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The Keto Diet Debate…Is It Effective for Type 2 Diabetes?

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It’s lingered on for quite some time now…

With the proponents arguing it’s far effective than Paleo in dealing with diabetes…

Paleo protagonists are equally compelling…

Which side carries the day?

Explore the propositions here, and then see what position you’re going to take.

The conventional approach to type 2 Diabetes is to manage the condition with medication and diet.

This is based on the American Diabetes Association guidelines, which still include a lot of high carb foods, along with a low-fat diet and processed vegetable oils.

Unfortunately, both science and real life results show that the protocol simply doesn’t work…

At best, this approach may only be better than a junk food diet–but not any better…

And you can only have a small improvement in your blood glucose and other diabetes markers than the person who has really been abusing their body with junk foods.

However, according to research, conventional glucose-lowering drugs can often have harmful side effects, including damaging blood vessels.

While most of the general public still keep their bodies fueled with glucose in the form of processed grains and sugar, others have begun to adopt reduced carb paleo and even ketogenic diets that…

Actually reprogram their bodies to become the fat-burning machines like our forefathers once were.

These kinds of diets are very effective in lowering the amount of glucose circulating in the body…

And bringing back insulin sensitivity once again.

What is the Difference between a Paleo diet and a Keto diet?

The paleo diet is generally a reduced carbohydrates diet compared to a standard diet.

However, paleo is only a template for healthy eating without a specific ratio of carbs like keto does.

Paleo emphasizes foods our primal ancestors ate: no grains…no dairy…no legumes…no processed foods, and no refined sugars.

Paleo does, however, allow some carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, fruits, starchy vegetables, natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and dates.

Paleo diets also include grass-fed pastured meats, poultry, eggs, wild caught fish, game, and healthy saturated fats.

Is a Paleo diet effective for type 2 diabetes?

Of course, it’s far superior to the American Diabetes Association-recommended low-fat, high-carb diet and far healthier with its emphasis on fresh veggies, organic proteins, and unprocessed foods…

But the paleo diet can contain variable amounts of carbohydrates and natural sugars, depending on the types of paleo foods you eat.

Many versions of paleo diets include sweet potatoes, or desserts sweetened with dates, honey, molasses, or maple syrup.

So, yes, a paleo diet is much better than SAD diet, or even the ADA recommended diet, but it’s not always the absolute best choice to lower blood sugar, depending on the quantity of carbs you take on a paleo diet.

On the other hand, the ketogenic diet takes paleo a notch higher by restricting carbohydrates intake to much lower portions.

A keto diet restricts most carbohydrates and sugar, keeping the resulting glucose in the body consistently much lower. This forces your body to burn fats for energy instead of carbs.

Due to much more restricted carbs, a keto diet is almost perfect for diabetes.

A keto diet generally allows 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. And while that is super low compared to the average diet, it’s easier to indulge than you might think.

You see, one of the best ways to manage type 2 diabetes is to reduce carbohydrates and sugars, in addition to increasing your intake of antioxidants and other nutrient-laden foods.

Remember, type 2 diabetes comes about, essentially, due to insulin resistance. Your body cells suffer oxidative damage over time, with the insulin receptors on the cells getting damaged and blocked by toxins.

Toxins are poisonous micro elements in the environment that emanate from heavy metal pollutants, among others.

A diet rich in antioxidants helps a great deal in reversing the cell damage and reactivating the insulin receptors.

Once the receptors are active, they’ll allow insulin in to deliver the blood glucose as energy to power your cells…

Thereby evacuating it out of your bloodstream, where, if left floating, can damage your vessels, causing heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other health challenges.

Since a keto diet is very low in carbs and sugar, blood glucose stays low, denying your body the chance to store it as fat. This helps in checking your weight gain.

A keto diet, in comparison to paleo, allows less carbohydrates and regulated proteins while adding in more high-quality fats.

Because of this dietary shift, the body adapts to breaking down both dietary and body fat for energy rather than relying on glucose.

Generally, a keto diet comprises the following components:

The ketogenic diet isn’t a new dietary fad. It has existed since the 1950s as a treatment for epilepsy and other diseases…

It has recently gained popularity as a way to improve health, increase physical stamina, and lose body fat.

And there is a lot of scientific evidence to back up this claim…

The first study was conducted by researchers at Duke University in 2005.

The researchers recruited 28 participants with type 2 diabetes who were also overweight. The study lasted 16 weeks.

The subjects consumed a low carbohydrate keto diet–less than 20 grams of carbs per day.

