What is the keto diet?

Have you ever wondered what is common in Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Megan Fox, Adriana Lima? They all follow a Keto diet. The latest trend in the fitness world, have you ever wondered what this diet is all about? Or, how beneficial or harmful is it for diabetes management? We have the answer here. 

The keto/ketogenic diet refers to a high-fat and low-carbohydrate meal plan. It is a popular approach to losing weight and demands a significant change in eating habits. Following this diet will need you to cut on carbohydrates that digest quickly, such as white bread, pastries, soda, and sugar.

 Keto diet works on the principle of using fat for energy production instead of glucose from carbohydrates. The absence of carbs pushes the liver to break down fat to produce energy from ketones.

The body uses ketones for energy rather than carbohydrates, which eventually leads to weight loss by converting fat into energy. 

There are different types of the keto diet. 

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD) – This type involves high fat, moderate protein, and low-carb intake. The definitive guide is 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.
  • High protein keto diet – This diet covers more protein consumption than the standard ketogenic diet. Its guide is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. 
  • Targeted keto diet – This type is like SKD. However, it allows more carb consumption. 

How does the keto diet work for diabetes?

The keto diet minimizes fluctuations in blood sugar levels because of lower carbohydrate intake. Research suggests that starting this mean plan can:

  • Improve blood sugar control
  • Lose weight rapidly
  • Reverse diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce diabetes medications 
  • Improve insulin sensitivity

Another research reported that the keto diet could reduce the need for insulin. This is because the process involves using fat instead of carbohydrate to produce energy. Therefore, insulin has a minimal purpose in this process. 

Is keto good for type 2 diabetes?

While the keto diet has some good credentials in managing type 2 diabetes, its safety is still not established. Most of the studies only looked at this meal plan’s short-term results. Its capacity to manage diabetes in the long term is still unclear.

There is minimal information that supports the long-term benefits of the keto diet in diabetes management. That is why diabetes patients need to discuss this with their doctor before trying out this diet.

While keto diet enthusiasts promote this eating plan to reduce the effects of diabetes, it is not entirely recommended because of the lack of nutritional value from this diet. 

Researchers in the Stanford Prevention Research Center concluded that while the ketogenic diet falls within the criteria of a low-carb diet, it can also mean wiping out other food varieties considered nutritious and healthy for diabetes patients. Because of restricting carbohydrate intake, the keto diet eliminates the consumption of legumes, whole grains, and fruits. These varieties are necessary to promote good health.

Safer alternatives to Keto Diet

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the Mediterranean diet because of its low-carb content and a balanced portion of every nutrient. We recommend practicing the diabetes plate method. This method involves dividing the plate into four parts. You fill the first part with lean protein, the second with a healthy carb, the third with vegetables, and the fourth with diabetes-friendly fruits.   In diabetes management, what’s essential is choosing a diet that keeps your blood sugar level and weight in check. Regular exercise, choosing a healthy diet/ lifestyle, and following the doctor’s prescription are essential to effective diabetes management