If you have diabetes, the Ketogenic diet may be perfect for you! It can help begin to reverse type 2 diabetes, and help improve blood sugar control in those with type 1 diabetes. Here’s what you need to know.
The Ketogenic Diet
If you haven’t heard all the craze about the Ketogenic diet yet, here’s a quick rundown. The Ketogenic Diet is a low carb, high fat diet which is designed to put the body into a metabolic state known as Ketosis.
When you eat something that’s high in carbs, the body transforms those carbs into glucose and insulin. By starving the body of those carbs, (and that glucose) our bodies will begin to look for another form of energy and enter a metabolic state known as Ketosis. When we take away the glucose, it lowers the insulin levels which in turn allows the body to burn fats as it’s primary source of energy!
When you have a disease like diabetes, you have to be careful about what you put into your body. It’s important to know the effects a diet might have on your condition before you dive in.
Ketogenic Diet and Type 1 Diabetes
It’s important to know that type 1 diabetes can’t just be reversed with a new diet. However, according to current evidence, the right diet can help slow progression and reduce insulin needs. If a patient is still able to produce some insulin, the right diet can reduce the need for medication.
According to one study on 22 patients with type 1 diabetes, patients had less low blood sugar episodes and required less insulin after restricting their carb intake for three months.
A similar result was found in another study that reduced the carb intake of 48 people who had diabetes for over 12 years. The 20 who adhered to the diet experienced a decrease in A1C after three months.
Reducing your carbohydrate intake can have drastic changes in your body, so it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any new diet.
Ketogenic Diet and Type 2 Diabetes
The Ketogenic diet may be able to reverse type 2 diabetes. It has been shown to improve blood sugar levels while also reducing the need for insulin.
The diet is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because of the reduction of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body, which could cause blood sugar spikes.
By focusing on eating more fat instead of carbohydrates, you can reduce the number of blood sugar spikes. Again, it’s important to consult with your doctor before trying a new diet.
The keto diet causes an increase in ketones in your blood.
People with diabetes who try the keto diet may be at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when your blood becomes acidic from too many ketones. Although it’s more prevalent in those with type 1 diabetes, it can also happen in those with type 2 diabetes.
Getting sick while on the diet may also increase your risk of DKA. This is why it’s important to make sure you are getting plenty of electrolytes and monitor your ketone levels throughout the day.
Discuss all the risks with your doctor before deciding if the keto diet is the right choice for you. You may discover it’s exactly what you need to reverse the damaging effects that diabetes can have on your health.