Many of use grew up with the idea that fat is bad for our bodies. In fact, I remember when my dad’s doctor told him he needs to stop eating fat – why? Because it was pushing up his cholesterol. At the time, I wasn’t aware that there are different kinds of cholesterol. When someone talked about “cholesterol” – I immediately thought “bad” and “fat”.
In one way, it is these associations that keep many people from realizing what the keto diet is able to offer them. For a long time, most people have lived with the idea that fat is bad, full stop. But, many studies have now already shown us that some fats are good. Plus, you need to consider there are good and bad cholesterol. If your “good” cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) rises, it’s not a bad thing.
This leads me to a very recent study that I stumbled upon. The study was published less than a week ago and holds new evidence about the role of the ketogenic diet in heart disease.
Keto Diet And Heart Disease
The study was published by the Saint Louis University. Researchers at the university decided to take a look at how exactly a high fat content in diet would affect heart health.
During the entire study, the primary focus was on the principles behind the popular ketogenic diet. The diet (or rather lifestyle, as I would like to think of it) had gained popularity – but not all of this fame leaned toward a positive side. It has become somewhat of a controversial topic – with some believing that the keto diet does not live up to its hype.
Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kyle S. McCommis, led the team of researchers at the university.
Researchers note that recent evidence suggests a significant downregulation of the metabolic system and processes in patients with heart failure.
The primary study was not conducted on human subjects, as this was still considered an experimental approach by the researchers. Instead, laboratory mice were used.
Researchers considered mice who had heart failure. The studied mice all had a more severe level of heart failure. A group of the heart failure rats were switched to a diet that complies with what we call the ketogenic diet. This means high fat content were introduced, while carbohydrate intake was significantly limited.
The interesting thing noted by the researchers was a noticeable improvement in factors related to heart failure. This was not the only finding reported by the researchers.
Additional positive results were also noted. Some of these rats experienced a reversal in their cardiovascular disease. Heart health gradually started to improve.
Should We Be Treating Heart Disease With Keto?
It is important that we don’t get ahead of ourselves. Researchers are continuously looking at ways to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the incidence of heart disease.
I found this particular study interesting as it showed how the keto diet might pose as a therapeutic strategy in heart failure patients. The researchers are likely going to continue with their current studies. This will help them narrow down results and gain more knowledge in terms of whether or not the keto diet could really be considered a possible treatment option for people with heart problems.
At the moment, however, do not throw out your heart medication and think that keto is going to solve everything for you. While there is promising results, it is important to always base your decisions on longer term studies that confirm positive effects on large groups of human subjects.
For now, we do know that the keto diet has many benefits for the body. It has been established that the keto diet could help with heart health in some ways. The lifestyle helps to reduce your LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind of cholesterol) and, on the other hand, increases the good cholesterol in your body. Triglycerides are lowered with a keto diet too – but only if you include healthy sources of fat.
My Takeaway Message
I find the new study interesting and motivating. I’ve been following keto for some time now, and constantly look at ways research is showing us the potential of this lifestyle. I won’t consider keto as a treatment for heart disease (just yet), but definitely looking forward to reading more on this topic. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more details from this team of researchers and report additional findings as it becomes available.