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Is Keto Good For Insulin Resistance


First Step: Test Your Carb Threshold

Keto Diet & Insulin Resistance

One of the first experiments you can do using a CGM on a keto diet is testing your personal carb threshold. Once you are in a steady state of ketosis, you can start testing the 30 g carb boundaries a bit.

To do this, you would gradually increase your carbohydrate intake while monitoring your ketones and glucose values through your CGM at the same time each day. Next, choose one meal per day that you would include more carbs at and time this meal to be after a workout or some type of movement. Always pair your carbs with protein and fat for best glucose control. You could start by having 30 grams of carbs per day, then increasing your carbs by 10 g. You can keep bumping up your carbs until your morning ketones drop below 0.5. Once it dips below 0.5, you have found your carb threshold.

Once you find your threshold, you can consume that many carbs every day or just do it a few days a week. You may be surprised with how many carbs you can consume a day while still maintaining ketosis! As a pro tip, typically the more fasting and exercise you do will give you more flexibility for carbohydrates. Ketones and glucose should have an inverse relationship. This means that if glucose is high, ketones are likely low.

Why The Keto Diet Has The Potential To Reverse Insulin Resistance

The majority of human studies on how the keto diet impacts blood sugar control share a similar theme: a low-carb, high-fat diet has the potential to reverse insulin resistance.


However, we have yet to explore the mechanisms behind why keto is so effective in this case. By understanding the why behind the research results, we can extract practical strategies that may help us reverse insulin resistance from a dietary standpoint.

Although there is currently no gold standard dietary treatment for insulin resistance, we do have promising evidence that supports the effectiveness of these four factors:

Second Step: Test Your Trigger Foods

To test your trigger foods you need to first record your pre-prandial ketone and glucose value. The best time to test this would be in a fasted state or at least three hours after a meal. Next, eat your experimental food choice. Two hours after your meal, record your postprandial ketone and glucose values. This will allow you to see how quickly your values recovered from your experimental food.

Once you complete the experiment check your results. We want a glucose delta of < 30. For ketones, we do not want ketones to drop > 1.0 mmol/L and we want it to return back to baseline within 2 hrs. If glucose and ketones are out of the ideal ranges, try retesting with a smaller portion.

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Does The Keto Diet Work For Everyone

If you havent heard of the keto diet by now, its probably safe to say that keeping up with the latest health trends isnt really your thing. From wellness websites and doctors office magazines to the Twitter feeds of your favorite celebs, the diet has been everywhere in recent years.

Though the jury is largely still out on the benefits of keto, its often touted as the answer to everyones weight loss prayers. But does the keto diet work for everyone? Unfortunately, nutrition experts say no. It can be restrictive, tough to sustain, and downright unhealthy for some people.

If youre thinking of trying it, heres what you need to know.

Why You May Have High Blood Glucose On Keto

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Can diets that limit sugar, actually increase glucose in our blood?

The ketogenic diet is the latest craze and lifestyle alteration trend that aids with weight loss, weight management, and, for some, overall health. The ketogenic platform follows a particular set of guidelines: consume seventy to seventy five percent of your daily calories from fat, fifteen to twenty percent protein, and five percent from carbohydrates.


By following the keto diet and incorporating healthy habits like exercise , sleep, and meditation, many have been seeing an improvement in size measurements and mental clarity.

On the other hand, some are surprised to find unexpected numbers from the doctors office while on the ketogenic diet. One of these results is usually high levels of glucose in the blood. How is it, that lowering carbohydrate and sugar consumption can lead to high blood glucose? We spoke with doctors and medical professionals to help break down how the ketogenic diet could be causing high levels of blood sugar.

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Hereof What Is The Best Diet For Insulin Resistance

Foods to eat

  • non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, dark leafy greens, and peppers.
  • tomatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamins C and E.
  • citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and limes.
  • high-fiber foods, including beans and lentils.
  • some whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and barley.

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Diabetes: Type I Type Ii And Type Iib Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that happens when your blood glucose is too high. Blood glucose is normally the main source of your energy, and insulin is the hormone that helps the glucose to make it into your cells. Depending on the type of diabetes, your body is either not making enough, or any insulin or it is unable to use it well.

Having too much glucose in your blood, however, can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, dental problems, kidney disease, foot problems, nerve damage, and eye problems . There are several forms of diabetes. Lets look at them one by one.

Type I Diabetes

The majority of people around the world have type II diabetes, however, about 5 percent of people with type I diabetes is already a significant portion of the population. About 1.25 million people in the US have type I diabetes and there are 40,000 new cases diagnosed yearly.

Though type I diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes, it is not a childhood disease and can occur at any age and in people of every race, gender, shape, and size.

