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The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan designed to put your body into ketosis. By cutting back on carbs, your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose.
Ketosis has been found to help those living with diabetes shed pounds, reduce blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity. Unfortunately, it remains uncertain if this treatment can actually reverse the condition.
Lowering your A1C
Studies have demonstrated that taking metformin can assist diabetics in losing weight, lowering their A1C, and decreasing medication needs. Some studies even suggest it may lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
Before embarking on the keto diet, there are a few things to consider.
Before anything else, it’s essential to note that the keto diet can lead to an acidic condition in your blood called ketoacidosis. This is a serious medical condition with potential life-threatening implications.
If you think you may be at risk for ketoacidosis, speak to your doctor before beginning a keto diet.
Finally, it’s essential to be aware that a keto diet may cause elevated fasting glucose levels in some individuals. This is your body’s way of making sure there is enough glucose for essential organs.
Managing your diabetes
The keto diet seeks to induce your body into a state of “ketosis,” where fat is burned for energy instead of carbs. When this occurs, blood sugar levels drop significantly.
A high-fat, low-carb diet is often recommended for weight loss; however, it may also help manage diabetes if you have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin which allows glucose (blood sugar) into cells for energy production.
On the keto diet, you limit your carbohydrates to 50 grams daily – a relatively small amount but enough to bring your body into ketosis.
Ketosis requires you to drink plenty of water and abstain from foods high in sugar. Although the first few weeks can be challenging, many people report positive outcomes such as reduced hunger and increased energy.
Reducing your stress
If you’re trying to reduce stress levels, the keto diet could be just the ticket. This low-carb, high-fat eating plan has been known for reducing insulin resistance and oxidative stress – two conditions which may cause anxiety.
The ketogenic diet is packed with healthy fats such as nuts, fatty fish, avocados and olive oil; plus dairy products like butter, eggs and cottage cheese. It also incorporates non-starchy vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates but still provide fiber for energy.
In addition to lowering blood sugar and A1c levels, the ketogenic diet can also reduce stress levels. This is because your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis when it stops burning glucose for energy and starts burning fat instead.
When starting the keto diet, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol to maintain energy levels. But over time, as your body adjusts to the plan, this release of stress hormones can be minimized and you’ll likely notice improved stress relief benefits as a result of following this nutritional plan.
Getting enough sleep
Sleep is one of the things you don’t want to skip on your keto diet, as getting enough shut-eye can help manage diabetes and lower A1C levels.
Sleeping well can be a challenge for those living with diabetes, but there are some simple strategies you can implement to enhance your quality of sleep.
Combining a low-carb diet with some exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep soundly. Aim to keep your daily carb intake under 25 net grams (total carbs minus fiber) as this is an effective place to begin.
Keto-friendly sleep strategies require optimizing your bedtime routine and getting enough exercise between meals. In addition to adhering to the keto diet rules of the road, you may want to try some calming sleep aids like magnesium supplements, chamomile tea or an Epsom salt bath before bed. For added benefit, include non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or mushrooms into your nightly mealtime preparation as well.