Keto and Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits and Risks

author image Top10Keto

keto foods for diabetics

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is on the high rise. Years back, this condition was common among adults. That’s why it was referred to as adult-onset diabetes. But these days even young children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Managing this chronic condition is not quite easy.

There are different ways to manage diabetes type 2. And one of the ways is through diet. Many diet plans are available for people with this condition. One of the diets people opt for is a ketogenic diet. But the issue is that people don’t really get the correlation between keto and type 2 diabetes. Well, we’re here to help you out with that.

Most diets for diabetic patients concentrate on reducing the blood glucose level. That’s why many of these diets completely ban some carbs and reduce the consumption of some. A ketogenic diet also follows this principle. The aim of this diet is to reduce the consumption of carbs and increase consumption of fats and proteins.

After following a ketogenic diet for a while it’s expected that your body would go into ketosis. Which means that your body no longer uses glucose for energy but fats. That way a person can lose weight. But is this really a good diet for someone with diabetes? You’ll find out soon if you keep reading.

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes the level of glucose is really high. And this can be as a result of either of these two. It could be because your body isn’t that responsive to insulin. So even when insulin tries to lower your blood glucose level, your body isn’t responding. On the other hand, it could be because the amount of insulin being produced is just too small. That way it also wouldn’t be able to lower the level of glucose.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition. And there is no cure for this condition. But there are certain things you can do to manage it well. Such as a good diet, exercising, and losing weight. If these things have little or no effect on your blood glucose level then you might need insulin therapy and medications.

A person might have diabetes type 2 for years without knowing. That’s because it develops over a period of time. And the symptoms start to show slowly. These are some of the symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent infections

The exact cause of diabetes type 2 is not known. But there are certain factors that increase the risk of a person having type 2 diabetes. They include:

  • Overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Prediabetes

Keto and Type 2 Diabetes

The common question is if the keto diet is a good choice for diabetes type 2. Keto diet is one of those diets that have been quite helpful to diabetic patients. The reason why the keto diet is a good one is that there is less consumption of carbs and more consumption of fats. So the demand for insulin is quite low. With this, you might not have to keep taking insulin once they start a keto diet.

Benefits of Ketogenic Diet in Type 2 Diabetes

  • Helps reduce blood glucose level: With a ketogenic diet, there’s more consumption of fats. About 70-80% of your meal is made up of fats. And just about 10% is made up of carbs. With this blood glucose level would reduce.
  • May reduce the need for medication: The main purpose of taking diabetic medications and insulin therapy is to help increase the production of insulin. When insulin production is increased then it can lower the blood glucose level. But with a keto diet, there’s really no need for that. Because a keto diet helps reduce the blood glucose level.
  • Helps reduce weight: A keto diet helps out with reducing weight. With a keto diet, the body goes into ketosis. And in ketosis, ketones are produced from the burning of fat. Fat becomes the main source of energy. That’s why you can lose weight with a keto diet. Being overweight happens to be one of the risk factors of type 2 diabetes. So when a diabetic patient on keto diet loses weight, it would help with managing the condition.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces triglyceride level
  • Improves mental performance
  • Help raise HDL cholesterol level


Even with the benefits it offers, a ketogenic diet still has its side effects. Since there is a change in energy source of the body there would be certain effects. Usually, it’s for a short period of time. While on rare occasions it lasts for a long period of time.

Symptoms include:

  • Changes in bowel movements 
  • Keto-flu
  • Loss of energy 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Loss of salts 
  • Leg cramps 
  • Mental fogginess 
  • Headaches 

Some long term effects could be an increase in the risk of having dyslipidemia and also hypoglycemic episodes. Also, there is an increased risk of having cardiovascular disease. And that’s because a person with diabetes type 2 is also at risk of having cardiovascular disease. Then consuming so much fat in a ketogenic diet further increases the risk.

Also, it’s possible for children to have stunted growth. That’s because when a child is on a keto diet the levels of insulin-like growth factor reduces. And this affects the bones. It makes the bones weak and susceptible to fractures. That’s why you should not let a child follow a ketogenic diet without the doctor’s consent.

There are just a few studies as to the effect of a keto diet in type 2 diabetes. People have tried it out and it seemed to help out a lot. But even with this many health professionals do not encourage following a keto diet. That’s because of the risks involved.

If in the end, you decide to opt for a keto diet you have to bear a few things in mind. Planning is very important. Make sure you balance the foods you eat as much as you can. Also, following a keto diet for a long time can be harmful. It could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. And this is a medical emergency. That’s why it’s important that you understand fully the relationship between keto and type 2 diabetes.

Subscribe for daily keto tips delivered right to your inbox!