The Ketogenic Diet & Blood Sugar Balance - Mindbodygreen
Editors note: Will Cole , D.C., is a longtime member of the mbg family (hes in the mbg Collective and is even a class instructor !).His new book, Ketotarian , is all about marrying a ketogenic and vegetarian, vegan, or pescatariandiet for exponentially greater health benefits. Here, he shares how going on a ketogenic diet can help get you off the blood sugar roller coaster. You've heard about it online or from your friends, but what the heck is the ketogenic diet? Well, I'm glad you asked. Put simply, the ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) nutritional strategy. But what the heck does that even mean? Well, let's start with the basics. By using a specific ratio of high fats, moderate proteins, and low carbohydrates, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to shift your body from a sugar-burning state into a fat-burning state . Using fat for fuel is also known as nutritional ketosis and it has a ton of health benefits . Most of us are using sugar to fuel ourselvesand it's not the healthiest way to live. Before we talk about burning fat for fuel, it's important to know that the majority of people are burning sugar for fuel most (if not all) of the time. And that's because, as humans, we're eating sugar and carbohydrates, well, all the time. The typical American eats an average of 765 grams of sugar every five daysand much of it comes from not knowing where sugar is lurking or whatever alternative name it's going by! Compare that number to 45, which is the number of grams of sugar Americans ate in 1822 in the same time period. Every person eats and drinks 130 pounds of added sugar every year, an average of 3,550 pounds in a lifetime. That is equal to eating 1.7 million Skittles or an industrial-size Dumpster full of sugar! On top of that, we eat grains like bre Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Is Your Fasting Blood Glucose Higher On Low Carb Or Keto? Five Things To Know
This past spring, after 18 months of great success on the keto diet, I tested my fasting blood sugar on my home glucose monitor for the first time in many months. The result shocked me. I had purchased the device, which also tests ketones, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in the fall of 2015. As I embarked on low-carb keto eating, I tested my blood regularly. Soon my fasting blood sugar was once again in the healthy range. I was in optimal ketosis day after day. Not only that, I lost 10 lbs (5 kg) and felt fantastic — full of energy with no hunger or cravings. Before long I could predict the meter’s results based on what I was eating or doing. I put the meter away and got on with my happy, healthy keto life. When my doctor ordered some lab tests this spring, I brought the meter out again. While I had no health complaints, excellent blood pressure and stable weight, she wanted to see how my cholesterol, lipids, HbA1c, and fasting glucose were doing on my keto diet — and I was curious, too. To check the accuracy of my meter against the lab results, on the morning of the test I sat in my car outside the clinic at 7:30 am, and pricked my finger. I was expecting to see a lovely fasting blood glucose (FBG) of 4.7 or 4.8 mmol/l (85 mg/dl). It was 5.8! (103 mg/dl). What? I bailed on the tests and drove home — I didn’t want my doctor warning me I was pre-diabetic again when I had no explanation for that higher result. The next morning I tested again: 5.9! (104). Huh??? For the next two weeks I tested every morning. No matter what I did, my FBG would be in 5.7 to 6.0 (102 to 106 mg/dl), the pre-diabetic range again. One morning after a restless sleep it was even 6.2 mmol/l (113 mg/dl). But my ketones were still reading an optimal 1.5-2.5 mmol/l. I was still burnin Continue reading >>
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
- Got pre-diabetes? Here’s five things to eat or avoid to prevent type 2 diabetes
- Got pre-diabetes? Here's five things to eat or avoid to prevent type 2 diabetes
The Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes: The Definitive Guide
The Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes: The Definitive Guide The ketogenic diet has been around for a LONG time. Its popular. Its controversial. Some love it. Some hate it. Some even say it can help your blood sugars stay in better control. After thoroughly reviewing the scientific literature and trying the ketogenic diet myself for over 6 months, I am ready to unfold everything youve been hearing and let you decide for yourself what you think about the diet that has taken the world and diabetes community by storm. In this guide to the ketogenic diet and diabetes, I will cover the following: 7. Conclusion: Is a keto diet good for people with diabetes? This guide is relevant for people with any type of diabetes. I will mainly talk about insulin when I discuss how a keto diet affects blood sugar, but some studies also show a possible reduction in certain type 2 medications. Disclaimer: Please always consult with your medical team before you start a new diet, adjust your medication or change your diabetes management routine. Once upon a time, keto was the original diabetes diet prescribed to type 1 diabetes patients before the advent of insulin, as this would prolong their lives as it has less of an impact on blood sugar levels. More recently, Doctor Bernstein has popularized the keto diet for people living with diabetes in his book: Dr. Bernsteins Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet where you get only ~5% of your daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. By restricting your carbohydrate intake so severely, you force your body to get most of its energy from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning is the production of natural ketones in the body, hence the name of the diet. Burning ketones supplies the body with Continue reading >>
Should I Be Worried About Low Blood Sugar On Keto Or During Intermittent Fasting?
