Why I Chose a Ketogenic Diet For Diabetes Management
Often people use the term “diet” to mean something that is temporary for a specific purpose, usually weight loss. For me, it is a permanent way of eating now. I am a retired physician living with Type 1 diabetes since 1998. I started to exercise regularly in 2007 to help ward off complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. I was unaware at the time that aerobic exercise alone would have little impact on the development of cardiovascular disease. It wasn’t until 2011 when I contemplated doing an ironman distance triathlon, that I discovered diet is the most important determinate in the development of most chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. My research led me to begin a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet in February 2012.
Why I Chose a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes Management
Carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, so keeping consumption low is my primary goal. Of next importance is using whole foods that naturally have the necessary micronutrients and enough complete proteins to support my exercise. I had to add fat to my meals to replace calories from the omitted carbohydrates. My protein intake did not change after starting a ketogenic low carb high fat diet. This way of eating has resulted in a significant improvement in my blood glucose control and a 1.2% reduction in HbA1c. Most importantly, the diet supplies my body with the energy, substrates, and nutrients to enable daily resistance and aerobic/endurance exercise, with minimal need for sports nutrition (sugar), or development of hypoglycemia. I completed The Great Floridian Triathlon in October 2012 without any sugar, food, or hypoglycemia thanks to my low carbohydrate ketogenic lifestyle.