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Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

January 13, 2019 8 min read

1 Comment

Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

Although you may have doubts about the celebrity health trends, the keto diet may offer a lot of benefits to you even if you have type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia. So, if you are going to go on the keto diet and have type 2 diabetes, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of the diet and check with your doctor.

Nowadays, a lot of headlines appear on TV about the keto diet. Famous celebrities fueled this trend through their appearances on media channels.

But what if you have type 2 diabetes? Is this low-carb diet stiff safe for you? This is the most common question on people's minds. And through this article, we are going to address this issue once and for all.

According to some science studies, the keto-friendly meal plan is helpful. Other studies done in 2016 stressed the importance of whole grains for people with diabetes. Generally, whole grains are not recommended for people with this condition.

Although the keto diet does offer a variety of benefits if you are going to manage your condition, make sure you are seriously committed. 

Given below are a few questions that you may want to answer prior to making changes to your diet. Answering these questions will help you and your doctor determine if the keto diet is a good choice for you.


the keto diet and type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia on the ketogenic diet

How Does the Keto Diet Work?

In case you don't know, the ketogenic diet has many other names, such as the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. As the name suggests, adopting this diet means you are going to reduce your carb intake to below 60 grams per day. On the other hand, you may have to up your consumption of fat and protein, says a review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

keeping that point in mind, if you are on a non-keto diet, you may easily end up consuming a lot more carbs on a daily basis. For example, if you consume a turkey, vegetable sandwich, and cheese along with a whole-grain bread and one oz of potato chips, you may end up having more than 51 grams of carbohydrates.

What happens when you avoid all these things for a long-term? Avoiding low-carb foods for a long-term may cause a reduction in your insulin levels, which may put your body in a state ofketosis. In this state, your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates in order to produce energy.


 Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

Does the keto diet offer any benefits for Type 2 diabetes patients?

If you have type 2 diabetes, we can let you know how you can benefit from the keto diet. According to Eat What You Love Diabetes Cookbook, If you consume more fat and protein, you may not feel too hungry during the day, which may help you get rid of the extra fat. The reason is that fat and protein tend to take a lot of time to digest properly. On the other hand, foods rich in carbs are easy on your stomach. As a result, you feel hungry soon after you have had a meal.

Aside from this, you can enjoy many other benefits as well. According to a review published in the Journal of Obesity & Eating Disorders, if you are on the keto diet, you can see a significant improvement in your tests. These tests results show the average score of your blood sugar levels over a course of three months. Besides, the keto diet may helps you control your triglycerides and gives you better results than a low-fat diet. Therefore, this is a plus point for those with diabetes as they are at a higher risk to develop a heart disease.

Moreover, It's important to keep in mind that a keto diet is 300% more effective than a low-fat diet as far as weight management is concerned. According to the Obesity Society, even if you manage to shed 10 pounds, it may help you drop the medications you are taking to manage your blood sugar levels. In addition, experts found that the keto diet may also be good for managing cholesterol levels.


Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

Is the Keto an ideal Diet for those with Diabetes?

However, experts don't suggest the keto diet is an ideal choice for people with type 2 diabetes. According to some studies, the regular consumption of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of whole grains, olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and lean meats can benefit those with Type 2 diabetes. According to a review found in Nutrients, the Mediterranean diet can help prevent the type 2 diabetes.

In the same way, another study published in Diabetes Care suggests that a Mediterranean diet that doesn't limit the calorie consumption can help prevent diabetes. Aside from this, the eating habits of a person may also help them manage their blood sugar levels. In this review, we have a few cross-sectional studies that a Mediterranean diet is good if you want to manage your diabetes effectively.

Here it's important to keep in mind that the keto diet is also associated with a few risks. Based on the study published in the Journal of Obesity & Eating Disorders, we can say that people with diabetes that take medication on a regular basis to control their disease are at a higher risk of developing hypoglycemia aka lower blood sugar levels when on the keto diet. Aside from this, the keto diet may also cause a number of other side effects, such as chills, fever, rapid heart rate, hunger, thirst, confusion, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, and bad breath, just to name a few.


Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

How should you start the keto diet?

If you have made up your mind to start the keto diet, make sure you do it the right way. First, you may want to consult your family doctor and a certified dietitian before starting this diet plan.