How should I eat after reaching my goal weight? Should I be worried about low blood sugar on keto or during intermittent fasting? Not if you are in relatively good health. A healthy body is perfectly capable of keeping blood sugar levels stable even on low-carb diets. If you are diabetic, however, you may be at risk of hypoglycemia if you don't adjust your medication to this diet [ 1 ]. If you were not diagnosed with diabetes but develop symptoms of hypoglycemia on keto or when fasting, there's no reason to worry. Studies show that some people develop symptoms like shakiness and irritation during food restriction despite having blood glucose within normal ranges [ 2 ]. A more likely cause of discomfort in the first days of keto or fasting is the keto flu. The keto flu is a result of electrolyte imbalances and includes symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches [ 1 ]. You can reduce the severity of any of these symptoms by limiting your carbs gradually and staying hydrated. We suggest decreasing your carb intake by 20 to 30 grams daily until you reach your target intake. Eating smaller meals throughout the day may help you get into keto more easily. If you experience severe ketosis symptoms like shakiness or feeling faint, try having a sugary drink like fruit juice. Keep in mind that this will take you out of ketosis and slow down your adaption. Some people find the transition to keto easier than others and if you have insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, you may be more susceptible to developing severe symptoms due to changing blood sugar levels. On the bright side, once your body adapts to using ketones for fuel instead of glucose, you'll notice these side effects subside. You may also see an improvement in your health if you're diabetic or have pre- 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 >>
I Tried The Keto Diet To Manage My Diabetes This Is What Happened
I Tried the Keto Diet to Manage My Diabetes This Is What Happened Medically reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C on February 23, 2018 Written by Kareem Yasin Health and wellness touch everyones life differently. This is one persons story. When Lele Jaro received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2006, she didnt leave the doctors office with a complete understanding of how the condition would influence the rest of her life, or fully equipped with the tools shed need to manage it. When I found out I had type 2, I didnt really know how to feel about it. I was so young and, to put it bluntly, nave about the whole diagnosis, she recalls. They gave me medication, some information [on] what to eat if you have diabetes, and that was it. Her doctor told her that shed probably been living with the condition since she was in her teens. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes creep up slowly without you really knowing the damage that its already doing to your body, she says. I thought it was something I could eventually overcome. It wasnt until I got pregnant at 29 when I realized that type 2 diabetes is a serious, chronic disease, she says. Following her doctors recommendations, she started to follow the Standard American Diet (SAD). Combined with working out, she managed to lose about 60 pounds by 2008. But when it came to actually managing her diabetes, relying on weight loss simply wasnt cutting it. Though she followed her doctors advice, it became increasingly clear to Lele that shed need to take matters into her own hands and develop a means by which to manage her diabetes that didnt leave her reliant on medication. The most common misconception about type 2 [diabetes] is that its easy to manage it by just losing weight, she says. While I understand that losing weight can de 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 >>
Tweet Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight What is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body's demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting. How a ketogenic diet works On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones. The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis. People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors. The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes. How to follow a ketogenic diet Based on the understanding that carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, the primary goal of a ketogenic diet is to keep consumption lower than that of a traditional low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein and a very high fat content. This will determine the nutrient density of the ketogenic diet as well as how to follow it, as different foods will have different effects on insulin and blood sugar levels. Which foods to eat on a ketogenic diet There are a number of differen 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 >>
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 >>
Higher Fasting Glucose On Ketogenic Diets: Reason To Worry?
Higher Fasting Glucose on Ketogenic Diets: Reason to Worry? The vast majority of people who adopt a low carb or ketogenic diet experience stunning improvements in blood glucose control and insulin levels. Carbohydrate restriction is so effective for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, in fact, that researchers have said it should be the default treatment for these issues , and those who follow it are typically able to reduce or eliminate many medications, including insulin . However, individual variability being what it is, a small percentage of patients see a rise in fasting blood glucose after some length of time on a very low carb diet. Considering that elevated fasting glucose is part of the diagnostic criteria for both type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic syndrome, is this seemingly paradoxical rise a reason for concern? As is true for so much of functional medicine, its all about context. A fasting blood glucose (FBG) thats higher than one would typically expect in someone adhering long-term to a very low carb diet doesnt automatically indicate anything nefarious. There are many reasons why FBG might be elevated, and many ways to assess metabolic health and glucoregulation beyond just this one measurement. The dawn phenomenon will be well known to any physician who treats patients with diabetes or insulin resistance (IR). Blood glucose naturally rises in response to surges of cortisol and other energy-mobilizing hormones in the early hours of the morning. This happens in everyone, not just those with diabetes or IR , but for healthy people with good insulin sensitivity, by the time they wake up, glucose has come back to a normal level. In those with diabetes or IR, on the other hand, the glucose remains elevated for a bit longer , so when they test it first th Continue reading >>
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Ketosis And The Ketogenic Diet: Debunking 7 Misleading Statements
Ketosis and the Ketogenic Diet: Debunking 7 Misleading Statements The ketogenic diet is the most popular dietary trend in our world today. Especially for those living with diabetes, its likely that youve been tempted to follow a ketogenic diet to lose weight, drop your A1c, and flatline your blood glucose. Even though it may seem tempting to enter the metabolic state of ketosis, its important to understand the caveats of ketosis, so that you fully understand your risks for developing long-term complications. So what exactly is a ketogenic diet? And why is ketosis a popular recommendation for those living with diabetes? A ketogenic diet a very low-carbohydrate diet by design, containing a maximum of 30 grams of dietary carbohydrate per day. When eating a ketogenic diet, you are told to avoid carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and instead eat larger quantities of meat, dairy, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. At the base of the ketogenic food pyramid are eggs, dairy, meat, oil, and fish, which make up the bulk of calories eaten. Non-starchy vegetables contain too much carbohydrate energy and are avoided, while non-starchy vegetables or green vegetables are included, along with nuts, seeds, and very limited amounts of fruit (mainly berries). In order to achieve the state of ketosis, you are only allowed to eat a small amount of carbohydrate energy from fruits and starchy vegetables. The ketogenic diet explicitly prohibits the consumption of grain products (even whole grains), pasta, refined sugar, milk, corn, legumes (including lentils, beans, and peas), as well as rice. When you eat a ketogenic diet, your muscle and liver switch from oxidizing glucose as their primary fuel to fatty acid Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets May Lead To An Increased Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Ketogenic diets may lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes August 8, 2018 , The Physiological Society New research published in the Journal of Physiology indicates that ketogenic diets, which are low carbohydrate high fat eating plans that are known to lead to weight loss, may cause an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the early stage of the diet. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and its ultimate cause has not been fully understood. Ketogenic diets, which are low in carbohydrate and high in fat, are known to lead to weight loss and have been considered to be healthy. These findings raise new questions about ketogenic diets and whether or not they are actually healthy. Insulin is released in the blood and used to control blood sugar levels including signaling the liver to stop producing sugar. If this system is impaired and the body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance , individuals are likely to develop high blood sugar levels. In this study the researchers showed that for ketogenic diets this process for controlling blood sugar levels does not work properly and there was insulin resistance in the liver. When the liver is unable to respond to normal levels of insulin to control blood sugar levels this may lead to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The study, which was conducted by ETH Zurich in conjunction with University Children's Hospital Zurich, involved feeding mice two different types of diet (a ketogenic diet and a high fat diet, which causes the liver to become resistant to insulin) and then performing standard metabolic tests on them. Using specialized procedures the researchers were able to determine the effects of internal sugar production from the animal (mostly the liver), and sugar Continue reading >>