Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes – Is Keto Diet Safe For Diabetics?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Damanjit Duggal, MD, MBBS March 7, 2022

Last updated on July 28th, 2023

As we all know, diabetes is a lifestyle disease that throws your normal life out of the window. To stay away from the severe complications of the chronic disease, you have to bring your lifestyle in order by doing some physical activities and having a particular diet that keeps your blood glucose levels under control. Read this blog to know about ketogenic diet good for diabetes type 1 0r type 2.

If you are also one of those people who are finding it tough to keep your blood glucose levels under control, the Keto Diet, also known as the Ketogenic diet, can be a great option for your overall wellbeing.

Scientists are still researching how this diet helps you in works but here is all about what we know about this ketogenic diet.


Diabetes management is a tough job and you can not execute it perfectly without following a strict diet plan. The Keto diet has been a very effective diet plan for diabetes patients.

All You Should Know About Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes

The Keto diet is a low carb and high fat eating plan. Most of the time we eat unsaturated fats like seeds, nuts, avocados, butter or coconut oil. It is advised that you must consume about 20 to 30 percent protein diet (like chicken breast or bacon). While on this diet, you are supposed to limit yourself on carbs, even those that are said to be healthy, such as beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. When you are kept on a keto diet, you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day. In such a perspective, one medium apple is okay to be consumed as it has 25 grams of carbs.

Ketogenic diet for diabetes

Also read: Gluconorm sr 500 mg composition


In the keto diet, the diabetes patient is put on high fat and low carb diet. In this diet, the patient is usually asked to have unsaturated fats like nuts, avocados, butter or coconut oil. You are also advised to eat about 20-30 percent protein in your every meal. This diet also binds you to limit your carbohydrate consumption, even if they are healthy sources of carbs like beans, whole grains, fruits and veggies. You can not eat more than 50 carbs per day.

How Does Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes Work?

Normally, your body fuels itself from sugar, or glucose, that it gets from carbs. After a few days of the keto diet, your body runs out of glucose, and as a result, it starts burning fat.  The entire process is known as nutritional ketosis. The procedure produces fatty acid substances known as ketones, which the human body uses for energy.

keto diet for diabetes

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis

Being a diabetic patient, it is very important to feel the difference between nutritional ketosis and ketoacidosis as both include ketones.

Ketoacidosis is a risky condition that takes place in a patient’s body that does not include insulin and ketones. Some of the symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, confusion, weakness, tiredness or fatigue. It is noteworthy that this ketoacidosis is very common in patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes disease.

Ketosis is a condition that takes place very rarely in a daily life depending on the number of carbs and protein the person eats. This condition can lead to weight loss, dizziness, and lower A1C in a person’s body.


Nutritional ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things and every diabetes patient has to know the difference between them. Ketoacidosis is a risky condition that takes place in a patient’s body that does not include insulin and ketones. On the other hand, Ketosis is a condition that takes place very rarely in a daily life depending on the number of carbs and protein the person eats.

Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes

Some of the benefits of the Keto Diet include:

  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity
  • Reduces Dependency On Diabetes Medicines
  • Improves HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)
  • Drops Insulin Production

benefits of ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes

Side effects Keto Diet For Diabetes

Keto diet can lead to some severe side effects too. Short term and long term side effects have been mentioned below:

Short Term Side effects:

  • Keto-flu
  • Noticeable changes in bowel habits, such as constipation and stomach pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Loss of energy
  • Mental Tiredness
  • Frequent urination
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of salts

Long-term side effects

  • Kidney problems such as kidney stones and an increased risk of bone fractures (due to acidosis)
  • Risk of dyslipidemia
  • Increase hypoglycemic episodes
  • Cardiac problems (due to fat)
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • The lower level of insulin

Also Read: Tab Glycomet to Reduce Sugar Level

Does Keto Diet Help The Patients Suffering From Diabetes?

According to many studies, a person with Type 2 Diabetes witnesses weight loss and low blood sugar levels if they are kept on the Keto diet. In one of the studies, people with type 2 needed less medication in comparison to people who are not on the keto diet and they also saw the loss of a few kgs in their bodies. A1C levels of the diabetes patients were also seen in the controlled limits when they were kept on the keto diet for a year.

Many studies have proven that when a person with Type 1 diabetes follows a keto diet, he/she witnesses lower A1C levels. It is to be mentioned that there is much research done to exactly understand the Keto Diet and its connection with Diabetes. It is still a matter of discussion if the Keto diet could manage diabetes.

Well, if you are trying to follow a keto diet then make sure you follow it strictly. Although it’s hard to stick to a keto diet as a very low amount of carbohydrates is a challenge and a big change for a person.

The Keto diet can also make a person weak in the initial weeks until the body adapts to the new meal plan. To make the keto diet success, you must make a meal chart and prepare some instant recipes.


Many studies have proven that the Keto Diet helps the diabetes patients in keeping their blood glucose levels under control and also ensuring weight loss. The Keto diet also helps the diabetes patients in maintaining healthy A1C levels for a longer period of time. People with type 1 diabetes are advised to consult with a doctor before beginning with the ketogenic diet. Moreover, the keto diet is really hard to maintain because it requires the patients to eat a too reduced amount of carbohydrates.

Is Keto Diet Safe For A Diabetic Person?

Well, that depends on what type of diabetes you have. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes, especially those who are overweight, see good and safe results while being on the Keto diet. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, it is important to take the suggestion of the doctor before starting a keto diet. Also, you must keep a check on your health and observe any and every sign of ketoacidosis. It is advised to stay in touch with the doctor on a regular basis.


The Keto diet has shown great results in people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes and are also overweight. In people with type 1 diabetes, the keto diet should only be opted after consulting with a doctor.

Should A Diabetic Person Try Keto Diet?

It is strictly advised to consult the doctor before trying the keto diet. In some cases, the keto diet works as a boon but in some cases, it makes diabetes worse. Therefore, stay in touch with the doctor and follow it only when recommended by him. In the initial days, the keto diet can make a person weak. You will also need to stay careful when you stop following the keto diet as adding carbs back can rapidly increase blood sugar levels and make you gain some weight.


The Keto diet should also be taken up in consultation with the doctor as it can produce both, positive and negative, results. Initially, a person may feel weakness for a few days. If you stop the keto diet, you should return to a normal diet gradually as starting heavy carbohydrate consumption may lead to increased blood sugar levels and rapid weight gain.

Alternatives of Keto Diet For Diabetes

The Keto diet is undoubtedly a very effective meal plan for diabetes patients, but there are plenty of other options too which can help in managing the disease as well as their weight effectively.

There, however, are plenty of medical professionals who do not recommend the keto diet for diabetes management.

There are plenty of other nutrient-rich diets that provide a great balance in carbohydrates, protein and fat intake. They also help in managing body weight and keeping blood glucose levels at optimal levels.

You can discuss these diets with your doctor and he might be able to suggest you the best one as per your overall condition.


Many medical practitioners do not find the ketogenic diet appropriate for diabetes management and suggest a more balanced diet plan according to the needs of a particular patient which have lesser side effects.

Criticisms of Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes

There are many critics of the ketogenic diet, who majorly highlight the adverse effects of the diet that include kidney troubles, cardiovascular diseases and hypoglycemia.

The critics also suggest that following such a diet for a long period of time is really difficult as it includes a lot of restrictions.

This also poses a threat of quick weight gain as people who are put on such a restrictive diet tend to start binge eating without keeping any control on their carbohydrate consumption once they return to the normal diet.

The critics have also been highlighting that there are no studies that prove that the keto diet can provide any kind of long term benefits.


Many critics believe that the ketogenic diet can be very detrimental for kidneys, heart and may also lead to low blood sugar levels. They also believe that following it for a longer period of time is very challenging.

Some Popular Ketogenic Diet Recipes For Diabetes

Cucumber Kimchi

It is a Korean dish made with slowly fermented cabbage and garlic featuring all types of veggies. This is a delicious dish and easy to cook. Let us learn how to make this delicacy at home:


  • Two Pickling cucumbers and eight small cucumber
  • One teaspoon salt
  • Two cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • Two scallions (chopped)
  • A Small amount of ginger (chopped)
  • Two tablespoon rice vinegar
  • One tablespoon of chile powder
  • Two teaspoon sugar
  • ½ spoon fish sauce

How To Cook?

  • Cut the cucumber in a half-moon shape and place in a bowl
  • Mix it thoroughly with salt at a room temperature
  • Now combine garlic, scallions, ginger, vinegar, chile powder, sugar and fish sauce in a medium bowl
  • Drain the cucumber and discard the water and mix it into vinegar
  • Cover the mixture and keep it in a refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before serving

Also Read: Normal sugar level before breakfast

Homemade Chicken Tenders Bagel Seasoning over Salad


  • Two spoons of all-purpose flour
  • One large egg
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • One tablespoon bagel seasoning
  • One pound chicken tender
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Two spoons of olive oil
  • One tablespoon vinegar
  • One tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • One teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • One teaspoon of honey
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • One teaspoon honey

How To Cook?

  • Place all purpose flour in a dish and beat egg in another shallow dish
  • Now mix breadcrumbs and bagel seasoning in another dish and mix chicken tender in flour with eggs and breadcrumbs
  • Heat canola oil in a pan and add chicken to cook
  • Cook until it turns golden brown
  • Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper in a large bowl
  • Add greens and toss to coat and serve the greens topped with the chicken

Also Read: Can Quitting Smoking Reverses Diabetes?


The Ketogenic diet for diabetes has been known for producing different types of results in different patients. Its effects rather depend upon the overall condition of the particular patient. Many physicians believe that the keto diet can produce great results in type 2 diabetes patients who are also overweight, but people with type 1 diabetes should only opt for the keto diet after discussing it with the doctor.

Also read: Food Pyramid for diabetics


Is a keto diet good for diabetes?

Some research has proven that people with type 2 diabetes can lose some extra kilos of their body and also keep their blood sugar levels in check while being on the ketogenic diet. There have been some studies that prove, people on the keto diet needed less medications to control their blood sugar levels.

Why is keto diet bad for diabetics?

There are some studies that prove that keto diets do not allow the body to use the insulin in the correct manner, hence, the body doesn’t stay in control. This may cause insulin resistance increasing the risk of development of type 2 diabetes.

Can keto reverse diabetes?

Nutritional ketosis has the potential of sustainably reversing type 2 diabetes by reducing the blood sugar levels, improving insulin sensitivity and also reducing inflammation.



Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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