Is the Ketogenic Diet Bad for Your Heart?

I get this question all the time, “Is the Ketogenic diet good or bad for my heart?”

The question is a valid one, given the popularity of the Keto diet.

Keto is used as a shorter version for ketogenic, ketosis and ketones. Ketones are fuel produced from fat (fatty acid) breakdown.

You see, when we eat high fat- low carb or our body is under periods of fasting/starvation, we use fat for fuel. Instead of glucose (sugar) from carbohydrate breakdown, ketones are used to fuel ATP formation.

ATP is the energy currency of the body. Making plenty of ATP at a low energy cost is very important to health.

Okay, is Keto heart healthy? The answer is YES.

  1. Keto is excellent for blood pressure reduction
  2. Keto is excellent for lowering cholesterol
  3. Keto is excellent for improving the LDL and HDL ratio
  4. Keto is excellent for lowering small, dense LDL (the bad guys)
  5. Keto lowers inflammation
  6. Keto lowers oxidative stress
  7. Keto lowers blood sugar
  8. Ketones appear to be great for heart failure and heart function
  9. Keto is great for weight loss

Wait Dr. Wolfson, I thought you were Paleo.

Paleo in this context is referring to Paleo nutrition, using the wisdom and diet of our ancestors to guide us in the 21st century. The Keto craze does not change my knowledge of anthropology and paleontology.

Low carb Paleo is essentially a ketogenic diet. My Paleo pyramid has vegetables as the foundation, keto would have meat and seafood in the foundation, along with dairy. I am okay with dairy, if you consume it raw from a grass-fed cow.

On Paleo or Keto, the following is not allowed: grains such as wheat, barley, rye, corn or soy

Sugar is not allowed in any form while on keto. Paleo allows for seasonal fruit and honey.

I think our ancestors cycled between ketosis (in the winter) while higher carbohydrate in the summer.

Don’t guess, test.

When undergoing any change in diet, lifestyle or supplementation, it is best to test. Test your numbers before and after. The following are recommended blood tests for before starting any significant dietary change with a repeat in 60-90 days on the plan:

  1. Apolipoprotein B and Apolipoprotein A levels (the cholesterol/lipid markers that really matter)
  2. Hs-CRP and oxidized LDL
  3. Lp(a)
  4. Insulin and hemoglobin A1C
  5. 25-hydroxy vitamin D
  6. Omega 3 index
  7. Homocysteine
  8. Uric acid

Start here.

Interested in starting a Keto diet and following your blood tests? Give us a call to discuss the best plan for you at 480-535-6844. Ask to speak with a The Drs. Wolfson health coach to order the tests you NEED.

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