The Keto Diet and Diabetes


Diabetes is a chronic condition that keeps your body from using insulin the way it should. People with type 2 disease have insulin resistance. It causes blood glucose levels to become too high. Diabetes can be managed by following a healthy diet plan and maintaining body weight.

A ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate-protein, and low carbohydrate eating plan. Its ultimate goal is to force the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates and may help to reduce blood glucose levels.

A significant portion of the diet is saturated and unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, butter, and coconut oil. About 20-30% of the diet is protein, whether lean or fatty, like chicken breast and bacon.

Your carbohydrate intake should not exceed 15-30g net carbs per day, but the lower the better. You should strictly limit carbs, even those that are usually considered healthy like beans, whole wheat grains, milk, fruits, and vegetables.


After a few days of keto, the body runs out of glucose, and it starts burning fats to compensate metabolic energy requirements. The process of using ketones and fats as a primary fuel of the body is called ketosis.

Impact on Blood Sugar (Glucose) Levels

The ketogenic diet can aid to control blood sugar levels making the Keto diet beneficial for diabetics. A keto diet may help some patients with type 2 diabetes because it allows the body to uphold blood sugar levels at a low but healthy level. The lower consumption of carbohydrates in the diet can assist in removing large spikes in blood sugar, reducing the requirement of insulin.

If you’re insulin resistant, you have higher blood glucose levels because your body isn’t responding properly to the hormone insulin. You could benefit from nutritional ketosis because your body will need and make less insulin.

Impact on Medication

Studies have shown that some patients with type 2 diabetes who also follow a ketogenic diet plan are capable of reducing their need for medication. However, scientists have forewarned that the people following the keto diet along with an insulin regimen may have an increased risk of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). Hypoglycemia arises when blood sugar levels fall to 70 mg per deciliter (mg/dL) or less. So, it is essential to discuss any diet changes with your doctor while taking insulin medicines.

Impact on Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet is beneficial for weight loss as it promotes fat consumption and converts the body from a carbohydrate-burning machine to a fat-burning system. There are various reasons why keto is more effective than a low-fat diet, including increased protein intake. Higher protein intake is advantageous for weight loss and metabolic health. Unlike many other diets, keto will not leave you hungry after eating a limited number of calories per day. The ketogenic diet is a satisfying and filling method of dieting. You can lose weight without tracking calories; it is something that refrains many people from cohering to other diets.


  • Heart disease: The ketogenic diet can reduce body fats by maintaining cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, lowering risk factors for heart disease.
  • Cancer: Keto diet slows down the growth of tumors hence eliminating the risk of advanced-stage cancers.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Keto helps to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or slow its spread. Research is ongoing in this regard.
  • Epilepsy: Researches have shown that the keto diet can cause a significant reduction in the number of seizures experienced by the epileptic patient, especially children.
  • Parkinson’s disease: One study produced proves that the diet helped in treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: Keto diet can lower insulin levels in the body, which may play a role in eradicating polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Brain injuries: A study conducted on animals found that keto can assist in concussion recovery and recovery of the post-brain injury.
  • Acne: Ingesting less sugar and processed foods (lower insulin levels) helps improve acne and reduce the frequency of breakouts.
  • Diabetes: Keto can treat insulin resistance and fat loss, which are significant benefits for people with type 2 diabetes (or prediabetes).

Meal Planning

Foods that should be taken:

  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey.
  • Full-fat dairy: Yogurt, butter, and cream.
  • Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, almond, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, and flaxseeds.
  • Full- fat cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, goat cheese, brie, and cream cheese.
  • Fatty fish: Wild-caught salmon, herring, and mackerel.
  • Nut butter: Natural peanut, almond, and cashew butter.
  • Condiments: Salt, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, fresh herbs, and spices.
  • Avocados: Any meal or snack can contain the whole avocado.
  • Healthy fats: Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut butter, and sesame oil.
  • Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers.
  • Condiments: Salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and spices.
  • Meat: Grass-fed beef, venison, pork, organ meats, and bison. Fatty meats are good but should be eaten in moderation to be conscious of heart health. Also, be aware of consuming too much protein. Combining a high level of protein with low levels of carbohydrates may cause the liver to convert the protein into glucose. This would raise blood glucose levels.
  • Bread and baked goods, Sweets and sugary foods, Sweetened beverages, Pasta, Grains, and grain products, Starchy vegetables, Beans and legumes, Fruit ( Citrus, grapes, bananas, and pineapple), High-carb sauces, Certain alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Side Effects of Keto Diet

As the ketogenic diet involves switching of primary fule of energy, it can lead to some adverse effects.

Short term effects:

These include:

  • keto-flu, a short-term group of symptoms similar to the flue.
  • uncomfortable leg cramps
  • loss of salts
  • mental fogginess
  • headaches
  • a noticeable loss of energy
  • considerable changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • frequent urination

In most cases, the side effects are not everlasting. People often experience no long-term health problems.

Long term effects:

These include:

  • development of kidney stones and an elevated risk of bone fractures due to acidosis.
  • As a low-carb diet often involves additional fat consumption, there might be a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), due to the accumulation  of fats in the arteries. People with diabetes already have a higher risk of CVD.
  • Other problems include the risk of dyslipidemia and rise in hypoglycemic episodes.
  • Children also experience stunted growth, due to reduced levels of an insulin-like growth factor that can lead to bone erosion. This means weak bones that are highly susceptible to fractures when a person follows the keto diet.

There is a lack of proof about the long-term safety and effectiveness of the ketogenic diet, and scientists have called for more primary studies and more evidence before recommending this diet.


Consult your doctor before you go for the ketogenic diet. For some patients with diabetes, especially those who need to lose weight, this way of eating can help improve symptoms and reduces the need for medication. But for others, the keto diet could make diabetes worse.

Adding carbohydrates back in all at once can cause blood sugar level spikes and weight gain.

Originally posted 2020-08-31 22:15:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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