Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects millions in the modern world. There are a number of medications, programs, and even diet plans that are used to manage the condition. A perfect example of a dietary plan that helps control type 2 diabetes is the ketogenic Diet. It can be used to help the obese significantly reduce the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.
In a nutshell, the ketogenic diet involves a balanced, nutritious diet that is full of healthy vitamins and minerals. It is also low in fat content and lacks unhealthy fats that are linked to health complications. Following this diet will definitely help with weight issues.
Studies have shown that anyone can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58% if they lose 5-10% of their body weight. This, therefore, implies that diabetes victims can also manage their blood sugar levels by losing the same amount of weight. According to individual testimonies, the ketogenic diet is an effective method that can be used to manage high blood sugar levels. It not only helps control type 2 diabetes, but also cuts down on weight. Stay tuned in as we are about to dig deeper into this diet.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
By definition, the ketogenic diet is simply a high fat and very low carbohydrate diet. Initially, the diet was developed in order to help children with epilepsy. According to the diet, the major sources of body fuel are foods containing carbohydrates. Examples include fruits, bread, pasta, etc.
When our bodies break down these foods, they use the resulting glucose for energy. To curb type 2 diabetes, the diet recommends that we eat 30 grams of carbohydrates or less per day.
Some of the foods known to contain low amounts of carbohydrates include:
How Does Diet Impact Blood Sugar Levels?
The ketogenic diet forces the body to resort to using fats as a source of fuel by restricting the intake of carbohydrates. The body breaks down fats in a process known as ketosis, producing ketones (a byproduct of fat breakdown).
The ketogenic diet helps those with type 2 diabetes achieve healthy levels of blood sugar. This is achieved by restricting the amount of carbohydrates which can cause the blood sugar level to skyrocket. You definitely won’t be using as much insulin or other blood sugar reduction medications. Research studies have also linked the ketogenic diet to reduced HbA1c. This is a 3-month average of blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time.
How Does Diet Impact Your Need For Medication?
Once the blood sugar level is brought under control, those with type 2 diabetes won’t require quite as much medical attention.
However, there is a possibility of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when one sticks to the ketogenic diet and uses insulin as well. You will develop hypoglycemia when your blood sugar level falls to or below 70 milligrams per deciliter.
How Does Diet Impact Your Weight?
The body is able to burn more fat when one sticks to the ketogenic diet, which is obviously desirable for weight loss. This is helpful to both those with prediabetes and those with type 2 diabetes. According to the findings of research studies, the ketogenic diet helps bring blood sugar levels under control. Additionally, it helps overweight individuals cut down on weight.
Even though the ketogenic diet has proven to be a viable means of managing type 2 diabetes, it also has some serious potential side effects. They can be categorized into long-term and short-term side effects.
Long-Term Side Effects
The following side effects are likely to occur in the long run when using the ketogenic diet continuously:
- Development of kidney stones
- Higher risk of bone fractures due to acidosis
- Stunted growth due to low insulin
Short-Term Side Effects
When the body resorts to a different source of energy, the following side effects are likely to occur in the short run:
- Mental fatigue
- Mental fogginess
- Changes in bowel habits
- Frequent urination
- Noticeable loss of energy
- Loss of salts
- Uncomfortable leg cramps
In most cases, these short-term side effects will last for only a short while and individuals will recover once the body becomes used to using energy from fat instead of carbohydrates.
The most dangerous potential side effect of the ketogenic diet is the onset of ketogenic acidosis. When the body breaks down fat for energy, it produces a byproduct known as ketones. This is where the diet gets its name. Unfortunately, these ketones can turn the body acidic.
If left unchecked, acidosis can cause serious damage to your internal organs and effectively poison your body by turning your bodily fluids into acid. You must be very careful when following to ketogenic diet to keep track of your ketones and make sure they remain within safe levels.
Criticism Of The Ketogenic Diet
There are some who stand firmly against the ketpgenic diet. They argue that these diet plans increase the risk of kidney damage. This is because of the fact that these diets can easily cause the body to enter ketosis. This exposes individuals to extreme levels of ketones.
Ketogenic Diet For Type 2 Diabetes Final Word
Sticking to a healthy eating plan is of utmost importance, regardless of which diet you choose. This especially applies to those with type 2 diabetes. You can consult with your doctor to help you choose the best diet plan for you. Look for one that suits your personal lifestyle. It is a good idea to stick to a plan that works for you and above all, one that makes you feel good.
Remember, the above-mentioned diet plan may not work well for everybody. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that the ketogenic diet does help to control blood sugar levels and promote weight loss for many who have followed it.