How Low Can You Go? Expert Advice On Low Carb Diets and Diabetes
Can blood sugar be better managed by following a ketogenic diet? An expert explains the benefits and the risks.
Low-carb diets seem to have made a comeback—Atkins, Paleo and more recently the ketogenic diet—all follow a low carbohydrate regimen and claim greater weight loss and even improved glycemia in people with diabetes.
While there is no doubt that carbohydrate restriction has the most significant improvement in blood glucose (since foods that contain carbohydrates can spike blood sugar after meals or snacks), the question remains:What is the “ideal” grams of carbohydrate for people with diabetes to consume?
According to the American Diabetes Association 2017 Standards of Care, “there is no single ideal dietary distribution of calories among carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for people with diabetes." The previous recommendation of 45-60% of calories from carbs is no longer supported by evidence. Instead, the distribution of carbs, protein and fat should be individualized "while keeping total calorie and metabolic goals in mind.” What works for one person with diabetes, might not work for another.
Still, ketogenic diets have gained popularity thanks to celebrities like Lebron James and Kim Kardashian claiming superior athletic performance, mental well-being, and faster weight loss.
The medical community is even testing the effects of the ketogenic diet on cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The ketogenic diet seems to be trending now, but is this diet really safe for people with diabetes? Here's what the research says:
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
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