Can a Keto Diet Harm The Heart?
Keto Diet

Can a Keto Diet Harm The Heart?

The keto diet is because of fewer staple foods and more good fats. It is an unconventional diet that faces a lot of criticism daily. People who have been baptized with conventional nutrition knowledge hear “high fat” and it’s like a flood. Because fat has been carrying a lot of scorn, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and heart disease have all been linked to fat. Does a keto diet reduces cardiovascular risk?

Today, I’m back with good news from a recent study…

New Study: Keto Diet Reduces Cardiovascular Risk

Many people worry that fat will clog your blood vessels, but recent studies have shown that the opposite is true. Studies have found that a keto diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly while reducing weight and improving blood sugar, blood pressure, and other metabolic markers.

Dr. Tro Kalayjian’s research team published a study in the journal Metabolism.

"The research team contracted employees at high risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease to undergo a six-month, weight loss and metabolic health program with reduced carbohydrates. Participants were instructed to go on a keto diet and wear continuous blood glucose monitors, and use ketone meters. They were also supported by medical professionals and fitness trainers. The results of the study showed that among the 10 patients who were followed for 6 months, patients had an average 44% reduction in relative cardiovascular risk and an average weight loss of 38 pounds (17 kg)."

Although this was a small study, its findings, however, are consistent with those published by Virta Health in 2018.

keto diet research report

In the Virta Health study, participants on a keto diet monitored via an app, calculated a 12 percent reduction in their cardiovascular risk. These findings, contrary to many outdated warnings in mainstream medicine that the keto diet is dangerous, may lead to an increase in heart attacks and may lead to premature death.

Outdated warnings run counter to the latest research findings and deny the potentially beneficial intervention of the keto diet for millions of people. Instead, we need to recognize the value of a proper low-carb diet for improving metabolic health, reversing type 2 diabetes, and improving heart risk scores.

Previous claims that ketogenic increases cardiovascular risk are not true keto diet studies, and they have many study design issues.

The diet that they studied, which was not a keto diet, defined low carb as, less than 40% of calories from carbohydrates. That is, 200g of carbohydrates per day on a 2,000-calorie diet, which is more carbohydrates than most ketogenic people consume in a week.

The studies were observational and relied on unreliable food frequency questionnaires and other forms of data collection.

They had other weaknesses in nutritional epidemiology, including healthy person bias, where healthy people were intentionally selected, or where subjects were highly health conscious.

Dr. Tro’s study did not measure serious consequences, i.e., heart attack or death, as this metric, requires data from thousands of patients over a decade or more.

The research team used the cardiovascular disease risk score, a metric that is typically used by doctors to determine whether patients should take cholesterol-lowering medications, as a proxy outcome. Cardiovascular disease guidelines state that anyone with a 10-year calculated risk higher than 7.5 percent should consider starting a statin.

In Dr. Tro’s study, participants had an average baseline risk of 9.2 percent and should have been taking a statin according to the guidelines.

However, after 6 months, their average risk dropped to 5.1% and they did not need to take statins, which also reduced medical expenditures. As mentioned earlier, these 10 patients lost an average of 17 kg, and lowered their blood sugar, blood pressure, and prescription medications, saving $45,000 per year for just 10 people.

So it seems that going on a keto diet can save you money and get healthier at the same time, which is a win-win for patients and reduces the country’s healthcare financial burden.

So the next time you hear that a keto diet is bad for your heart, you can choose to close your ears and ignore it, provided, of course, you know what a keto diet is.