Ketogenic diet harmful to the heart? – Portal of naturopathic and naturopathic specialists

Effects of the ketogenic diet studied

The ketogenic diet is all the rage and many are using it for weight loss. In addition, there are promising health benefits associated with the remaining form of diet as well. For example, the ketogenic diet should fight diabetes and high blood pressure and positively influence fat metabolism. However, it could also increase the risk of heart problems.

Does it harm heart health when people follow a ketogenic diet? (Image: Angelika Heine /

A comprehensive evaluation of previous studies on the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting confirmed numerous benefits for both types of diet. However, a ketogenic diet could also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, the researchers at National Jewish Health warn in a statement on the study results. The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Benefits of the ketogenic diet and fasting

In their assessment of the available studies on the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, the researchers conclude that a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting can help people lose weight in the short term, have a positive effect on blood pressure. , fight diabetes and can also contribute to cardiovascular health.

Weaknesses of the ketogenic diet

However, the ketogenic diet allows consumption of saturated fat and animal products like red meat, which are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and cancer, the researchers explain. The ketogenic diet could also lead to increased consumption of foods that are known to be harmful.

While the ketogenic diet can be an approach to preventing cardiovascular disease if it is carefully planned and strictly adhered to, in practice, this dietary approach is probably not right for most people, the researchers warn.

Unhealthy fats on the ketogenic diet

Scientists are also concerned about the type and amount of fat people eat on a ketogenic diet. While studies strictly control the types of fats and foods that participants eat, in practice, many people on a ketogenic diet consume large amounts of unhealthy saturated fat. And saturated fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and high levels of lipids in the blood, the researchers point out.

Stiffened arteries from the ketogenic diet

In addition, there is also individual evidence that a ketogenic diet can lead to stiffening of the arteries over a longer period and that the risk of premature death increases, the research team explains.

Why do people lose weight on the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet puts the body into ketosis, a metabolic state in which access to glucose is reduced and instead is primarily fueled by fat. The study evaluation shows that with a ketogenic diet, weight is usually lost early on, but weight loss is often not sustainable. It’s also unclear whether the weight loss is caused by ketosis or just calorie restriction, the team says.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting

Researchers are also reporting the potential health benefits of intermittent fasting, but are also concerned about the potential pitfalls. They fear that being hungry while fasting could cause many people to overeat at mealtimes or make unhealthy food choices that negatively impact their cardiovascular health.

Much of the current knowledge about the potential benefits of intermittent fasting comes from animal studies that have seen increased life expectancy, weight loss, lower blood pressure, improved glucose tolerance, and improved lipid levels, the team explains. The extent to which they are transferable to humans remains open.

In addition, it is especially important for people with diabetes, for example, to consult a doctor before attempting intermittent fasting in order to clarify how they can control their disease and the risk of hypoglycemia. Because the latter threatens if you skip regular meals.

Overall, there is some evidence for the beneficial effects of both regimens, but both are not recommended for the treatment or prevention of any disease until extensive long-term studies have examined their effects, conclude. the experts.

The Mediterranean diet protects the heart and circulation

The research group therefore recommends diets that have already been extensively studied and that have been scientifically proven to prevent cardiovascular problems. This includes, for example, the Mediterranean diet. The basis of these diets shares a common basis which includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

“Diets recommended by health experts, such as plant-based and Mediterranean diets, have been extensively studied for their safety and effectiveness and have clearly shown to improve cardiovascular health,” emphasizes the head of the hospital. study, Dr. Andrew Freeman of National Jewish Health continued. (as)

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This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


National Jewish Health: Study Examines the Heart Risks and Benefits of Today’s Most Popular Fad Diets (published September 1, 2020), National Jewish Health Melroy S. D’Souza, Tiffany A. Dong, Gabrielle Ragazzo, Andrew M. Freeman, Pam Taub , Laurence S. Sperling, et al .: From Fashion to Facts: Evaluating the Impact of Emerging Diets on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention; in: The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 133, Issue 10 (published October 1, 2020), American Journal of Medicine

Important note:
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.