Keto-Like Diet Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke

Following a keto-like diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fats could more than double the risk of cardiovascular issues such as chest pain (angina), blocked arteries requiring stents (tiny coils that open arteries), heart attacks, and strokes, according to a new study.

The findings, presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session, suggest that a keto-style eating plan could lead to increased levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) — also known as “bad” cholesterol — which in turn may heighten the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

“If you are following a carbohydrate-restricted diet, our data suggest that it may be important to monitor your cholesterol levels,” says senior study author Liam Brunham, MD, medical lead with the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

“If your cholesterol level is super high, consult your doctor because there may really need to be careful attention paid to manage the risk of heart disease,” Dr. Brunham added.

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