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Dealing with doctors over your diabetes diet

Q: But doesn't any low-carb diet cause ketosis?

A: Yes and No.
'Ketones' are a class of compounds that are quite normal products of fat metabolism. With this and other low-carb, high-fat plans, ketones are used in the body to provide a source of energy for the cells that would otherwise use glucose. However, raising levels of ketones in excess of what is needed is not a good idea.

When glucose appears in the urine of a diabetic, it is their body's way of getting rid of excess glucose — which is why giving diabetics even more carbs is such a ridiculous protocol. Raising ketones in body tissues to such high levels that they have to be disposed of by excretion in urine, as is advocated on one popular low-carb plan, is exactly the same: the body getting rid of something it has too much of. And in a similar way to feeding diabetics more carbs when they are already getting rid of excess glucose, feeding fats to people whose bodies are already rejecting ketones, is equally stupid in our opinion.

There is also an economic side to this. Ketones are made from foods that you buy. You have paid for these — and the foods they came with are relatively expensive. Why flush them down the toilet?

So while a ketogenic diet is healthy, I do not believe overt ketosis is desirable, and I have not found it necessary, to go to such extremes. The amounts of carbohydrate that are included in this plan are more than enough to avoid this.

NOTE: A condition called ketoacidosis may occur in diabetics. This should not be confused with ketosis which is quite different.

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