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The keto diet, short for ketogenic food, is a widely known way to lose weight. It involves eating foods that aim to get more calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. It emphasizes eating healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and little carbohydrates. Recently, its benefits in controlling type 2 diabetes have started to notice. Diabetes is a severe public health problem with its increasing prevalence and approximately 537 million adults with diabetes worldwide. Furthermore, it is considered one of the significant contributors to morbidity and mortality due to a higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetic neuropathy. Therefore, treating and managing diabetes is the need of the hour. One way is to follow the keto diet and an active lifestyle. There is growing evidence that it can help control diabetes, as it allows the body to keep glucose levels low and prevents blood sugar levels from rising.
How Does the Keto Diet for Diabetes Work?
The primary basis of energy for the body is carbohydrates. When carbohydrate intake is insufficient, and glucose is unavailable, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis and begins to break down fats for energy. A product called ketone body forms when fats brokes down without carbohydrates. In this case, the body uses ketone bodies for energy in its place of glucose until you start eating carbohydrates again. The keto diet offers additional benefits such as:
Low blood pressure
Improve insulin sensitivity
Reducing drug addiction
Improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels without adding low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.
Indian diets are high in carbohydrates, the primary energy source for many bodily processes. When you consume carbohydrates, they are smashed down into sugar in the digestive system and mixed into your bloodstream.
The higher the sugar content in your bloodstream, the more insulin you need. Insulin plays a role in using sugars for energy or energy storage. However, a person with diabetes does not have insulin or does not work correctly, impairing the body’s ability to use carbohydrates efficiently for energy.
As a result, it leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, which can be harmful. So, if a person is following a high-carb diet, it will cause their blood sugar to rise. Therefore, low carbohydrate intake in the diet can help eliminate large spikes in blood sugar, thereby reducing the need for insulin.
Best Keto Diet Foods for Diabetes
The keto diet aims to eat a balance of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre, and the right amount of calories and healthy fats. If you take type 2 diabetes and are on a keto diet, you can eat the following:
Low-carb vegetables instead of starch reduce your carb intake and put you in ketosis. One study concluded that eating non-starchy vegetables at every meal is best.
Low-carb vegetables include cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, kale, kale, and bell peppers. Here are the nutritional values of some low-carb vegetables per 100 g serving:
Total fat: 0.2g
Natural dietary fibre: 2 g
Energy: 18 kcal
Total fat: 0.3g
Natural nutritional fibre: 1 g
Low Carb Protein
Limiting your carbohydrate intake is the primary concern of the keto diet. However, you cannot ignore the importance of protein intake. Protein plays an essential role in the optimal functioning of organs, preventing unnecessary muscle loss, and repairing and building body tissues.
Overeating protein can cause an increase in a process called gluconeogenesis and push you out of ketosis. Gluconeogenesis is the metabolic process in which your liver and kidneys make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, such as protein, to meet their energy needs.
Studies confirm that you should keep your protein intake moderate and under 1 gram per kilogram of body weight; only 10-20% of your calories should come from protein. Foods you can eat to meet your protein needs including:
Eggs are a main of the keto diet. They are low in carbohydrates and an excellent source of protein. Egg whites are soft in calories, high in protein, and good sources of minerals like riboflavin, selenium, and potassium.
On the other hand, egg yolk contains healthy fats, good cholesterol, protein, iron and other minerals. Eggs are easy to cook and can be used in various dishes. However, it would help if you consumed an equal tablespoon of healthy fat for each egg.
Nutritional value of a whole egg:
Total fat: 4.1g
Natural dietary fibre: 0 g
Meats like chicken breast and steak are high in protein, which helps in achieving ketosis. Although keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet, that doesn’t mean you have to eat a lot of meat. Also, the nutritional values of particular hearts per 100 g portion are as follows:
Energy: 143 kcal
Total fat: 3.1g
Natural dietary fibre: 0 g
Following a keto diet for diabetes can be very beneficial because by following it, you change your body’s preferred energy source from carbohydrates to fats. However, it can create serious health problems in the long run. Therefore, it is also important to note that you should try it under medical supervision.