Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes

Very low carb diets which help us to burn fat and ultimately lose weight is referred to as the ketogenic diet or simply the keto diet. This is the time of year when we are most determined to make some life-changing decisions. Whether or not we stick to them is a whole different story, outside the perimeters of this article.

With that said, we are going to use some time to first look at the keto diet in general followed by an examination of the ketogenic diet and diabetes. Allow me to hasten to add that I am not on the keto diet. I mostly go low carb using whole foods and predominantly plant-based and I am experiencing wonderful results.

I am now taking the time to research the keto diet and I thought I should share the information with my readers. It’s now time to know exactly what is meant when we say the keto/ketogenic diet.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

When glucose is scarce in the body, ketones are produced as an alternative source of fuel. If we eat a tiny amount of carbs then we will force our bodies to produce ketones. Here we are referring to the kind of carbs which breaks down rapidly and enters the bloodstream.

The ketone lifestyle banks on the body’s use of fat to produce ketones. When our stored fat is used to produce energy, then we begin to lose weight. I can just see the broad smiles at this moment. Wait, there is more! We feel full for longer, have more energy and we are kept more focussed.

As was previously stated, ketones are used as our main energy source. Our bodies rely on glucose or ketones for energy. Note that our brains love a good supply of energy and need a lot to function. Brains must have either glucose or ketones to perform well.

Important Information! You must read this bit of extra notes below!

Fourteen Days on the Keto Diet

This article is taking me a long time to write. There is an easy explanation. I prefer to share information that I have experienced in some way. I stated that I was not on the keto diet. However, as I delved into the research and saw the results others were experiencing, I was tempted to give it a try. Just a tidbit.

I further reduced my carb intake for fourteen days, included animal protein, lots of eggs for breakfast, then I turned to bulletproof coffee, and the results are amazing! I am shocked at how quickly I started feeling some changes.

Weight loss

Over the fourteen days period, I lost a total of twelve pounds. What is dangerously exciting is that I lived a sedentary lifestyle during these fourteen days. Let me hasten to add that I am not encouraging a sedentary lifestyle and weight loss through diet alone. I have been struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome and was forced to do less.

I have since been easing back into my active lifestyle and the results are even more amazing! Yes, I do believe in moderation, and as such, it is my opinion that we can borrow from different lifestyles and stick with something which makes us healthier and happier in the end.

Eggs and More Eggs to Break the Fast

Initially, I started having a lot of eggs for breakfast. I would make an omelet with three eggs and some cheese and had this with some lettuce, which I absolutely hated having so early in the morning.

One and two eggs with lettuce had me hungry by the time I got to work. I did my research, prayed and started trying three eggs. This only lasted about three days. I felt truly stuffed and just the thought of consuming three eggs in one sitting left me feeling sick to the stomach.

Folks, this is my experience. A one size fits all can never be true for all of us. We are unique and so different things will both appeal and work for different people. I certainly felt more full having eggs for breakfast instead of the usual cup of porridge and bowl of fruits, but only when I ate three eggs and I did not feel good consuming three eggs at once.

Once we mention feeling full for longer, then it’s time to look at my journey with the bulletproof coffee.

Bulletproof Coffee

In my research, I noticed a number of people practicing the keto lifestyle mentioned this bulletproof coffee. Yes, you knew this would excite me, coffee drinking lover and it certainly did.

I started consuming bulletproof coffee for breakfast and I was shocked to see that I was feeling full for so many hours. For the very first time in my life, I came out of bed and was not feeling hungry. I was a bit scared about this and so I did some more research and discovered that others are having a similar experience.

My energy level seemed too much for me to manage. I wanted to do everything. I started feeling like I was younger and could conquer the world. Yes, I am still having my bulletproof coffee and I am excited when colleagues at work mention both my weight loss and energy level.

Dangerously Low Blood Sugar

Forgive me for taking so long to arrive at the blood sugar story. I however needed you to understand the background. I started to notice an uncomfortable drop in my blood sugar. You will recall that my lifestyle changes for many days had me taking half of my prescribed medication.

I was now experiencing extra low blood sugar to the point of shaking. I needed to make more changes to ensure I remained well. Too low glucose levels can result in diabetic coma and I could not afford this health hazard.

I was also having another issue. Remember that one size does not fit all, especially when you are as well endowed as I am. For the first in a long time, I was having some bowel issues and I hated this. I pride myself on going to the restroom after each heavy meal and that it is a “one-two-three” process, a huge load and a wonderful feeling.

I quickly assumed that I needed my fruits. This is one part of the keto lifestyle which is not for me. I love a variety of fruits, and once I stay away from processed foods, my blood sugar is okay with my fruit bowl.

Keto lifestyle permit berries such as blueberry and blackberry and I do believe it also includes cherries. In Jamaica, God gave us a large variety of fruits and I found a plan that works for me. Once I added some of my regular fruits, I felt better, was going to the bathroom and continued to lose the weight and had the energy to take me through the day.

Lets us then take a look at some of the foods we should consume on the keto lifestyle.

Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet

The idea is to go low carb with our food choices. Some examples are:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fats (natural)
  3. Eggs
  4. Fish
  5. Other animal proteins
  6. Water and tea

Above and not Below – Vegetables for Ketosis

The root vegetables (below the ground) are known to have more carbs. Examples are sweet and Irish potatoes. Others to avoid or eat very little of are:

  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Beetroot
  • Onions (used for seasoning, just should not be overdone)
  • Rutabaga

Let us spend some time on the foods we should eat lots of in order to produce this alternative energy source called ketone.

Above Ground Vegetables for the Production of Ketones

Here you may want to consume a lot of green leafy vegetables such as:

  • Cabbage
  • Callaloo
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Other keto friendly vegetables are:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Green Bananas

In this article, let us take a look at the green leafy vegetables.

 

Cabbage for Ketosis and Low Blood Sugar

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable with a lot of nutrients and as such is used as part of a program to protect us against heart diseases and cancer. It’s a popular food for dieters and those diagnosed with diabetes because it is full of fiber and low in calories. A half cup of cooked cabbage can count for less than 20 calories and so it is well worth the eat.

Due to the fact that cabbage is high in fiber, low in calories and packed with nutrients, it is an ideal food for diabetics. Cabbage is a must for me whenever I go grocery shopping. It is gentle with my insides and I generally feel better when I consume cabbage and other plant-based foods.

This nutrient-rich food is also versatile in many dishes. My favorite way of eating cabbage is steamed with garlic, onion, scotch bonnet pepper with some butter. I also love to use cabbage in a casserole-like dish which I bake with cheese and milk.

For more information about the health benefits of cabbage and how diabetics can benefit from eating this vegetable, please click on the word cabbage and read a previous post.

Linking Callaloo and Diabetes – More Ketones

When we consume callaloo we benefit from all the vitamins, minerals and it’s antioxidant properties. Magnesium is known to help in the fight against diabetes in that it normalizes our blood sugar levels. Vitamin K is also helpful in the fight against diabetes, and yes, you got! It is also found in callaloo.

Because the callaloo is a non-starchy, it is a perfect, green-leafy vegetable to consume on the keto diet and it is also an excellent food for diabetics who should consume whole foods, low in starch in order to prevent those dangerous spikes in our blood sugar levels.

Spinach for Diabetes and the Keto Lifestyle

Another green leafy vegetable, which is rich in magnesium, a mineral known to regulate our blood sugar levels is spinach. It is worth mentioning here that people with diabetes, sometimes have a low magnesium level and so, spinach would be a plus for us to eat.

For more about spinach and diabetes, please click the word spinach and read. You may also find this article about magnesium beneficial.

 

Kale for Diabetics and the Keto Lifestyle

Kale is a green leafy, cruciferous must have for diabetics and those on the keto diet. The truth be told, kale is a good wholefood that all of us could benefit from.

I did an article about kale, so please click the link to learn more about kale and diabetes and you will make the connection with kale and the keto lifestyle. Please,  go ahead and click the word kale.


Conclusion

The keto diet uses ketones as an alternative source of energy. Since this happens when we start to consume less carb, then it is a given that we will lose weight and ultimately walk in better health as we shed the various illnesses plaguing our bodies.

The fact that the keto diet relies heavily on very low carb foods and more healthy fats, then it is evident that when incorporated into the lifestyle of diabetics, the results could be magical: weight loss, more energy, and low or normal blood sugar levels, to name but a few.

Let us continue the fight against diabetes and other lifestyle illnesses to live the life God intended. Until next time, continue to be kind to each other and remember that your body is your most valuable asset.

 

Medical Disclaimer

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6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I have been wary of a keto diet because I was concerned with very low blood sugar levels. For me, the diet sounds great for weight loss but no so if you have pre-diabetes or are diabetic.
    I like the low carb lifestyle because you eat real unprocessed food which has the nutrients from the veggies. Plus, we need to enjoy our foods too.
    I personally think a keto diet is a bit extreme for diabetics. I’d rater keep my blood sugar levels even than have it like a yo-yo.


    1. // Reply

      I do understand your concerns Dinh and I had a similar experience, you may recall my mentioning very low blood sugars in my article. I, like you, prefer a low carb lifestyle, filled with nutrients from fruits and vegetables. I however had dialogue with people who are not diabetics, but the contents of the website is helping them to live a healthier life and so, I decided to research the keto diet on their behalf. I also do not believe in a one size fits all and so there are diabetics who are doing well on the keto diet, if, even for a time. I appreciate your candid response and all the best.


  2. // Reply

    This is such and important topic and I thank you for your website. My mother is diabetic and has been for 30 years. I’ve seen her struggle with her glucose and knowledge. Diet is such an integral part of a diabetic life, and in my opinion the only way to manage it.


    1. // Reply

      Carmen, I am sorry to hear about your mother’s struggles, but yes, you are correct, a lifestyle change which includes a dietary adjustment will definitely get that beast called diabetes under control. Kep sharing information with her and always lend support. All the best Carmen.


  3. // Reply

    Those food above are really good for diabetes condition. I work as a support worker and most of those foods are the ones recommended.

    Good simple and detail explanation.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. // Reply

      You are welcome Stephen and I thank you for the visit and the comment. What do you mean by “support worker?”

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