Keto Diet Health, From the Heart of ItheadingContent

Posted on October 01, 2019

Healthy food in heart diet concept with stethoscope closeup
The ketogenic diet, more popularly known as the “Keto Diet” is the latest trending low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat diet, but is it heart healthy?

What is ketosis?
For the ketogenic diet to work to full capacity, dieters work to get their body into ketosis. When in ketosis the cells in our body use glucose or blood sugar obtained from carbohydrates to fuel energy needs. Ketosis occurs when there is a low amount of glucose being transported through the system and the body begins to transform stored fat reserves into a group of molecules known as ketone bodies. While in ketosis, the body burns fat until carbohydrate consumption is resumed.

The amount of time to obtain ketosis can vary due to the amount of carbohydrates being consumed by the body. For instance, ketosis can occur between two-to-four days on a diet limited to just 20-50 grams of carbohydrates in a 24-hour period. Most disciplined keto dieters obtain ketosis between five-to-seven days and for some people it can take upwards of eight days or more; again it matters on carbohydrate consumption per individual.

The link to high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, inflammation and the rise in irregular heart beat risk.
According to the American College of Cardiology study, low carbohydrate diets were associated with increased risk of incident Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) regardless of the type of protein or fat used to replace the carbohydrate. The study titled: Low_Carb Diet Tied to Common Heart Rhythm Disorder concluded that individuals who only obtain a small amount of daily calorie requirements from grains, starchy vegetables and fruits are significantly more likely to develop AFib, the most common heart rhythm disorder. The correlation connecting AFib and carbohydrate consumption is thought to be related to inflammation. It is known that starchy vegetables, grains and fruits help in lowering inflammation. Eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can heighten oxidative stress levels in the body and this per se, increases the chance of developing AFib and other types of cardiovascular disease.

Why is atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular diseases a problem?
Atrial fibrillation is one the major causes of stroke and disability and cardiovascular diseases continue to be the first cause of death in the developed world.

Finding the right diet for you should be individualized.
There is nothing like moderation. Moderation is including all the types of food sources in the right quantities always enhancing the benefits that can be obtained from plant based sources of proteins and micronutrients. Making fruits and vegetables the focal point of every meal will help you keep calorie intake under control and meet your recommended healthy diet intake each day.

Be aware of diets promoting rapid and miraculous results. Weight loss should be accomplished with a healthy balance between calories consumed and calories used. The truth is that losing weight is nothing else than simple arithmetic: to lose weight, you have to add less and spend more. When talking about “adding less” is using healthier alternatives that makes us full with less calories. On this nothing competes against vegetable and fruit rich diets. Always check with your primary care or cardiologist before beginning any diet.