Diabetes and Weight Loss using a Ketogenic Diet
Health issues are so prevalent in today’s society, and it’s no real surprise that the number is steadily rising. After all, we eat things today that didn’t even exist 50 years ago, and our bodies aren’t built to easily withstand so much processed food. With that in mind, of course the end result of this radical change in diet has been the widespread development of things like obesity and all of the complications that it brings along.
Diabetes is perhaps one of the most common diagnoses when it comes to diet and lifestyle related health issues. If you are interested in learning more about the issue and how ketogenic diets can affect it, you have come to the right place! We’re going to break down exactly what diabetes is, what a ketogenic diet is, and how they might help each other.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes, put simply, is a disease that develops from having too much sugar in your blood. Sugar is also referred to as glucose. ALL carbohydrates, simple AND complex, are broken down by your body into sugar (or glucose). You have an organ called the pancreas in your body, this organ produces insulin. The insulin allows the sugar to be brought into the cells and used for energy. With Diabetes, your body either doesn’t respond properly to the insulin to allow the sugar into the cells, or it does not produce enough insulin, leaving the sugar to just hang out in your body.
Sugar is the easiest method for your body to use as an energy source. Fat should be the preferred method as it is more energy-dense. ALL carbs are broken down by your body into sugar and used for energy, if there is no sugar to use for energy your body will turn to fat for energy. When you eat healthy fats, you will burn 9 calories per 1 gram of fat compared to eating sugar (carbs) and burning only 4 calories per 1 gram of sugar.
Diet and Diabetes
One of the most important ways that diabetes can be managed is through diet. If you are pre-diabetic, or type 2 diabetic keep reading! If you are type 1 diabetic you will find useful information here, however it can be dangerous to your health if you do not consult with a physician who knows how a ketogenic diet works!
Remember when we talked about the pancreas and insulin above? Insulin is a hormone and has two roles for our bodies. First, it helps lower your blood sugar level. That is a fact that most of us know. Second, it stores calories in the form of fat. That is a problem. Many pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. The excess calories that are in your body due to being insulin resistant are being stored as fat! A little background information, put simply, when you are pre-diabetic or have type 2 diabetes it means that your body does not know how to produce and use the proper amount of insulin for the sugar (carbs/glycogen) that is in your system. The pancreas will produce insulin to help lower your blood sugar, your blood sugar drops to low, you eat more sugar to help stabilize and this causes your body to produce more insulin. It is a vicious cycle. Your body is insulin resistant.
How can we help fix this? The best way to help heal your pancreas and correct this vicious cycle for incorrect production of insulin is to reduce the amount of carbs (sugars) you consume. Remember that CARBS = SUGARS. Did you know that the average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar every year? This amount is twice as much as the recommended USDA amount. That is a shocking number when you consider in 1905 we each only consumed 5 pounds of sugar in a year!
With a ketogenic diet your carb intake will be only 5-10% of your calorie intake, the rest of your calories will be made up of protein and healthy fats. We at Teachout Chiropractic & Wellness Center offer a program that has shown results with dieters for losing weight and often helping them to reduce or eliminate their diabetic medication. We recommend if you plan to start ANY new diet program that you first consult with your physician, with our program, we will not only provide your MD with paperwork that explains how the program works, but we will also keep them updated on your results. If you want to learn more about our program check out the services page and look for ITG diet protocol!
(Keto)genic Diet 101
One of the cornerstones of the ketogenic diet is that it strictly reduces the amount of carbohydrates you are able to consume on a daily basis. While the general rule of thumb is to eat as few of them as possible, 50 grams of carbohydrates a day is generally quoted as the absolutely maximum amount for someone sticking to a keto diet. Each person is different in the amount of carbs their body can handle and still produce ketones though, you will need to figure out your carb intake to remain ketogenic.
It has been stated that a ketogenic diet, also known simply as “keto”, is effective for diabetic people because consuming such low amounts of carbohydrates serves to further lower insulin levels. This can eventually trigger your body in to fueling itself on fat rather than sugar, a state known as ketosis.
Keto, then, might be an effective option for individuals with diabetes because not only are you consuming less sugar, but you’re also encouraging your body to run off of fat rather than glucose, which is good because your body can’t effectively process glucose to begin with. And because keto encourages a higher fat and protein intake, you are less likely to feel hungry even though you are probably consuming less food or less calories than you were on a previous diet. This can lead to weight loss, which can also dramatically help individuals with diabetes.
We at Teachout Chiropractic & Wellness Center work with you and your medical doctor to make sure you have the best possible results without putting your health in harms way!