Is the ketogenic diet safe for diabetics?

The keto diet is not just for weight loss. It may be beneficial to those who suffer from diabetes as well.

keto for diabetics

People who suffer from diabetes have a lifelong battle ahead of them. Losing weight, constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels and watching what you eat are but some of the things diabetics have to worry about on a daily basis. Is the ketogenic diet safe for diabetics?

The typical low-calorie diet may be the answer to keep diabetes in control but to some it isn’t enough that’s why research on the effects of the keto diet to diabetics have recently gained attention. Studies done from 2008 to 2018 have shown that the keto diet has had a significant effect in lowering of blood sugar levels and decreasing dependence on insulin.

While the results of the studies showed positive results there is still much to be learned from the keto diet in relation to diabetes. Is it really safe? Do the risks outweigh the intended results?

Here’s what we found out

The keto diet and diabetes

The keto diet was originally designed for those who suffer from epilepsy and have since been known for improving other health issues such as cancer and diabetes. It’s a high-fat and low-carb diet that seeks to replace the body’s main source of energy which is glucose from carbs to ketones from fat.

Most people might think that switching to a high-fat and low-carb diet may be bad for people with diabetes, but it really isn’t the case especially for people who suffer from type II diabetes. Since carbs are severely restricted from this diet and fat is being burned effectively as an energy source, it stabilizes blood glucose levels and promotes weight loss which are important for diabetics.

The risks

With the risk that comes with keto for diabetics the biggest one may be for Ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is an extremely dangerous condition when there are huge amounts of ketones present in the body, it is more common for people who suffer from type I diabetes but type II diabetics are at risk as well.

Some symptoms of ketoacidosis (DKA) are:

  • High-blood sugar levels
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Frequent urination

Ketoacidosis is different from dietary ketosis which the keto diet promotes but having too much ketones in the body before starting the keto diet could be harmful. Constant monitoring of both your ketone and blood sugar levels are key to doing keto safely if you’re diabetic. We also recommend that you consult your doctor regarding your diet.

The benefits

Being on the keto diet provides a lot of benefits for those who suffer from diabetes. Aside from weight loss results and controlled blood sugar levels there are also various health benefits one could gain while on keto.

Here are some of them:

  • Discontinued insulin requirements
  • Improved heart health
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Promotes and protects brain function
  • Potentially reduce seizures.

So is the ketogenic diet safe for diabetics?

Diabetes while following the keto diet is a lifelong battle, one not without its share of difficulties but with strict monitoring of your blood sugar and ketone, controlled eating habits and help from your doctor you can definitely make things a little bit more easier.

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