Is a Ketogenic Diet Safe for Type 2 Diabetics?

Is a Ketogenic Diet Safe for Type 2 Diabetics?

Staff Writer
5 minute read

Is a Ketogenic Diet Safe for Type 2 Diabetics?

The ketogenic diet has gained popularity in recent years due to its effect on weight loss and overall health. Due to its low-carbohydrate nature, the keto diet can potentially affect blood sugar levels and you may wonder if it is safe for people with Type 2 Diabetes. In this article, we will explore the potential risks and benefits of a ketogenic diet for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and provide recommendations for those considering trying this diet.

What is a Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet, also known as a "keto diet," is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet whose main goal is to make the body enter a state of ketosis. The diet is based on the idea that by restricting carbohydrates, the body is forced to burn fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss and provide a range of other potential health benefits.  

The keto diet typically consists of 75-90% fat, 5-10% carbohydrates, and 10-15% protein. Foods recommended while on a keto diet include cheese, cream, beef, poultry, fish, nuts, eggs, and low-carb vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and cabbage.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not effectively use insulin, the a hormone that lowers blood sugar levels. A common treatment for Type 2 Diabetes is to follow a diet that is low in carbohydrates and focuses on foods that can help regulate blood sugar levels in addition to diabetic medications. The keto diet, with its high fat and low carbohydrate content, can be a good option for individuals with diabetes.

Is the Keto Diet Safe for Type 2 Diabetics?

Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes can follow a keto diet, however, it's important to note that a keto diet may not be suitable for everyone with diabetes should only be followed under the supervision of a qualified medical professional. Here are a few potential benefits and to consider:


  • Some research has suggested that a keto diet may help improve blood sugar control and reduce the need for diabetes medications in some individuals [*]. 

  • The keto diet may also lead to weight loss [*], which can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. This is because excess weight is a risk factor for the development and progression of the disease.


  • Hypoglycemia. A keto diet may require adjustments in your medications, as the diet is very low in carbohydrates and when combined with the medication, could lead to hypoglycemia. It is important to work closely with a healthcare professional to ensure the proper management of diabetes medications on a keto diet.

  • Nutrient deficiencies. A keto diet may also increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies, due to its restricted intake of many foods such as fruits, vegetables, and other sources of important nutrients. It is important to carefully plan and balance the diet to ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients.

  • Ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs due to the excessive buildup of ketones in the blood making it acidic. It is a dangerous and life-threatening condition among people with Type 2 Diabetes. In combination with a keto diet, this can lead to extended periods of low sugar in the body leading to excessive production of ketones which can put you at risk of ketoacidosis.

  • Some individuals may also experience side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, frequent urination, and nausea when starting a keto diet.

Overall, it is important for individuals with diabetes to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of a keto diet before starting this or any other diet. It is also important to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly a Registered Dietitian to ensure proper management of diabetes and adequate nutrition on a keto diet.


You can follow a keto diet with Type 2 Diabetes, however, careful planning is needed when managing diabetes Type 2 as the diet may not be right for everyone and may be hard to follow long term. You, therefore, need to consult with your doctor before following a keto diet if you have Type 2 Diabetes.


Can you be on a keto diet if you have diabetes?

Yes, you can be on a keto diet when you have Type 2 Diabetes. Since the keto diet consists of low carbohydrate intake, it can be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

What happens when a diabetic goes on a keto diet?

When a person with Type 2 Diabetes goes on a keto diet, they consume low-carb foods, leading to low blood sugar levels. This forces the body to resort to burning fat as a source of energy which can promote weight loss. Weight loss can reduce insulin resistance in a person with Type 2 Diabetes and may reduce their dependence on diabetic medication. The low-carb diet also helps improve blood sugar levels which helps in glycemic control for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

Is a keto diet good for Type 2 Diabetes?

Yes, a keto diet can be good for people with Type 2 Diabetes as the low carbohydrate intake helps manage the blood sugar levels. Since the keto diet also leads to weight loss, this can help reduce insulin resistance which is good for managing Type 2 Diabetes


« Back to Blog