Type I diabetes is an autoimmune condition. If you have type I diabetes, it means that your body doesnt produce insulin. Without insulin, your body cannot help glucose to make it into your cells from the bloodstream. Insulin therapy and other treatments can help people to manage type I diabetes and to live a healthy life .


Type II Diabetes
Type IIb Diabetes
Autoimmunity and Type II Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes

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What Causes Insulin Resistance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 86 million Americans have prediabetes or insulin resistance , but 25% of those people dont know they have it.

Seems like the obvious reason for having high blood sugar levels is eating too many carbohydrates and sugary foods and beverages, and thats partly true.

But living a sedentary life also raises your glucose levels because your cells never have a chance to use up all the sugar in your bloodstream.

Insulin resistance can also be caused and made worse by:


  • Your age. Insulin resistance can affect people at any age, but you develop a greater risk of developing insulin resistance as you age.
  • Your race. If youre of American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino or African American descent, youre at a higher risk for IR than others.
  • Already having high blood pressure. Over 50% of adults with hypertension are also insulin resistant.
  • Inflammation. Whether caused by a poor diet or an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria, this leads to oxidative stress, which encourages insulin resistance.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome . This makes women more prone to insulin resistance and weight gain.

This is why in addition to your annual check-up with your general physician, you should have your blood sugar checked every year especially if you fall into any of these risk categories.

Can Insulin Resistance Be Reversed Permanently

Keto for Insulin Resistance

There is no drug that will reverse it as effectively and rapidly as that. Losing at least 5% of body weight and exercising the equivalent of 25 minutes of walking five days a week, can stave off IRS and its adverse effects. Studies show exercise can make the cells more sensitive to insulin.

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Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. All opinions remain our own.


Ketogenic diets around the world have been known to be extremely effective in helping improve health and lose weight fast.

The diet takes into account and addresses the underlying causes of your weight gain, which could include things such as hormonal imbalances.

With the ketogenic diet, you are forcing the body to go into ketosis by restricting your net carb intake to under 50 grams a day.

With the number of restricted carbs, your body needs to reset its way of getting the fuel that it needs.

See how a diet high in healthy fats can help improve insulin resistance by changing the bodys preferred fuel source from glucose to ketones.


The Body Cannot Burn Carbohydrates Well If Theres Too Much Fat In The Diet

The name for this concept: the Randle Cycle. In the 1960s, Dr. Randle discovered that there is an inverse relationship between fat and carb burning. Essentially, when there is too much fat in the diet, as is the case for a ketogenic diet or the typical American diet, the bodys ability to burn the carbs we eat goes down. Which means that when we reintroduce carbs after a ketogenic diet, our body doesnt know how to handle the carbohydrates. Its pretty similar to a muscle if you dont use it, you lose it. A ketogenic diet dramatically reduces the bodys needs to burn carbs, which then stunts its ability to burn carbs when we do eat carbs. Which then leads to a poor tolerance of carbs and insulin resistance. Its not just the ketogenic diet. Eating too much fat also works in the same way.

There you have it. Two reasons why a ketogenic/high-fat diet can lead to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, or diabetes.

If you are struggling with insulin resistance and PCOS, schedule a free information call HERE. Lets talk about you, your health goals, and how I can help!

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In Conclusion: A Specific Diet For A Specific Purpose

Understanding how and why a diet works can help you apply it in your own life. For example, if you just think of keto as low-carb, you might be tempted to use a lot of whey protein powder, because everyone knows protein is the perfect macronutrient that makes you thin, right? But whey protein is actually very highly insulinogenic, so its not a great option for keto!


A ketogenic diet minimizes insulin by reducing both protein and carbs thats how it takes the brakes off ketone production and lets you really hop on the the ketosis train.

Who Should Try A Keto Diet

Ketogenic Diets and Insulin Resistance

So who is a good candidate for keto? It can serve a medical purpose for people with seizures.

According to registered dietitian Danielle Schaub, culinary and nutrition manager for Territory Foods, the diet can also help people who are looking to:

  • improve or reset their insulin sensitivity
  • improve some health biomarkers, like blood pressure
  • or lose weight or body fat with a sedentary lifestyle.

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Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes

Ketogenic diets have been shown to be very effective in managing diabetesand improving insulin sensitivity.


A 2-week ketogenic diet on obese diabetic individuals resulted in a 30%reduced calorie intake, about 1.65 kg weight loss, a 75% improved insulinsensitivity, and a decrease in some vital biomarkers like triglycerides andcholesterol by 10-35%.Part of the effects may have come from caloric restriction as the subjects wereconsuming about 1000 fewer calories than normally.