It's a good idea to make changes gradually. Don't leave all the sources of carbohydrates as sudden changes may cause hypoglycemia. This pointer is even more important for you if you are already diabetic.

If you suffer from extreme fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, even Glucagon may not bring it down, according to Sylvia White, RD, CDE.

So, what can you do to ensure your blood sugar levels remain normal? There are many ways. We suggest that you test your ketone and blood sugar levels on a regular basis, which will help you prevent severe side effects.

As soon as you experience some symptoms, you may want to go for a check-up. Some of the common symptoms of DKA include frequent urination, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, high ketone levels, and high blood sugar levels, just to name a few. If complications occur, you may go into a diabetic coma. Therefore, we highly recommend that you keep an eye on your blood sugar levels while on the keto diet.

Aside from keeping a check on your blood sugar levels, make sure you consume a good amount of nutrients. We know that fiber, minerals, and vitamins are required to maintain good health. The same is true about healthy fats andcalories. Healthy fats include omega-3s, and monounsaturated fats. Consuming these will help you improve your cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation, according to White. For omega-3s, fish, especially salmon is a great source. for monounsaturated fats, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, almonds, and avocado are great sources.

Now, if you have no idea what you should consume and what you should avoid, ask your dietitian. Although this sounds easy, there is a common mistake that most people make. Most keto dieters only care about what they should avoid. They make the mistake of ignoring foods that they should include in their diet, such as lean proteins, monounsaturated fats and non-starchy vegetables.

But what if you don't have a good dietitian? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics can help you find a good, certified one in your area. So, this won't be a problem for you.


 Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

What should be your carb intake?

In simple words, it may not be easy for you to consume 20 to 60 grams of carbs on a daily basis. This is the amount of carbs that you can consume when on the keto diet, according to Zanini. If you want to adhere to the strict guidelines set by keto dietitians, you may want to adopt a new diet as well as a new lifestyle. Making changes to your diet alone is not a good idea.

Foods such as milkshakes, Big Macs, and Foot-long subs are part of the diet of most Americans. You will find it difficult to make these foods part of your new diet. Aside from this, foods that are an important part of a balanced diet like whole-grain bread and sweet potatoes should also be restricted.

At first, it will be tough for you to make these diet changes. Even if you are experienced, it may still take a toll on you. It's a good idea to track what you eat. There are many ways to do the tracking. For instance, you can maintain a food diary or you can use many of the apps that you can install on your smartphone.

It's important to keep in mind that you have to stick to your diet plan without any days off. This is a must if you want to see positive results down the road. Ignore these rules and you won't enjoy any benefits.


Is the Keto Diet Safe for everybody?

The keto diet is not for you if you have been suffering from kidney disease. The reason is that people with kidney disease have to restrict their consumption of protein, says Zanini.

Also, the keto diet is not safe for you if you have type 1 diabetes.Keto diet is safe for only those who have type 2 version. Moreover, Ketones also increase your risk for DKA as DKA is quite common in individuals who have type 1 diabetes, says the reports released by the American Diabetes Association. According to White, you may also want to keep your eyes to monitor other possible symptoms of DKA.

If you fighting an eating disorder, make sure you discuss the keto diet with your doctor to make a safe decision. Since the keto diet requires that you limit your carb consumption, make sure you don't eat too much of anything. If you overeat, you may develop eating disorders as well.

Hypoglycemia: Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe For People with Type 2 Diabetes?

List of keto friendly foods

If your doctor or dietitian suggests that the keto diet is right for you, you can follow the diet menu given below. All you need to do is keep high-carb foods at arm's length. However, you can have all the foods that are rich in healthy fats and protein. Below is the list of common foods that you can add to your ketogenic diet plan:

  • Olive oil
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Greek Yogurt (Non-fat)
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Poultry and meat

Given below are some foods that you don't want to binge on:

  • Processed foods, such as potato chips, corn and crackers
  • Artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal
  • All types of sugar including candy, baked goods, corn syrup, brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Fruits, particularly fruits that have a good deal of carbohydrates like tropical fruits
  • Alcohol
  • Grains

In a nutshell, the ketogenic diet is safe for you if you have the type 2 diabetes provided you adhere to the guidelines of your diet plan and check with your doctor first. 

1 Response


January 12, 2022

Coconut oil should also be on the “List of keto friendly foods” at the end. The MCT’s are quickly turned into ketones by the liver.

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