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Is Keto Diet Safe For Type 1 Diabetes

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What Does Ketogenic Have To Offer

The Ketogenic Diet and Type 1 Diabetes | What I don’t like about the keto diet

The benefits of a ketogenic diet have been well documented for those living with Type 2 diabetes. Not only does the diet help manage blood sugar but it promotes weight loss as well. The results for those living with Type 1 are less conclusive. Many studies tend to address low carb diets like paleo and Atkins, which focus more on types of low carb food to eat, unlike a keto diet, which pays close attention to macronutrients and staying in ketosis. There seem to be fewer studies exploring the latter, but there is observational information that seems to indicate the diet offers a way to manage A1C levels and glycemic control. Many people with diabetes who abide by the keto diet have found that they significantly reduce their use of insulin.

Keto And Diabetes: What The Research Says

Because the keto diet limits carbs, it makes sense that it would lower blood sugar. And numerous studies confirm that it does.

A 2017 study compared two online interventions for overweight adults with type 2 diabetes where one group followed a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and the other followed a program based on the American Diabetes Association’s “Create Your Plate” diet. After 32 weeks, or about 7 months, the keto group lost more weight and had lower A1C and triglyceride levels. While this is compelling, no long-term follow-up was conducted so it’s unclear if participants kept up with this diet and maintained the results over time.

Another study compared a low-carbohydrate diet to a low-glycemic, reduced-calorie diet in obese adults with type 2 diabetes. Both groups had improved blood glucose control and weight loss, but the low-carb group saw better blood sugar control. The keto diet often leads to weight loss, which alone can improve blood sugar control, but this study found that the low-carb group had improved blood sugar control independent of weight loss. So it could be beneficial to reduce daily carb intake below the standard recommendation of 45-50 percent of calories from carbs, the researchers said.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes

At the most basic level, diabetesboth type 1 and type 2involve abnormally high levels of blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to serious complications including neuropathy, blindness, as well as heart and kidney diseases.

The causes, though, are different for each diabetes type. Type 2 is driven primarily by environmental factors, such as being overweight or obese and following a high-fat, high-sugar diet. This form of diabetes mostly affects adults.

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes, is an autoimmune disease. The body’s own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing islet cells in your pancreas. Lack of insulin leads to dangerously high blood sugar levels.

RELATED: The Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Read Also: What Is Diabetic Retinopathy Screening

Can You Use A Keto Diet To Control Diabetes

Whether or not diet is part of your diabetes management plan is between you and your doctor. The research is promising, but only your doctor has your full medical history and can determine the safest approach to your unique situation.

No matter what route you take, you dont have to give up sweets! This day in age, there are plenty of tasty treats to enjoy that wont send your blood sugar through the roof: chocolate, muffins, pancake syrup, drink mixes the possibilities are endless. Check out Lakanto for more zero glycemic sweeteners, mixes and treats!

Type 1 Diabetes And The Ketogenic Diet

Diabetic Keto Diet Book: Keto Diet Plan for Diabetes ...

Updated Apr 27th, 2021 Written by Craig Clarke

For thousands of years, something has been sneaking up on children and robbing them of their ability to control their blood sugar levels. The culprit is an autoimmune condition called Type 1 Diabetes, and its incidence has been increasing in both the United States and in other western countries.

But there is no need to worry. This sneaky disease has left us with enough clues to diagnose it, manage it, and potentially reverse it.

Read Also: How Many Carbs Should A Pre Diabetic Eat Per Day

You Have Access To More Energy For Cardio

Your body stores a lot more energy as fat than it does as glycogen . A keto diet allows you to tap into that reservoir of stored fat energy more easily.

This is why you sometimes hear about endurance athletes who have successfully switched to keto and continued to perform at a high level because they no longer hit the metaphorical wall. They have access to a gigantic reservoir of fuel that was previously more difficult and took longer to access

If Youre Looking For A Quick Fix Then This Plan Is Not For You We Refuse To Promise False Results

KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF?PROVENOur 28-Day Keto Challenge is famous for results:

  • Be lighter and thinner… its not uncommon to drop 4+ jean sizes!
  • Have more energy than youve felt in years
  • Sleep better and wake up more rested
  • Notice your skin and hair improve
  • Have more mental clarity and sharpness
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment

Best of all — youll GAIN MOMENTUM with your new Keto lifestyle!

Read Also: Why Do Diabetics Legs Swell

What Is A Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has proven efficiency in losing weight and alleviating some medical issues. This type of diet has several health benefits, especially in improving blood sugar control. It helps individuals manage diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and epilepsy.

Given this diets effectiveness in maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing insulin demands, studies have shown that it can cause several health complications for people with type 1 diabetes. Read on to learn more.

Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet

Keith Runyan, M.D.: Management of Type 1 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet

Ketone bodies produced from burning fat for fuel have been shown to have potent weight loss effects, help lower blood glucose levels and reduce peoples reliance on diabetes medication.

The diet has also shown evidence of having benefits on:

  • Reducing high blood pressure
  • Raising HDL cholesterol levels
  • Improving mental performance

Read more about the benefits of ketogenic diets

In addition to that, there has been a lot of interest in therapeutic ketosis for other long-term conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimers disease or dementia.

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How To Know If It Is Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 and 14, although many children can present with symptoms at ages as young as two years old. The incidence is approximately 1.5 times higher in American non-Hispanic white people compared with African American or Hispanic individuals.

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes

The three most well-researched risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:

  • Family history. Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Genetics. Specific genes can increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Age. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it is diagnosed in two prominent peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old.

However, these arent the only three risk factors. Recent research has found that type 1 diabetics tend to have a different balance of bacteria in their microbiome then non-susceptible individuals. Vitamin D deficiency, gut health issues, and dairy intolerance are also linked to a greater risk of type 1 diabetes as well.

Having all of these risk factors, however, does not mean that you will have type 1 diabetes. Its symptoms will provide us with a clearer picture.

Alternatives Of Keto Diet For Diabetes

The Keto diet is undoubtedly a very effective meal plan for diabetes patients, but there are plenty of other options too which can help in managing the disease as well as their weight effectively.

There, however, are plenty of medical professionals who do not recommend the keto diet for diabetes management.

There are plenty of other nutrient rich diets that provide a great balance in carbohydrates, protein and fat intake. They also help in managing the body weight and keeping the blood glucose levels at the optimal levels.

You can discuss these diets with your doctor and he might be able to suggest you the best one as per your overall condition.


Many medical practitioners do not find the ketogenic diet appropriate for diabetes management, and suggest a more balanced diet plan according to the needs of a particular patient which have lesser side effects.

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How Low Carb To Go

We all have different needs and lifestyles so its best to find a level of carbohydrate that works well for you.

For example, one person may wish to continue eating some starchy foods, such as bread and rice, but in smaller quantities and may therefore aim for a carbohydrate intake of 100-150g per day.

Another person may wish to cut out starchy foods altogether, particularly if theyre wanting to lose weight too, and may aim for a carbohydrate intake of under 50g per day.

If you are starting a low-carb diet, it may be safest to lower your carbohydrate intake gradually to minimise the risk of hypos.

Does Keto Work If You Have Diabetes

Images Collection of Keto Diet: Keto Diet Diabetes 1

Research suggests that people with type 2 diabetes can slim down and lower their blood sugar levels with the keto diet. In one study, people with type 2 lost weight, needed less medication, and lowered their A1c when they followed the keto diet for a year.

If youâre insulin resistant — which means you have higher blood sugar levels because your body isnât responding properly to the hormone insulin — you could benefit from nutritional ketosis, because your body will need and make less insulin.

There are fewer studies looking at the keto diet for people with type 1 diabetes. One small study found that it helped people with type 1 lower their A1c levels, but we need a lot more research to get the full picture of the dietâs effects.

Keep in mind that most studies have only looked at the short-term results of the keto diet. Itâs unclear if it works as a long-term way to manage your diabetes.

If you decide to try the keto diet, be aware that it may be hard to stick to. The very low amount of carbs in the plan is a big change for many people. It also can make you feel tired for a few weeks until your body adapts. To make it a success, itâs a good idea to make a meal plan you can follow, including keto-friendly meals and snacks to keep on hand.

Read Also: 30 Carb Meals For Diabetics

Protein Can Raise Blood Sugar

Be aware that protein can also raise blood sugar levels, albeit to much less of an extent than carbohydrate.

If you have a sizable amount of protein, such as a steak, 3 or more eggs, or a number of sausages, you may need to take a small additional dose of insulin after meals to counteract the raise in blood sugar from protein

The rise in blood sugar from protein-based foods is slower than for carbohydrate and may typically peak anywhere between 2 and 5 hours after eating.

One way to review the effect of protein is to take blood glucose readings every 30 or 60 minutes after eating for up to 5 hours. If you have access to a continuous glucose monitor, the effect of protein on blood sugar will be a lot easier to track.

If you are on rapid-acting insulin, such as Humalog, NovoRapid or Apidra, you may need to take a small additional bolus dose 2 to 3 hours after eating a sizable amount of protein.

