Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition which occurs when our body either gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin, or it becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin. In Australia, approximately 1 million have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and it is more prevalent in men than in women 1. As there is currently no cure for diabetes, blood glucose is managed through medication, diet, exercise or a combination of these.
So how does a ketogenic diet help in managing diabetes? As I wrote last week, the keto diet can be very effective in reducing weight plus it can also be effective in lowering blood glucose levels. The diet helps to lower the body’s demand for insulin, as lower carbohydrate intake requires less insulin resulting in fewer blood sugar spikes. On a keto diet, our blood glucose is kept at a low but healthy level, which in turn encourages our body to breakdown body fat into a fuel source known as ketones. Ketone bodies produced from burning fat for fuel have been shown to have potent weight loss effects, helping lower blood glucose levels and reducing reliance on diabetes medication.
Whilst many health care providers aren’t comfortable in recommending keto diet for people with diabetes, there’s a substantial body of research indicating that it can help with weight loss, reduce the need for medication, and even lower A1C (blood test that reflects blood glucose levels over the past 2-3 months) into the non-diabetes range.
In one study conducted in 2005 with the objective of evaluating the effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) in 28 overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes over 16 weeks, it was concluded that LCKD improved glycaemic control in patients to the point that the diabetes medications were discontinued or reduced in most participants 2.
Another finding from a one-year randomised control study with obese Type 2 diabetes volunteers was published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2015. This study compared a <50 gram carbohydrate, 58% fat diet with a 53% carbohydrate, 30% fat diet in managing Type 2 diabetes. The study concluded that the ketogenic diet resulted in greater improvement in cholesterol and blood sugar stability (vs. fluctuations), plus a reduction in diabetes medication, supporting its use as an effective strategy for the optimisation of Type 2 diabetes management 3.
However, it’s important to note because the keto diet can be very effective at lowering blood glucose, patients on diabetes medication who use this diet should be under close medical supervision or capable of adjusting their medication. It is also important to consult your doctor before considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting.
As I have mentioned previously, our Clinical Nutritionist Sofia Keady is now practicing in our clinic, specialising in the Keto Diet. If you wish to undertake the Keto Diet for treating Type 2 Diabetes, I suggest you call to have a chat with Sofia on the shop floor or call to make an appointment.
You can also call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop in North Street, Batemans Bay or phone us on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune to Bev and Marianne on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm for Go Get Healthy.
Shaw, Jonathan & Tanamas, S. (2012). Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au
Yancy, W., Foy, M., Chalecki, A., Vernon, M., & Westman, E. (2005). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition and metabolism (London). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Tay, J., Luscombe-Marsh, N., Thompson, C., Noakes, M., Buckley, J., Wittert, G., Yancy, W., & Brinkworth, G. (2015). Comparison of low-and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomised trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov