Is the Keto Eating regimen Coronary heart-Wholesome? – Cleveland Clinic

If you’re trying to lose weight or just live healthier, a new diet can help. The ketogenic (“keto”) diet has been in trend for several years due to its success in losing weight and building muscle. Some even believe that following this diet can help prevent or reverse heart failure.

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While we dig into the health benefits of the keto diet, heart failure cardiologist and researcher WH Wilson Tang, MD wants you to understand the basics before jumping into this ongoing trend.

“The keto diet is low-carb, so the idea is that you get those extra calories from protein and fat instead,” says Dr. Tang. “The key is to eliminate carbohydrates from unhealthy options like soda, candy, white bread, and healthy options like fruits, milk, and whole grains,” added registered nutritionist Katherine Patton, RD.

Dr. Tang wants you to know that the keto diet isn’t automatically preventing heart disease just by cutting down on your carbohydrate intake.

In fact, if you are not closely monitored by a doctor, you could be at an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Is the Keto Diet Heart-Healthy?

“Our skeletal muscles are mainly powered by glucose, a form of sugar made from the carbohydrates we eat. On the other hand, our heart gets up to 70% of its energy from fat, ”says Dr. Tang.

Ketone bodies are an alternative source of energy that your liver makes from fat. So, if you want to train your body to switch from using glucose to using ketones, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with lean protein and unsaturated fat. This is the essence of the keto diet.

For people at risk of heart disease, the success of short-term weight loss from keto can be helpful. When you follow the keto diet, you tend to feel less hungry – which aids in weight loss.

Other benefits of the keto diet include:

  • Lowering blood sugar (helpful in preventing diabetes).
  • Lowering of triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke).

While these short-term benefits can make you feel better, the long-term effects of the keto diet remain unclear.

When you are thinking of starting the keto diet, watch out for certain side effects such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lightheadedness / dizziness.
  • Constipation.

“Since there is no consensus on exactly what the diet includes, this leaves the door open to the belief that it is safe to live on saturated fats and processed foods,” says Dr. Tang.

As for heart health, the jury is still unsure whether this diet is actually beneficial or not.

Does the Keto Diet Have Benefits for Heart Sufferers?

“I am not aware of any high quality nutritional studies that consistently show that ketosis is helpful in the human heart,” says Dr. Tang. “However, there is some exciting new data that could indicate potential benefits in subsets of patients with heart failure. Our group and others are therefore actively investigating this to see if there is a new dietary intervention option for some patients. “

Can the Keto Diet Cause Heart Problems? Dr. Tang fears that some people with heart failure who follow a ketogenic diet may be at increased risk of:

  • Diabetic coma.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver.
  • An increase in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
  • Dehydration.
  • Kidney failure.

In general, if you have heart failure, you are more likely to develop a blood sugar abnormality. And with keto diets high in fat and protein, it’s hard to determine when it goes from healthy to harmful.

Recommendations for heart patients on the keto diet

“It is possible that some patients could benefit from the keto diet, but some might get worse,” says Dr. Tang.

Because of the potentially harmful effects of the keto diet on heart patients, Dr. Tang and other heart failure specialists adopted a less rigorous approach.

For heart patients, Dr. Tang (and in accordance with the latest American Heart Association clinical guidelines on nutritional recommendations):

  • A balanced diet with complex carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and lean proteins.
  • Check parts.
  • Selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Limiting red meat and adding more fish.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Reduction of sugar, simple carbohydrates, saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Replace sodium with aromatic herbs, spices and vinegars.

If you’re really determined to follow a strict keto diet, Dr. Tang suggest two “natural”, safe options for building ketone bodies. “The first is to get more sleep, as sleep naturally creates ketosis. The second option is to reduce caloric intake through intermittent fasting – although this still requires close monitoring by your doctor. It is certainly advisable to speak to your doctor before proceeding if you decide on a particular diet. “

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