One of the best ways to fight diabetes without ingesting medicines is losing body fat percent. However, how can a high-fat, moderate protein diet like ketogenic help you control diabetes? While specific studies point out the benefits of the ketogenic diet for diabetes control, to understand its effectiveness, you must know what exactly keto diet does to your body.
Type 2 diabetes impacts the blood sugar level. You can manage your blood sugar level with a healthy and balanced diet. Diets for diabetes often focus on low fat, low carb foods. However, the ketogenic diet is just the opposite. Although very low in carb, the keto diet is 65% fat and 25% protein. However, it can potentially change the way your body functions, regulate blood sugar levels, minimize diabetes symptoms, reduce the need for insulin, and improve the way your body uses energy.
To understand how the diet affects your blood sugar level, you must first understand what the diet is all about.
What is Keto Diet
Usually, the foods that you consume are high in carb and protein. They convert themselves into glucose and enter your bloodstream to provide you energy. In keto diet, everything you eat converts directly into energy without becoming glucose. This happens when you source your energy from high-fat foods and not from carbs. The diet was first established in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy. However, since its invention, its effects have also been observed for improving metabolism, reducing weight, regulating hormones, and for type 2 diabetes.
How Does a Ketogenic Diet Works?
A keto diet essentially helps your body convert fats into energy instead of glucose. After a few days of being into a keto diet, your body runs out of glucose or sugar and starts burning body fat for energy instead. This is when your body enters a state of ketosis, where it creates a fatty acid called ketones, which works as energy.
This does not mean the keto diet is filled with unhealthy, saturated, and trans fats. No. It is the contrary. Keto diet is stacking your meals with only healthy fats and protein, such as eggs, cottage cheese, fatty fishes, avocado, olives, nuts, chicken, seeds, butter, and healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
Keto Diet and Diabetes
To understand this, you must know the difference between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis. Ketosis and Ketoacidosis both involve ketones. However, Ketoacidosis is dangerous for you, and it happens when your body does not produce enough insulin but builds up too much of ketones. However, this is more common in Type 1 Diabetes than Type 2 Diabetes. Common symptoms of Ketoacidosis are urination, confusion, thirst, fatigue, and weakness, everything in excess.
Ketosis, on the other hand, takes place when ketones are produced in a safer quantity. The process of ketosis happens gradually in the course of your everyday routine, based on what you eat and how much fat, protein, and carbs you consume. Once you achieve the state of ketosis, you will start losing weight, especially around the waistline and lower hbA1C level.
Managing carbohydrate intake is a basic essential for people with type 2 diabetes. We know the reason - carbs turn into glucose instantly in large quantities and glucose spike blood sugar level. By switching the focus on a high-fat diet, you keep your diabetes under control naturally. In a particular study, it was found that participants lost good weight, consumed less medication, and lowered their A1c level effectively after following the diet for a year.
However, here is a word of advice: Ketogenic diet is not meant for everyone with diabetes. From the above explanation, we understand that the keto diet can prove beneficial only for type 2 diabetic people. The diet is not recommended if you have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes needs a careful monitor and continuous regulation of the signs of Ketoacidosis.
Nutritional ketosis can benefit you if you are insulin resistant because your body will not rely on insulin hormone.
Meal Planning for Keto Diet
Your ketogenic diet (70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carb) should include the following foods to be useful for diabetes:
- Eggs: Rich in protein, low in carb.
- Meats: Only fatty meats are allowed, such as salmon and sardines. Eat high protein meats such as chicken in moderation.
- Fish is acceptable.
- Healthy fats: Must have avocados, olive oil, butter, ghee, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed foods, refined foods, sausage, red meat, fried cheese, and other unhealthy fats.
- Low-carb veggies: Have non-starchy vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, etc. Avoid potatoes, corn, and so on.
- Berries in moderate quantities are acceptable for they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Avoid rice at all costs, refined foods, and processed foods. Make sure all your meals are homemade and one ingredient-focused. This is a very hard-to-follow diet. However, if you get used to it, then the results will be consistent and long-term.
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.