How Does Keto Help With Heart Health
Going through ketosis is a healthy, safe way of losing weight and reducing health issues that can come with it. Losing even a modest amount of weight can help reduce cardiovascular risk from obesity, high blood pressure, and the oxidative stress that leads to inflammation. It can even result in lower LDL cholesterol and higher amounts of good HDL cholesterol. A keto diet can also lower elevated blood sugar linked to artery-damaging inflammation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Keto and Heart Health
Not all keto diets are exactly the same. Some have to be adjusted to account for family history in things like cholesterol and high blood pressure. The best diet is one that helps the individual achieve positive results, and keto dieters can maintain steady weight loss while improving important biomarkers like higher levels of HDL cholesterol.
One Of The Biggest Questions That Anyone Asks In Relation To A High Fat Diet Is This: Will Eating A High Fat Diet Cause Heart Disease
And this is where everyone starts to lose their minds.
On one side, we have the lipid hypothesis, which points at fat as the main cause of heart disease while ignoring every other possible hypothesis and every study that demonstrates that there is not a relationship between fat intake and heart disease all while tapping its finger on its Ivy League medical diploma.
On the other side we have the low carb high fat cult that argues for high fat intake as if it is some verse from the bible. In the minds of these people, carbohydrate in all of its forms is the devil and they point their fingers and laugh at the non converted as if they are on a one way road to high blood sugar hell.
Very few have ever tried to meet in the middle.
Now, Im obviously someone who believes in the benefits of a high fat diet. I helped create a course called Keto Camp for Gods sake. But I also think that this madness needs to stop. We are doing nothing but talking past each other.
This is not me saying that the lipid hypothesis isnt wrong. Evidence in recent years has consistently pointed to the fact that there is no relationship between fat intake and heart disease in both epidemiological and human subject studies. Evidence has also demonstrated that a high fat, low carbohydrate diet can help athletes to perform as well or better than they would on a high carb low fat diet.
Is The Keto Diet Healthy For Your Heart
It seems like almost everyone is trying the keto diet, and there are many stories of rapid weight loss out there. But we wondered about eating all that fat most keto diet regimens recommend you get 80 percent of your calories from fat is that healthy for your heart?
The short answer is no, Severson says. Even if you choose all healthy fats, like olive oil and fish, youll still end up eating more saturated fat than is safe and healthy.
Most people arent eating the healthiest version of the diet anyway. So many people think its about eating bacon and meat, but often they are eating too much protein to be on a true ketogenic diet. Its about fat, not protein, says Severson.
Moreover, what youre not eating can also increase your risk of heart disease. When you avoid whole grains, legumes, and fruit, you lose a lot of the dietary fiber that helps protect your heart.
While individual results of the diet can vary widely in different people, most people will see a rise in their cholesterol level, even if they lose weight. For people with a history of heart disease or high cholesterol, this can be especially dangerous.
Dietitians and researchers also dont have enough data yet to know exactly how the keto diet could impact people over the long term.
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Your Heart On A Keto Diet Plan
In Canada, roughly 2.4 million Canadian adults over the age of 20 are living with heart disease this is 1 person in 12! Many diets claim to remedy heart disease, but the fact is, they can still be full of one of the most overlooked causes: carbs. Even if the diet helps people lose weight, as long as it focuses on getting rid of fats instead of overhauling the whole approach to food, it wont really help heart disease.
Does The Keto Diet Lead To Heart Disease
While the science points elsewhere, the question of the keto diet causing heart disease must be addressed, since this myth is still so widely parroted. As mentioned, dietary fat and heart disease are not directly linked, which is where the root of this claim originated. It all leads back to one study, which showed a correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease. But correlation is not causation, and the researchers did not control for other variables like smoking. Based on their original hypothesis, researchers then assumed that saturated fat was the harmful culprit, even though fat is necessary for the brain and body to function properly.
Unfortunately, it took much too long for scientists and nutritionists to recognize their mistake. From 1985 to 2005 the obesity rate in the United States doubled. Their low-fat approach clearly was having the opposite effect of what was intended.
