Of all the diets that have come and gone these past few years, the ketogenic may be the most popular one and perhaps the most controversial one as well. There have been many debates regarding whether or not it’s effective as a long-term weight-loss solution and has negative health implications.
But did you know that a study shows the possible benefits of the ketogenic diet for one’s heart health? This is what we will be discussing in this article:
What’s a Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. The goal is to get the body in the state of ketosis, which is when the body starts burning fat for fuel instead of sugar.
You’ll often hear people on this diet talk about how they can freely eat bacon or even add butter to their coffee. If you have been brought up with the idea that too much fat equates to heart disease, you might be concerned about this diet and wonder if this is the right diet for you.
Keto Diet and Possible Benefits for the Heart
Sugar has often been deemed the culprit behind most dangers to the heart. A diet that’s high in sugar (consisting of simple processed carbs and other sugars) can cause insulin resistance, weight gain, and even metabolic syndrome. All these things contribute to heart diseases. The problem is that people were told to go fat-free in the 1980s and 1990s, which led people to consume more carbs and sugar. Unsurprisingly, many people gained weight, and their heart health suffered.
Now comes the keto diet, which according to many healthcare news, helped swing the pendulum in the opposite direction, getting people to shift to a high-fat and low-carb diet. Yet, the result includes positive effects on people’s hearts.
A recent study published in Nature Metabolism showed that the ketogenic diet may be effective in preventing or even reversing heart problems. According to the authors of the study, heart failure that may be caused by a decrease in MPC expression may be prevented or reversed by having a high-fat, low-carb diet. A 24-hour fast, which is also ketogenic, also improves heart remodeling significantly.
Likewise, a ketogenic diet may reduce inflammation and lower oxidative stress that can be beneficial for those with heart disease. Because inflammation injures the arteries and high blood sugar causes inflammation, going on a keto diet may lower blood sugar, improve insulin function, and prevent inflammation.
The Type of Food You Eat on Keto Matters
Keep in mind that the food you choose to eat on the keto diet plays a big role in the outcome. Research conducted on both men and women who followed a keto diet showed that those who chose to get their fat from animal sources are at a higher risk compared to those who opted for a veggie-rich low-carb diet.
Warnings About the Keto Diet for People at High Risk for Heart Disease
Here’s one thing to remember: your dieting can be very stressful to the heart. But what does that have to do with the keto diet? Since it’s a more restrictive diet, it can be hard to stick to it. Some do lose a lot of weight on the keto diet but aren’t able to sustain it and eventually gain back what they lost. That in itself can be dangerous, especially when there are drastic changes to cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and weight. So, if you are already at risk for heart diseases and want to try the keto diet, you must make sure that you can sustain it!
Further studies are needed to confirm the keto diet’s efficiency in preventing or reversing heart problems. And because it is a health concern that must be taken seriously, those who have heart disease must consult with their cardiologist before making any lifestyle changes that can affect their heart’s condition. It also pays to know more about the keto diet, and any other diet for that matter, before you dive into it!
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