Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes

The diets that are specially planned for type 2 diabetes focus on the weight loss. You may find it weird but high-fat diet can be considered by the diabetics. The ketogenic diets that are high in fat and low in carbs can transform the way a person’s body uses and stores energy. It also eases the diabetes symptoms.

What is a ketogenic diet?

In a ketogenic diet, the human body converts fats into a source of energy for the body instead of sugar. The effect of this diet on the type 2 diabetes is under study. The ketogenic diet may increase the level of blood glucose and reduce the need for insulin. But before making drastic changes in your eating behavior, you should consult your doctor.

People with type 2 diabetes are mostly overweight, so a diet that is high-fat can prove helpful. Someone on a ketogenic diet will get most of his energy from fat instead of glucose or carbohydrates. However, a ketogenic diet doesn’t need a person to load up on saturated fats. Fats that are heart-healthy are important for maintaining health. The ketogenic diet includes some of the healthy foods like:

  • Fish like salmon
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Olive oil and olives
  • Seeds

Effects of Ketogenic Diet on Blood Glucose

The blood glucose levels are likely to decrease in a ketogenic diet. The consumption of carbohydrates should be managed by the people with type 2 diabetes. This is because of the reason that carbohydrates may turn into sugar leading to sugar piling in large quantities. This can cause blood sugar spikes. Eating a huge amount of carbs can be very dangerous if you already have a high level of blood glucose. Therefore, by switching the focus on fat rather than carbs can help reduce blood glucose.

Potential Risks

When the primary source of energy gets shifted from carbohydrates to fats, there will be an increased number of ketones in the blood. The condition is called “dietary ketosis” that is completely different from ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is an extremely dangerous condition which results when there are too many ketones in someone’s blood. This can result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA prevails in type 1 diabetes mostly where there is an increased level of blood sugar because of an absence of insulin.

There is a possibility of developing DKA in type 2 diabetes when the ketones are very high. If you’re ill while being on a low carb-diet the chances of developing DKA will increase further. You should keep a check on your blood sugar level throughout the day to ensure that it is within the target range. Especially, when you are on a ketogenic diet. The ketones level should also be checked to make sure there are no risks of DKA. There are symptoms of DKA that should also be checked. Any complications can lead to diabetic coma. The symptoms of DKA are,

  • High blood sugar level
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A fruit-like odor of sweat and breath

Monitoring your diabetes

A diabetic will have to closely monitor his blood glucose and ketone levels while being on a high-fat diet. These are mandatory to ensure that the diet is not leading towards any adverse effects. Even if your body has completely adjusted to your diet plan, you might still want to visit your doctor two to three times every month. These visits will help you adjust your medication and testing.


The ketogenic diet plan provides hope for people who have type 2 diabetes and face difficulty in managing their symptoms. People who have gone through ketogenic diet feel better with less diabetic symptoms. Also, they will have to dependent lesser on their medication. However, it is not certain that every diabetic is going to be successful in this diet. There are those who find restrictions hard to follow for a long period of time. You should go for ketogenic diet onlyif you’re confident that you’ll stay committed to your diet plan. A plant-based diet that is either long-term or short-term can be more beneficial for you. So, take the advice of your doctor or dietitian before choosing a diet plan for yourself.


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