A ketogenic diet helps weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors in overweight patients.
According to an Italian research published in High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention, a short ketogenic diet can improve the medium and long term health.
Overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality. This is why weight loss can be beneficial for short, medium and long term health.
Here, the researchers studied the impact in the medium and long term a ketogenic diet (low carbohydrate) on metabolic factors in 377 patients with a BMI between 27 and 37. The objective was to find out if a Such a regime could be prescribed by doctors to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as BMI, blood pressure, lipid levels . The ketogenic diet was low in fat and carbohydrates and contain 1.2-1.5 g / kg ideal weight protein.
The group followed for one year included men (mean age: 48 years / average BMI: 32) and women (average age: 46 years / average BMI: 31). The ketogenic diet was based on the use of formulations containing milk proteins, eggs, legumes such as peas or soybeans, with 15 to 18 g protein, 2 to 6 g carbohydrates and 3 g of fat per 100 calories.
First, patients had to eat only these formulas with vegetables and a formula was replaced with a protein food (meat, fish, eggs) and vegetables. Then another formula was replaced again by a protein food, etc. Finally came a period of re-education to a Mediterranean diet.
The principle of a ketogenic diet is that, given the lack of carbohydrates in the diet, the body is forced to use its fat reserves to produce energy. What follows is a production of “ketones”.
All objectives were achieved: security, cardiovascular risk reduction and weight. There was a significant reduction of the weight of -7kg beginning at 4 weeks and of -5kg weeks 4 to 12, then no change. BMI decreased 3 in the first 4 weeks and 2 in the following 8; in one year, participants had lost 5 BMI points on average. Weight loss was faster in men than women. Fat mass decreased by 3.8% in 4 weeks and 3.4% the following eight weeks.
Systolic blood pressure was improved in the first 3 months, as well as blood lipids, but there were no changes in the potassium, sodium and magnesium.
This ketogenic diet was well tolerated. It seems therefore suitable for weight loss and improved cardiovascular health of obese or overweight.