New study: Keto improves cardiovascular health markers

Hand holds human heart model at body

Does a keto diet improve markers for heart health? Virta Health just published more data from their study on a ketogenic diet for people with type 2 diabetes, and the results are in line with earlier studies.

22 of 26 markers of cardiovascular disease risk improved in their patients, many quite significantly. However, there was one exception, the same as in many earlier studies. LDL cholesterol went up a little bit on average.

This is very important to understand, and Virta Health and their team of researchers go into quite some depth to do so:

As mentioned, these results are in line with dozens of earlier studies. A keto diet tends to improve pretty much every single metabolic risk factor for disease… but there is a slight rise in LDL and total cholesterol on average. Is this something to worry about? We don’t know for sure, there are no good data to prove whether it is dangerous, neutral or even beneficial in this situation.

However, to me it is even more interesting to look at this from the other direction. For the last 40 years the medical field has mostly been focused on lowering LDL and total cholesterol, using any method including a low-fat (and thus high-carb) diet. There is zero proof that this lifestyle intervention does anything good. But we KNOW that every single metabolic risk factor except LDL gets worse on it! This includes weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL, triglycerides and more.

Is it any wonder that we have an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes? It started exactly when we began telling people to eat food that we now know results in higher body weight and higher blood sugar.

The opposite dietary advice, a low-carb diet, results in improvement of all metabolic risk factors. The new Virta study demonstrates it yet again.

Heart disease and cholesterol

Keto

Earlier

Most viewed BMJ paper 2017: Saturated fat does not clog the arteries

New study: Four weeks on the keto diet leads to big weight loss and improved health markers

12 Comments

  1. Flamingpie
    The ldl goes up because the liver works harder. If there's already fatty liver, then your ldl will increase. But I wonder if increasing your lemon water or even vegetables will help this in the long run?
  2. Ras Root
    Glysophates from monsantO, g m o ,pestecides,etc. in foods guarantee a non alcoholic fatty liver in the standard a
    Merican diet.
  3. Jenny A.
    "For the last 40 years the medical field has mostly been focused on lowering LDL and total cholesterol, using any method including a low-fat (and thus high-carb) diet. There is zero proof that this lifestyle intervention does anything good. But we KNOW that every single metabolic risk factor except LDL gets worse on it! This includes weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL, triglycerides and more."

    Really? What research have you been reading? So losing 75lbs, off all meds for blood pressure, high cholesterol, a1c finally under 5, hdl, triglycerides, and ldl all in normal range is just a fluke if I gained those results from a high carb low fat diet?? Interesting.

    I guess if people are eating low fat processed junk food thinking they are being healthy, I'd agree with you but not all carbs are equal. I do believe those on a keto diet see results but you can't make a blanketed statement another diet not doing any good without sounding like a complete uneducated fool. There are many diets that work well for different people....and they have the blood work and science to back them up as well.

  4. Greg B.
    Keto diet is not sustainable in the long run. I know many who have been on slightly different variations of it and none have succeeded long term and regained the weight they lost. I myself found it to be inconvenient for the every day person who is unable to find time to prepare their meals.
    Mediterranean diet can work for everyone and is time proven and sustainable for the busy 9 to 5er with a family, and positive cardiovascular properties are documented.
    Pepperoni and bacon diets are not the way.
    Reply: #12
  5. Bob Roberts
    You forgot eggs, omlets, spinach, kale, asparagus, pork sagg etc....oh and Buffalo wings! Mine are almost ready. And Carolyn Ketchum's Italian cream cake for dessert. Keto so hard! I hate feeling so good too
  6. 1 comment removed
  7. KC
    Been on keto for 15 months , I stopped my metformin and cholesterol meds cold turkey and lost all the side effects and 60 pounds in six months. A1c down to 5.6 . Triglycerides were 193 and HDL was 38 on meds blood test six months in after losing 60 lbs triglycerides 59 LDL 58. I am no longer diabetic and my doctor had me do a sonogram on my carodic aterties and they are wide open, zero blockage is what the report read. Since reaching my goal weight ( I'm 5'8 160 lbs and 55 years old) I have kept the weight off for year and am keto strong with carb treat/meal once a week. My grandma went to 90 eating bacon and eggs everyday of her life.
  8. Kenrick
    My wife and I have been Keto for over 5 years ...it’s very sustainable with a little preplanning and thought. I lost 5 stone in weight and not gained an ounce since ...I am also disabled ( military injuries) and have a very restrictive excercise regime but it’s pounds in the kitchen ounces in the gym!

