The ketogenic diet is bad for cardiovascular health

THE ketogenic diet is a slimming diet, which consists of drastically limiting your consumption of carbohydrates (pasta, sweets, bread, etc.) while significantly increasing your consumption of lipids (nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, etc.). The goal: to place the body in ketosis, that is to say, to force it to draw on its fat reserves to function.

Relatively effective for weight loss, the ketogenic diet, also called Keto dietis however not recommended by doctors: in fact, because it is unbalanced, this slimming diet can promote the appearance of a yo-yo effect, that is to say a sudden resumption of lost weight (and even more) as soon as you return to a normal diet…

A slimming diet bad for cardiovascular health

According to a new observational study presented on March 5, 2023 during the meeting of the American College of Cardiologythe ketogenic diet would increase the levels of “bad cholesterol” in the blood, and would therefore increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart attack).

To reach this conclusion, the scientists relied on data from the UK Biobank. The participants were divided into two groups: 305 volunteers on a ketogenic diet, and 1,220 people on a conventional diet. The study lasted more than 10 years.

Conclusion: the volunteers who followed a keto diet presented higher levels of LDL – the bad cholesterol – compared to those on a conventional diet. Researchers also found that people following a ketogenic diet had a twice as high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

This is not the first study that points to the cardiovascular risks of the ketogenic diet. According to another study conducted in September 2020 by researchers from the National Jewish Health (in the United States), the ketogenic diet would increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. In question: excessive consumption of lipids and, in particular, saturated fatty acids “associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cholesterol” specify the researchers. Who add: “A ketogenic diet continued over the long term (one year) can be responsible for arteriosclerosis, that is to say stiffening of the arteries“.

The ketogenic diet is therefore particularly not recommended for people with cardiovascular risk factors (for example: high blood pressure or obesity). To lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, there is no secret: it is necessary to adopt a balanced diet (with as many lipids as proteins and carbohydrates) and to practice regular physical activity (at least 30 min per day).


  • Annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, March 2023.
  • Study Examines the Heart Risks and Benefits of Today’s Most Popular Fad Diets, National Jewish Health, September 2020.

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