The internet is flooded with keto diet articles. You too must have read dozens of them. The ketogenic diet or keto diet is actually a good concept that offers enormous benefits to your body. There are many keto diet foods you can try and bless yourself with a better physical as well as mental health. But do you know they can also help in diabetes? If you don’t, this article is for you. I have written this article after prolonged research and getting in touch with leading healthcare experts.
Here’s what I have discussed in this article:
Diabetes is not a serious problem if you take care of your health. Things go wrong when you start eating senselessly. If we talk about the keto diet, it is risky for people dealing with type 1 diabetes but helpful for the ones managing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to know what to eat and what not to, according to the health condition you are managing, and stick to that. That’s how you can live a healthier life.
What Is Keto Diet?
Though the diet is mainly used for weight loss, that’s not the only thing it does to your body. It is also known to help people dealing with type 2 diabetes. There are many variants available in the market but they might be risky as they have not been studied well till date. So, I would recommend you to follow the standard version, especially if you are managing diabetes.
If we talk about the Standard Keto Diet (SKD), it contains 75% healthy fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. The other variations include these three elements in different proportions but they are not recommended for people dealing with any medical conditions. However, one thing that is common in all the keto diet variations is the low percentage of carbs.
Can Keto Diet Foods Help People Dealing With Diabetes?
The answer can give rise to controversies if given carelessly. Hence, it is important to know about the facts before reaching a conclusion. The diet can be both helpful and risky for people managing diabetes. There are many studies suggesting that the keto diet is a risky option for people managing type 1 diabetes. And then, there are studies which show that the diet can be very helpful in managing type 2 diabetes. One more study suggests that eating whole grains in your diet can help manage diabetes which is a restricted keto diet food category. So, it really depends on the health condition you are dealing with, and the answer can vary according to that.
It is important to know what’s good for you, and eat accordingly. Different people dealing with different health conditions may have different requirements, so there are no hard and fast rules. Knowing your body and acting accordingly will work. However, there are more studies indicating the health benefits of keto diet and its role in managing diabetes. So, it will be great to reach a doctor and ask for an opinion. Since, most of the studies suggest that the diet can make a positive impact on the health of people dealing with type 2 diabetes, I will further focus on type 2 diabetes throughout the article.
How Does It Work?
There are many awesome things about this diet. The very first great thing is the high percentage of fats and very low amounts of carbs in the diet. So, the first thing it does to your body is making it take a complete shift from carbs to fats. Following the diet literally means cutting on carbs and reducing its consumption to as less as 20-40 grams in a day. Doing so, the diet knocks down the insulin levels in your body and helps regulate the blood sugar levels. It supports your body to achieve ketosis and metabolize fat cells for energy, thereby causing a massive boost in your energy levels.
Benefits Of Keto Diet Foods For Diabetics
Coming to the potential benefits offered by the diet to people managing type 2 diabetes, it can be said that the keto diet is the most suitable diet for diabetics. It is rich in fat and protein which makes it a great diet for people who intend to feel less hungry and want to restrict their carbs consumption. The diet helps you avoid carbs and makes you feel less hungry as fat and protein usually take longer to digest as compared to carbs.
As per a recent study, the diet has been shown to improve results for A1C test, which shows the blood sugar levels for a span of three months, and is more effective than any low-calorie diet. It is also effective in reducing the levels of triglycerides and protecting people managing type 2 diabetes against the risk of heart diseases. However, more research is needed to say anything for sure.
In a condition like diabetes which prohibits carbs as they can be harmful, the keto diet is like a superhero that helps eliminate all these problems without ruining the essence of life. You don’t have to compromise on taste as there are plenty of mouthwatering food options available. You can try any or all of them and enjoy living a delicious life as well, while keeping it healthy.
Other benefits include heightened energy levels, better mental health, improved metabolism, protection against many other diseases, healthy body weight, and more. While dealing with any medical condition, it is important to feel energetic in order to not feel sick, and feel mentally fit and active in order to eliminate stress and anxiety. The ketogenic diet does it all for you!
Keto Diet Food Options For Diabetes For Beginners
There are many keto diet foods that can help manage type 2 diabetes. But you must reach a nutritionist for advice and if you get a green signal, you can go ahead with the following food options:
- Poultry and meat
- Non-starchy veggies
- Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
Meanwhile, you must ensure to avoid the following food items:
- High-carb Fruits (especially the tropical fruits)
- Alcohol (wine, vodka, and all the other drinks that contain alcohol)
- Whole Grains (healthy whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread or pasta)
- Processed food (crackers, corn chips or potato chips)
- Sugar (brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, candy, baked goods)
- Artificial sweeteners (Equal, Splenda, etc.)
How To Start & Stick With The Keto Diet?
If you have made up your mind to start with the diet, there should be nothing stopping you. Needless to mention, consulting your diabetes doctor is important in order to avoid complications. If you have already done that, the only thing that remains is making it a part of your daily routine.
To start with the diet, you shouldn’t make a complete switch from crabs to fat, all of a sudden. You need to be very patient and careful, and cut on the carbs intake gradually. Keep increasing the fat content while reducing carbs and keeping the protein content moderate, and try to get to the standard keto diet proportion within the next few days. This period can vary according to your health condition and convenience. The best person to talk about it is again your doctor.
Another thing to be considered while starting the diet is keeping an eye on your ketone and blood sugar levels so that you don’t have to suffer any severe side-effects. If done carelessly, diabetics may have to suffer diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which starts with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, and frequent urination. So, it is important to keep checking on your ketone and blood sugar levels frequently.
After starting the diet, another challenge is to stick with it. After all, it is not going to be easy to stick to consuming less than 50g carbs daily. So, you need to keep yourself mentally prepared and be patient while following the diet. You can try having different food combinations for all the 7 days of a week, that will work. You can follow a 7-day keto diet plan for beginners after discussing it with your nutritionist.
Is It Safe For Diabetics?
Again, the answer may vary for different people managing diabetes. If you are someone dealing with type 1 diabetes, the answer is No.
Even in the case of type 2 diabetes, there may be different answers. For instance, if you are dealing with just one condition that is type 2 diabetes, then Yes, it’s safe for you and you can follow the keto diet after discussing the same with a healthcare expert.
However, if you are someone who is managing some kidney problem, you are advised to not follow the keto diet as it can be risky. In the case of kidney diseases, one needs to put a limit on their protein intake so the diet may cause more harm than good. So, the final answer is, you have to be sure about your health and reach a doctor before starting with the diet.
The Bottom Line
Food is an inevitable source of survival. We can’t live without it but that’s not the only thing that matters. Leading a healthy life is important as it helps you with better efficiency and improves the quality of life. In today’s world where everything is moving fast, it is important to take time to look after yourself, especially if you are managing a health condition like diabetes.
There are many diets that people are following and getting benefitted with better health but if we compare, the ketogenic diet tops the chart. The diet can help manage type 2 diabetes and offers many other health benefits that cannot be ignored. It has been shown to improve energy levels, enhance cognitive abilities, and improve sleep. And, the list goes on.
However, it should be completely your choice whether you want to follow the diet. Also, it will be great if you consult your doctor before starting with the diet. Though millions of people from around the world are following this extraordinary diet and getting results but that should not be the only reason to give it a try. You need to be very confident in your skin before starting anything new. That’s how you make the most out of it!