Another 2009 study compared 3 groups of isocaloric diets over a 8 weekperiod. The percentage of fat loss wasnt significant between them. However,they did differ in terms of fasting insulin and post prandial blood glucoseresponse:

  • Very Low Fat Diet consisting of 70%carbs, 10% fat, and 20% protein. No impact on fasting insulin but fasting bloodglucose and CRP dropped.
  • High Unsaturated FatDiet with 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein. Lower fasting insulin by 19% andless lean muscle loss than the other two diets.
  • Very LowCarbohydrate Diet with 4% carbs, 61% fat, and 35% protein. Decreased fasting insulin by 33%and a significantly lower postprandial blood glucose response to meals. It alsolowered triglycerides much lower than the other two diets.

Not Losing Weight On Keto

As a reminder, the goal with keto is to put your body into a state of fat-burning ketosis by mostly eliminating carbs. Schaub says some people will reach ketosis after about one week, while others may take a little longer.

Once you are in ketosis, if you are consuming fewer calories than you are expending, you will burn body fat and lose weight, she explains.

However, its totally possible to be in a state of ketosis and not lose weight. Schaub says that if you enter ketosis but continue eating enough food to cover your energy needs, your body wont start burning fat cells for energy because it simply isnt necessary. You still need a calorie deficit to lose weight, ketosis or not.


Theres also another reason why you could find yourself not losing weight on keto or, worse, gaining weight: eating too many fatty foods. Since the keto diet is high in fat and fat is very calorie-dense, Schaub says you will gain weight if you are in an overall calorie excess regardless of where those calories come from.

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Fill Up On Healthy Fats And Protein

At mealtime, fill your plate with foods that provide energy in the form of protein and fat. But try to choose the most nutritious sources. For example, meat, poultry, and seafood that is grilled are smart choices. Some dairy products like eggs and cheese may also work in your food plan.

When choosing fats, look for sources that provide mono- and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Avocados, for example, are high in monounsaturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, provides less healthy saturated fat.

Complications On A Ketogenic Diet

Keto Diet and Insulin Resistance (Is It The Best Diet?)

There are plenty of studies that show the shortcomings of a ketogenic diet. Sarah Ballantyne did a great job of summarising these on her Paleo Mom Blog here.


When you look in detail however you find that the adverse reactions the ketogenic diet are typically due to keto in a can formula products.

While these food substitutes will help achieve therapeutic ketosis to help manage epilepsy or other chronic conditions, many of these keto formula products end up being very low in micronutrients.

Obtaining a significant amount of your energy intake from processed food-like products that have been separated from nutrients is not a good idea .

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The Impact Of Carbohydrate Restriction On Insulin In Healthy Athletes

Most studies examining the impact of the ketogenic diet on insulin resistance have used middle-aged, overweight subjects. However, what impact does the ketogenic diet have on insulin resistance on younger, healthy people? In a 2014 study, researchers sought to shed light on that question and recruited 8 male subjects with a median age of 28.3 years. They had a mean BMI of 24.93- making the subjects, on average, normal-weight. Additionally, all subjects had participated in off-road cycling for at least 5 years and had a minimal VO2max of 55/ml/kg- making them a very fit group.

The intervention consisted of two separate phases where the subjects ate an experimental diet and then performed a three-day, moderate-to-high volume cycling training protocol where blood samples were taken. The first testing phase lasted three days and was preceded by four weeks of a mixed diet. This diet consisted of 50% calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fats, and 20% from protein. The second testing phase lasted three days and was preceded by a ketogenic diet composed of 70% fat, 15% protein, and 15% carbohydrates.

The authors of the study also stated that the high volume training on a ketogenic diet increases fat metabolism during exercise, reduces body mass and fat content and decreases post exercise muscle damage. Collectively, these findings suggest that the ketogenic diet can benefit insulin resistance and recovery in athletes.

The Ketogenic Diet Induces An Emergency Response In The Body

The ketogenic diet is a high fat diet. When followed 100% the diet requires an individual to consume 50 grams or less of carbohydrates on a daily basis. Often people talk about becoming fat burners and having to be on the ketogenic diet long enough to adapt to fat-burning. This is a complete misunderstanding. Humans are not designed to burn fat, except for when there is an emergency. So when we create an environment in which our body has to use a resource to make energy that it would otherwise only use in the case of an emergency, we purposely create an emergency situation in our body.

Emergency situation = chronic exposure to stress hormones. 24 hours. 7 days a week. 365 days a year . The entire purpose of these stress hormones is to increase access to energy for the body. Whats this energy? SUGAR. So, purposely inducing an emergency situation in the body leads to chronically high levels of sugar in the blood. Long-term excess sugar in the blood = insulin resistance. Pre-diabetes. Or even diabetes.

Now, this high fat diet has taken an individual who already has issues with processing carbohydrates farther away from a metabolism that can process carbs well. Not even just poor tolerance of carbohydrates, but full blown insulin resistance. Now, when this individual reintroduces carbohydrates, they will experience immediate weight gain or other side effects of putting excess carbs in a body that doesnt know how to process them very well.

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