The Keto Diet and Diabetes: Here’s What You Need to Know
The keto diet has become increasingly popular over the past few years and is recommended by many celebrities. If you are an individual with diabetes, you may have even heard that it can be beneficial. However, it can be challenging to understand, and you probably have some questions. How can cutting out so many things be good for you?
In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the keto diet and diabetes so you can weigh up the pros and cons yourself. Let’s get started.
What is ketosis
In short terms, “ketosis” is the name for a metabolic state where your body uses fat for energy instead of carbs. In order to reach it, you have to limit your carb consumption to around 20-50 grams a day and focus on filling yourself up on fats, which include meat, eggs, nuts, etc.
You can use a blood glucose meter to help measure your ketone levels, but there are also urine and breath tests available.
How it may help with diabetes
While further research needs to be done to clarify the benefits keto has for diabetes, it has shown promising results. This type of diet can help reduce blood sugar levels which may even stop the need for medication. Alongside this, excess weight that can be contributing to the condition can potentially be lost.
Other potential benefits
Alongside the advantages that the diet has for diabetes, there are other benefits that can also be taken into consideration. These include but are not limited to:
- Reduced acne
- Reduced appetite
- Potentially reduced seizures
- Possibility to improve heart health
- Reduced risk of certain cancers
- Potential mood stabilizer for those with bipolar disorder
The side effects and disadvantages
Just like all diets, there are always going to be disadvantages and risks. With keto, there are actually quite a few because it is physically changing your metabolism. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Low blood sugar – While it can be a benefit, levels that are too low can lead to hypoglycemia and other complications.
- Kidney stones
- Mineral/vitamin deficiencies
- The keto flu – A group of symptoms that appear after starting the diet. It can include the things listed above, as well as irritability, foggy brain, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.
Alongside all of this, it’s important to remember that some people shouldn’t try this diet. Individuals with kidney disease, eating disorders, pregnant/breastfeeding women, and those dependent on insulin should avoid it. Otherwise, there are other more serious issues that can occur.
If you are thinking of trying out the keto diet to assist with your diabetes or weight loss, the first thing you should do is speak to your doctor. They will be able to give you the best advice and determine whether it will be beneficial for you. It would be best if you never made a dramatic change to your diet without seeking advice first.