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Heart Disease: How Keto May Help
Heart disease is a very serious issue. In fact, it is the single biggest cause of death in the world. In the United States, there is no doubt that it is the most common public health problem. The worst part is that in many cases, heart disease can be preventable. Poor diet and poor lifestyle are two of the biggest culprits behind developing heart disease. Both of these areas are something entirely within our own control. A frustrating aspect of heart disease is also unclear research. Even if you are determined enough to find out what to do, to avoid developing heart issues the research is anything but clear.
Some research suggests that high cholesterol, blood sugar, obesity, fat, or inflammation are the root causes of heart disease. Ever since the 1950s, when Ancel Keys falsely popularized the notion that dietary fat was bad Americans have been obsessed with low fat foods. Unfortunately, this has had the opposite effect on heart disease numbers theyve actually skyrocketed since Americans started avoiding dietary fat.
The Myth: A Keto Diet And Cholesterol
Since a Ketogenic Diet requires you to eat a large amount of saturated fats, this means that your cholesterol levels can increase, which many people immediately think is a terrible thing that can cause your arteries to clog and you to die. While it is commonly assumed that this increase in cholesterol is a bad thing that is not necessarily the case. The biggest myth surrounding a Ketogenic Diet is that the diet, which is high in fat, will cause your arteries to clog and give you heart disease. There have been many studies done on the subject of eating a high amount of fats, a low amount of carbs and its effects on the body and cholesterol.
A meta-analysis completed in 2010, discusses this belief that high levels of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, and reports that this connection has no validity. The meta-analysis did not find that there was a strong linking between high-fat foods and cholesterol. Another study looked into different diets that are low carb and found that these diets can actually decrease your risk of heart disease. And yet, another study done at Johns Hopkins University found that diets lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat posed no greater health risks to developing heart disease.
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Review Finds Emerging Evidence Ketone Therapy Holds Potential For Cardiovascular Intervention
Contact: Katie Glenn, [email protected],
There is growing evidence that ketone bodies may be beneficial to heart disease patients regardless of the method of delivery used to increase ketone delivery to the heart. A Journal of the American College of Cardiology review paper examines emerging evidence regarding ketone bodies’ effects on the heart and the potential for ketone therapy as a cardiovascular intervention in heart disease patients.
In recent years ketone bodies entered the popular lexicon through the “keto diet,” which consists of a very low carbohydrate and high fat diet that endeavors to force the body into ketosis. This is a metabolic state with increased ketone bodies circulating in the body as a result of less glucose, or sugar, being in the bloodstream to provide fuel, causing the body to shift to metabolize fat as energy. Recent research has shown that a keto diet may contribute to increased risk for heart disease if the foods consumed do not include heart healthy fats.
The review discusses the therapeutic advantages of increasing circulating ketone levels through multiple mechanisms, including the keto diet. The researchers discuss both the potential merits and concerns related to the keto diet in relation to each mechanism for increasing ketone levels in the body, providing novel therapeutic avenues to increase ketosis without the concerning impacts of the keto diet.
How The Keto Diet Prevents And Reverses Heart Disease
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- Vitamin C
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High Carb Link To Heart Attacks
A landmark research study by Dr. Michael Shechter of Tel Aviv Universitys Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center, with collaboration of the Endocrinology Institute, shows exactly how high carbohydrate foods increase the risk for heart problems.
Researchers looked at four groups of volunteers. One group ate a cornflake mush mixed with milk not unlike the typical American breakfast. The second group was given a pure sugar mixture, the third bran flakes, and the last group was given a placebo .
Over four weeks, Dr. Shechter applied a test that allows researchers to visualize how the arteries are functioning. Its called brachial reactive testing and it uses a cuff on the arm, like those used to measure blood pressure, which can visualize arterial function in real time.
The results were dramatic. Before any of the patients ate, arterial function was essentially the same. After eating, except for the placebo group, all had reduced functioning. Enormous peaks indicating arterial stress were found in the groups of patients consuming the high glycemic-index breakfast: the cornflakes and sugar groups.
