To understand how the keto diet plays a role in blood sugar, it’s important to understand how your body uses carbohydrates. When you eat carbs, they are broken down into simple sugars that enter the blood stream, which causes blood sugar to rise. In someone who isn’t diabetic, the pancreas releases more insulin to help the glucose in your blood center cells where it’s then used for fuel.
People with type 2 diabetes, however, have impaired insulin release and a resistance to the insulin once it gets into the blood, Dr. Phinney explained, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels.
With the keto diet, which is marked by a high-fat, moderate-protein, and super low-carb diet, your body goes into a state of ketosis where it starts using fat for energy and releasing ketones. Dr. Phinney said the ketones in the blood will help reduce insulin resistance, which is beneficial for diabetics.
“By making fat their main fuel source, people living with type 2 diabetes are able to harness the powerful biochemistry of nutritional ketosis to lower their blood sugar and insulin levels, and in the majority of cases reverse the disease’s underlying pathology,” he told POPSUGAR.
By cutting out most carbs and replacing them with a well-formulated ketogenic diet, he said, people with type 2 diabetes are able to reduce their blood sugar closer to the normal range.