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Published: January 13, 2023

Keto and Diabetes

Keto and diabetes: What you need to know

Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or inadequate production of insulin. People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. Some people with diabetes find the ketogenic diet to be a healthy way to get the nutrients they need while still managing their blood glucose levels.

Overview of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate metabolism in which high levels of glucose in the blood cause damage to the insulin-producing cells of the body, leading to high blood sugar levels and diabetes complications. There are different types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and is characterized by loss of insulin production by the body's pancreas, resulting in low blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is a chronic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels even though insulin is being used to control it. This type of diabetes develops due to obesity, insulin resistance, or both.

How diet affects diabetes varies from person to person depending on their lifestyle and eating habits. A ketogenic diet can be a healthy diet option for people with diabetes as it can help improve blood glucose levels and enhance insulin sensitivity.

Dietary considerations include limiting intake of sugar, processed carbs, and fat while eating foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. In addition to eating healthy foods, individuals on a keto diet must monitor their weight and medications carefully.

Keto and Type 2 Diabetes

A ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan that has been linked to improvements in glycemic control and weight loss. However, it has also been criticized for its potential adverse effects on health.

Keto and type 2 diabetes: How the keto diet affects glucose levels

The keto diet can help improve blood sugar levels by reducing the intake of glucose and insulin. This reduces the secretion of glucose into the urine, which can lead to a fall in urinary glucose levels.

Glucose is the main source of fuel for cells, and a reduction in its intake can help lower blood sugar levels. Some people with diabetes have also experienced an improvement in their blood sugar levels while following a keto diet.

However, there are some side effects associated with a keto diet that should be considered before taking it up. A keto diet may result in weight loss but this can be accompanied by loss of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium.

The loss of minerals may worsen diabetic complications like kidney disease and heart disease. Besides, ketosis can result in electrolyte imbalances which could be very dangerous for those suffering from diabetes. It is essential to follow a well-balanced diet and monitor glucose levels regularly to avoid any complications on the keto diet.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

The ketogenic diet has been a subject of significant research interest for its potential benefits for diabetes. It is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to go into ketosis, where it uses fat as its primary source of fuel and produces ketones in the liver.

In ketosis, insulin levels fall and blood glucose levels decline, which can help improve blood sugar control. The diet also has been shown to reduce body weight and fat mass, improving insulin sensitivity. In addition to these metabolic effects, the keto diet may also promote better glycemic control, reducing the need for medication.

The ketogenic diet has an important role to play in the management of diabetes. However, more studies are needed to confirm its benefits and avoid any adverse effects.

Potential Risks of the Keto Diet for People with Diabetes

Research has found that keto diet can be detrimental to people with diabetes. This is due to the high intake of fat and low intake of glucose on a ketogenic diet, which can lead to low blood sugar levels.

While low blood sugar levels are beneficial for people with diabetes, high blood sugar levels are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

Another potential risk of keto diet is dehydration. As ketosis causes loss of body water, it may result in hypovolemic shock and death. Additionally, ketones inhibit the secretion of insulin, which would result in high insulin levels and glucose intolerance.

Because ketones also decrease the body's ability to absorb minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, it may also result in nutrient deficiency.

Finally, keto dieting may have influence on mental health and well-being due to weight loss and improvements in metabolic flexibility. However, long-term research is needed to confirm this effect.

Guidelines for Following a Healthy Keto Diet With Diabetes

When following a keto diet with diabetes, it's important to monitor your blood sugar closely. This includes keeping track of your blood glucose levels throughout the day and making adjustments to your diet as needed.

You can choose healthy fats and proteins sources when following a keto diet with diabetes. This will help you feel full and satisfied while eating fewer calories overall. Eating high-fiber foods can help balance blood sugar levels and can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

If you're taking medications for diabetes, it's a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider before making any major dietary changes. They can help you determine if a keto diet is right for you and can provide tips on how to follow the diet safely and effectively.


The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that has been used in medicine and dieting since the 1920s. It's become increasingly popular as a weight-loss strategy and can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes when done correctly.

But it requires careful monitoring and supervision by a medical professional, who can help you adjust your medication and monitor blood glucose levels.

People with type 1 diabetes should not attempt the keto diet without medical supervision, as it could cause high blood glucose levels or dehydration. Also, the keto diet isn't appropriate for everyone with diabetes, as it can increase excitability and insulin resistance.

Plus, people following the keto diet should always monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust their medication as needed to keep their blood sugar levels within target ranges.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of following the keto diet for people with diabetes?

