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Can Type 2 Diabetes be Cured with the Ketogenic Diet?

diabetes keto diet

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually as the body gets less and less sensitive to the insulin produced by your body. Without insulin the body's cells are starved of sugar even though there is an abundance of it in the body. This is because insulin opens the doors of the cells to let glucose in. Can you train your body to be more sensitive to insulin again through diet and exercise? Let's take a look at the evidence.

    The Ketogenic Diet For Type 2 Diabetes

    The incidence of Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing as living standards get better and people have more access to food.2 A recent research study found that the ketogenic diet, which incorporates fewer than 30 grams of carbohydrates each day without exercise, is more effective at controlling blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics and prediabetics than the Standard American Diet (SAD) combined with about 20 minutes of exercise per day.3

    Furthermore, the study showed that the ketogenic diet group without exercise reduced their weight, body mass index (BMI), A1c, and triglyceride levels more than the group using SAD and exercise. This result is surprising because the usual recommendation for weight loss is a low-fat diet & exercise

    Surprisingly the study found that ketogenic ALONE without exercise is better for diabetics than a standard diet WITH EXERCISE

    This indicates that if you suffer from type 2 diabetes; you can improve your condition by following the correct diet, which means consuming the right kind and right amount of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates you do eat should be minimally processed, have a low glycemic index and should be high in fiber. The fiber and minimal processing makes it harder for your body to absorb sugars which minimizes blood glucose spikes.

    Our favorite example of processed and minimally processed foods is the an apple compared with apple juice. If you compare whole apples to apple juice you will see that apples are naturally high in fiber that helps you feel fuller and eat less. The body has to break down the apple to get to the sugar inside. In apple juice the sugars are dissolved in solution so it is much easier for the body to absorb. 

    A second study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people suffering from type 2 diabetes that followed a low-carb ketogenic diet increased their insulin sensitivity up to 75%. These patients also noticed a decrease in A1c from 7.3% to 6.8%, and reduced their caloric intake from 3111 kcal/day to 2164 kcal/day just by limiting carbohydrate intake. Finally, they were able to lose 1.65 kg in 14 days.

    A third study, published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry,4 presented even more evidence that the low-carb ketogenic diet could possibly be a cure for type 2 diabetes. In this case, obese individuals with Metabolic Syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes followed a controlled ketosis diet plan for a period of 56 weeks. The results were impressive: the subjects saw significant improvements in both weight/fat loss and metabolic functions within ten weeks. The researchers also reported the withdrawal of insulin and other anti-glycemic medications, which occurred prior to the significant weight and fat mass loss.


    Following a low-carb ketogenic diet plan may be helpful for people who are suffering from type II diabetes and wish to regain control of their insulin resistance. The ketogenic diet can be a very powerful tool, especially when combined with exercise.

    If you are suffering from type II diabetes, and you are considering making any dietary changes, you should discuss them with your physician because taking the same amount of insulin when insulin sensitivity increases is dangerous and can lead to life-threatening hypoglycemic states.