Diabetes and the keto diet

What is A “Keto” Diet?

With the recent surge of health consciousness, the prevalence of the “keto” diet has subsequently increased in many households. With benefits such as weight loss, an increase in energy and lowering one’s blood pressure, it comes with no surprise that this diet has been progressively popularised.

Commonly known as the “keto” diet, the ketogenic or low-carb, high fat (LCHF) diet is one which primarily aims to reduce the intake of carbohydrates and increase fat intake.  This is to help the body achieve a metabolic state known as “ketosis”. Ketosis occurs when there is a shortage of glucose (sugar) in the body. Hence, it consequently burns fat in the body to create ketones in the liver, which can then be used as the body’s new source of fuel or energy. 

Benefits of Keto Diet in Diabetics

Type 2 diabetes is defined as the body’s decreased response or production of insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is required for the control of blood sugar levels. The keto diet may prove as effective for persons with type 2 diabetes in some aspects, as it eases some diabetic symptoms. Here are a few benefits of the keto diet in people with diabetes:

  1. Helps with weight loss
  2. Reduces sugar spikes leading to better control of sugar levels
  3. Lessens reliance on diabetic medications
  4. Decreases LDL “bad” cholesterol while increasing HDL “good” cholesterol

Keto Diet Rules in Diabetics

On the other hand, the keto diet simultaneously poses potential risks to their health if not properly managed. Some rules that help to regulate the keto diet so that you can gain benefits while also reducing possible side effects. As such, here are some keto diet rules that diabetics need to abide by: 

  • ·         Consult with your doctor/ dietician

As diabetes is a medical condition, you will have to consult a medical professional before starting your keto diet. Moreover, you can also seek help from your dietician who can further guide and help with the creation of meal plans. Being in constant contact with a medical professional can help to eliminate any adverse side effects.

  • ·         Regularly test sugar levels

Regularly checking your sugar levels is another critical rule that you have to abide by. The keto diet has a positive impact on your insulin and blood sugar levels leading to decreased levels for both. However, make sure to conduct routine blood glucose checks to guarantee it has not dropped to dangerous levels, or it remains critically elevated.

  • ·         Regularly test ketone levels

Despite the, there are adverse effects of raised blood ketone levels. Furthermore, elevated ketone levels can be the result of diabetic ketoacidosis, a possibly fatal complication of uncontrolled diabetes. A few side effects include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Mental confusion

Conclusion

The ketogenic diet has become a popular diet plan that has been proven to be beneficial in diabetes. However, in addition to its benefits, there are a few critical keto diet rules that you have to adhere to. This will ensure that you can receive optimal results while also maintaining excellent health. If you are considering switching to the keto diet, make sure that you consult with your doctor beforehand.

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