The Keto Diet: Is It Safe for Diabetics?

nuts spelling out "KETO" surrounded by keto-friendly foods: avocado, fish, etc.

There have been plenty of variations of low-carb diets over the years, including South Beach, Atkins, and paleo – aka, eating foods similar to those our hunter-gatherer Paleolithic ancestors ate.  The most recent member of the club is the ketogenic or keto diet.  You may have seen the terms “keto” or “keto friendly” begin to appear on tortillas, snack foods, and other items at the grocery store.  You may remember seeing keto magazines at the checkout counter or keto cookbooks at Barnes & Noble.  You might even have friends and members of your family who have “gone keto” and talk about benefits ranging from weight loss to feeling less tired.

So what exactly is this “keto” thing all about, and is it safe for diabetics to try?

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The Insulin Centennial: Diabetic Care over the Last 100 Years

illustration of diabetic care items (insulin bottle, glucose meter, etc.)

August 2021 marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin. Before insulin was discovered, a diagnosis of diabetes would be seen as a death sentence. The only remedies available at that time were very restrictive low-calorie and low-carbohydrate diets. These regimens could extend patients’ lives by a few years, but they would still ultimately succumb to the disease. They also made diabetic patients very weak and could even lead to starvation.

Simply put, the discovery of insulin helped save many lives—as it continues to do today.

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Diabetes and Cold Weather

diabetes and cold weather

As we write this, we’re watching summer tick slowly away. Pretty soon we’ll be welcoming crisp fall air, digging sweaters out of our closets and preparing for the winter holidays.

And while this can be an enjoyable time of year, fall and winter can often be challenging for people with diabetes, as the cold weather months often bring with them higher blood sugar levels.

That’s why we put together this brief guide to diabetes and cold weather, with the aim of helping readers with diabetes live well while the temperatures drop.

Here are six things you can do in the next few months to remain healthy.

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What Can Diabetics Eat for Snacks?

snacks for diabetics

Living with diabetes means making a lot of changes. You need to monitor your blood sugar, get special diabetic socks, and change your diet.

That includes snacking. When most people think of snacks, they picture the little package of M&Ms waiting for them in their desk, or the bag of chips calling to them from the pantry.

But when you have diabetes, snacking becomes trickier. You need to choose things that will help you control your blood sugar levels.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of bland, boring food. Here are a few snacks for diabetics that are as healthy as they are enjoyable.

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7 Things to Do After Being Diagnosed with Diabetes

how to live with diabetes

Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be a shattering experience, but it’s not something you have to handle alone.

Other people have been where you are now, and they’ve gotten through it. It’s just a matter of finding the right resources. If you’re wondering how to live with diabetes, it starts by following these steps.

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Why Foot Health & Body Weight are Important to Diabetics

diabetic footwearIt seems to be fairly common knowledge that living life as an especially overweight or obese person is a situation that can lead to diabetes.

According to medical professionals, in fact, more that 25 percent of all obese people have diabetes, whether they know it or not.

Much lesser known, however, is the fact that foot complications are extremely prevalent in individuals with diabetes. If you happen to be diabetic yourself, practicing proper foot health is extremely important.

If you’re an obese person who hasn’t been diagnosed as diabetic, there are a number of actions you can take right now to keep your feet healthy and in good shape. Caring for your feet regularly may even help you discover the beginning of a potential problem before it gets worse.

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The Essentials of Diabetic Foot Care

proper shoe fitIf you’re someone living with diabetes, you probably spend more time than most people think about proper foot care.

That’s because the blood vessel and nerve damage that come from this illness can lead to serious health concerns if left unchecked.

The key phrase here is “if left unchecked.” You can avoid injuries and keep your feet healthy and happy by adhering to these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of diabetic foot care.

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Supporting Individuals Diagnosed with Diabetes

Worried mature couple with doctorDiabetes can be a difficult illness to manage by yourself. If one of your loved ones has recently been diagnosed with this condition, it’s understandable that they might feel upset, scared or confused.

But there are ways you can help them cope with their diagnosis, and help them understand their new lifestyle. In this blog post, we’ll look at some ways of supporting individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

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How to Take Early Control of Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a diagnosis that stays with you for the rest of your life. But by taking the right measures early on, people with diabetes can live longer and healthier.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who have type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood sugar early in their illness are likely to outlive those who do not.

“The outlook for people with type 1 diabetes continues to improve,” said
Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which funded the study, released in 2015. “These results show that by tightly controlling their blood glucose, people with type 1 diabetes can live longer.”

Once known as “juvenile diabetes”, type 1 typically affects younger people and occurs when the body does not make insulin. People who have type 1 must take daily doses of insulin to live.

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Is There a Stigma on Type-2 Diabetics?

Socks for Type-2 DiabeticsIs there a social stigma attached to type 2 diabetes?

Many people living with the illness would say yes.

In fact, surveys show that many people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes feel judged. According to research from the marketing firm dQ&A:

 

  • 76 percent of type 1 patients felt stigmatized, compared to 52 percent with type 2.
  • 83 percent of parents of type 1 children said they felt stigmatized.
  • More than half of people with type 2 diabetes who used intensive insulin therapies – multiple injections or a daily pump – felt stigmatized.

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