A Keto diet for diabetics - here's how it works
by Elloww Team
A keto diet is essentially cutting out carbs & sugar from your diet and replacing it with good quality healthy fats and protein. Scientific research has shown that keto diets can be very effective in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing weight, both essential factors in managing type-2 Diabetes.
So what exactly is a ketogenic diet & how does it help manage type-2 Diabetes?
A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, with moderate levels of protein and a high in fat components.
When high-carb and starchy foods bread, potatoes and rice is digested by our bodies, it converts the carbs into blood glucose used for energy, and any excess is stored as fat. On a ketogenic diet, the minimal sugar and carb quantities keep blood glucose levels low, which causes the body to break down body fat to use for energy instead. This process is called ketosis.
Why is this good?
In its natural state, our body is an efficient energy-burning machine. When we load it with high carb, highly processed food, the glucose levels in our blood stream rise quickly, causing a spike in insulin, as our system deals with the overload.
With type-2 diabetes, the body doesn't respond to insulin like it should. While the body still produces insulin, it may not be produced sufficiently or used efficiently. This causes blood sugar levels to increase sharply, which in the long run leads to a series of other symptoms and conditions like hypertension, heart disease, nerve damage and much more.
The key to managing type-2 diabetes is keeping blood sugar levels in check.
Since a keto diet keeps high sugar foods at bay, diabetics usually find that they can manage blood sugar levels and lose weight.You need to have a steady stream of wholesome small snacks or meals that ensure a diabetic’s blood sugar level does not fluctuate intensely. Research is starting to emerge that following the ketogenic diet will help to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
So what type of food do you eat on a ketogenic diet?
The first rule of keto is to eat whole foods or food which is minimally processed. One of the main components of the diet is a moderate amount of low carb vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, and salad vegetables. Small amounts of berries work too, for a sweet treat.
However, protein from fresh, unprocessed meat, chicken, fish and eggs is a central part of the diet. Most of these foods contain fat, and more fat is added to the menu by preparing meals with olive oil, and other healthy fats such as nuts. Meals made this way are nutritious and tasty, keeping you satisfied and reducing your temptation to binge.
If you’re looking to start a keto diet without having to calculate your macros or carbs percentage and are looking to have all your meals taken care of, getting on a meal plan crafted by nutritionists can take the stress off the diet. For more information about our keto meal plans, click here.