    Meanwhile, my sister in law has been been on at least 3 different commercial diets and followed official guidlines over the same time period and has actually gained more weight, been miserable because of cravings and hunger ...she is now finally going to give Keto a blast ...having seen how much delicious food my wife and I can eat and more importantly how healthy my wife and I are ...

    With regard to health...my Keto diet has allowed me to remove fentynyl from my meds and I only now use paracetamol to deal with pain from my injuries, my chronic pain has really disminished since eating Keto, also, my bloods are as good as to be hoped for and my weight induced hypertension has gone ...I truly believe in the anti-inflammatory effect of Keto...ditching grains, starches, vegetable oils and that all important sugar has had a profound effect on my health and well-being for the better ...

    Yes, Keto is not as easy as a conventional diet ( it was even harder 5 years ago) as everything outside your front door is designed to be the exact opposite so it can at times feel daunting and unsustainable ...but even eating out now has become easier, we now have a few favourite restaurants that are very acceptable of our eating habits and therefore help out with our meal choices. If we travel etc then the cool box gets packed with Keto goodies ...what Keto really means is that rather than eating mindlessly a little more thought needs to be applied to what fuel you are putting into your body, which in my mind is only a good thing, our bodies our amazing things generally only one use only so we really ought to be respectful of this piece of engineering and try to maintain it , pumping it full of crap it’s not surprising or ideal and by doing so it’s hardly surprising that it starts to cough and splutter like an old clapped out motor.

    The question we used to ask ourselves in the very early days when it all seemed so insurmountable is “what is more important to us now?” and every time the resounding answer was that improving and maintaining our health and well being is the most important priority in our lives especially with dealing with my injuries long term...Now the call of junk, convenient processed food has long passed...we hardly ever journey into the central isles of supermarkets anymore and never junk food restaurants!

    Ric

  9. cece
    Keto 3 years..healthier than ever . Lost 120 in 8 months, gained none back. Easy way of life.
  10. Susan
    No one mentioned the keto diet also helps kids with Autism everyone should watch movie on Netflix how it helped autism,sick people with many different things ailments even cancer.I've been on it since February and lost thirty pounds I feel terrific more energy less bloated and don't miss carbs or sugar at all.
  11. Angela Wright
    I’ve been on it for 2 years. I love it! I lost 65 lbs effortlessly in six months and have kept it off. I just turned 60 and feel better than I did in my 40s. It also helped with a host of other issues, i.e. stomach distress and bloat, skin issues, A1C went from 6.3 to 5.1, lipid panel, which was in normal range before start of Keto, actually improved. I felt like my brain was firing on all cylinders instead of just one or two! I enjoy and appreciate my food more now. I never feel hungry, deprived or deal with cravings. I now control my food, it doesn’t control me. I love this way of life...my improved energy, my hot new body (went from a 14 to a 4). I will never go back to my old way of eating. This is my lifestyle.
  12. Leesa
    Greg you obviously don't know the keto diet, it is not a "Pepperoni and bacon diet" I have followed and participated in every diet known and the keto diet was a breath of fresh air. My insulin resistance is gone, my hormones have settled down, I'm finally loosing weight and I'm sleeping a good 8 hrs a night, something I haven't done in years. My husband told me the other day that he feels like he's got the woman he married 37 yrs ago back! I'm happy confident and definitely never going back to the old way of eating,for some, it is truly life changing and totally sustainable. 😊
  13. 1 comment removed
  14. Dave
    I eat more salad and veggies than I ever have since being on keto, of course they are doused with MUFs 👍 Feel energetic and mentally sharp again and have lost 45 lbs. I have been on Keto for just over a year and no issues with sustainment.

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