Your heart is a very vital organ in your body. And you need to ensure it stays healthy and functional at all times. In maintaining its health, you have to watch out for the meals and diet you consume. Some may be very harmful or may cause heart complications like heart failure, stroke among other heart-related conditions.
For a long time, there has been a discussion about whether the keto diet is beneficial or dangerous for an individual’s heart health. Of course, you can achieve optimal heart health through most diets. Still, it’s debatable on keto as not all studies agree on the benefits of the keto diet on heart health.
However, most health experts suggest that the keto diet can significantly help those with heart diseases by reducing inflammation while lowering oxidative stress, leading to heart complications.
This article discusses some of the keto diet and how it relates to your heart health.
Understanding keto diet
Known as the Ketogenic diet, the keto diet is meals with very low carbohydrates but high-fat combinations.
The Keto diet aims at drastically reducing carbs intake while replacing it with a fat diet. In other words, it’s a diet that mainly focuses on a lot of fats and adequate amounts of proteins with minimal carbohydrates.
What are some examples of the keto diet?
- Seafood like salmon and sardines
- Low carb vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, kale, and asparagus
- Cheese such as camembert, cheddar, brie, and blue cheese
- Meat and poultry- choose grass-fed meat as they contain high omega-3 fats
- Coconut and olive oil
- Fruits like avocado
So is the keto diet good for your health?
Most studies have shown that eating keto meals are beneficial to your heart in the following ways:
Help reduce overweight/obesity
The keto diet works by depleting all the body sugar reserves. As a result, your body would start breaking down fats for energy, leading to the production of ketones-the molecules that your body uses as fuel. When your body burns fats, it would also be responsible for treating or facilitating weight loss.
So what does weight loss mean for your heart health?
Being overweight increases your chances of heart disease like a coronary artery or heart attack. Accumulating too many fats leads to the build-up of fatty materials in your blood vessels, resulting in blockage of arteries. This reduces blood supply to your heart, thus a more considerable risk to your heart.
The blockage and the clogging of the arteries would also limit blood supply to your brain, increasing your chances of vascular dementia or even stroke.
Therefore, you should ensure you lose more weight for a healthy, functional heart. You can as well exercise regularly to help you lose weight.
Here are more benefits of weight loss to your heart health:
Increases your blood vessel functionality
When you’re overweight, your blood vessels have to double the circulation workload because they deal with oversized chambers. However, shedding off some weight means you reduce the blood vessel’s workload as they have to supply blood through the right-sized chambers.
Fewer blood clots and fats
When you have accumulated too much weight, your blood vessels constrict, meaning your blood flow will slow down due to blockage leading to clots. On the contrary, having a healthy weight would mean fewer chunks thus fewer blood clots.
Losing weight means lower blood lipids, which include a reduced level of triglycerides-fat found in the blood. Also, shedding weight helps lower your low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) while increasing your high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) hence more good lipoprotein in the bloodstream. This leads to fewer blood fats.
Keto diet helps manage diabetes and prediabetes
Diabetes is signalized by the different changes in your body metabolism, high blood pressure, or having impaired insulin. Besides, if you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop other conditions that raise your heart complications.
Also, having high blood pressure can damage arteries as the pressure forcing the blood through your artery can break the walls. However, most studies confirm that a ketogenic diet would help you lose excess weight linked to type 2 diabetes which is a risk factor for heart complications.
If you doubt the keto fats-rich diet concerning your heart health, you should know that most studies approve it for a quality, healthy life. Keto diet is linked to weight reduction and you should avoid some food in keto diet, which is key to preventing heart-related complications like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and improving your metabolic health.