How Does Keto Affect Diabetes?
It’s beyond clear that the keto meal plan is extremely effective for many people with both type I and type II diabetes.
Recent papers, within the last few years, investigating the effect of ketogenic eating on obesity conclude that it not only aids in weight loss but also spares muscle loss. In addition, the keto meal plan can help curb many disorders related to obesity (read our article on how keto can help you treat obesity here), including the set of symptoms and risk factors known as Metabolic Syndrome (i.e. abdominal obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol).
- Studies prove that cutting carbs lowers both blood sugar and insulin levels drastically.
- Some people with diabetes who begin a low-carb meal plan may need to reduce their insulin dosage by 50% almost immediately.
- In one study in people with type 2 diabetes, 95% had reduced or eliminated their glucose-lowering medication within six months.
What Issues Can Arise with Cutting Down Carbs?
If you take blood sugar medication, talk to your doctor before making changes to your carb intake, as your dosage may need to be adjusted to prevent hypoglycemia.
The keto meal plan cuts your daily carbohydrates to less than 20 grams; for people with diagnosed diabetes, this may help them manage the condition. A one-year study found that putting people with type 2 diabetes into ketosis dramatically improved their blood sugar control.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form (around 90% of all cases) and the one which is increasing the most. It primarily affects overweight people in middle age or later.
The problem for people with type 2 diabetes is that the body has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels down. The blood turns too sweet.
So How Does Sugar Get in the Bloodstream?
Sugar in the blood comes from the food that we eat. The foods that turn into different types of sugar as soon as they reach the stomach are called carbohydrates. This means sugar (as in soda, fruit juice, candy) and starch (as in bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes).
Starch, in for example bread, is broken down to glucose in the stomach. When glucose enters the bloodstream it’s called blood sugar.
The more carbohydrates we eat in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. The more sugar that’s absorbed into the bloodstream, the higher the blood sugar will be.
Cells may Become “Resistant” to the Effects of Insulin.
When we eat a foods too high in carbohydrates there is an excess amount of sugar floating in the blood. This constant availability of sugar will over time create a situation where the cells become “resistant” to the effects of insulin.
There is ample sugar already in the cells, and they don’t want anymore.
Insulin is the hormone that allows the cell to create energy utilizing sugar. Since there is nowhere for the sugar to go, the cells resist the effects of Insulin and the sugar in the blood begins to go up.
- Type 2 diabetes or insulin-resistant Diabetes generally happens in later years and is completely reversible with healthy eating and exercise.
- Type 1 Diabetes is when there is no insulin being manufactured by the pancreas so there is no way for the sugar to enter the cell and be used by the mitochondria for energy.
When you begin to exercise, the blood sugar will drop in the blood because the cells need more energy. The cells will actively utilize the insulin reducing the resistant effect. Over time this type of diabetes is completely reversible. Insulin Dependent Diabetes is an epidemic in this country.
People nowadays think it is inevitable to get diabetes in old age.
“Well, it runs in my family” people say.
The only thing that runs in someone’s family, in regard to this type of diabetes, is bad food choices.
Following a keto plan will force the person to think about what they are eating and when. No refined fast processed foods are in this meal plan. You will learn how to cook and how to make better food choices.
With a keto plan, you have to think ahead and have your food ready. By preparing ahead, you won’t find yourself eating out in fast food restaurants that only offer high-caloric and -usually- high-in-carbohydrates menu items.