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Keto Diet and Heart
Occasionally, we see and hear people talk about how important our hearts are without doing a keto diet. A long time ago, people even associate their feelings and emotions to their hearts, maybe because our heart beats faster when we are scared or excited. But of course, that is not the case. Our brains have control over our emotions, which tells the heart to speed up. If that’s the case, what are the functions of the heart and why is it important?
Our heart is one of the most significant organs of our body. It is the central part of our circulatory system responsible for pumping blood and distributing oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Our heart is roughly the size of a fist and yet even small dysfunctions or abnormalities may cause drastic changes or effects in humans.
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Our blood does not just irregularly move around our bodies. It is carried by tubes of arteries and veins that are attached to the heart. Our body needs a steady supply of blood to keep it working. The blood delivers oxygen to all the body’s cells. In order for us to stay alive, we need healthy cells. If our oxygen-rich blood doesn’t circulate in our body as it should, a person may experience chest pain or discomfort. This is usually one of the common symptoms of coronary heart disease.
Coronary artery disease or sometimes called coronary heart disease is the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. It is caused by the buildup of plaque in the wall of the arteries which reduces the blood flow and in some instances, block it altogether. This condition is called atherosclerosis. Plaque is made from various substances that include calcium, fat, cholesterol, and many more. When the buildup is too much, a person may then experience chest pain and shortness of breath, which might eventually lead to a heart attack.
How To Know If You’re At Risk of Developing A Heart Disease
It’s normal that we start worrying about our health and well-being as we age. This is especially true when it comes to our heart’s condition. The older we get, our blood vessels which supply blood to the heart, become less flexible. This makes it harder for blood to move through and plaques may have already accumulated in the artery walls. There are various ways to check if you are indeed at risk of developing heart disease. One way of determining the risks is to understand your CAC score.
As mentioned earlier, one of the substances that block the arteries is calcium. Coronary artery calcium scoring also called a coronary calcium scan, is a test that measures the amount of calcium in the walls of the heart’s arteries. It is a way to estimate someone’s risk of developing heart disease or calculating the probability of a heart attack or stroke. The earlier you take the test and determine your score, the earlier you can come up with a plan on how to reduce or minimize the risk of developing heart disease.
There are a lot of health strategies you can adopt in order to protect your heart and live a healthy life. Controlling your blood pressure, keeping your cholesterol levels under control, managing stress, and getting regular exercise can lower the risk of heart disease. But there’s one health strategy you can try—a ketogenic diet.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
A keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction in your carbohydrates puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes efficient and effective at burning fat for energy. Ketogenic diets help lower blood sugar and insulin levels and shift your body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones—which supplies energy to the brain.
Generally, you need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day to go into ketosis. This means that you need to eliminate certain food items from your diets such as grains, candy, and sugary products. People use a ketogenic diet to lose weight, however, it is also used to manage certain medical conditions such as heart disease.
If you want to try this type of diet, you need to decrease your carb intake. For you to do that, you should base the majority of your meals around these ketogenic diet foods:
What are the Different Types of Ketogenic Diets?
There are several variations of the keto diet that you can try. Before you try any of these ketogenic diets, make sure to consult a healthcare professional first.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet – This type of ketogenic diet involves a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. Typically, it contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% of carbs.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet – This diet is almost the same as the targeted ketogenic diet with the exception of eating carbs around your workout times. This means that you’re just going to consume food with carbohydrates on the days you exercise.
- High-Protein Ketogenic Diet – This type of ketogenic diet includes more protein than the standard keto diet. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – This diet involves rotating between a strict high-fat, low-carb ketogenic meal plan and higher carb intake.
Among these types of ketogenic diets, the standard ketogenic diet is the most researched and most recommended.
How Can Ketogenic Diet Help You Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease?
If you want to protect your heart, then you need to be mindful of what you eat. Losing even a moderate amount of weight with the help of a keto diet can lower cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity. Furthermore, in an article published by PubMed Central of the US National Library of Medicine, ketogenic diet results in lower LDL and higher HDL. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered to be the “bad” cholesterol in our body and the high-protein lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease. Our body needs cholesterol for it to work properly. However, too much cholesterol, specifically the LDL in your blood raises the risks of coronary artery disease.
If you want to start taking good care of your heart, going into a ketogenic diet may be a good start. But before doing so, make sure to consult a doctor who can make recommendations as to what type of ketogenic diet is best for you. You can schedule a meeting with us so that we can start crafting full-meal plans for you. Check out Premier Health and Wellness Center in Hamilton, Bermuda to know more.