Keto and Diabetes Management: How Low-Carb Diets Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by high blood sugar levels, which can lead to various complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, and nerve damage.
One approach to managing diabetes is through dietary interventions. Among the popular diets for diabetes management is the ketogenic diet or keto for short. The keto diet involves reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat consumption, leading the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
But how does the keto diet affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes? Let’s dive into some statistics-based evidence to find out.
Keto and Blood Sugar Control
Several studies have demonstrated that low-carb diets like keto can help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). In a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism journal, researchers found that participants who followed a low-carb ketogenic diet had significant reductions in their HbA1c levels (a measure of long-term blood glucose control) after just three months compared to those on a high-carbohydrate diet.
Another study published in Diabetes Therapy showed similar results. Participants who followed a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet achieved better glycemic control than those on a moderate-carbohydrate Mediterranean-style diet over 12 months.
These findings suggest that reducing carbohydrate intake may be an effective strategy for improving blood sugar control among people with T2D.
Keto and Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is another hallmark characteristic of T2D. It occurs when cells become less responsive to insulin hormone, leading to elevated blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that low-carb diets like keto can reduce insulin resistance among people with T2D.
In one study published in Current Diabetes Reports journal, participants who followed a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet had significant improvements in their insulin sensitivity after four months compared to those on a high-carbohydrate diet. Another study published in Nutrients journal found that a low-carb, high-fat diet led to significant reductions in insulin resistance among obese participants with T2D.
These findings suggest that the keto diet may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, contributing to better blood sugar control.
Keto and Weight Loss
Obesity is a major risk factor for developing T2D. Therefore, weight loss is an important component of diabetes management. The keto diet has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss among people with T2D.
In one study published in Annals of Internal Medicine journal, participants who followed a low-carb ketogenic diet lost significantly more weight than those on a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet after 12 months. Another study published in Diabetes Care showed that participants who followed a very-low-calorie ketogenic meal replacement plan achieved greater weight loss and improvements in their HbA1c levels than those on a standard reduced-calorie meal plan over eight weeks.
These findings suggest that the keto diet may be an effective strategy for promoting weight loss and improving metabolic health among people with T2D.
The evidence suggests that the keto diet can improve blood sugar control, reduce insulin resistance, promote weight loss, and improve metabolic health among people with type 2 diabetes. However, it’s essential to note that the keto diet isn’t suitable for everyone and should only be undertaken under medical supervision.
If you have diabetes or any other health condition and are considering trying the keto diet or any other dietary intervention, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if it’s safe for you and provide guidance on how best to incorporate dietary changes into your overall treatment plan.