Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe for Diabetics?

Here is the good news: Research would show that there is a clear link between keto diet and diabetes particularly type 2 diabetes.

keto diet and diabetes

The ketogenic diet has become so appealing at present that more and more people are giving it a try. And rightly so. It provides a plethora of benefits while being effective at weight loss. However, it would be good to identify whether there is palpable link between keto diet and diabetes. By doing so, one would know if this type of diet would be beneficial to people living with diabetes.

What keto is

Before going in depth with the discussion of the relationship between keto diet and diabetes, it is first important to understand what keto is all about. It is essentially a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. When done consistently, the body burns through the carbs and since these are not sufficient to fuel the body throughout the day, it goes straight for fat and make it a source of energy. Ketones are the by-product of this process. A healthy supply of ketones in the body offers myriad advantages to the human body.

How to keto

There are different ways for the body to enter ketosis. This is yet another thing to talk about to better understand the relationship between keto diet and diabetes. Strategies for the body to enter ketosis vary from person to person. Here are four of the most common ways to do so and, arguably, the most effective at achieving observable results:

  • Regular. This is the standard way of dieting. Here, this ratio is followed in all your meals: 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. You have to follow this ratio religiously if you want immediate results.
  • High Pro. As the name suggests, this means higher protein intake. The ratio now becomes 60% fat, 35% Protein, and 5% Carbs.
  • Cyclical. This type is far more advanced because you have to know how to keep track of what you are eating. Here, you follow any of the two previously mentioned types for five consecutive days. On the remaining two, you load up on carbohydrates. This is usually the days devoted to strenuous training. Most athletes follow this keto type.
  • As needed. Again, you need experience with counting calories and keeping track of what you are eating if you want to be successful with this type of keto. Here, you usually follow any of the two ratios mentioned earlier. You then load up with carbs as needed especially if you are about to do heavy workout.

Benefits of keto

One last thing before going into the link between keto diet and diabetes. What exactly are the benefits that you get from a keto diet? Here are some of them:

  • Effective at weight loss
  • Regulated cholesterol
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Manages blood sugar
  • Used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain injuries
  • Lowers the risk if cardiovascular diseases

Keto diet and diabetes

Here is the good news: Research would show that there is a clear link between keto diet and diabetes particularly type 2 diabetes. Here are the ways why these two are connected:

  • Less carbohydrates. One key factor in a keto diet is a drastic reduction of carbohydrates. This significantly lowers blood sugar since carbs turn to sugar. However, one has to keep track of his/sugar level because depletion could also be deadly for people who live with diabetes.
  • Insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that people who live with type 2 diabetes responded better to insulin when they were subjected to a strict keto diet. Again, this research was done under the careful eye of the researchers and in a controlled environment. Do not self-medicate. Make sure it is safe for you to do the keto diet especially if you have to maintain insulin shots. You can consult your physician regarding this.
  • Better management of blood sugar. Another study showed that the group of people living with type 2 diabetes better managed glucose levels when they were on a keto diet. Some even improved to the point that they no longer needed medication. All they had to do was to maintain their diet, do physical activity, and keep track of their glucose level.

Risks involved

While yes, there is a positive link between keto diet and diabetes, you still have to consult your doctor or a keto expert especially if you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Too many ketones and depleted glucose level are a deadly combo that can cause tragic results. Make sure you know how to keep track of your sugar as well as your ketones. Doing this will prevent life-threatening conditions such as ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis. Immediately seek medical help if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Mouth dryness
  • Frequent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Peculiar breath smell
  • High blood sugar
  • Difficulty in breathing

Switching to the keto lifestyle is truly beneficial and now that there is a link between keto diet and diabetes, you now have an added reason to give it a try. However, there is a certain degree of risk involved. You might want to see your doctor before committing to do the switch in lifestyle.

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