People can go on and on about different diets, one of the most popular ones being the keto diet. But is the keto diet good for diabetics? Read on to know!
Is Keto Diet Good for Diabetics?
With the growing demand for a healthy life and beach bodies, everyone is running crazy for the diet culture and exercising.
Today, it is a thing of embarrassment if you are not in this flock of working out and dieting.
In this article, you are going to find:
- How does the ketogenic diet work in the normal body?
- How does the ketogenic diet work in a diabetic body?
- Benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet
- Measure to take care of while on a Keto diet
Diet and Trends
Today, if you will search for how to lose weight or similar on the search engine, you are going to find several diet strategies and workout schedules to help you out.
You will find low-calorie, low-fat, vegan, Mediterranean, and many more. But, the trend works a little bit differently in a diabetic body.
In a vegan diet, you go totally off the hook from products that come from animals. You will have to watch out for your calorie in minus calories out of the system in a low-calorie diet.
Meanwhile, in a ketogenic diet, your target enemy is carbohydrate intake, you have to work on your macros.
Many people talk about going on keto or vegan, or paleo diets to achieve their maximum health. Here we will see what exactly are the Ketogenic diets.
What is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic or keto diet is a diet plan that is nothing new but has been in the diet culture for centuries. Earlier doctors used the ketogenic diet to treat various disorders and diseases, of course, and diabetes is among them.
It is a low carbohydrate diet in which you decrease your carbohydrate intake to 10% of your daily intake, i.e., the daily carb intake goes to less than 50 grams per day.
Some people even go with their carb intake for as low as 20 grams per day, which is crazy considering that a normal slice of bread contains 49 grams of carbs.
In a balanced diet, one maintains a ratio of carb:protein: fat but in a keto diet, your macros go like Fat:Protein: Carb, you go the highest in your fat intake and lowest in your carb intake during moderate protein intake.
The low-carb diet or the ketogenic diet demands you to cut back on your carb sources like whole grains or other processed foods while having a considerate amount of fat intake from non-veg or veg sources.
Since everywhere you hear keto diets and ketogenic diets, it doesn’t mean keto is only one type of specific diet, there are not one, but many types of the ketogenic diet that exist, and people prefer it according to their needs.
Types of Keto Diets :
- STANDARDS: Here, your usual macros intake goes like 70%fats, 20%protiens, and 10%carbs.
- HIGH PROTEIN KETO DIET: In this diet, your protein levels go up to 35% from the 20% in your standard keto diet, and the rest remains the same.
- CYCLIC DIET: This diet involves a cycle of carb intake like some days of the ketogenic diet and weekends are normal, where you can consume carbs
- TARGETED KETO DIET: In this diet, you target your carb intake around a specific time, usually before the workout sessions.
Diabetes is a chronic disease or rather a chronic condition of the human body. Your pancreas organ either stops producing or cannot produce a sufficient amount of insulin in a body to maintain health.
In this situation, the body manages diabetes either through an insulin regimen or medication. But only medication cant be your weapon against diabetes.
It requires a complete lifestyle change to survive, like changing dietary habits, sleeping habits, Exercising, or simply moving your body as a diabetes therapy to increase or maintain the health status.
Diabetes is all about counting your carb intake and treating your body accordingly, especially if you are on insulin therapy. There are different carbs: insulin as set by their doctors for every diabetic body for blood sugar control.
How Does Keto Diet Work?
In every ketogenic diet, you cut back on carbs, depriving your body of the glucose needed to function properly. Here, if your body doesn’t have the proper amount of carbs in it, it will start taking energy from the stored fats that will provide ketones, the alternative for carbs.
This diet is called the “keto” genetic diet because your body will be taking energy from ketones rather than carbs. The stored fats that will provide ketones in the liver will supply energy to your brain. Hence, your stored fats will work out, and you will lose weight.
This is called the state of ketosis when your body burns fat from fat cells and does not use glucose to function. Ketosis has been proven effective in many people to aid weight loss.
A low carbohydrate ketogenic diet means you can have a plate full of healthy fats like fish, meat, nuts, and eggs.
A research paper on “Effect of the ketogenic diet on health” was done in 2020 by A.Alharbi and N.saleh stated that the ketogenic diet is not an ideal option for long-term settlement as it can affect the heart and other internal organs because after a stage body loses its energy and enter into the state of malnutrition, which can be fatal.
Thus, the ketogenic diet is medically reviewed by many researchers and still is a part of the research of many theorists; many of them indicate their benefits. Still, most of them withdraw their support for long-term ideas.
(Click here to read the full research)
How Does Ketogenic Diet Work in a Diabetic Body?
Diabetes is a condition where you control your blood sugar because your pancreas has either stopped working or doesn’t produce enough insulin hormone.
Numerous people with diabetes try different ways to tackle their blood sugar management and have thought about choosing a ketogenic diet for their lifestyle.
Since the diabetic body functions on carbs and artificial insulin, the ketogenic diet works differently in the health and wellness of a diabetic body.
Losing weight can be difficult for people with diabetes, and they tend to dwell on fad diets and shortcuts more easily. A ketogenic diet versus diabetes medications is another major vicious circle when trying to lose weight in a diabetic body.
When you do not consume carbs or consume a minimal amount of them in a normal body, your stored fats start producing the stored energy in the form of ketones.
Still, in a diabetic body, when you will run out of carbs, your body will come to a stage of hypoglycemia, and your sugar levels will drop. Hence you are at risk of developing diabetic coma, which is a state of unconsciousness due to extremely high blood sugars or low blood sugars.
That is why it is suggested that diabetics not opt for a ketogenic diet for any purpose.