We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how, says Dr. Shechter. Foods like cornflakes, white bread, French fries, and sweetened soda all put undue stress on our arteries. Weve explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease.
Dont Make It A Meat And Dairy Only Diet And Dont Think That You Can Eat Any And All Meat With Reckless Abandon
The ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet. Protein should only encompass about 10-20% of your total calories. Additionally, if youre eating factory raised cattle, youre also getting lots of Omega 6 Fatty acid, which helps to raise inflammation in the body. Most of your fats should come from things like coconut oil, olive oil, tree nuts, avocados, and grass fed butter. You should be eating lots of vegetables, and these make a great vehicle for eating fats when they are sautéed in oils. When you do eat meat, keep it to about 4-6 oz a day and stick to grass fed, wild caught, and free range sources to avoid the Omega 6 bomb. When you can, opt for organ meats like grass fed beef liver. It has way more micronutrients and vitamins than regular muscle meat. But dont feel the need to eat meat all the time. In fact, the ketogenic diet could be done very successfully as a vegan diet if you should choose.
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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.
The Ketogenic Diet Conundrum: Friend Or Foe Of Heart Health
For Cardiovascular Diabetologys 20th anniversary, weve asked the authors of the journals most influential articles to comment on their findings from todays perspective and how the articles may have advanced science and influenced their careers. In this blog Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek discuss the effects of ketogenic diets on heart health.
23 Mar 2022
100 years ago, ketogenic diets, which typically provide less than 10% of the daily energy intake as carbohydrates, first entered the realm of modern medicine with their demonstrated effectiveness in reducing or reversing pediatric seizures at the Mayo Clinic. While this remains valid today, there is a lingering concern that the necessary high fat intake when a ketogenic diet is followed long-term represents an undue risk for cardiovascular disease.
This concern has been a persistent barrier to the broader use of the ketogenic diet. In fact, a recent position statement from the American Heart Association stated: There is insufficient evidence to support any existing popular or fad diets such as the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting to promote heart health.
Opponents of therapeutic nutritional ketosis commonly cite two concerns with this dietary intervention.
Stepping back from the reductionist focus on LDL cholesterol, most other risk factors for heart disease have been demonstrated to improve with a well-formulated ketogenic diet, including:
- Blood levels of saturated fats
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What Are The Possible Heart
The hearts scourge is inflammation, which injures arteries, says Audrey Fleck, RDN, an integrative and functional nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Many times, the cause of inflammation is elevated blood sugar, she says. Whats more, a keto diet may help lower blood sugar and improve insulin function, and can be anti-inflammatory, she says. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Indeed, the specific foods you choose on keto matter, too. In past research conducted on women and men who followed a low-carb diet, those who heavily relied on animal sources of fat and protein, such as cheese and meat, had a 23 percent higher risk of early death compared with those who emphasized vegetable sources, such as avocado and nuts, for those nutrients. Those in the veggie low-carb group had a 20 and 23 percent lower risk of early death and heart disease, respectively.
But human studies have shown mixed results about whether the keto diet increases or decreases insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity. And while people may lose weight on keto, the key is maintaining that loss, and that’s not a given. The researchers also note that there isnt a strict definition of keto across the board that studies are using, so its tough to even know if the participants reached ketosis in the first place.
Is Too Much Fat Bad For The Body
If you remember back in the 90s, the Atkins diet was all the craze, recalls Jacqueline Hollywood, M.D., board certified in cardiology and nuclear cardiology. This is the low-carb Atkins diet, but with a twist.
According to Dr. Hollywood, who has tried the keto diet in the past and noticed temporary weight loss, the Atkins diet encourages people to focus on fatsbut bad fats. Keto, on the other hand, sometimes encourages much cleaner and leaner fats depending on the individuals take on it, she adds.
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So What Foods Should I Eat
Some cleaner keto-friendly food options include:
- Nut butters such as peanut, almond and cashew
- Healthy fats from coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil
- 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