Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Although the condition tends to go undetected in the early stages, uncontrolled blood sugar levels over time can pose life-threatening health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, by making simple everyday tweaks, people can stave off the health dangers. According to Diabetes.co.uk, a ketogenic diet provides an effective means of managing the condition.
The keto diet has become a popular trend over the last couple of years, with prominent health experts touting its health benefits.
What people may not know it is particularly effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control: lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.
As Diabetes.co.uk explains, a keto diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when people 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.”
On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones, notes the health body.
It said: “The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis.
“People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors.
“The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes.”
A keto diet usually consists of low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat.
According to Dr Oz: “The fats should be healthy ones like avocado, olive oil, and nuts. The protein should be lean meat, fish, or legumes. And the carbs you consume should come mostly from vegetables.”
The NHS also advises that people living with type 2 diabetes maintain an active lifestyle too.
Physical exercise helps lower a person’s blood sugar level.
A person should aim for at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week, says the health body.
This could be:
- Fast walking
- Climbing stairs
- Doing more strenuous housework or gardening
Why is staying active so important? One of the chief reasons exercise is an effective way to manage type 2 diabetes is because it helps people lose weight. As Diabetes UK explained: “Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs, like your liver and pancreas.
“This can cause something called insulin resistance. So losing this weight could help the insulin you produce or the insulin you inject work properly.”
Losing around 15kg could even put a person’s diabetes in remission, noted the charity: “This could mean coming off your diabetes medication completely – a life-changing possibility.”