memories of what their diets had been like.

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Does The Ketogenic Diet Cause Inflammation

Inflammatory markers in the body turn on and off due to myriad factors. The idea that the ketogenic diet causes inflammation to increase is baseless. In fact, research indicates the contrary: high-carbohydrate diet plans are inherently pro-inflammatory .

Furthermore, research indicates that ketone bodies play an important function in lowering inflammatory response by effectively inhibiting inflammasomes . Also consider that bounties of clinical evidence show certain fats, especially omega-3s, are important for controlling the inflammatory response.

This is why eating omega-3-rich foods like fish is great for the heart and battling inflammation. Furthermore, certain food oils are excellent for enhancing cardiac fitness.

For instance, macadamia nut oil has the greatest concentration of monounsaturated fats in any food oil. Research indicates that diet plans rich with macadamia nut oil significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and support the heart by decreasing inflammation.

In short, if youre following the keto diet, youre likely to notice less inflammation.

Do You Really Need Carbs

The dictionary defines carbohydrates as substances such as sugar or starch that provide the body with energy.Simple carbohydrate made of refined flour and added sugar rapidly converts to blood sugar when you eat them. Complex carbohydrates, such as grains and beans, convert more slowly. Regardless, all carbohydrates convert to sugar in the body – and when your net carb intake is high you’ll gain weight.All your life you’ve been told that you need carbohydrates for energy or that your brain can only run on glucose made from carbs, a type of sugar. Those are myths, as evidenced by the countless healthy, happy individuals on low-sugar or low-carbohydrate diets.Instead, you can run your body on other fuel sources such as fatty acids and ketones produced by fat burning. While your body does need a very tiny amount of glucose to function, it has the capability to produce all the glucose it needs internally from fat or protein, not carbs. The carbs you do need are vegetablesbut only for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber they supply. Otherwise, your body does not require carbohydrates for good health. In fact, the opposite is true. Carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates, deplete your nutrients and negatively affect your health. Carbs also turn to fat in your body, and they impede fat burning. .)

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The Difference Between Good And Bad Fats

For years, people were told that fats are bad for heart health. To be fair, many of them arent good, but consumers were never told the difference between good fats and bad ones. When a diet recommends that they get at least 75% of their caloric intake from fats, it can be challenging to our conventional wisdom. However, many problems associated with heart disease are rooted in diets heavy in low-quality carbs, sugars, and starches. These all raise blood sugar and inflammation, causing your body to overreact to perceived threats and damage important tissues.

Replacing carb-derived glucose with fat-derived ketones can reduce this inflammation, but your high fat intake shouldnt come from just bacon, butter, and other fatty favourites. A good keto diet is one that is well-rounded so that all the right nutrients are still consumed. It should also exclude unhealthy fats that are processed or cheap.

These kinds of fats include refined vegetable and seed oils like soybean oil. Hydrogenated fats, and they contain excessive amounts of the bad omega-6 fatty acid, and this can drive the oxidation of the cells and create inflammation in the body. Good, healthy fats diminish oxidation and provide good fatty acids like omega-3.

What Is Ketogenic Diet


A keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction in your carbohydrates puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes efficient and effective at burning fat for energy. Ketogenic diets help lower blood sugar and insulin levels and shift your bodys metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketoneswhich supplies energy to the brain.

Generally, you need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day to go into ketosis. This means that you need to eliminate certain food items from your diets such as grains, candy, and sugary products. People use a ketogenic diet to lose weight, however, it is also used to manage certain medical conditions such as heart disease.

If you want to try this type of diet, you need to decrease your carb intake. For you to do that, you should base the majority of your meals around these ketogenic diet foods:

  • Beef

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So What Foods Should I Eat

Some cleaner keto-friendly food options include:

  • Eggs
  • Nut butters such as peanut, almond and cashew
  • Healthy fats from coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil
  • Avocados
  • Non-starchy vegetables including broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers

Keto-friendly foods that you can eat, but in moderation, include:

  • Red meats
  • High-fat dairy products including cream cheese and sour cream

The Reality Of The Keto Diet Today

If the research behind the Keto diet is so encouraging, why arent all doctors recommending it to all patients? Dr. Marcelo Campo, MD, voiced some of the concerns of many doctors who arent totally sold on this diet when he wrote for Harvard Health Publishing in 2017. He noted that long-term studies into the impact of the Keto diet are yet to come, and thats likely because the diet is so difficult to follow long-term. He does state that the diet is a good option for some people with certain medical conditions, but hes correct that most people cant follow the diet as a permanent lifestyle because its so restrictive.

In reality, the diet that researchers use in medical studies isnt the same diet that most Keto diet followers consume when theyre not under the supervision of a medical professional. Many people jump into the diet after hearing about it from friends who have lost substantial amounts of weight or after reading about it online. They dont talk to their doctors, and they dont read books to learn about the diet. They simple cut carbohydrates and start loading up on fat.

Followers who dont pay close attention to the type of fats that they consume are likely eating enough saturated and trans fat to clog their arteries and damage their hearts. Many find it too tedious to separate trans and saturated fats from higher quality fats, so they either follow the diet incorrectly or give up and declare the Keto diet too difficult to follow.

