You’re probably aware of all the talk about the ketogenic or keto diet, one of the most popular among celebrities and supermodels who have given the fad diet a seal of approval. But should you follow this type of diet if you have health problems like diabetes? Certainly, the diet carries its risks for people with type 1 diabetes, but in terms of controlling type 2 diabetes, several studies suggest that the answer is not that simple. Some scientific data show that your meal plan can be helpful, while other research, such as a study published in Nutrients, highlights the importance of whole grains in the diets of people with diabetes, a restricted food category in the Keto diet.
What Are The Benefits
While this diet can offer many potential benefits for diabetes control, following it requires a serious commitment. It is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Following the diet means reducing carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams of carbohydrate per day, while increasing fat and protein intake, according to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To put that into perspective the whole discussion about its benefits and problems, a person with an average unrestricted diet eats many more carbohydrates at a typical meal, which is why the control is so restrictive. In just one bag of chips there are already more than 51 grams of carbohydrates. The good news is that changes in the keto diet reduce insulin levels and eventually lead the body to a state of ketosis, during which fat is burned instead of carbohydrates.
Always remember to consult your doctor, but if you use insulin, you may need to immediately decrease the amount from 30% to 50% as soon as you enter ketosis. For those living with Type 1 diabetes, this can help significantly with the control of high levels and hypoglycemia. As with any diet, precautions should be taken. Pregnant women and people with kidney disease are not good candidates for this diet. The trick to reaping the benefits of the keto diet is to stay in ketosis, which means keeping your carbohydrates at 5% or less of your calories. The 5% can fall between 20 to 50 grams a day.
However, if you miss an insulin injection while you’re in deep ketosis, you’re likely to be quite sick, so it’s probably best to avoid the risk and keep the carbohydrates at the upper end of this spectrum. This diet may be unsustainable as a long-term way of life for many people, but if you have iron willpower and a desire to try a restrictive diet that still allows you to enjoy fatty meats and oils, a keto diet may well be the way you can help control your diabetes while controlling your weight.