Can the Keto Diet Cure Type II Diabetes?

Yes! A Keto Diet plan can significantly ease — and even cure — Type II diabetes. 

The team at Dr. Simonds Metabolics and Weight Loss understands how intimidating a diabetes diagnosis can be. Know that you’re not alone! More than half of the US population suffers from a form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. And about 75% of the American population has some form of a blood glucose regulation problem. With today’s highly processed diet and sedentary lifestyles, many Americans are experiencing high insulin levels and an increase in obesity as a result.

Here, we’ll discuss how a Keto diet can cure Type 2 diabetes. We’ll discuss the different types of diabetes, and explore Keto basics. If you have a question beyond the scope of this article, don’t hesitate to reach out. While we do not replace your primary care provider or endocrinologist in treating your diabetes directly, we do treat the weight problems and obesity that can be associated with it. We’d love to get you started on your journey to better health. 

Let’s start with a closer look at diabetes.

The Different Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose / sugar is essential to many of your body’s functions. It’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, and it’s the brain’s primary source of fuel. However too much insulin or a lack of insulin production in the body will cause diabetes.

Types of diabetes include:

  • Type I Diabetes: The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown; it may be partially hereditary. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system — which usually protects the body by attacking pathogens (germs) — attacks the pancreatic cells that create insulin. The body cannot create insulin, or process glucose. Since insulin is your body’s fat storage hormone and a form of growth hormone, those individuals with Type 1 diabetes can literally eat thousands of calories and still have difficulty gaining weight. They actually lose weight and individuals with Type 1 diabetes are given insulin as a result.
  • Pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes: This form of diabetes occurs when your cells become resistant to insulin. It’s a disease of excess insulin in the body. Remember, insulin is your body’s fat-storage hormone, so those with excess insulin tend to gain weight, especially in the middle, waist area. It becomes difficult to process sugar in the blood. It’s generally believed that some environmental and hereditary factors cause Type 2 diabetes. It’s also closely related to weight and obesity. Diet and lifestyle have a tremendous effect on Type 2 diabetes. It’s exacerbated by high sugar and carb heavy diets that include too much refined sugars and refined grains.
  • A third form, Gestational Diabetes, occurs in pregnant women. The hormones associated with pregnancy make the mother’s cells resistant to insulin. When a woman has a history of gestational diabetes, she is at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes following the pregnancy.

The average American’s diet is far too rich in sugar, and only with careful diet, exercise and proper weight management can we avoid the health risks of Type 2 diabetes. And that’s why the team at Dr. Simonds Metabolics and Weight Loss may encourage you to take up a keto diet. However, we will never force you into any diet that’s not right for you. Everyone is different and we help patients that choose other types of eating plans. We will support patients that choose all types of diets for weight loss, so please don’t feel like you are required to follow a keto diet at our practice.

What is a Ketogenic / “Keto” Diet?

Ketogenic diets are high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carbohydrate diets that are very successful in managing blood sugar and weight problems. When you eliminate those types of foods that spike insulin, blood sugar levels remain low and steady. This leads to a low insulin level in the body, which then allows the body to begin burning fat while producing the ketone molecule. Let the fat burning begin!

How a Keto Diet Can Prevent or Cure Type 2 Diabetes

In a nutshell, a Keto diet causes your body to burn fat as energy rather than carbohydrates or sugar. It makes sense that you’ll need to reduce your sugar intake — no more sugary drinks, candy, or sweet desserts. This dramatically reduces your need to produce and process insulin!

  • Since carbohydrates are turned into glucose by your body, you’ll need to limit carbs in the form of pasta, bread and starchy foods like potatoes. Eliminating all foods that cause a spike in insulin are necessary for the keto diet. This includes all “healthy” forms of starches including brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa. High sugar fruits and vegetables will also need to be avoided.
  • Again, it’s all about reducing blood sugar and reducing the need for insulin in your body every day.
  • Then, your body will resort to using fats for energy.
  • The process starts in the liver, which creates ketones to begin breaking down fat for energy.

Generally, a ketogenic dieter looks for a carb intake between 20 – 50 grams daily.

Keto Diets Are Delicious & Rewarding

If you’re like most people, you might struggle with a diet because you’re a foodie. You enjoy delicious food, maybe more than the next person. For you, food is more than just fuel. It’s an experience. Food becomes a way to bond with your family and show love for others. It can be a comfort item, even a reward! Starchy carbohydrates and refined sugars actually affect the addiction centers of the brain, which is why they are difficult to eliminate. 

The good news is that you can still enjoy those comforts and experiences on a keto diet plan. True, you’ll need to avoid pizza parties, cake and ice cream and boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolates. But there are hundreds of other delicious keto meals, do a quick internet search and see for yourself!

Keto-friendly Foods to Tame Diabetes

Healthy foods that are common in the ketogenic diet are:

  • seeds
  • eggs
  • fish
  • meat
  • avocado
  • cheese
  • olives and olive oil
  • nuts and nut butters
  • Non-starchy veggies (no corn or potatoes)
  • and even keto-friendly chocolate bars to soothe your cravings

As you see, there are plenty of healthy food choices to make. Choosing a keto diet can defeat Type 2 diabetes, and the pre-diabetes that so often leads to it.

Talk to a Medical Professional Before Trying to Treat Type 2 Diabetes with a Keto Diet 

At Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss, our mission is to prevent, treat, and reverse the disease of obesity and its effects. Every human body is unique and individual. So we use nutritional therapies, education, behavioral change, and medications to help our clients achieve their healthiest selves. Sometimes our programs include a keto diet, but not always. 

There are definitely a few things to consider before starting a weight loss plan. If you’re a patient of ours, it’s very important to disclose any medications that you’re currently taking, especially those that lower blood sugar. As you lose weight and your health improves, certain medications may no longer be needed and may actually cause problems. Controlling blood sugar will result in weight loss and improved health. We are so fortunate to help patients with so many non-scale victories such as a reduction or elimination in medications, an increase in energy and just being happier overall.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about Type 2 diabetes and keto diet plans.