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The Keto Diet Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease: Study

The ketogenic, or “keto” diet, has become increasingly popular in recent years as a weight-loss method.[0] But new research suggests that this low-carb, high-fat diet could be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.[1]

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge, looked at data from the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database with health information of over half a million people living in the United Kingdom and followed for at least a decade.[2] The researchers compared 305 people on a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet, containing 25% or less carbs and more than 45% fat, with 1,200 people eating a standard diet.[3]

What they found was that people on a LCHF diet had more than two-times higher risk of having several major cardiovascular events, such as blockages in the arteries, heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.[4] 9.8% of people on a LCHF diet had a cardiac event, as opposed to 4.3% of those on a standard diet.[0]

Those on the LCHF diet had a higher total fat intake with double the amount from animal sources, 33%, compared to those in the control group, 16%, being from saturated fat.[5]

“Elevated LDL cholesterol should not be dismissed as simply a negligible side effect of a VLCD (very-low-calorie diet) or ketogenic diet,” said Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center who wasn't involved in the study, pointing out the higher risk of cardiovascular events in people with higher ketone levels in the blood, compared to those on a standard diet.[6]

Lead study author Dr. Lulia Latan added, “Before starting this dietary pattern, [people] should consult a healthcare provider. 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.”[3]

“This study demonstrates that the keto diet definitely is not for everyone, and it would be helpful to seek guidance from a professional to make sure you're a good candidate,” said nutritionist Marisa Moore, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.[7]

0. “‘Keto-like’ diets might be linked to a higher risk of health disease, new research says” NOW Toronto, 7 Mar. 2023,

1. “Keto diets could increase risk of heart attack and stroke, says new study” Fox News, 6 Mar. 2023,

2. “This popular diet may actually cause more harm than good” WWJ, 7 Mar. 2023,

3. “Keto diets may be linked to high risk of heart disease: new study” New York Post , 6 Mar. 2023,

4. “‘Keto-like’ diet linked to higher risk of heart disease: Study” Toronto Sun, 7 Mar. 2023,

5. “‘Keto-like' diet may be associated with a higher risk of heart disease, according to new research” KCRA Sacramento, 6 Mar. 2023,

6. “Study: Keto Diet Doubles Heart Risks” Newsmax, 8 Mar. 2023,

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

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