Is the Keto Diet Safe for Diabetics?
For many people suffering from diabetes, a common question they ask is whether the keto is safe or not. While studies have shown that pursuing a keto diet can indeed reduce the risk of diabetes in people that don’t have it, improve glycemic control in diabetics, and lead to weight loss, we must first understand whether or not switching to the keto diet is safe, or not. After all, everyone is different: we all have different dietary needs, habits, preferences, and goals. Nonetheless, we will be going over the keto diet’s effects on diabetics in depth. Although Keto diets are strict and can be hard to follow for some in the long-term, they do provide ample nutrition if followed properly. So, going back to the main question: Is the Keto Diet Safe for Diabetics? In short, yes, it is safe and in fact offers various benefits that you may have not known.
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What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Keto diet is a strict diet plan, where 10% of calories come from carbs, 20% of calories come from protein, and 70% of calories come from fat. The diet itself consists of the following:
- Healthy Fat
- Low-carb Vegetables
Types of Keto Diets
1. Standard Keto Diet: A low-carb, Protein, high-fat diet: 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs
2. Cyclical Keto Diet (Advanced): A diet that has a 7-day keto diet cycle
3. Targeted Keto Diet (Advanced): A diet including carbs for workouts
4. High-Protein Keto Diet: A keto diet with high protein levels: 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs
We will be mainly discussing the long-term benefits of pursuing a standard keto diet in this article.
Blood Sugar Level Benefits
When it comes to type 1 and 2 diabetics, and prediabetics, a keto diet enables the body to keep sugar levels at a healthy level. Since the keto diet focuses on fewer carbs, you will most likely see decreased spikes in your blood sugar. The reason for this is the reduced need for insulin. Research and studies point to the idea that keto diets can be helpful in controlling A1C levels. In addition to reducing blood sugar levels, keto diets have also been observed to lower the need for medication. If you are on medication, it is a good idea to contact your doctor before making changes to your diet.
The Keto diet helps diabetics lose excess fat, improves insulin sensitivity, and leads to weight loss. A study in which 21 diabetics were given keto diet meal plans, 7 of them had the ability to quit all other medications they were using at the same time. Another study, in which researchers were trying to compare the effects of the keto diet with a high-carb diet, those on the keto diet lost 24.4 lbs, whereas the high-carb group lost 15.2 lbs. 95% of the keto diet group quit all other medications.
Weight Loss Benefits
Other than blood sugar control, the keto diet also offers many weight-loss benefits. A study proved that people pursuing a keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than people who were on a calorie-restricted diet. The increased protein intake from the keto diet is one of the main reasons why the ketogenic diet beats most other ones when it comes to overall benefits. In another study, it was observed that people following the keto diet lost 3 times more weight than those following the diabetic association’s recommended diet. Essentially, the keto diet makes weight loss easier without having to keep track of specific numbers and counting calories.
A Keto diet helps the body burn fat. Any amount of weight loss through the keto diet and exercise will support glycemic control. Research shows that the keto diet leads to an improvement in blood sugar management and is linked to overall weight-loss and well-being.
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity
- May Lead to less dependency on medications
- Controlled cholesterol levels
- Insulin reduction
What to Eat in a Keto Diet?
- Natural Fat
- Certain Vegetables
Bottom line, a ketogenic diet is indeed “safe” for diabetics as studies and research point to a link between a keto diet and controlled blood sugars.
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