If you live with type 2 diabetes, talking about your diet may be an everyday conversation. Our goal is to help you feel more empowered to make the changes that are right for you. We know what we eat affects blood sugar levels. And the ketogenic diet has gotten a lot of press over the past few years. Is the keto diet the right plan to follow if you have type 2 diabetes? Thanks to the many weight-loss plans out there, the word diet tends to be used to describe foods low in calories or plans that help you lose weight. Even so, there is another meaning of this word. Diet also refers to the food and drinks a person eats daily. Diet is more than meal plans. It involves your relationship with food, body image, family, nature, and our food communities. These factors are important when we talk about food and type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that impacts blood sugar control. A person can manage the condition by following a healthful diet and maintaining a healthy body weight. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carbohydrate diet that may help some people in supporting blood sugar. Some people have suggested that this type of diet might help a person with diabetes, but the American Diabetes Association ADA do not recommend any single diet over another. Every person has different dietary needs. Doctors now individualize diet plans based on current eating habits, preferences, and a target weight or blood sugar level for that person. Foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, pasta, milk, and fruit, are the main fuel source for many bodily processes. The body uses insulin to help bring glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. However, in a person with diabetes, insulin is either absent or does not work properly. If a person eats a high-carb meal, this can lead to a spike in blood glucose, especially in a person with diabetes.
The keto dietary changes drive down insulin levels, eventually leading your body into a state of ketosis, during which it is burning fat rather than carbohydrates. It may also help keep your energy levels up. The diet may bring other potential benefits, too. Furthermore, a keto diet may be three times more effective for weight loss than a low-fat one — important because losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can offer health benefits such as improved cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A growing body of research supports using the ketogenic diet as part of a diabetes management plan, and some clinics have introduced therapeutic ketogenic programs. The study was published in February in Diabetes Therapy.