It is best to use additional bolus doses with caution, taking very small doses, until you get used to the effects of different sizes of protein.

Could Reducing Carbohydrate Intake Play A Role In The Pathogenesis Of Type 1 Diabetes

A normal gut homeostasis is the consequence of a fine-tuned balance between intestinal microbiota, gut permeability and mucosal immunity . In this complex interplay, the alteration of one or more of these factors may contribute to the development and progression of inflammation or autoimmunity, that may result in diseases such as T1D or multiple sclerosis . Gut microbiota plays a key role in gut homeostasis, and for this reason it is currently being so intensively investigated. Clostridia are mainly butyrate-producing and mucin-degrading bacteria, with immunomodulating properties, and are generally associated with a normal gut homeostasis . De Goffau et al. observed that -cell autoimmunity is associated with a reduction in lactate-producing and butyrate-producing species, with an increased abundance of the Bacteroides genus. This finding agrees with what reported by Endesfelder et al., who suggested a protective role of butyrate in the development of anti-islet autoimmunity and onset of T1D furthermore, a reduced number of Clostridia was also observed in long-standing T1D patients .

It is known that diet influences gut microbiome and that an acute change in diet alters microbial composition within just 24 h, with reversion to baseline within 48 h of diet discontinuation . So how could a reduction in dietary carbohydrates, with a relative increase in fat or protein intake, affect gut microbiota and type 1 diabetes risk?

Recommended Reading: Low Blood Sugar At Night Without Diabetes

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below.

This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones.

The diet helps to lower the bodys demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and

Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting.

Strength May Suffer At Least For A While

Type 1 Diabetes & Weight Loss on a Ketogenic Diet

This is ESPECIALLY evident during adaptation, but keto is not really ideal for high-intensity physical activity. Biochemically, this makes sense intensive bouts need energy quickly, and fat oxidation is not exactly the fastest process in the world.

There is hardly any scientific data on keto diets and strength training, but plenty of anecdotal evidence stating that it can be difficult to even maintain strength.

Personally, all of my lifts dropped 40-50 lbs. for the first 4-6 weeks after I switched to a keto diet. Weights that I used to toss around with ease became tougher to move until I was fully adapted.

Its not impossible to improve strength while on a keto diet, but it can make the process substantially more difficult.

Also Check: Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes In Children

A Quick Note On Keto And Water Retention

You often hear people who start a keto diet exclaim, Ive been keto for a week, and Ive already lost 6 lbs! I love it!

While this can be a great motivator to stick to the diet, most of that initial weight lost consists of water due to less glycogen storage.

Why? The old saying goes, wherever glycogen goes, water follows.

Because you eat fewer carbs, you will have lesser glycogen stores. Less glycogen means less water retained. Less water retained and, you guessed itthe scale goes down. There is nothing wrong with that just dont mistake lost water weight for fat loss.

Is A Keto Diet Safe For People With Type 1 Diabetes

Before starting a Keto diet, some factors need to be considered especially for individuals with type 1 diabetes. If you manage your condition very well, this type of diet is safe for you to follow. However, if you have been experiencing complications related to diabetes, maybe a better option is available for you.

If you are so interested in trying such a diet, ask for approval from your healthcare professional first. Doing so will enable you to receive medical guidance, such as the right diet plan to follow and insulin dosage adjustment. Talk with your healthcare professional if your condition will not put you at risk of developing other diabetes-related complications while following a keto diet.

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A Closer Look At The Type 1 Diabetes Study: Lennerz

A total of 316 individuals from the TypeOneGrit community were included in the study since they met the three eligibility criteria: having type 1 diabetes, taking insulin, and following the Bernstein low carb diet for at least three months.2 The clinical data were gathered using an online survey and confirmed with data obtained from medical charts and feedback from the patients’ doctors parents provided data for the participating child. The participants came from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, of which 57i% were female, 42% were children , and 88% were Caucasian. 2

It’s important to note that the drop-out rate was substantial and reports of symptomatic hypoglycemia 1-5 episodes) were experienced by 69% of those in the study. The mean carbohydrate intake was 35 grams daily. Based on self-reported results, the change in HbA1c was -1.45% with an average HbA1c of 7.2% associated with greater hypoglycemia yet, these results are comparable to other study findings. The average blood glucose levels were 104 mg/dL . 2 Final lipid profiles were mixed. The results were similar for adults and children.

Experts Challenge the Authors’ Conclusions

Those on the ketogenic plan received instructions on how to eat mindfully, the need for exercise and good sleep, and the importance of setting goals. “It could have been a combination of all the support this group received that helped them achieve the greater weight loss,” Dr. Reynolds tells EndocrineWeb.

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