Advantages of the Keto Diet:
The keto diet has been a weapon against many diseases throughout history, like diabetes, fatty liver conditions, and many more.
Although with many criticisms, the keto diet has proven some of its benefits, even if they are short-term.
- One of the major benefits is weight loss, although when you stay away from carbs, you eventually lose the water weight first, which sometimes seems like a drastic change in some people’s bodies. But, still, less carb intake has been proven helpful in weight loss. Try to focus on lean meats, starchy vegetables, and as you can have fats, prefer olive oil in your diet as it contains heart-healthy fats, and keep off processed food.
- A low-carb or keto diet has proven effective in managing blood sugar levels, like controlling HbA1c and fighting insulin resistance meanwhile creating insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes or without.
- The keto diet depresses appetite; hence you won’t feel hungry much, which will automatically lead to less calorie consumption, and therefore people lose weight. Although, Eating foods that contain fibre and have a good amount of water content works similarly in the body.
- Detoxification can be considered one of its benefits because when you are keeping off the bagel and bag of chips, your body will be safe from the harms of preservatives and refined flour. Also, the low carbohydrate diet will help you use your stored energy which is another style of detoxification for your body.
Disadvantages of the Keto Diet:
With all the trends to have a slim body you can, humans now are ready to do everything to shed those extra pounds and keep the weight loss possible as much as they can.
But in this rat maze, they tend to forget other body health and wellness functions and sometimes harm themselves even more.
The human body is supposed to function in a normal way, as it has been working and requires a proper amount of nutrition because besides gaining and losing weight, your body does a lot of functions that are necessary for survival like neurons transmission, breathing, digestion, immunity and many more.
For everything, the human body needs calories, which it burns to function as fuel for the body.
- Carbs form the calorie structure and provide the necessary fuel to the body. Now when you are on a low-carb diet, your brain and body will function on reserve, and they won’t be able to survive for much longer, i.e., there can be short circuits and faults in your body because of the deficiency. That is why it is suggested and has been proven by many researchers that the ketogenic diet is not a solution for long-term survival.
- Another disadvantage comes out to be that, in the initial stage, you might notice a drastic weight loss, but that is all water weight, and you are easily at risk of gaining all that back.
- A high-fat diet can cause cholesterol issues and other cardiovascular risks not in just a diabetic body but even in a normal body.
- Some claims might say that managing diabetes is easier when you are on a low-carb diet or keto diet, but the serious risk that should not be ignored is the risk of hypoglycemia and low blood sugar. Especially when you are a diabetic body on insulin therapy, you need to watch out for every sign of high blood glucose levels and lows. Not to ignore the extreme conditions and risk of diabetic coma.
- Very low-carb diets can be fatal for your internal organs; your body needs fuel to function for digestion, immunity, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, everything, literally everything. Low carbohydrate diets can harm the liver, eyes, kidneys, heart, and even brain. That is why it is suggested to have an adequate amount of macros in your body, whether diabetic or non-diabetic.
- Medically reviewed conclusions of the ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, or any other diets all have been said to run out of sustainability in the long run. If continued for more than usual timing, it can have more adverse issues. To solve this, it is suggested to do a cyclic program for every diet, wherein for certain periods, you are allowing your body to run back to normal for a few days or some few hours.
- Diabetes patients are requested not to follow the keto diet because of its deteriorating properties that will affect the equilibrium of their insulin-deficient body. Insulin levels will be confused, the irrational blood sugar spike and your body can be at risk of going into a state of shock.
Read more articles on Diabetes: How to Test for Diabetes At Home: 3 Best Techniques.
Is Keto Diet Good for Diabetic People?
After a lot of research by Lee Crosby and members did in 2021 on “ketogenic diets and chronic diseases: weighing the benefits against the risk” states the risk of failure to thrive, reduced bone density, and cardiovascular risk, that can be a hurdle in Type 1 diabetic body and hence it discourages the support of any kind of ketogenic diet in Type 1 diabetes.
In the case of Type 2 diabetes, people with diabetes medication were studied, and the keto diet did improve their insulin sensitivity.
Still, it was returned to the baseline after some time. In the matter of HbA1c, glycemic control did work through restricting carbs, but the result was no different than it could have come from any other diet.
This raises why you consider restricting your body and keeping yourself at high risk when you could have achieved the same through any other easier path.
Improved blood sugar control was noticed. However, there were no significant benefits in the body from the ketogenic diet, and even if there were a few, they faded over time.
Another issue in the process is that you will be included in all the cholesterol full and saturated fats like meat, poultry, and fish, which increases the risk of diabetes.
On the other hand, foods like fruits, whole grains, and other stuff were reduced considerably due to the diet requirements, which on the contrary, decreases the risk of diabetes.
Again, in people with diabetes of Type 2 diabetes, it was considered minimal beneficial and probably a waste of strength when no significant differences were being measured.
It is your body, and you decide what you should do with it, but after all the research and reviews, it doesn’t make any sense to still go for a ketogenic diet if you have diabetes.
Still, short-term benefits can be carried out from it while keeping a measure of your condition every couple of hours in a day. You need to see how many carbs you are consuming and how the insulin medications will be according to that.
Rather than a keto diet, focusing on your sugar intake and normal carb overlook is suggested if you have diabetes and looking to lose weight.
Every person with diabetes gets hungry after two hours; a quick pro-tip is to look for more water consumption and less sugar consumption, with more complex carbohydrates and vegetables to consume.
It will keep your system engaged for a longer, of its slow breakdown properties and will help you achieve your desired goals by keeping you full for a longer stretch.
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