The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance
We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>
How The Ketogenic Diet Works For Type 2 Diabetes
Special diets for type 2 diabetes often focus on weight loss, so it might seem crazy that a high-fat diet is an option. But the ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fat and low in carbs, can potentially change the way your body stores and uses energy, easing diabetes symptoms. With the keto diet, your body converts fat, instead of sugar, into energy. The diet was created in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy, but the effects of this eating pattern are also being studied for type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while also reducing the need for insulin. However, the diet does come with risks, so make sure to discuss it with your doctor before making drastic dietary changes. Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, so a high-fat diet can seem unhelpful. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to have the body use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glucose. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats, though. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. Some healthy foods that are commonly eaten in the ketogenic diet include: eggs fish such as salmon cottage cheese avocado olives and olive oil nuts and nut butters seeds The ketogenic diet has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. If you already have high blood glucose, then eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. The Atkins diet is one of the most famous low-carb, high-p Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes
What is type 1 diabetes? How is it different than type 2? Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, forcing the pancreas to produce ever more insulin, and leading to a downward spiral of metabolic illness. It’s also called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, because the vast majority of people who develop it do so in adulthood, after years of eating a high-carb diet. Type 1 diabetes, also known as “Juvenile Diabetes”, is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Only the pancreas can produce insulin, and insulin is the hormone primarily responsible for shuttling molecules out of the blood and into cells for energy or storage. That means, if the pancreas isn’t producing insulin, a person will starve to death from the inside. Their cells, literally, cannot get any food. They can eat and eat and eat, but there’s no mechanism to transport that food energy into the cells. That’s why they need regular insulin shots. On a regular-carb diet, those insulin shots might be several times per day. On a high-carb diet, those shots will be even more frequent. Type 1 diabetics must keep injecting themselves with insulin in order to deal with all the glucose in their blood stream. They have to keep insulin levels high, if they eat high carbs, because they have a high level of glucose to deal with. Being ketogenic means insulin levels don’t have to be high, because there isn’t a high level of glucose that needs to be shuttled around. And, because there isn’t a big requirement for insulin, the type 1 diabetic can reduce the amount of insulin needed on a daily basis (many reduce this requirement by 80%). The important thing to remember is that someone suffering from type 1 dia Continue reading >>
The High Blood Glucose Dilemma On Low Carb (lc) Diets
If you are on a ketogenic or very low carb (VLC) diet (e.g. with 50-100gr carb/day and/or eating ketone producing MCT oils such as coconut oil), you may have a dilemma of having high Blood Glucose (BG) despite eating LC: If you are keto adapted, that is, your body is using ketones and even though you have sufficient insulin (say >5 microU/ml) your body tries to keep your BG higher than necessary, e.g. above 100-110 mg/dl. That is your BG set-point is always high. If you try to lower the set-point to say 80s, by water Intermittent Fasting (IF), then your body starts to convert your muscles into glucose to keep its high BG set-point. So, you may have a slightly lower BG, but you lose some muscle mass. Having a high set-point has many other problems, e.g. if you eat something with a little bit more carb, say a small fruit, your BG shoots up to 130s and stays there for hours. This may be due to something called "Physiological Insulin Resistance (PhIR) by Petro Dobromylskyj. He wrote many good articles about it -???thanks Petro--in his blog Hyperlipid. Apparently, PhIR is a normal reaction of the body and quite different from Pathological Insulin Resistance (PaIR). It seems that the main difference between PhIR and PaIR is that insulin is at a normal level in the former and abnormally high in the latter. (PaIR is obviously type2 diabetes.) If I understand correctly, PhIR is kind of IR only in the muscle tissue, that is only the muscles do not react to insulin and NOT use glucose even though it is available. However, if you are eating too much protein, the liver may also be considered IR, because it tries to keep the BG high by converting proteins to glucose, even though BG is already too high, that is, it also may not be responding to insulin. (I think working muscles can us Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar In Ketogenic Dieters! Plus A Special Surprise (hint: Genotypes And Metabolism)!
A while ago Michael and I were discussing future article topics. There are truly a plethora of avenues to go down in this area of research and there is no lack of things to research and comment on. But even though I have a couple of pretty cool MCT articles sitting around on my desk, I want an interesting topic. I want something new. Something challenging. Besides, everyone is drinking the MCT koolaid these days. It’s become passe. (Also, it upsets my stomach and I have a personal vendetta against it. So there.) What’s new? There has to be something new! Michael pointed me to one of his old articles on physiological insulin resistance as an idea. I brushed it off at first. Dismissed it as a quirk. But then I thought about it. WHY does blood glucose rise in response to a low carb diet? It truly is an interesting question. What does it say about low carb diets if they induce an almost diabetic effect on circulating glucose? Thus my research began. This short abstract confirmed that it is normal for people on low carb diets to experience a rise in blood glucose levels. Because it’s a non-open journal (shame!), there’s a one-sentence explanation given: A decrease in first-phase insulin secretion may partially contribute to the short-term LC/HFD-induced increase in postprandial plasma glucose levels. First phase insulin secretion? There’s a first phase? So… There’s more than one phase to insulin secretion? I had no idea. Call me ignorant but I had no idea until this point that there was more than one phase to insulin secretion. This article delves deeper into the signaling involved in (what I learned is called) biphasic insulin secretion. The first phase of insulin secretion lasts approximately 10 minutes, and the second phase of insulin secretion picks up afte Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>
Doing Keto? Consider Buying A Blood Glucose Meter
The amount of glucose in your blood at any given time can give you valuable insights into how your body is reacting to the food you eat. If you’re doing a keto-based diet, the data you get from a glucose meter will help you optimize your eating for maximum weight loss! The premise of a keto-based diet is simple: Keep the carbs as low as possible so that your body is forced to get glucose (energy) from fat, rather than carbs. Any sort of glycemic reaction could cause a weight-loss stall for several days. Not sure what a Keto diet is, or want to learn more about it? I talk about what a keto diet is, and the pros and cons of this approach, in this blog article. What is a glycemic reaction? In short, a glycemic reaction is what happens when you eat carbs. It’s a fancy name for an even fancier process. Effectively, when you eat carbs, your body produces a hormone called “insulin” which is responsible for delivering the glucose (the energy from your the carbs you just ate) to the muscle cells in your body. In a keto-based diet, you want to avoid the production of insulin at all costs. Not because insulin itself is bad — but because it means you’ve short-circuited the keto process by eating too many carbs, and allowing your body to get energy from carbs, rather than fat. If this happens, it can take days to “reset” your body back into ketosis. In short, if you are doing a keto-based diet and your blood-glucose levels spike, you screwed up. How to measure your blood glucose level Get yourself a blood-glucose meter!! You can buy a blood-glucose meter from any pharmacy in the $20 to $40 range. The test-strips come in packs of 100 for around $25. (around $0.25 each if you’re bad at math). Here’s a link on Amazon to a glucose meter kit that’s perfectly adequat Continue reading >>
How To Easily Track Your Glucose Ketone Index (gki) On Your Ketogenic Diet
Tracking ketone levels is a large part of success on the ketogenic diet. It helps you know how far you are into ketosis and where we might need to make changes. But did you know that there’s an even better way to step it up a notch? The glucose ketone index is a simple calculation that allows you to find out how ketosis works best for you individually. Without it, you could be in full, high-level ketosis yet still not getting the full benefits. In this post, we’ll be looking at how to easily track your glucose ketone index for different aspects of health along with your ketogenic diet. Basics of the Glucose Ketone Index Here’s what you need to know about the glucose ketone index (GKI): Researchers have used the index in studies on the ketogenic diet, fasting, and more. Additionally, it has been used for tracking changes and progress regarding weight loss, athletic performance, management of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, and even cancer treatment. Now that we’ve covered the basics of what the GKI does, let’s talk about how you can use tracking it to your advantage. Tracking Your Glucose Ketone Index What’s so special about the glucose ketone index is that it lets you track both glucose and ketones at the same time, taking into account how they work together. It’s a way to know your optimal state for addressing all sorts of health conditions. Tracking this number benefits you over simply measuring ketone levels. That’s because even if you’re deeply in ketosis, you could still have high blood glucose levels that throw things off and affect your health. Essentially, it gives you a more full picture of your metabolic health. The numbers you can expect to target depend on your intentions for being in ketosis. Is your goal weight loss, better overa Continue reading >>
How Do Low-carb Diets Affect Blood Glucose Levels?
Low-carb diets are all about balancing blood sugar (blood glucose) levels. Beyond weight loss, we eat low-carb diets to keep our blood sugar normal and stable. To fully understand the connection, it's helpful to first familiarize yourself with how the body processes blood sugar in a normal state and even explore how that changes when there's a problem, such as in diabetics. What Do Carbohydrates Have to Do With Blood Glucose? Carbohydrates have everything to with blood glucose. All foods with carbohydrate -- whether rice, jelly beans, or watermelon -- break down to simple sugars in our bodies turning into glucose through metabolic processes. This process is what causes our blood glucose to rise. The carbohydrate in most starchy foods (potatoes, bread) is simply a collection of long chains of glucose, which break down quickly and raise blood sugar . What Do Our Bodies Do When Blood Sugar is High? When our blood sugar goes up, our body responds by secreting insulin to stabilize it. The sugar is then taken out of the blood and converted into fat; insulin's primary function is facilitating the storage of extra sugar in the blood as fat. Diabetics are unable to balance blood sugar when the process of converting food to energy takes place. When sugar levels are high, the ability of cells in the pancreas to make insulin goes down. The pancreas overcompensates for this lack of insulin and insulin levels stay high, as does blood sugar. Over time, the pancreas is permanently damaged and other bodily functions are affected such as hardened blood vessels, among other ailments. What are the Problems with Blood Sugar Going Up? However, for many people, this metabolic process works fine. Sometimes, though, people reach a point in their lives when it goes awry (or it doesn't work well Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For People With Diabetes?
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe for People with Diabetes? If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are you’re looking for simple yet effective ways to control your blood sugar. And, if at all possible, without the use of daily shots or medications. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, exercise is one of the best natural ways to manage blood glucose. But perhaps the most obvious way to keep blood sugar at a safe and consistent level without insulin is to pay special attention to what you eat. And, in the case of diabetes, limiting your carbohydrate intake may be the key. What Is the Keto Diet? At first glance the ketogenic (keto) diet may seem like a crazy idea for type 2 diabetics. After all, many patients are put on diets to help them lose weight. The keto diet is high in fat, but it is very low in carbs, and this combination can help change the way your body stores and uses energy. With this diet your body converts fat instead of sugar into energy, which can improve blood glucose levels while reducing the need for insulin. Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis Ketosis and ketoacidosis are two very different things, which are often confused. But it’s very important you understand the difference. What is ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis (KA) is a life-threatening condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. This causes you to have dangerously high levels of ketones (substances occurring when the body uses fat stores for energy) and blood sugar. The combination of both makes your blood incredibly acidic, and this can, in turn, change the normal functioning of your internal organs such as your liver and kidneys. Patients suffering from ketoacidosis must get treatment immediately or they could slip into a coma and even die. Ketoacidosis can develop in less than 24 Continue reading >>
Monitoring Ketone And Blood Glucose Levels On A Low Carb Diet
By Mary T. Newport M.D. While it is not necessary to measure ketone levels, many people who make the change to a low carb, ketogenic diet and/or use ketone salts would like to have some positive proof that their ketone levels are, in fact, elevated. When transitioning from a higher carb to a low carb, ketogenic type diet, it can take several days to begin to see an increase in ketone levels and the ketone level may continue to rise for two or three weeks before it levels off. The ketone level can fluctuate somewhat throughout the day and can vary considerably from person to person. Using ketone salts, such as Prüvit KETO//OS® or KETO//OS Max, as a supplement can give you a jump start on getting into ketosis and increase ketone levels within 30 to 60 minutes of taking the product. Using coconut oil and MCT oil as part of the diet can help increase and sustain ketone levels as well. There are several ways available to measure ketone levels in urine, blood or by using a breath analyzer. When blood levels of ketones become elevated, the excess ketones will filter out of the blood into the urine. Urine ketone test strips were originally developed for diabetics to help determine if they are going into diabetic ketoacidosis when the blood sugar is elevated. There are a number of companies that sell urine test strips that change color when ketone levels are elevated – usually the deeper the color, the higher the ketone level. This will not tell you what your actual blood ketone level is but can give you a rough idea of whether you are in ketosis or not. However, one of the drawbacks to using urine test strips is that they only measure the ketone acetoacetate and not beta-hydroxybutyrate, which tends to be much more elevated than acetoacetate during ketosis. Also, Prüvit ke Continue reading >>
