Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people around the world. While there is no cure, there are treatments available that can help manage the disease.
One such treatment is the ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
A new study has found that the ketogenic diet may help improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Let us discuss this in detail as to how much keto can be effective and what are the possible health risks associated with it.
What Is Keto?
Keto is a high fat, low carb diet that forces your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. This process is called ketosis and is what makes the Keto diet so effective for weight loss and diabetes management.
The standard American diet (SAD) is full of processed foods, sugars, and carbs which can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. The Keto diet focuses on healthy fats and proteins to help stabilize blood sugar levels and manage diabetes symptoms.
A recent study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found that the ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study followed 24 participants with type 2 diabetes who were placed on a ketogenic diet for 16 weeks.
At the end of the study, the participants had significantly lower blood sugar levels and A1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control). The participants also lost weight and had less hunger throughout the day.
The ketogenic diet may offer a new way to manage type 2 diabetes and improve blood sugar control.
Another study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, looked at 20 participants with type 2 diabetes.
Half of the participants were put on a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks, while the other half continued with their usual diabetes treatment.
The results showed that the participants who followed the ketogenic diet had improved blood sugar control and reduced their need for insulin.
“Our findings suggest that the ketogenic diet could be an effective option for managing type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Dr. SimonKindle-Smith. ” larger and longer studies are needed to confirm these results.”
If you are interested in trying the ketogenic diet, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to create a plan that is right for you.
How Does The Keto Diet Work?
Keto or the ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The main goal of the diet is to get your body into a state of ‘ketosis’. This is when your body starts to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
When your diet includes ingredients high in carbs, your body is known to create glucose and insulin. Your body converts glucose to use it as energy since it is the easiest molecule to break down for the said purpose so that is what it will choose to do. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.
The problem with this is that too much insulin can be just as harmful as too little. When there is more glucose than your body needs, the excess is stored as fat. This is why eating a high carbohydrate diet can cause weight gain and obesity.
The keto diet works by drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. This forces your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When your body is in ketosis, it is using a completely different metabolic pathway to produce energy.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective in treating epilepsy in children. It is also being studied as a potential treatment for other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
A new study suggests that the keto diet may also be effective in managing diabetes. The study was conducted and the findings were considered quite promising.
The study found that the keto diet was able to improve blood sugar control in patients with diabetes. The diet also prevented the development of diabetes in individuals that were at risk for the disease.
Benefits Of A Keto Diet For Diabetic Patients
There are many benefits of a keto diet for diabetic patients.
1) The ketogenic diet can help to lower blood sugar levels, as well as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can really help to improve type 2 diabetes.
2) The ketogenic diet can also help to improve A1c levels, lower triglyceride levels, raise HDL cholesterol levels, and help to lower blood pressure as well.
3) The keto diet may also help manage diabetic neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
4) It can also promote weight loss, and help to reduce the need for medication by managing diabetes.
5) The ketogenic diet can also help to increase energy levels and help with fatigue. It can also improve your mood and make you feel less hungry.
6) The keto diet can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other complications of diabetes.
7) The keto diet is very safe and effective as it has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Possible Health Risks Of Keto For Diabetic Patients
There can be some potential health risks for people with diabetes who try the keto diet. For example, a very low-carbohydrate diet may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.
The keto diet may also increase the risk for some types of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions which include-
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when blood sugar (glucose) levels drop too low. People with diabetes who take insulin or other blood sugar-lowering medications are at risk of developing hypoglycemia if they do not eat enough carbohydrates.
Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that can occur in people with type 1 diabetes and occasionally in people with type 2 diabetes. It happens when the body produces high levels of ketones, a type of acid, and the blood becomes too acidic.
3) Kidney stones
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing kidney stones. The keto diet may increase this risk because it causes dehydration and promotes the formation of urinary crystals.
4) Digestive issues
People with diabetes may experience digestive issues on the keto diet, such as constipation and diarrhea. This is because the diet can cause changes in bowel habits and lead to dehydration.
Fatigue is a common side effect of the keto diet. This is because the body is not getting enough carbohydrates for energy. People with diabetes may find that they are especially susceptible to fatigue on the keto diet.
Anemia is a condition that occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. The keto diet may increase the risk for anemia because it can cause iron deficiency.
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bones become weak and fragile. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, and the keto diet may further increase this risk.
8) Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are a common side effect of the keto diet. This is because the diet can cause electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to muscle cramping.
9) Heart arrhythmias
Heart arrhythmias are a potential complication of the keto diet. This is because the diet can cause low blood sugar, which can trigger arrhythmias.
10) Interactions with medications
The keto diet can interact with some medications, such as insulin, and may cause dangerous side effects. People with diabetes should talk to their healthcare providers about any potential medication interactions before starting the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective in treating epilepsy in children, but there is limited research on its use in adults. The American Academy of Neurology does not recommend the diet for adults with epilepsy. There is also limited research on the keto diet’s effects on type 2 diabetes. A small study published in 2018 found that the keto diet improved blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, but the participants were only followed for 24 weeks, so it’s unclear if the diet would be effective in the long term.
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can potentially lead to weight loss and other health benefits. However, the diet may also cause some potential health risks, especially for people with diabetes. Before starting the keto diet, people with diabetes should talk to their healthcare providers about any potential risks and benefits.
For diabetic patients who want to try the keto diet, it’s important to work with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to create a meal plan. This ensures that you get the right amount of nutrients and calories to manage diabetes while adhering to the keto diet.
A typical ketogenic diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. This macronutrient ratio can be achieved by following a specific food plan or by making simple substitutions in your current diet.
1) You could replace high-carb foods such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and fruit with low-carb alternatives such as cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, and berries.
2) You could also swap out cooking oils and dressings for avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
3) And instead of snacking on crackers or pretzels, you could try nuts or seeds.
If you’re interested in trying the keto diet, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian first to see if it’s right for you. They can help you create a meal plan that fits your diabetes goals and lifestyle.
To conclude, a keto diet may help manage diabetes by improving blood sugar levels and reducing the need for insulin. But, one shouldn’t start the diet without the guidance of a doctor or registered dietitian, as they can help you create a meal plan that fits your diabetes goals and lifestyle. Be mindful of the short-term or long-term health risks when it comes to ketosis and carefully make any drastic diet changes without hampering the current state of your healthy body.