On one hand, we have supporters of the diet confirming that this diet can decrease the lipids profile and lower blood pressure which are considered major risks factors for the heart disease. Hence, the keto diet can help in maintaining a good heart health. There are also many research and case studies available to support this.
On the other hand, many experts believe that the diet is harmful for the heart especially that the diet focuses on fat as a main source of nutrition. Given that fat has been long believed to increase the lipids profile, it is considered to be harmful for the heart. There are also lot of research and case studies available to support these claims as well.
However, supporters of the keto diet reject this claim as they believe researches about this subject are outdated and have been manipulated. As such, they provide evidence showing that these researches have been financed by the carbs and sugar industry to claim that fat increases cholesterol and triglycerides while in reality it is the carbohydrates that do this.
Currently, there are many medical and nutrition experts demanding to review all the currently followed nutritional guidelines in order to correct them.
Furthermore, there’s another debate going on about the role of cholesterol in heart diseases. Currently, many researches are pointing out about the role of inflammation in developing heart diseases not cholesterol which was wrongly believed to cause this problem.
Opinion in favor of following the keto diet for atherosclerosis (heart disease):
Proponents of the keto diet believe that this diet is very effective for treating and preventing heart diseases because the diet is good for lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides levels, as well as reducing blood pressure. All these are known to be common risk factors associated with heart diseases.
For many, this might be quite surprising to hear as it contradicts with all the previous guidelines claiming that fat is bad for heart diseases as it increases cholesterol.
In this regard, it is imperative to note that while it is true that the high fat / low carbs keto diet increases cholesterol, but it actually increases the HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers the LDL (bad cholesterol). So, on the contrary, this is something good.
In addition to this, it is important to understand that the keto diet promotes the good fat not the bad one that includes mainly industrial-made trans fats as these can have harming effects on the health.
A one-year intervention study that compared HDL (good cholesterol) levels between a low carb diet such as the keto diet and a low fat diet, found that there was a 20.6 % increase in HDL cholesterol while on the low carb diet, as compared to a 4.9% increase while on the low fat diet.
Accordingly, supporters of the keto diet argue that it is the carbohydrates that increase cholesterol and triglycerides levels not fat.
Many studies have actually been published to support these claims, and propose that following a low-carb such as the keto diet is good in order to promote heart health.
For instance, a study titled “Effects of protein, monounsaturated fat, and carbohydrate intake on blood pressure and serum lipids: results of the OmniHeart randomized trial” showed that individuals who followed a diet that replaces carbohydrates with protein or fat did a better job at lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol as compared to a high carbohydrate diet.
The role of carbs and sugar industry:
Based on new research findings, many medical and nutrition experts call to review all the nutritional guidelines that promote carbohydrate consumption between 45% to 65% of daily caloric needs as they believe these statements have been manipulated.
As a support, they provide evidence proving that these studies have been financed by the carbs and sugar industry. Accordingly, they accuse them of providing misleading results claiming that fat is bad for health not carbohydrates in order to promote their businesses.
The role of pharma industry:
There are many medical experts also claiming that the pharma industry is supporting the false belief about cholesterol being bad for heart health. This is mainly done so they can promote the statin drugs that lower cholesterol. While the reality, it is not cholesterol that is the problem behind heart diseases but instead it is inflammation.
More and more medical experts are raising concerns about the role of inflammation in heart diseases. This is believed also to be another problem that can result from eating a high carbs diet including sugar.
Many researches already confirm this but some medical experts believe that more research is still required in order to confirm it. Plus, for them, they feel it is important to understand the long-term effects of the high fat / low carbs diet before completely endorsing it.
Opinion against following the keto diet for atherosclerosis (heart disease):
On the other hand, many medical and nutritional experts believe that a low carbs diet is associated with an increased mortality rate due to its very high fat content, especially from heart diseases. Accordingly, they reject the theory claiming that the keto diet is beneficial for heart health.
They also argue that a high fat diet has shown to increase lipid profiles such as cholesterol and triglycerides, and these are common risk factors leading to heart diseases.
Recently, there have been many published studies showing that low-carb diets can lead to early mortality and an increased risk of heart diseases because they are higher in fat and protein.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association stated that the ketogenic diet increased mortality rates by 53 %, as compared to a regular diet incorporating carbs.
Opponents of the keto diet also argue that this diet can result in many health risks in the long run because it restricts important healthy foods such as high fibers foods and fruits and vegetables. It also increases the intake of animal sources and saturated fatty acids which increase heart diseases.
Furthermore, the long-term effects of the keto diet are still unknown, and this represents an additional concern for many health experts.
Many experts that oppose this diet claim that there is not enough evidence to confirm that the keto diet can benefit the heart. According to them, the available resources are still considered very limited.
Views in favor of Keto Diet / No Carbs Diet For Heart Disease