The diabetes also reduced their medications under medical supervision. 21 subjects completed the study successfully.

And after only 16 weeks, the results were way off the charts:

The conclusion of the study was that a keto diet is highly effective at lowering blood glucose, but there ought to be medical supervision to adjust medications accordingly.

A second study was conducted by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek, the authors of “The Art and Science of Low Carbs”.

They showed overwhelming evidence that a low-carb diet improves blood sugar levels and helps speed weight loss in type 2 diabetics…

And in almost 60% of the participants, diabetes medication was decreased or stopped altogether.

The study, conducted at an Indian University, and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Publications, looked at 262 people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight.

The participants cut carb intake to 30g a day, while increasing their fats and proteins intake. They also received nutritional and behavioral counseling, along with digital coaching and medical supervision…

And 10 weeks later, the findings were as below:

In another study involving 84 subjects, researchers looked at the effectiveness of a low-glycemic diet compared to a ketogenic diet.

After 24 weeks, they looked at key diabetes markers, including fasting blood glucose (before eating anything in the morning), body mass index (BMI), weight, and HbA1c.

And the results?

While a low carb, low-glycemic diet is good for controlling diabetes, a keto diet is far superior.

Low-calorie group

Keto group

And in yet another study involving 363 overweight or obese participants in the United Arab Emirates, researchers looked at the effects of ketogenic diet on weight loss and diabetes symptoms.

102 of the subjects had type 2 diabetes. One group consumed a low-calorie diet while the other consumed a keto diet. Both groups had a nutritional and exercise trainer.

Study subjects were measured on:

After 24 weeks, both groups had improved in all metrics, but the keto group had far more significant results…

Diabetic medications were decreased to half and some were discontinued for those on the ketogenic diet.

From the foregoing studies, it can be safe to deduce that…

For those wishing to get started on a ketogenic diet, it’s important to note that the drop in glucose can be drastic.

In view of this, you should consistently monitor your blood glucose and have a physician handy to monitor the diabetes medications.

Ketogenic diets are higher in saturated fats–something the American Diabetes Association actually warns diabetics to avoid.

Research, however, shows favorable lipid results on a high fat diet.

One thread runs across all the research studies…

That ketogenic diets do not increase the risk of heart disease or high cholesterol. Instead…

They significantly decrease harmful lipids, including triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, compared to other equal calorie, low-fat diets.

In spite of all the positive research outcomes, most doctors and dieticians feel that even though the ketogenic diet is effective, most people will not be able to stick to it.

And yes…this is somewhat true, although with the emerging popularity of the ketogenic diet, multiple options are available, including recipes, books, blogs, cooking classes, among others, featuring delicious keto meals and snacks.

The keto diet aims to keep blood sugar in a low and stable range…

And because of this, it’s much easier to control appetite and the “munchies”.

Ketogenic diets are no doubt instrumental in successful healthy management of type 2 diabetes.

In a recent critical review of literature on carbohydrates restriction and diabetes, a group of 26 leading researchers compiled a 12-point evidence published in the January 2017 edition of the Journal of Nutrition, pointing to the use of low carbohydrate diets as the primary dietary treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Key points include:

The bottom line is that lowering glucose by strictly reducing carbohydrate intake in a ketogenic diet has the most profound positive effects on diabetes markers…

Without any of the negative side effects of pharmacological treatments.

Available evidence thus far suggests that a keto diet is one of the safest and most effective ways to control or reverse type 2 diabetes.

Following a strict keto diet for about 2 months will help your body adapt to burning fat…

And rather than struggling to keep carbs consistently below 20-30g, it may be easier to give yourself a safe zone to follow…

Perhaps one day you eat less; another day you eat more…

As long as you generally stick to low carbohydrates–below 50-60g per day, your body will continue to be fairly efficient at burning fat for energy and keeping blood glucose low.

Diabetics should also consult with their physicians before making any dietary changes in order to have their medications and blood sugar closely monitored.

With less carbs, you’ll need less insulin…

And following keto strictly, you can get off all medications at some point in time, but beware…

The transition calls for careful monitoring.

The end gain is a healthier, leaner body, with optimal weight and a clear, sharper mind.

You may not have seen this related article–it makes a great read; sample it:

And there is so much more to learn about blood sugar management…

What I’ve covered in this piece is just but a fraction.

To ensure you stay ahead of the game, I’ve stitched for you a far richer resource. Find it here:

Thank you so much for your invaluable time on this post. If you found it useful, please share extensively within your circles.

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