Keto-Like” Diet Linked to Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Events
A low-carb, high-fat “keto-like diet may be linked to higher levels of “bad cholesterol and double the risk of cardiovascular events such as blocked arteries, heart attacks and strokes, according to new research.
Lead study author Dr. Iulia Iatan with the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic, St. Paul’s Hospital and University of British Columbia’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation in Vancouver, Canada, said in a news release, “Our study found that regular consumption of a self-reported diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat was associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol – or “bad cholesterol – and a higher risk of heart disease.
The researchers defined an Low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet as consisting of no more than 25 percent of total daily energy or calories from carbohydrates and more than 45 percent of total daily calories from fat. This was called an LCHF diet and “keto-like” because the carbohydrates were higher and the fat was lower than on a strict ketogenic diet.
The researchers analysed data from the UK Biobank, a large-scale prospective database with health information from over half a million people living in the United Kingdom who were followed for at least 10 years. At the time of their enrollment in the biobank, 70,684 participants completed a single 24-hour dietary questionnaire and had their cholesterol levels measured via a blood sample. The questionnaire responses of 305 participants indicated that their diet for the 24-hour period met the definition of an LCHF, as determined by the researchers.
The researchers discovered that individuals following an LCHF diet had augmented levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Apolipoprotein B is a protein which envelops LDL cholesterol proteins, and it is able to more accurately predict heart disease than elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. 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%).
Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center who was not involved in the study, said, “This study provides an important contribution to the scientific literature, and suggests the harms outweigh the benefits.
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