The ketogenic diet was developed at the beginning of the last century. It has been used to treat people with epileptic seizures. Modern medicine focuses on the keto diet for a completely different reason.
Recent studies have shown that it is very effective in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics. However, there are no data from studies longer than 3 years, so the use of the keto diet for a longer period of time is questionable.
Principle of the Keto Diet
The diet includes minimal carbohydrate intake, which provides short-term energy to the body. As soon as a person feels lacking, he is looking for an alternative - ketones.
Instead of glycolysis, which helps to break down carbohydrates, the mechanism of lipolysis - the breakdown of fats - is activated. Thus, in order to survive without carbohydrates, the body enters a state of ketosis.
Don’t confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis - these are two different concepts. The latter is a violation of the acid-base balance, leading to serious complications and even death.
The keto plan is based on a high-fat diet - 65-80% of stool per day, 15-20% protein and 5-15% carbs. It has been found that carbohydrates can consume up to 20-50 grams per day, while in addition to the keto diet, one consumes 250 grams per day.
Efficacy and Safety of the Keto Diet in Type 2 Diabetes
Because the keto diet is the best way to control blood sugar levels, many experts support a ketogenic approach to treating type 2 diabetes.
Year-round research revealed the following:
- In type 2 diabetics, a keto diet leads to a decrease in glycated hemoglobin, with a consequent decrease in weight and an improved lipid profile. All of this helps control glucose levels and reduce the amount of antihyperglycemic medications. The possibility of side effects means that it is not recommended for everyone who has type 2 diabetes. Consult a doctor.
- The keto diet has many limitations and is therefore poor in vitamins, fiber and trace elements. Therefore, you need to take vitamins if necessary and add diet to your diet.
- Because the keto diet has a strong diuretic effect, you need to consume more fluids.
- The keto diet for type 2 diabetes should be checked by a healthcare professional.
What do you eat on a ketogenic diet
List of foods in the diet:
- protein, fats and oils- meat, seafood, nuts, vegetable oils;
- vegetables- frozen or fresh does not matter, but preference should be given to vegetables that do not grow on the ground but on the surface;
- dairy products- almost all high-fat hard cheeses are recommended - they contain less carbohydrates;
- seeds and walnuts- fatty walnuts recommended - walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts;
- drinks- most of the drinking regime should be clear water, it can be supplemented with lemon juice, the use of stevia is also allowed.
This is a short list of consumable products, contact a specialist for more details.
Prohibited products include:
- starchy foods- potatoes, rice, bread;
- sugar- sweets, ice cream, baked goods;
- pasta and cereals;
- sweet drinks.
It is undesirable to exceed the allowable protein norm, the excess is converted into glucose, which disrupts the process of transition to the state of ketosis.
What sugar should be in the keto diet
A ketogenic diet will inevitably lead to a drop in blood sugar levels. This is very good for diabetics.
However, a sharp drop in glucose can have serious consequences, so cutting out carbohydrates should be done step by step.
Sugar should be measured systematically to prevent hypoglycaemia. Normally on an empty stomach it ranges from 4, 7 to 4, 9. The rate is usually higher in diabetics. In a keto diet, sugar fluctuates around 6 mmol / L.
What the research says
The effect of the keto diet on sugar levels has been researched many times and the results have always been positive. Patients shed these excess pounds and were better able to control glucose levels.
In 2017, a study was conducted in New York on the effects of the keto diet on diabetes. Patients adhered to this diet for 32 weeks, and since the professionals gave it up, they lost weight successfully and their sugar was more stable.
I also have to say that scientists recognize the benefits of a vegan diet, it can be a perfect substitute for keto, but it has its nuances.
Atkins Diet for Diabetes
The keto diet has analogues, they have similar principles. Examples include the Dukan diet, the Robert Atkins diet, the Kremlin diet. The Atkins diet is often confused with the ketogenic principle of nutrition. But at the same time, there is virtually no similarity between the keto and Atkins diets.
Differences between the Atkins diet and keto
Atkins developed the principle of nutrition for weight loss, not for diabetics to control blood sugar levels. In a keto diet, unsaturated fats reduce the amount of protein and carbohydrates. By following the Atkins diet, the protein can be consumed without restriction. In addition, the Atkins diet differs from keto in the frequency of food intake. Atkins recommends five meals a day, keto assumes 2-3 meals a day.
Potential Dangers of a Keto Diet for Diabetics
When the body gets energy not from carbohydrates but from fats, ketone bodies are released sharply. For diabetics, the main potential danger of a ketone diet is the possibility of developing ketoacidosis in diabetics due to a lack of insulin in the blood.
Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis:
- increased sugar concentration;
- frequent urination;
- dry mouth;
- shortness of breath;
- fruit flavor in the mouth.
Therefore, even with a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels should be monitored and ketone body levels should be monitored regularly.
Hunger is an absolute contraindication for diabetics, so any diet can only be followed with a doctor’s permission.
Balance of keto diet and sugar levels
A ketogenic diet has great potential for lowering blood sugar. Lack of carbohydrates in the diet prevents its accumulation and changes in blood sugar levels. Your doctor will need to calculate the amount of carbs you need, each case being unique. If a patient has high blood sugar, they should limit their consumption of carbohydrate foods. In this case, the amount of fat in the diet increases.
The keto diet is a great help for diabetics, especially those who have difficulty controlling their sugar levels. Of course, it is not promising to treat the pathology with this diet, adhering to it can reduce the number of medications, but it can hardly reject insulin injections.