The ketogenic diet was developed at the beginning of the last century. It was used to treat people with epileptic seizures. Modern medicine focuses on the keto diet for an entirely different reason.
Recent studies have shown that it is very effective in controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. However, there has been no data on the results of studies for more than 3 years, so long-term use of a keto diet is questionable.
The basic principle of the keto diet
The diet contains the minimum intake of carbohydrates, which provide the body with energy for a short time. Once a person becomes deficient in it, they will look for an alternative - ketones.
Instead of glycolysis, which contributes to the breakdown of carbohydrates, the lipolysis mechanism is activated - the breakdown of fats. In order to survive without carbohydrates, the body is put into a state of ketosis.
Don't confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis - they're two different concepts. The latter is a violation of the acid-base balance, which leads to serious complications and even death.
The basis of the keto plan is the high fat content in the food - 65-80% of the feces per day, protein 15-20% and carbohydrates reduced to 5-15%. It turns out that carbohydrates cannot be consumed more than 20-50 grams per day, while outside of the keto diet a person consumes about 250 grams per day.
The effectiveness and safety of the keto diet for type 2 diabetes
Since the keto diet is the best way to control blood sugar, many experts support a ketogenic approach to treating type 2 diabetes.
Research carried out during the year found the following:
- In type 2 diabetics, the keto diet leads to a decrease in glycated hemoglobin, a decrease in weight and an improvement in the lipid profile. All of this helps to keep glucose levels under control and reduce the amount of antihyperglycemic drugs. The potential for side effects means that it cannot be recommended for everyone with type 2 diabetes. Consultation with a doctor is required.
- The keto diet has many limitations, so it is low in vitamins, fiber and micronutrients. Therefore, if necessary, you need to take vitamins and add fiber to the diet.
- Since the keto diet has a strong diuretic effect, you need to drink more fluids.
- The keto diet for type 2 diabetes should be monitored by a healthcare professional.
What you eat on a ketogenic diet
List of foods included 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 in the ground, but on its surface.
- Dairy products- almost all with a high fat concentration, hard cheeses are also recommended - they contain fewer carbohydrates;
- Seeds and nuts- Fatty nuts are recommended - walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts;
- Drinks- Most of the drinking schedule should be pure water. You can supplement it with lemon juice. It is also allowed to use stevia.
This is a short list of consumables. Contact a specialist for more information.
The 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 permissible protein norm. The excess is converted into glucose, which disrupts the transition to a state of ketosis.
What sugar should be on a keto diet
A ketogenic diet inevitably leads to a decrease in blood sugar concentration. This is very good for diabetics.
However, a sharp drop in glucose can have serious consequences. Therefore, cutting out carbohydrates should be done step by step.
To prevent the development of hypoglycemia, sugar should be measured systematically. Usually on an empty stomach it is between 4. 7 and 4. 9. Diabetics tend to have higher rates. With a keto diet, the sugar fluctuates around 6 mmol / l.
What the research says
The effects of the keto diet on sugar content have been studied several times and the results have always been positive. The patients lost those extra pounds and were able to better control their glucose levels.
In 2017, a study was carried out in New York on the effects of the keto diet on diabetes. For 32 weeks, patients adhered to this type of diet, and since it was canceled by specialists, they successfully lost weight and their sugar was more stable.
I also have to say that scientists recognize the benefits of a vegan diet. It can perfectly replace keto, but it has nuances of its own.
Atkins diet against diabetes
There are analogues of the keto diet, they have similar principles. Examples are the Dukan Diet, the Robert Atkins Diet, the Kremlin Diet. It is the Atkins diet that is most often confused with the ketogenic principle of nutrition. At the same time, there are virtually no similarities between keto and the Atkins diet.
Differences between the Atkins diet and keto
Atkins developed his nutritional principle for weight loss, not for diabetics to control blood sugar. In the keto diet, the amount of protein and carbohydrates is reduced by unsaturated fats. When following the Atkins diet, protein can be consumed without restrictions. In addition, the Atkins diet differs from keto in the frequency of food consumption. Atkins recommends five meals a day, and Keto recommends 2-3 meals a day.
The potential dangers of the keto diet for diabetics
When the body receives energy not from carbohydrates but from fats, ketone bodies are released sharply. The greatest potential danger on a ketone diet for a diabetic is the possibility of developing diabetic ketoacidosis, which is due to a lack of insulin in the blood.
Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis:
- increased sugar concentration;
- frequent urination;
- dry mouth;
- shortness of breath;
- fruity taste in the mouth.
Therefore, even with a ketogenic diet, it is necessary to constantly monitor the blood sugar level and to check the concentration of the ketone bodies regularly.
Hunger is absolutely contraindicated for diabetics, so any diet can only be followed with the permission of a doctor.
Balancing the keto diet and sugar levels
The ketogenic diet has great potential for lowering blood sugar levels. The lack of carbohydrates in the diet prevents the accumulation and change in blood sugar levels. The doctor should calculate the required amount of carbohydrates, each case is individual. If the patient has high blood sugar, he must limit his intake of carbohydrate foods. In this case, the amount of fat in the diet increases.
The keto diet is of great help to diabetics, especially those who have difficulty regulating sugar levels. Of course, the treatment of pathology with this diet does not show promise. Observing this can reduce the number of medications you take, but it is unlikely that you will be able to refuse insulin injections.