Keto and the Heart: What You Need to Know About the Diet

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Keto diet believers would brag about how much fat they can consume. While its followers claim that it can decrease one’s risk for heart disease, people who have cardiovascular issues are confused about how the diet can work. A private echocardiogram scan will help doctors to see if keto could work for an individual. Yet, for optimal heart health, going on a strict keto diet is not the only answer.

Current research on the keto diet

The main problem of the heart is inflammation, which can injure arteries. Many times, inflammation could cause elevated blood sugar that can lead to diabetes. But a ketogenic diet could address inflammation and improve insulin function.

However, current research shows that the effects of keto could be short-term. It can definitely be effective in battling obesity, and it can also lower blood pressure and blood sugar. However, consuming too much saturated fats and animal products could still increase one’s risk of heart disease. Keto is a restrictive diet, which may cause one to over consume foods that could potentially bring harm to an individual. Hence, the diet is only appropriate for some, but not all.

Food for consumption under the keto diet matters, too. Those who heavily rely on animal sources of protein and fat like meat and cheese could be more at risk for heart disease over those who choose vegetable sources. People who consume nuts, avocado, and other plant-based sources for keto nutrients will have better health in the long run.

Diabetes and heart disease have a link. People with diabetes are more likely to have cardiovascular issues or stroke than those without it. Yet, research does not prove that keto is the ideal diet for people with diabetes. For those managing diabetes symptoms, it is best to check with a healthcare professional before switching to the diet.

What to know about keto for heart disease prevention

In the past, people gained weight because they ate more carbs and sugar. Yet, with the rising popularity of keto, people are going for high fat and low carb diets. For people who are looking into reducing the chances of getting heart disease, it is still best to go for a Mediterranean diet that is rich with good fats and fiber-rich grains instead of going keto.

For people who are at risk for heart disease, a factor to consider would be that keto is a restrictive diet, and it could be hard to comply to it. Many people go on keto for a short term weight loss, but it is not sustainable in the long run. In the end, people gain the weight they lost and even more.  It is true that short-term results of keto are proven. However, there is not much research on whether keto is effective for keeping weight off for a long time. This can be considered yo-yo dieting, which can be harmful for the heart. People who unconsciously (or consciously) go for yo-yo diets are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who go for stabler diets.

It’s not just lifestyle factors like sleep, diet, and stress levels that affect one’s likelihood of getting heart disease. Genetics can play a part, too. People who have a family history of the disease are at risk of having these problems. Going for a ketogenic diet may increase one’s risk for heart disease if the condition is genetic.

Keto for people with heart disease

It is recommended that people who suffer from heart diseases consult with a cardiologist when making extreme dietary changes. Yet, it is possible that doctors recommend a Mediterranean diet over keto.

Different studies show that people who closely followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower risk for heart complications than those who went for Western diets, or those that have higher sugars and fried foods. Adding healthier foods, which include carbs that cannot be consumed under keto like fruits, legumes, and vegetables, are more important than avoiding sweets and carbs.

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What to watch out for with trendy diets like keto

Trendy diets such as the keto diet could have uncertain influence on one’s health. Heart disease is based on different factors like blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, smoking, stress, and genetics. While one’s diet is important, it is not a quick fix for solving a complicated health issue.

Relying on keto to prevent heart disease or to treat existing issues is not always recommended. While it does have its benefits, it might not work for all. Going on an extreme diet will always need a recommendation of a physician. Diets can be more dangerous than healing, and not all trends will work.

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