Diets low in carbohydrates, have been popular for quite some time now, especially among those who wish to lose weight fast. One of the most trendy low carb diets right now is the ketogenic diet, which allows dieters to increase their fat intake, while severely restricting the amount of carbs consumed per day. However, the diet has been controversial because scientific studies have been inconclusive about the long term health effects of following the keto diet. A new study has now said that while the diet may lead to weight loss in the long term, it may also negatively impact heart health. The study indicated that the ketogenic diet has a mixed impact on health markers, which may contribute to heart diseases.
The study titled, "Review of current evidence and clinical recommendations on the effects of low-carbohydrate and very-low-carbohydrate (including ketogenic) diets for the management of body weight and other cardiometabolic risk factors" was published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology. The study said that although keto-style diets that are low in carbohydrates may lead to rapid weight loss over a period of six months, the effects are not significant after a year. This applies to all other popular low carb weight loss diets like the Zone Diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet etc.
(Also Read: Ketogenic Diet Deconstructed: Should You Follow it?)
After a year, weight loss due to these diets was found to be similar to that brought about by other diets that allow consumption of more carbohydrates. The recommendations from the National Lipid Association also stress on the fact that low-carb diets are harder to stick to and also curb intake of nutrient-dense foods, which in turn may impact the cardiovascular health of the dieters. The study report mentioned that while keto diet may have some benefits including suppression of hunger, better control over blood sugar levels, etc., it may also lead to spikes in blood cholesterol.
The study report concluded by saying, "Referral to a comprehensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss can increase the likelihood of weight loss success and long-term weight management. Referral to an RDN, when feasible, for medical nutrition therapy and lifestyle counseling can improve cardiometabolic risk and encourage the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains within the context of a CHO-restricted diet. Achieving a healthy body weight and long-term weight maintenance using a cardioprotective dietary pattern and increased physical activity can promote overall health and decrease the risk of ASCVD."
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