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Practical Applications: What Should You Do With Your Diet To Help Prevent Heart Disease

There are various diet approaches you can use to prevent heart disease. Research indicates that a diet with these characteristics is the best for your heart:

  • Plenty of whole plant foods .
  • Lower intake of carbs than a typical western diet. Restricting carbs to the point of following a keto diet may help improve triglycerides, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body composition more than higher-carb diets.
  • Minimal intake of alcohol and processed foods.
  • Adequate omega-3 intake .
  • Lower in saturated fats and higher in polyunsaturated fats. Think olive oil instead of butter.

This diet approach is likely to provide you with the benefits of both the keto diet and the Mediterranean diet such as:

  • Reduced blood sugar, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Increased HDL cholesterol

With any diet change, however, make sure you are monitoring your health and following an approach that you can turn into a heart-healthy lifestyle. Those with familial hypercholesterolemia and/or hypothyroid issues, in particular, need to be especially cautious with low-carb, high-fat eating.

Give the diet a try for at least a month and monitor your health throughout the process. If you find the Mediterranean keto diet is not improving your health and well being, then a non-keto Mediterranean diet with more high-carb plant foods may be a better option.

To help you get started, check out our comprehensive article on the Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet.

Your Stress Levels Are Explosive

Is Keto Bad for Your Heart?

Even if youre strict with your diet and you exercise regularly, if you dont have your stress levels under control, your health will take a hit.

Heres why: Stress produces a surge in stress hormones such as cortisol, which, when elevated too high, can lead to:

  • Lowered immune response
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Trouble remembering things

Not only that, researchers discovered stress spikes inflammation. When this happens, your body cant suppress inflammation properly and you increase your risk of developing heart disease, autoimmune issues and asthma.

One of the biggest benefits of a keto diet is its anti-inflammatory effects. So when youre overly stressed, youre completely negating this perk.

Meditation, journaling, yoga, stretching and connecting with nature are some easy ways to do just that. You can begin with as little as 510 minutes a day so there are zero excuses not to get started.

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Key Takeaways: What Is The Best Diet For Heart Disease

The current evidence is leaning toward a Mediterranean keto diet as being an ideal diet for addressing the many common risk factors for heart disease and its complications. This approach seems to provide us with all of the benefits of the keto diet and Mediterranean diet for heart health in one simple diet.

However, no studies have been done on cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality after following the Mediterranean keto diet, so it is difficult to determine if Mediterranean keto is any better or worse than the normal Mediterranean diet.

That being said, it is reasonable to speculate that a ketogenic version of the Mediterranean diet may have an edge over a normal Mediterranean diet because of the potential added benefits of decreasing carb intake and increasing ketone use. To learn more about this, you can follow our guide to the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

So Is The Keto Diet Good For Your Heart

The popular diet was just one of the methods examined by the scientists as a way of delivering ketones to the heart, with taking ketone supplements another one.

Prior studies showing the diet may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease if the foods eaten dont include heart healthy fats were taken into account.

The thing with the keto diet is that because it relies on a high fats and low carbs, people have to boost their kilojoule intake through the fats and a lot of those can come from processed foods, Dr Chong says.

Its also not an easy diet to stick with.

She says with numerous pathways to achieving ketosis, more research is now needed into the pros and cons of each.

Were only just beginning to scratch the surface, she says.

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Level 1 Three Meals A Day

A lot of people eat many times a day with snacks in between and also a snack after dinner. They dont realize that they are actually spiking their fat storing hormone all day long.So, the first level of IF would be for you to eat three meals per day with no snacks at all.Your ability to go from one meal to the next without being hungry involves eating more fat, which will keep you satisfied longer.

The Negative Effects Of Keto

Keto and Your Heart – More Good News!

The studys authors suggest that the negative side effects of a keto diet are attributed to the nutrient quality of the food being consumed. Specifically, the diet promotes a high intake of red meat, processed meat, and saturated fats, which has been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases such as colon cancer and heart disease. At the same time, the keto diet restricts healthy plant-based foods such as fruits, legumes, whole grains, and carbohydrate-rich vegetables.

The foods that are emphasized on a keto diet are the very products that cause colon cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimers disease, said study co-author Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and an adjunct professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. New research also shows that these same foods raise the risk for severe COVID-19.

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Can A Ketogenic Diet Prevent Heart Failure

A high fat, low carb diet reversed heart failure in a mouse model of the condition. A 24-hour fast also led to improvements, mimicking the physiological effects of the diet.

In people with heart failure, the muscle on the right or left side of the heart or on both sides weakens. This impairment limits the organs ability to pump blood around the body, causing fatigue and shortness of breath, among other symptoms.

The leading causes are high blood pressure, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease, in which the heart muscle becomes starved of oxygen.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute estimate that about 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure.

There is currently no cure, but medications and lifestyle changes can improve peoples quality of life and increase their lifespan.

Healthy heart muscle can draw upon a variety of chemical energy sources, depending on the circumstances. One of these is a molecule called pyruvate, which the body generates during the breakdown of the sugar glucose.

However, conditions such as heart failure and diabetes reduce this flexibility, starving the muscle of the fuel it needs to function effectively.

Researchers have now traced this loss of flexibility to a transporter protein that shuttles pyruvate into mitochondria the so-called power stations of cells.

Known as the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier complex , it comprises two subunits: MPC1 and MPC2.

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