Doing Keto? Think again

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‘Keto-like’ diet may be associated with a higher risk of heart disease, according to new research.

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.

“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,” 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.

“This study provides an important contribution to the scientific literature, and suggests the harms outweigh the benefits,” said Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center who has conducted clinical trials on the keto diet. Gardner was not involved in the study.

“Elevated LDL cholesterol should not be dismissed as simply a negligible side effect of a VLCD (very-low-calorie diet) or ketogenic diet,” Gardner said, pointing to the higher risk of cardiovascular events in individuals with higher ketone levels in the blood, when compared to those on a more standard diet.

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