Following a keto diet can be beneficial for people with diabetes. A keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that has been shown to help improve blood sugar control. By following this diet, insulin resistance can be reduced, which in turn helps to lower blood glucose levels.

In addition to improving blood sugar control, the keto diet can also lead to weight loss and increased energy levels due to its high-fat composition and low-carbohydrate intake.

However, it is important to remember that people with diabetes should always consult their doctor before starting the keto diet as it may not be suitable for everyone.

Are there any potential risks associated with following a keto diet for people with diabetes?

Yes, there are potential risks associated with following a keto diet for people with diabetes. Firstly, they may need to adjust medication dosages when following a keto diet due to the changes in blood glucose levels. Additionally, as it is a high-fat diet, this could potentially worsen diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious condition and should be monitored carefully.

Furthermore, people with diabetes should pay close attention to their blood sugar levels when following a keto diet and consult regularly with their doctor. Lastly, following a keto diet could also lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, constipation and other health issues if not done properly with the right diet plan and medical advice.

What foods should be avoided on the keto diet for people with diabetes?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet plan which has been found to be effective in aiding weight loss and managing insulin levels for people with diabetes. However, there are certain foods that should be avoided on this diet.

People with diabetes should avoid high glycemic index foods such as refined sugars and starches in order to keep blood glucose levels in check. Dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, should also be avoided due to their higher carbohydrate content.

Additionally, foods containing trans fats or processed vegetable oils should be avoided on the keto diet for people with diabetes. Foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat and full-fat dairy, should also be limited. Eating too much of these foods can increase cholesterol levels and raise your risk of heart disease over time.

Are there any supplements or medications that can help manage diabetes when following a keto diet?

Yes, there are a number of supplements and medications that can help manage diabetes when following a keto diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, cinnamon, and berberine are a few of the natural supplements that may be beneficial in managing blood glucose levels on the keto diet. Additionally, Metformin is a commonly prescribed medication for type 2 diabetes that can be used on a keto diet.

However, it is important to remember that each person is different and you should consult with your doctor before taking any of these supplements or medications while following the keto diet. Doing so will ensure that you get the best advice for managing diabetes that is tailored to your specific needs.

How can I ensure that I get enough essential nutrients while following a keto diet for diabetes?

Following a ketogenic diet for diabetes has become increasingly popular as a way to control blood sugar levels and weight loss. To ensure you get all of your essential nutrients while following this diet, here are some tips:

1. Eat a Variety of Whole Unprocessed Foods: When it comes to keto diet for diabetes-friendly eating, whole unprocessed foods like vegetables, low-carb fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats are the best way to meet your nutrient needs.

2. Load Up on Healthy Fats: Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and coconut oil should be included in your diet as they provide the body with essential fatty acids needed for weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.

3. Increase Your Intake of Vegetables: Vegetables are packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber that help to reduce inflammation in the body and support weight loss goals. Try to include lots of green leafy veggies and low-carb fruits like berries in your diet.

4. Eat Lean Proteins: Eating lean proteins like fish, poultry and eggs will help keep you full longer and provide energy when needed throughout the day.

5. Supplement Accordingly: Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, folate and omega-3

Are there any risks or drawbacks to following a ketogenic diet for people with diabetes?

Yes, there are certain risks and drawbacks associated with following a ketogenic diet for people with diabetes. Firstly, it is important to note that ketogenic diet should only be followed after consulting with a healthcare professional.

For those who do opt to follow a ketogenic diet, close monitoring of blood sugar levels is of utmost importance as the diet may cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. Additionally, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can occur due to the high fat intake involved in this diet plan. If left untreated, this can lead to serious complications.

Lastly, following a ketogenic diet requires strict adherence to carbohydrate intake limits, which may be difficult to maintain long-term. Therefore, it is critical to closely monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the entire process.


There are many reasons to try the ketogenic diet and it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re looking to manage blood sugar or weight and improve your overall health. Just make sure you talk to your doctor first, especially if you’re on medication, have low blood sugar, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

A keto diet can be a healthy way of eating but it’s not for everyone and each person must be careful to monitor their insulin intake, blood glucose levels, and ketone levels. Keep in mind that keto is high in fat and low in carb, which can be a shock to your body at first.

Slowly transitioning into this diet by cutting back on carb-heavy foods and increasing fats can help reduce these side effects. The keto diet is a long-term eating plan that requires lifestyle changes, so just be patient and give it time!