How the Keto Diet can Benefit Diabetes Patients

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been labeled a global pandemic reflecting the far-ranging socioeconomic changes the society has been exposed to. If T2D is to be slowed or halted, randomized and proved therapeutic and dietary strategies need to be adopted. This is where the keto diet comes in. Clinical studies and case reports show that diabetes reversal can be achieved through a ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is highly effective in type 2 diabetes. It is great at reducing weight and lowering blood glucose levels.  With the many endless options for diabetes which are clearly fads and don’t always work to balance blood sugar and glycemic control, does the science behind the keto diet truly work? Is keto good for diabetics and how long does it take to get diabetes?

Diabetes type 2 develops gradually. The moment beta cells stop making enough insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise. It is a process that could take up to 10 years to surface. Firsthand accounts show that the keto natural treatment for diabetes type 2 decreases and controls blood glucose levels. Wind up your energy levels and eliminate diabetes by paying attention to your blood glucose with the help of the keto diet.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

It is a high-fat low-carb diet that has been rated highly since 1920, and is moderate in protein. Because it is a natural treatment containing low carbs, it targets hormonal imbalances and the cycle of restricting empty calories resulting from hunger which many diabetes dieters struggle with. As a result of the low carbohydrate intake, the keto diet does work in type 2 diabetes.

Because diabetes and carb intake are strongly linked, it takes a unique approach to health improvement and weight loss. With this diet, you are not exposed to limiting portion sizes, counting calories, or engaging in extreme exercises. Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat. It means if you restrict the number of carbs, your body has to get fuel from fat. It switches from being a sugar (or glucose) burner to a dietary fat burner.

This diet restricts the intake of carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day, putting the body in a natural metabolic state referred to as ketosis. In this state, the body receives high levels of ketones (acidic molecules) in the tissue and blood. Your body has two ketone bodies that circulate in your blood including Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and Acetoacetate (AcAc).

These ketones function as fuel alternatives to glucose, making them highly effective for diabetics who are unable to use glucose efficiently. This ketogenic diet approach keeps your blood levels low and reduces the need for insulin because carbs are replaced with fats in a diabetes case. Notice that carbs cause diabetes. Healthy foods commonly eaten in keto diet include eggs, fish, avocado, and olive oil.

Benefits of Ketogenic Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, you know the importance of paying attention to your diet. In that case, you might want to try the ketogenic diet as opposed to the maple syrup and other unverified options used for diabetes treatment. This diet reduces highly processed carbs and increases healthy fats such as grass-fed butter, nuts, avocado, and seafood.

A ketogenic menu can be very effective, offering a valuable range of health benefits. Studies show that nutritional ketosis leads to major improvements in weight loss and controlling blood glucose. Other common upsides of the diet include:

  •   Individuals may feel less hungry with fewer cravings
  •   Effective weight management
  •   Raised HDL cholesterol levels
  •   May help improve A1C test results
  •   Helps lower triglyceride levels
  •   Decreased blood glucose levels
  •   Increased energy for cardio workouts
  •   Individual may be less dependent on medications

Here, we review the science behind the benefits brought about by the diet.

Weight Loss

Weight loss tops the list of the diet’s benefits because it is often substantial and can occur very quickly. A 2014 review shows that the ketogenic nutritional approach is linked to a biomechanical and physiological basis that induces effective weight loss. It was also seen to improve various cardiovascular risk factors. Being a high fat low-carb diet, it can through hormonal effects lessen hunger and boost weight loss. The diet is also high in fats and proteins, two macronutrients known to reduce the craving of junk, sweets, and empty calories.

Blood Glucose Control

The ketogenic diet lowers and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Of the three macronutrients in the diet including carbs, fats, and proteins, Carbohydrates raise blood sugar the most. Because this diet advocates for very low carbs, a rise in blood sugar is eliminated. Keto is known to reduce HbA1c levels. If blood glucose control is maintained over several years, diabetes can be reversed.

Insulin for Diabetes Type 2 Sensitivity Restoration

Given the prevalence of insulin resistance, one of the best ways to treat it is by modifying lifestyle behaviors. Adjusting your diet to keto is one of them. A ketogenic diet is highly effective at restoring the ability of the body to respond to insulin. This diet eliminates high levels of insulin in the body. Low carbohydrate levels mean reduced insulin. When the levels of insulin are low, the body is able to break down fat cells.

If you are diabetic and want to try keto, check your blood sugar regularly and ensure you also take your insulin as directed by your physician. Adopting it means diabetics should adjust their insulin dosages. Therefore, monitor the renal function while following a ketogenic diet.

7 steps to reverse diabetes

Can diabetes be reversed? This is a question every diabetic asks. Considering its significant complications including amputation, dementia, kidney failure among others, many people believe that diabetes is not reversible. A lot of studies also claim that obesity is hard to treat and achieving long-term weight loss can be tough. With the right lifestyle and nutrition, a diabetes reversal is possible. Here are 7 key steps to treat and reverse diabetes alongside a ketogenic diet.

  • Eliminate the sugar
  • Stock up whole, unprocessed foods
  • Indulge in the right diabetes type 2 nutrients offered by the ketogenic diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep enough
  • Control your stress levels
  • Use your medications such as the diabetes insulin pill if need be.

Is a Ketogenic Diet Good for Diabetics

Ketogenic is not for everyone. If you have hyperglycemia, Muscular Dystrophy, liver, kidney disease, or you are recovering from an eating disorder, you might want to skip it. The body’s primary source of energy is carbohydrates. When the energy source is changed to fats, an increase of ketones in the blood can occur.

Ketosis is a dangerous condition. When the blood has too many ketones, you may develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is common in type 1 diabetes when blood glucose rises mostly resulting from a lack of insulin. Lack of proper planning when adopting a ketogenic regimen causes the body of an individual with type 1 diabetes to believe it is being starved. As such, it breaks down proteins and fats into ketones too fast. People with little pancreatic function resulting from diabetes type 2 are also at risk. Should you get ill when on the low carb diet, the risk of DKA which is a medical emergency could increase.  DKA can result in diabetic coma. Its symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • High blood sugar throughout the day
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty in breathing

Although ketogenic nutrition can still be adopted, it is necessary that you let your doctor know before you start. Your doctor should help you monitor ketone to prevent the occurrence of ketoacidosis.

Is the diet safe for diabetics? The answer is yes. If you are on ketogenic and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, test your blood sugar levels to be sure you are within the target range. Consider having your ketone levels tested. Screening should be done before going low on carbs to rule out any conditions such as resistance to insulin. If the diet does not work, you could never go wrong with the Mediterranean diet. It is a nutritionally balanced meal plan that includes fresh ingredients from lean meat, fish, whole grain, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables.