Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes-Practical Guide to a Complex Problem

Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes-Practical Guide to a Complex Problem

Ketogenic diet and weight loss

What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet was actually developed in 1924, but was actually used as treatment for epilepsy. Most diets for type 2 diabetics are designed for weight loss and usually not by a high fat diet, but then again what diet isn’t created to lose weight, period? But what the ketogenic diet and diabetes will have in common is that because it is a low carb, high fat diet, there shows the potential to change the way your body uses and stores energy which have an end result of decreasing your diabetes symptoms.

Fruits and vegetables

This particular diet also aids in reducing risk factors for epilepsy, stroke, Alzhemier’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes. With the ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis, which is a metabolic state, and the body then uses ketone “bodies” for energy in lieu of glucose. These bodies are more of a constant source of energy than of glucose that gets its energy from carbohydrates.

Let’s talk about fat here

The truth is that too much fat is no good but I’m sure that you’re not surprised to hear that. Most but not all fats are essential for our health and are good for us. There’s more calories in in a gram of fat compared to carbohydrates and proteins, but they are the best of efficient energy available.

Promoting consuming foods such as vegetables, fish, healthy fats and oils, and meats is what the keto diet is all about. This particular diet is one that you can support long term. And recent studies have shown that by eating a diet that consists of a high fat, low carb diet as opposed to a high carb, low fat diet resulted in:

  • Reduced insulin resistance and reduced blood sugar levels, which can reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Greatly reduced blood pressure which in turn also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Reducing your triglycerides which is the amount of fat in your blood.
  • Aids is losing more weight than if you were eating low fat.
  • Your appetite decreasing.
  • Improvement of good, HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Your levels of energy remaining consistent throughout the day.
  • You will feel full for a longer period of time and your constant level of energy is a result  of most of your calories coming from fat, which is really slower to digest.
  • If you’re eating low carbs, you’ll be eliminating blood sugar highs and lows and in turn you won’t feel disoriented and weak.
How it works

Since the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, you’ll be eating approximately 30 grams of carbs a day. This diet is good for diabetics because again it helps your body to get energy by burning body fat and you are producing the energy known as ketones. This will aid your body in its requirement for insulin which will benefit you if you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The ketogenic diet will help your body in the fat burning process so it has benefits for anyone looking to lose weight. Since carbohydrates are the culprits that raise your blood sugar more than anything else, you want to keep your carbohydrates low and eat a high fat content and have an average amount of protein.

Olive oil

This doesn’t mean that you should pack on the saturated fats. It’s the heart healthy fats that you are looking for such as nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil, eggs, and cottage cheese just to mention a few.

 Caution about DKA and discussing with your physician first

Everything you do regarding your health should be discussed with your physician. You should ALWAYS sit down and talk about any diet so that they are on the same page as you. One of the reasons here is that by changing your energy source to fat instead of carbs can result in an increase in ketones in your bloodstream. Your doctor can describe this to you. You do not want an excess amount of ketones in the blood also known as DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).  This DKA is very serious and is considered a medical crisis!

Symptoms and alerts of DKA are:

  • Having difficulty breathing
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Experiencing dry mouth
  • Urinating frequently
  • High blood sugar levels steadily

So you have to check your blood sugar levels frequently throughout the day. It’s that important. Make sure you have a reliable test kit at home so you can stay on top of it. And checking your blood pressure at home is always a good idea. It certainly won’t hurt to check it.

Foods to eat

It’s very beneficial to know what foods you should eat and should not be eating. Always use common sense while being on any diet. You may want to lose weight or help with your diabetes or both. Make a plan and stick to it. Sometimes along the way you may have to alter your plan because different things work for different folks.

So I’d like to list the foods in different groups to make it easier. I think that once you start and give it time to get used to, you’ll hopefully transition into it better. Not everything is for everyone. And if this is for you, then great! If it isn’t, then it isn’t. The bottom line for me is to hopefully help you become healthier through the ketogenic diet in losing weight and helping control your diabetes.

Proteins

As I mentioned previously, you want to consume only an average amount of protein because excessive protein compared to fat will make your body break down protein for fuel instead of fat. This can diminish or even halt the ketosis process. Grass fed is always the better option too.

Salmon

  • Fish choices: catfish, salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, and halibut.
  • Poultry choices: turkey, duck, quail, and chicken.
  • Shellfish choices: lobster, clams, mussels, and oysters.
  • Egg choices: scrambled, deviled, boiled, or fried.
  • Beef choices: ground beef, veal, stew meats, and steaks.
  • Pork choices: ham, bacon, tenderloin, pork loin, and bacon.

Fats

Fat is what the ketogenic diet is all about, but it’s healthy fats not just any fat that is crucial here. You want your body to stay in the condition of ketosis of breaking down your healthy fats for energy in lieu of protein or carbohydrates. High quality fat is the goal here and it should be approximately seventy percent of your caloric intake.

One of the key factors with this diet is that because you’re looking for these fats, they are tasting and satisfy you and you can have a lot of them. But once again, it’s the healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats you need below:

  • Oil choices: Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
  • Seeds and nuts choices: almonds and macadamia nuts are the best choices.
  • Butter
  • Cocoa butter and coconut butter
  • Egg yolks

You also want to keep in mind about decreasing your risk of any heart disease. So you’ll want to make sure that you get sufficient amounts of your Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids to help with this. They are crucial in the function of your brain and nerves. Caution about excess Omega 6 though. Too much can cause inflammatory so be careful. Fish is your best choice for the Omega 3 fatty acids.

Nuts are good and they are healthy for you. But with nuts, you should be aware of carbs in pistachios, almonds and cashews. Also note that nuts do have a lot of calories too. Just don’t overdo it.

Carbohydrates

Leafy greens are always the best choice but here is a list of what you can have that are very healthy for you:

Vegetables

Spinach

  • Onions
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Spinach (my favorite, thanks Popeye!)
  • Broccoli (my second favorite)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Collard greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers
  • Spaghetti squash

Fruits

I always talk about how good and how healthy fruit is for you but take notice! You have to not overdo it. Only small amounts of fruit should be on your list and the reason is SUGAR! So here is a list of the best low sugar fruits that are good choices:

  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
Condiments and sauces
  • Hot sauce
  • Sauerkraut (no added sugar)
  • Horseradish (yuck, sorry, I don’t like this one !)
  • Mayonnaise
  • High fat salad dressings (no or low added sugars)
  • Ketchup

These foods must be avoided

  • Alcoholic beverages. Cocktails, beer, wine, are all out.
  • Artificial sweeteners. Anything such as Saccharin, Sucralose, or Aspartame.
  • Tropical fruits and fruit juices. Bananas, pineapples,papayas, and mangos.
  • Any refined fats including soybean, corn oil, cottonseed, canola, or sunflower oils.
  • Milk. It is difficult to digest and lacks the good bacteria that you need. And it’s high in carbs as well.
  • All grains are out. This list is quite extensive: bread, cookies, pasta, corn, barley, rice, buckwheat, crackers, cakes, ice cream, puddings, white potatoes, rye, wheat, and sugary drinks.
  • Low carb and low fat products.

Why isn’t your ketogenic diet working?

  1. You’re not eating enough calories.
  2. You are not tracking your carbohydrates correctly.
  3. You aren’t keeping track of your protein.
  4. Are you considering your nutrition?
  5. You have’t been testing your ketone levels.

Just make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing first and then regroup and make some changes. Sometimes you have to test and re-test what you’re doing. It may be just one or two simple adjustments.

Final thoughts

So there’s the information for you to decide if this is for you because as I said earlier, it’s not for everyone. The choice should be yours along with your physician’s. If you need help lowering your blood sugar numbers, this can really help you! Whatever you decide, I would appreciate any comments or feedback and you can leave the below and I will get back to you pronto! Thanks for reading and stay healthy!

 

10 thoughts on “Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes-Practical Guide to a Complex Problem

  1. I read your article about Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes-How to Help Stop Diabetes Now. This was a great article with tons of info!

    I am for sure going to save your site and check other pages that may contain the same kind of information.

    Thanks for all of the insight about the foods that help and hurt.
    Cheers,
    Brendon

    1. What matters is good health. I want this article to be able to help people who can benefit from the Ketogenic diet. For those who try the Ketogenic diet, I hope that is beneficial for you. It does have many benefits that aid in controlling diabetes too.

      Thanks Brendon!

  2. I love your site. It’s really easy to navigate, tidy and full of valuable information. I had been vaguely aware of diet related help for diabetics. Your website has provided a great explanation on how diet affects fat and cholesterol levels. I will be recommending your site to my friends/family members that have diabetes.

    1. Hey Joanne, it’s all about what we eat. Food is medicine and if we’re not eating the right foods, then we’re getting the wrong medicine. The Ketogenic diet is different from a lot of diets but it is beneficial for losing weight and helping to keep diabetes in check. My goal is to help as many people get healthy as possible.

      ~Cheers and thanks

      Rob

  3. I like how you discuss the ketogenic diet and what to consider. It is so concise and very informative.
    Also, you didn’t forget to discuss DKA which is one of the problems if this diet is not properly done and emphasize about talking with the physician.
    This is really very helpful and easy to understand for those who do not have a medical background.

    1. Ketogenic diet may not be for everyone but for someone with diabetes, it can help. I always like to try and cover everything when t comes to your health which is why I mentioned DKA. Your doctor is the one who should make the final decision. They are the professionals. Thanks Alona!

  4. Great article. I am currently wrapping up my nutrition class and learned some about Ketosis and the Keto diet. It is an interesting new fad diet that seems like it can help you lose weight in the short term. Do you find this to be the case? Or can people stay on this diet in the long term and be healthy?

    1. The Ketogenic diet is especially helpful if you have diabetes. This diet could be a a short or long term diet but my personal opinion is that I would use it for a short term. It works and helps you lose the weight and helps to lower your sugar, but as far as staying on it long term? That I would leave up to my doctor. He makes the call when it comes to that. Thanks Austin!

  5. I enjoyed your blog, it was well written. I noticed a couple of areas that I did question. In your area of high magnesium you listed bananas which is absolutely true because it is a very healthy fruit. But, in your diet section you have it as a food to avoid. I get that it may be part of the ketogenic diet, but the health benefits are too high to just avoid it. It may be a nice tidbit on the diet part when talking about calories and carbs to include that maintenance weight calories for a man is (body weight X 11) and a woman is (body weight X 10) to give some perspective on how much meats and what type to lose healthily and maintain it after desired weight is achieved.
    Thanks again have a great day.

    1. First of all thank you Rich. Magnesium is important and all fruits including bananas are healthy. Being that bananas can be a fruit to avoid with the ketogenic diet, doesn’t mean that you can’t have them. It’s your call. I just wouldn’t overdo it. Too much of anything is no good for you. But the Ketogenic diet is helpful for diabetes and once you basically get it under control, you have to balance out the health benefits of bananas and also to know what your caloric intake to maintain your weight should be once you reach your desired goal. Thanks again and happy and healthy day!

      Cheers!

      ~Rob

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