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Ketogenic Diet For Type 2 Diabetes: Does It Work?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition affecting blood sugar levels that can be managed by following a healthful diet and maintaining a healthy weight. People who are obese can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Following a diet that is full of vitamins and minerals and low in added sugars and unhealthful fats can help people to lose some of the extra weight. People who lose 5-10 percent of their body weight can lower their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. For people with diabetes or people with pre-diabetes, losing the same amount of body weight can help provide a noticeable improvement in blood sugar. For some people, the ketogenic diet is an effective way to control their diabetes. It has been shown to lower blood glucose levels as well as reduce weight. Contents of this article: What is the ketogenic diet? Foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and fruit, are the body's main fuel source. The body breaks the food down and uses the resulting sugar (glucose) for energy. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low carbohydrate diet. It was initially developed and recommended for children with epilepsy. The diet recommends that people eat 30 grams (g) of carbohydrates or below per day. The goal is to eat 3 to 4 g of fat for every 1 g of carbohydrate and protein. Impact on blood sugar levels Because the ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates, there is not enough sugar available for the body to use as fuel, so it resorts to using fat. The process of breaking down fat is called "ketosis," and it produces a fuel source called ketones. A ketogenic diet helps some people with type 2 diabetes because it allows the body to maintain glucose levels at a low but healthy level. The reduced amount of carbohydrates in the diet Continue reading >>
Will Low-carb Diets Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Drop?
Video of the Day If you're accustomed to eating a very high-carb diet and suddenly switch to a very low-carb diet, you could experience rather dramatic drops in your blood sugar during the first few days or weeks of your transition. This low blood sugar can cause notably uncomfortable side effects and intense cravings. Carbs and Blood Sugar Your body converts consumed carbohydrates into glucose, a type of sugar. When the glucose enters your bloodstream, it leads to an increase in your blood sugar level. The pancreas produces insulin in response to spikes in blood sugar, which helps your body store the sugar for energy. This insulin release subsides when your cells absorb the sugar and your levels stabilize. In a healthy body, the surge of blood sugar and insulin is relatively moderate and keeps you evenly motoring through your day. When you eat lots of carbohydrates, your body's blood sugar remains consistently high and your system constantly pumps out insulin. This chronic elevation of blood sugar and release of insulin causes inflammation, an increase in fat storage and an inability to burn stored fat. Chronically high blood sugar levels increase your risk of disease, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You crave carbohydrates regularly for energy, because your body isn't efficient at using stored fat for fuel. How a Low-Carb Diet Impacts Blood Sugar If you regularly consume a large amount of carbohydrates, especially refined ones like white bread and soda, you may experience a notable drop in blood sugar when you drastically reduce your carb intake. In the first week of carb reduction, your body will seek to maintain your high sugar intake. You'll crave carbohydrates and may even feel weak because your body hasn't yet become efficient at burning fat for fuel Continue reading >>
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Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis
A low carb helps reduce blood sugars and insulin levels and helps with the management of many of the diseases of modern civilisation (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). We become insulin resistant when our body fat can’t store any more energy. Excess energy is then stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and other organs that are more insulin sensitive. We also see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, fat and elevated ketone. Endogenous ketosis occurs when we eat less food than we need. Our insulin and blood sugar levels decrease and ketones rise to supply the energy we need. Exogenous ketosis occurs when we eat lots fat and/or take exogenous ketones. Blood ketones rise, but our insulin levels will also rise because we have an excess of energy coming from our diet. Most of the good things associated with ketosis occur due to endogenous ketosis. Most people following a ketogenic diet over the long term have ketone values lower than what some people consider to be “optimal ketosis”. If your goal is blood sugar control, longevity or weight loss then endogenous ketosis with lower blood sugars and lower ketones is likely a better place to be than chasing higher blood ketones. I have seen a lot of interest and confusion recently from people following a ketogenic about ideal ketone and blood sugar levels. In an effort to try to clear this up, this article reviews blood ketone (BHB), breath ketone (acetone) and blood sugar data from a large number of people who are following a low carb or ketogenic diet to understand what “normal” and “optimal” look like. Many people initiate a low carb diet to manage their blood glucose levels, insulin resistance or diabetes. As shown in the chart below, Continue reading >>