Is The Ketogenic Diet Good For Type 2 Diabetics?

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar.

The Ketogenic Diet is an effective diabetes treatment, as it can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

If you are looking for a diet plan that will help with your type 2 diabetes and provide other health benefits, then the keto diet may be worth considering.

Read more about how the ketogenic diet could benefit you below.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The goal of a keto diet is to put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, hence its name.

The basic idea behind this diet is that when no carbohydrate-containing foods are available for the body to use as fuel, your liver releases fatty acids from your body’s fat stores.

These fatty acids are used for fuel instead of sugar, which is normally the body’s main source of energy. By doing this, large amounts of insulin can be avoided.

The ketogenic diet is more beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight and improve their health. For example, if you have type 2 diabetes, the keto diet may help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent further complications.

To put your body in a state of ketosis, you need to eat between 70-75% calories from fat, 20-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates.

How Keto Affects Blood Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, the ketogenic diet may help to lower your blood sugar levels. However, a very low carbohydrate intake can result in increased insulin sensitivity and decreased levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). 

By consuming high amounts of fat and restricting carbohydrates, many people experience weight loss without exercise. This weight loss can lead to a reduction in insulin resistance.

When you have decreased insulin resistance, your body’s cells become more sensitive to the hormone, and blood sugar levels become easier to control.

So how does this diet achieve these benefits?

Increased Insulin Sensitivity

In people with type 2 diabetes, increased amounts of fatty acids are released from fat and liver cells.

These fatty acids circulate in the blood and are treated as a source of energy by muscle, liver, and other cells. This helps to prevent insulin resistance from happening.

Decreased Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c)

HbA1c measures how much sugar has stuck to your red blood cells during the past 3 months. High levels of HbA1c can increase your risk of health complications, such as kidney damage and heart disease. A low-carbohydrate diet may help lower these levels.

Weight loss

Although weight loss isn’t always guaranteed with a ketogenic diet, many people who follow this diet have reported that they experienced weight loss.

This may be because the keto diet is easier to stick to than other diets, or it could be because a low carbohydrate intake can improve insulin sensitivity.

Increased HDL Cholesterol And Decreased Triglycerides

HDL cholesterol lowers your risk for heart disease, while triglycerides can negatively affect your heart and blood vessels.

So, an increase in “good” cholesterol and a decrease in triglyceride levels can improve your overall health.

Reduced Hunger

An increase in dietary fat has resulted in hunger control for many people who use the ketogenic diet.

This is because fat takes longer to digest than other macronutrients, so you feel full for longer.

Monitoring Your Diabetes While On Keto

If you have type 2 diabetes, a keto diet can help you control your blood sugar levels if you manage it properly. If you decide to go on the ketogenic diet, you should regularly exercise and monitor your blood sugar levels.

If more carbohydrates are added into your diet without being monitored, then your blood sugar levels may increase again, and glucose control may be lost.

Decreased carbohydrate intake has been shown to have a greater impact on HbA1c levels than weight loss alone in many cases.

So monitoring your carbohydrate count is important and can help you to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

If you’re looking to try the ketogenic diet, consult with your doctor first.

Is Keto Safe For Diabetics?

There is evidence that suggests a ketogenic diet can be beneficial for people with diabetes. This diet can help you to control your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. But, as mentioned earlier, a keto diet should only be followed under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

You need to make sure that you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly on this type of diet. It’s also essential that you keep your glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in check. This can help to protect your body from complications of diabetes.

That said, many people with diabetes have found that the ketogenic diet is a helpful part of their treatment plan.

Obesity is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and it’s also closely linked with insulin resistance.

If you have diabetes, then your goal should be to control your blood glucose and HbA1c levels as much as possible, which can help to minimize your risk for complications in the long run.

Ketoacidosis

Avoiding ketoacidosis is important if you’re on a ketogenic diet and have diabetes.

Ketoacidosis is a condition caused by high levels of ketones in the blood, which can be fatal if left untreated. ¬†Because of this, it’s important to be knowledgeable about ketoacidosis prevention when both using a low-carbohydrate diet and having diabetes.

Some things that may help you to avoid ketoacidosis include:

  • Monitoring your carbohydrate intake, especially at the beginning of a low-carbohydrate diet.
  • Monitor your ketone levels regularly using an inexpensive blood glucose meter and strips; this can be done by getting your finger pricked before each meal.
  • Staying hydrated.

Keeping half an apple or some other fruit on hand to eat at the first sign of ketoacidosis.

Tips When First Starting

  • Keep track of how your body responds. Keep a daily record of your blood sugar levels, carbohydrate intake, and exercise habits. This will help you to monitor your diabetes while on the ketogenic diet.
  • Make adjustments accordingly. If you notice that your blood sugar is too high, then try reducing your carb intake. If you feel nauseous or weak after a large carbohydrate meal, then eat smaller amounts of carbs at each meal. Monitor how these changes affect your blood sugar levels.
  • Track your ketone levels. Ketosis is a natural process that occurs during fasting, starvation, or while on a low carbohydrate diet. If you’re able to produce ketones in your body, this indicates that you are using fat for energy instead of glucose.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. So it’s a good idea to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Related: A Detailed Guide on Managing Type 2 Diabetes With Keto

Summary

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat based nutrition program. This type of eating plan can help you lose weight, improve your blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the number of medications you need.

The only way to find out if it’s right for you is to try it in a healthy manner. Ensure you consult with your doctor before beginning this diet and monitor how it affects your blood sugar levels.

If more carbohydrates are added into your diet without being monitored, then your blood sugar levels may increase again, and glucose control may be lost.

Decreased carbohydrate intake has been shown to have a greater impact on HbA1c levels than weight loss alone in many cases.

So monitoring your carbohydrate count is important and can help you to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

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