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High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease: Study

The ketogenic diet, a popular low-carb, high-fat eating plan, has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, according to a new study.[0] The research, presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology, found that regular consumption of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet was associated with increased levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Moreover, it was linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a large database with health information from over half a million people living in the UK who were followed for over 10 years.[1] It compared the diets of 305 people eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet with about 1,200 people eating a standard diet.[2] The LCHF diet was defined as no more than 25 percent of total daily energy or calories from carbohydrates and more than 45 percent of total daily calories from fat.[1]

The researchers found that 9.8 percent of participants on an LCHF diet experienced a new cardiac event within the course of the study, compared with 4.3 percent of those on a standard diet.[3] They also noticed that the LCHF diet participants' total fat intake was higher in saturated fat and had double the consumption of animal sources (33%) compared to those in the control group (16%).

The standard-diet group had LDL cholesterol levels that were lower (3.64 vs 3.80 mmol/L; P = 0.004) and triglycerides that were higher (1.53 vs 1.34 mmol/L; P < 0.001) than the LCHF group. The LCHF group also exhibited significantly elevated levels of total cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B.The study’s lead author, Dr. Iulia Iatan, said, “Our findings suggest that people who are considering going on an LCHF diet should be aware that doing so could lead to an increase in their levels of LDL cholesterol.[4] Before starting this dietary pattern, they should consult a healthcare provider.[5] While on the diet, it is recommended they have their cholesterol levels monitored and should try to address other risk factors for heart disease or stroke, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and smoking.[6]

0. “New study shows keto diet may have negative impact on heart health” Sportskeeda, 7 Mar. 2023,

1. “Keto or low-carb, high-fat diets can increase your risk of heart disease, says new study” The Indian Express, 7 Mar. 2023,

2. “Keto and low-carb, high-fat diets linked to heart disease in new study” Genetic Literacy Project, 8 Mar. 2023,

3. “Keto diets could increase risk of heart attack and stroke, says new study” Yahoo Life, 6 Mar. 2023,

4. “Keto-like diet may be associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular events” News-Medical.Net, 6 Mar. 2023,

5. “‘Keto-like’ diet might increase risk of heart disease, study shows | Mint” Mint, 6 Mar. 2023,

6. “Recent Study Links Meat-Heavy Keto Diet to Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, and More” Green Matters, 7 Mar. 2023,

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