A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate way of eating that is becoming popular for its health benefits. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet? And does it have any benefits for people with diabetes? Here’s what you need to know about the keto diet for type 2 diabetes:
Is the ketogenic diet safe for people with type 2 diabetes?
The ketogenic diet is not for everyone. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate plan that may work well for people with type 2 diabetes and other health issues. However, it can be dangerous for anyone who has kidney disease or is pregnant.
People who have read about the ketogenic diet online may want to try it on their own without consulting a doctor first–but this isn’t advisable because of potential complications and side effects from going off your medication without supervision from an expert in diabetes management or nutrition counseling (and there are no doctors who specialize in this field). If you have questions about whether this type of diet would be safe for you based on your personal health history or current medications, talk with your primary care provider before making any changes.*
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. It involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy–a process called ketone production.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, when you burn fat instead of carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel. When you eat something high in carbohydrates (like bread), your body converts those carbs into glucose and uses them for energy instead of burning fat stores like it should do on a normal diet plan!
Low-carb vs. keto for diabetes
The ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate protein eating plan. It’s similar to the Atkins diet in that it restricts carbs, but it differs from low-carb diets in that it focuses on keeping your body in a state of ketosis. This means you’re consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day (and sometimes less than 20).
Keto vs Low Carb: What’s the Difference?
While both approaches involve limiting your intake of carbohydrates, there are key differences between them:
- The keto diet allows for more fat than other low-carb diets do–upwards of 70% or more calories from fat depending on how strict you follow it–and limits proteins slightly more than some other versions do (to about 20%). On top of that, depending on how long you’ve been doing keto and whether or not you have any health issues like diabetes (which means checking with your doctor), this could mean eating even less protein than what’s recommended above!
Reintroducing carbs to a keto diet
If you are following a ketogenic diet and want to reintroduce carbs, there is an easy way to do it. First, aim for anywhere from 30-50 grams of net carbs per day. This means that if you eat 100 grams of carbs, subtract the fiber content (which is not digestible) and subtract that number from 100. This leaves you with how many grams of actual digestible carbohydrates are in your food or drink. If this number is greater than 30-50 grams per day, then slowly add back in some amount of carbohydrates until it falls within this range.
As far as what types go into those 30-50 net grams per day: choose fruits like berries and apples; vegetables such as carrots or broccoli; beans/legumes like chickpeas or black beans; low glycemic index starches such as sweet potatoes (but watch out for high amounts!). And remember–the higher the fiber content in any given food item on its own list (that’s not including sugar substitutes), the better!
Getting started on a low-carb or ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes
The first step in getting started on a low-carb or ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. It’s not necessary to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, but you should limit them so that you are eating fewer than 100 grams per day.
If you’re used to eating lots of carbs, this may seem like an impossible task at first. However, there are many ways that you can make small adjustments over time so that by the end of the week you’ve cut back significantly on your daily intake while still enjoying meals and snacks that are satisfying and delicious!
Next comes increasing carbohydrates gradually (if desired). Once your blood sugar level has stabilized after cutting back on carbs, it’s time for another test: monitor what happens when adding some back into the mix?
There is some research that suggests that a very low carbohydrate diet may improve blood sugar control and reduce insulin resistance, but more research is needed.
There is some research that suggests that a very low carbohydrate diet may improve blood sugar control and reduce insulin resistance, but more research is needed. It is not clear whether this will help people lose weight or improve their risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
It’s important to note that not all studies have shown that a ketogenic diet is effective for type 2 diabetes. A 2018 review of 13 studies found that the keto diet did not improve blood sugar control, but some patients experienced improvements in cholesterol levels and weight loss.