The keto diet has become extremely popular with people who are looking to drop a significant amount of weight. Could it be beneficial for those with diabetes? It may help reduce the amount of insulin needed.
What is a keto diet?
A ketogenic diet consists of a very low carb intake and a high fat intake. In this diet, the low amount of carbs puts your body into a metabolic state that is called ketosis. This makes your body burn fat for energy to pick up the slack because it doesn’t have its first source of energy (carbs) available.
What does that mean for diabetes?
The UI Health Arnett did a study on the keto diet and its correlation with aspects of diabetes such as blood sugar and insulin levels. The study showed results that could be a game changer for those with diabetes.
When maintaining a keto diet, the body will start to burn fat for energy rather than blood sugar. That means that the body’s metabolism changes with the energy source.
Keto and insulin
The study is based on 400 patients over a year-long period. The year showed the patients lowered their A1c on an average from 7.6 to 6.3 percent. While this is big news in itself, the strict keto diet also helped the patients lose significant weight. Those who lost at least 12 percent of their body weight were recorded as decreasing their diabetes medication.
A total of 94 percent of the patients in the study had their insulin prescription decreased.
The results of this study are impressive and offer hope to those with diabetes, but there is still more research that needs to be done to see if these effects are short or long term.
It is recommended that you talk to your doctor and/or dietician before experimenting with a low-carb or keto diet. This diet is not recommended without a healthcare provider overseeing your progression for safety reasons.