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According to a recent study, adopting a diet similar to keto may result in severe heart issues. The diet’s emphasis on reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat consumption has been linked to elevated levels of cholesterol and a double risk of experiencing heart ailments like stroke, heart attacks, and blocked arteries. The report estimates that nearly 20% of the US population follows a low-carb, full keto, or keto-like diet.

Study shows the relationship between the keto diet and the risk of heart disease 

In a press statement, lead author Iulia Iatan stated that their research discovered a correlation between frequent consumption of a self-reported diet that is low in carbohydrates and rich in fat and a greater risk of heart disease as well as raised levels of “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol. Iatan is an attending physician-scientist at the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia’s Center for Heart Lung Innovation. The study is among the first to investigate the connection between cardiovascular outcomes and this dietary pattern. 

Carbohydrates are among the primary sources of energy that the body utilizes. However, high-fat, low-carb diets, such as the popular keto diet, limit the intake of carbohydrates, resulting in the body breaking down fats to produce energy. This process of fat breakdown in the liver generates ketones, which serve as an alternate energy source in the absence of carbohydrates. 

The Keto diet is associated with bad cholesterol. 

Advocates of the ketogenic diet typically endorse restricting carbohydrate consumption to 10% of the total calorie intake. The diet emphasizes obtaining 60-80% of energy from fat and 20-30% from protein.

Prior research has associated low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, which are deemed to be the “bad” cholesterol type that increases heart disease risk as a result of atherosclerosis – cholesterol accumulation in the coronary arteries. However, while this is the case, the impact of a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat on one’s chances of developing heart disease or stroke has largely been ambiguous.