Low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and rich in lipids, this is the leitmotif of the ketogenic diet, known as the “keto diet”, popular in the event of diabetes and/or overweight. By depriving the body of carbohydrates, sources of energy, this diet causes the body to break down fat to produce energy. The liver will then produce ketone bodies, or ketones, which the body will use as fuel, hence the name of this particular diet.
Alas, if this strategy seems interesting, it would have its rather annoying side effects: increased bad cholesterol levels (or LDL for “low density lipoprotein”) and cardiovascular risk. At least that’s what a study presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology reveals.
Note that if other work had highlighted the risk of an increase in bad cholesterol linked to the ketogenic diet, this would be the first study to show a real cardiovascular risk resulting from such a diet.
The researchers here defined the ketogenic diet as a diet where 25% of energy or total daily calories come from carbohydrates, and where more than 45% of total calorie intake comes from fat. They called him “keto-like” diet because a little more flexible than the strict ketogenic diet, where caloric intake from carbohydrates does not exceed 10%.
Cardiovascular risk more than doubled
The research team analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a British health database. Some 70,684 people were included in the study, of whom 305 followed a “keto-like” diet and 1,220 followed a more balanced “conventional” diet. 73% of the participants were women, and the average age was 54 years.
Compared to people on a standard diet, those on a ketogenic diet had significantly higher levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, andapolipoprotein B (apoB)a protein component that constitutes a very reliable marker of cardiovascular disease risk.
After an average of 11.8 years of follow-up, and after adjusting for other bias factors, people following the keto diet had more than twice the risk to have several major cardiovascular events (cerebrovascular accident, atherosclerosis requiring the placement of a stent, heart attack, etc.).
“ Our results suggest that people considering dieting [de type cétogène] must be aware that this could lead to an increase in their LDL cholesterol levels. Before starting this diet, they should consult a health professional “, advise the researchers in a press release (Source 2). In addition, during the diet, they recommend monitoring their cholesterol levels, and trying to treat their other cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco, etc.).
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