Got Diabetes? 8 Reasons to consider the Keto diet

If you have diabetes, you’ve probably heard all about the ketogenic diet, but you may still be wondering if it’s right for you. For anyone with type 2 diabetes, this is a life-changing tool when done correctly.  It empowers the patients and stops the downward path of diabetes. Here are nine reasons my own patients love it so much:

1. The Keto Diet Lowers Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is the most important feature of diabetes, its defining trait, and no diet lowers blood sugar more reliably than the ketogenic diet. The very first thing you’ll notice on a keto diet is that your blood sugar will stop spiking up the way that it used to after meals. This is a change that can happen immediately. It’s simple: carbohydrates are what directly lead to blood sugar highs, and when you eat very few of them, your blood sugar just won’t increase very much. When you choose low-carb food, you’ll be saying goodbye to those uncomfortable and frustrating after-meal highs.  Pretty soon after that, you’ll notice that your fasting blood sugar has also improved. Years of high blood sugars are exactly what lead to the eye, feet, and kidney problems that so many people with diabetes suffer from. It’s all caused by damage that accumulates day after day, hour after hour. Interestingly, retinopathy and neuropathy may actually improve significantly or disappear when the sugars are normalized.

2. The Keto Diet Improves Insulin Resistance

Doctors tend to focus on high blood sugar, but high sugar is just a severe symptom of insulin resistance.  We have got to fix insulin resistance if we want to fix diabetes.  High sugars affect the small vessels (microvascular disease) but it’s the insulin resistance that really leads to large vessel diseases (macrovascular disease) such as heart attacks and strokes.  The best way to fix insulin resistance is through diet and exercise.  Some drugs do lower blood sugar and insulin levels, but many drugs we used to treat high sugar levels do lower the sugar but increase insulin levels.  As long as we keep increasing insulin levels, then diabetes continues to be a progressive disease. 
It doesn’t need to be that way. Insulin resistance can be reversed, and a ketogenic diet is the best tool we have to do it. Studies show that low-carb diets improve insulin sensitivity better than low-fat diets, even when weight loss is equivalent. 

3. The Keto Diet Can Help You Drop Your Diabetes Medications

Perhaps the greatest joy my patients on the keto diet experience is dropping their medications. From my experience, most patients with type 2 diabetes can either stop the insulin or reduce the dose by more than half. 
The keto diet is such an effective intervention for reducing diabetes medications that you really should not begin until you speak to your doctor! You’ll need to have a plan to evaluate your progress because your pharmaceutical needs can change rapidly.

4. The Keto Diet is Incredible for Weight Loss

The results are in: the ketogenic diet is absolutely one of the most effective diets ever studied for weight loss. It routinely outperforms low-fat diets in controlled experiments in controlled experiments.
What’s truly amazing is that in many of these studies, the keto diet had the best results even when traditional diets were calorie-restricted and the keto diet was not. That’s right, keto dieters routinely lose more weight than other dieters even when they are allowed to eat ad libitum—as much as they want! That leads us to the next point:

5. On Keto, You Might Lose Weight Without Even Trying

A keto diet is so satisfying that it naturally causes many dieters to eat less without even realizing that it’s happening. My patients lose an average of 8 kilos in their first 6 months of treatment—and I don’t even tell them to cut their calories! Unfairly, men tend to lose more weight than women. 
It’s not magic, it’s satiety, and there is plenty of scientific evidence showing that a ketogenic diet suppresses appetite. A diet emphasizing healthy fats and protein will have you feeling happy and full before you overeat. 
Plus, a low-carb diet ensures that you’ll say goodbye to modern junk foods, which are packed with highly processed starches, crazy amounts of salt and sugar, and industrial oils—they are literally engineered to keep you going back for more.  Just this alone is enough to start losing weight.

6. Even if You Don’t Lose Weight, You’ll Benefit

Not everyone loses weight effortlessly on keto, and if it doesn’t happen for you, you’ll still enjoy major health improvements.
A recent study of the ketogenic diet put this to the test by requiring obese volunteers to eat so much that they wouldn’t lose any weight. They didn’t lose weight, but here’s what did happen: their blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol all improved, all while overeating on a keto diet.
Other diets just don’t show the same results. So if you don’t need to lose weight, or if you fear that you’ll be unable to, the keto diet can still significantly improve your health.

7. The Keto Diet Can Increase Your Energy Levels

Many of my patients say that the keto diet has given them new levels of energy. 
A mainstream Western diet, high in refined carbs and junk food, leads to a day filled with energy spikes and dips. There’s a rich colloquial language to describe these feelings: sugar rushes, food comas, and the feeling of ‘hangry.’ When your blood sugar and insulin levels are constantly yo-yo-ing up or down, you’re at the mercy of metabolism that’s gone off the rails. When you switch to keto you’ll be fueled primarily by fat—unlike carbs, these macronutrients provide a long, steady flow of energy, whether you last ate 10 minutes ago or 10 hours ago. Keto dieters often report that they no longer need to micromanage their energy levels with snacks and caffeine.

8. People Love Keto

Keto is trendy for a reason: people totally love it!  Yes, it’s true that people can be annoying about it because they have seen the change in their lives and can’t wait to share it with others.  In rigorous dietary studies, adherence to the keto diet is usually at least as good as it is to traditional diets, and is often higher. Many patients have told me that they tried Atkins in the past and felt great, but the reason they stopped was that they didn’t have the support of family, friends, and doctors. Fortunately today we have many good quality trials to offer all the needed support. The more we support each other the easier it is.

For more posts

What You Can Eat on the Keto Diet

Dr Mariela Glandt
Dec 22, 2020

Got Diabetes? 8 Reasons to consider the Keto diet

Dr Mariela Glandt
Nov 22, 2020