I Have Diabetes. Is the Keto Diet Safe?
Many people with type 2 diabetes are focused on weight loss, so they often look at different diets as an option to shed some pounds. Studies have shown that through weight loss you can decrease your dependence on medication and possibly even reverse your diabetes. The problem is many trendy diets do not take into consideration the unique needs of a diabetic patient to manage their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that can be managed with the help of a doctor, through diet, exercise and medication. Betsy Oriolo, MS, RD, LD, CDE a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center says, “If you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before you start any diet. Tell the doctor your goals and be sure the diet you are considering is safe and suitable given your medical and health history.”
The keto diet has a long history in science that gives it more credibility than other diets. Ketogenic diets have been used to treat epilepsy for almost 100 years, and new studies are showing it can help people with type 2 diabetes lose more weight than the American Diabetic Association low-fat diet.
Betsy explains, “The keto diet is shown to be very effective for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But it is very important that they are monitored by the doctor helping them manage their blood sugars, blood pressure, lipids, medications or insulin needs.”
While on the diet, it is also essential you test your blood sugars regularly as decreased carbohydrate intake may make you more prone to having a low blood sugar level. Your doctor may also want to adjust your medication or diet from time to time while on the keto diet.
“It is also advised to carry glucose tablets to take if your blood sugar gets too low,” says Betsy.
Possible benefits of the keto diet for people with diabetes include:
- Improved blood sugars and A1c levels.
- Weight loss.
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Decreased use of insulin and medication.
Betsy also urges that anyone with chronic kidney or liver disease or who is pregnant or prone to gout should not try the keto diet.
The St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center offers a personalized approach to weight management that can be tailored specifically for people with other medical conditions such as diabetes. To learn more about program options, visit the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center online or call (859) 212-GOAL.