Guess who are two best friends??
Diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2) and keto diet love each other very much.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that destroys cells in pancreas that produce insulin known as beta cells. As a result, a complete lack of insulin in our body occurs.
In Type 2 diabetes, however, there is an abundance of insulin in our blood due to overproduction in beta cells. That happens because our body cells including liver and muscle become resistant to insulin which leads to hyperinsulinemia.
Type 1 and Type 2 have different etiology but have the same outcome- too much glucose floating around in the blood wreaking havoc in our bodies.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by proper diet and exercise and one can avoid using insulin or oral antidiabetic medications.
On the other hand, people with Type 1 diabetes need insulin with everything they eat in order to stay alive. So one might ask, why bother with a strict diet in Type 1 Diabetes when you must inject insulin anyway?
“Your child can eat as many carbs as he wants as long you cover with a proper amount of insulin” and “Kid first, diabetes second”
– those were the sentences that rang in my ears when my child was diagnosed in the hospital. And I tried following standard guidelines of high carb, low fat diet, I really did. All we got was a rollercoaster of blood glucose, and the emotions that goes with it, and A1C reading of 7.4. That was good enough for our doctor but not good enough to keep my child from going blind at 30.
“Kids first” for me is watching my child grow happy and healthy without any complications from this condition. That is possible only if my child’s blood glucose readings are close to nondiabetics ones. What I found worked best in my attempts to achieve that is well formulated keto diet, with enough protein to support growth and healthy fats for normal hormones. By keeping the sugar intake at minimum and eating fewer carbs, the less insulin you need, and there is less room for mistakes which can lead to dangerous hyperglycemia or severe hypoglycemia.
Let me tell you- I still don’t know how to control roller coaster affects of pizza, cereal or French fries on my son’s glucose levels. My decision was easy- I will not feed him something that makes him sick, miserable and cranky. There are a lot of delicious low carb options of all-American favorites, so he is not deprived of anything and enjoys wholesome and nutritious food.
I am so happy that there is a big shift in dietary guidance for people with diabetes happening in the medical community right now. The Keto diet is starting to be recognized as powerful aid in achieving normal blood sugars, improving insulin resistance in Type 2 and important part of management for Type 1 Diabetes. Normal blood sugar is crucial for keeping our body in low inflammatory state, building immune system and staying clear of chronic diseases. Regarding kids, keto diet helps with attention deficit, ADHD, autism, moods, sleep, behavior issues and the list goes on and on.