What Foods Can You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes?

Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes
Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes

The keto diet, often known as the ketogenic diet, is a popular technique to lose weight. It entails eating foods that provide more calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. It focuses on consuming good fats, moderate quantities of protein, and very few carbohydrates. It has recently gained attention for its usefulness in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious public health issue, with an increasing prevalence and an estimated 537 million diabetic individuals globally. Because of the increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetic neuropathy, it is regarded as a substantial contributor to morbidity and mortality.

As a result, treating and managing diabetes is an urgent need. One method is to adopt a keto diet and live an active lifestyle. There is growing evidence that it may help control diabetes because it allows the body to keep glucose levels low and prevents blood sugar levels from rising.

How does the Ketogenic Diet help with Diabetes?

Carbohydrates are the body’s principal source of energy. When your carbohydrate consumption is low and there is no glucose available, your body enters a metabolic condition known as ketosis and begins to burn down fats for energy instead.

Ketone bodies are generated when fats are broken down in the absence of carbs. In this stage, the body uses ketone bodies instead of glucose for energy until you resume ingesting carbohydrates.

Read – Custom Keto Diet Review – 8 Week Custom Keto Diet Plan By Rachel Roberts

The keto diet has other advantages, such as:

Blood pressure reduction
Enhancing insulin sensitivity
Reducing reliance on medicines

Improving high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels without increasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels.

Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the digestive system and enter the bloodstream when consumed. The more sugar in your bloodstream, the more insulin you require. Insulin is involved in the use of sugars for energy or energy storage.

In a diabetic, however, insulin is either absent or does not function properly, impairing the body’s capacity to utilise carbs as energy effectively. As a result, there is an increase in blood sugar levels, which might be harmful.

So, eating a heavy carbohydrate diet causes a surge in blood glucose. As a result, limiting carbohydrate intake in the diet can help minimise big spikes in blood sugar, minimising the requirement for insulin.

Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet for Diabetes

The keto diet seeks to consume a balanced meal of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre, and the appropriate quantity of calories and healthy fats. If you have Type 2 Diabetes and are on the keto diet, you can eat the following foods:

Vegetables with Low Carbohydrates

Choosing low-carb vegetables over starchy ones lowers your carbohydrate consumption and puts you in a ketosis state. According to one study, eating non-starchy vegetables at every meal is the best option. Cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and bell peppers are examples of low carb vegetables.

Some low-carb veggies have the following nutritional contents per 100 g serving:

Energy from Cauliflower: 25 kcal
Protein: 1.9 g Carbohydrate: 4.9 g
0.2 g total fat
2 g total dietary fibre
Energy from Zucchini: 18 kcal
3.1 g carbohydrate
1.2 g protein
0.3 g total fat
1 g total dietary fibre

Read – Keto Diet Foods: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Proteins with Low Carbohydrates

The first priority of a keto diet is to limit your carbohydrate intake. However, the importance of protein consumption cannot be overstated. Protein is vital for the proper functioning of organs, avoiding muscle loss, and repairing and growing bodily tissues.

Consuming too much protein may cause an increase in a process known as gluconeogenesis, which will knock you out of ketosis. Gluconeogenesis is the metabolic process by which your liver and kidneys produce glucose from non-carbohydrate sources such as protein to meet your energy requirements.

According to studies, you should limit your protein intake to less than 1g per kg of body weight; that is, only 10-20% of your calories should come from protein.

You can eat the following items to meet your protein needs:

Eggs (whole)

Eggs are a keto diet mainstay. They are low in carbs and a good source of protein. Egg whites are high in protein and low in calories, as well as a good source of minerals like riboflavin, selenium, and potassium.

Egg yolks, on the other hand, are high in healthy fats, excellent cholesterol, protein, iron, and other minerals. Furthermore, eggs are simple to prepare and can be utilised in a variety of cuisines. However, for each egg, consume one tablespoon of good fats.

One entire egg has the following nutritional value:

63 kcal of energy
0.3 g carbohydrate
5.5g protein
4.1g total fat
0 g total dietary fibre


Meats with a high protein level, such as chicken breasts and steaks, can help you achieve ketosis. Even though keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet, it does not imply that you should consume a lot of meat.

Some meats have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:

143 kcal for chicken breast
2.6 g carbohydrate
24 g protein
3.1 g total fat
0 g total dietary fibre


Fish is an excellent choice for a keto diet because it is naturally high in protein and low in carbs. It also contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. They also include a lot of vitamin B, selenium, and potassium. Anchovies, salmon, tuna, halibut, herring, and sardines are among examples.

Some fish have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:

Energy from Mackerel: 205 kcal
0 g carbohydrate
Total fat: 13.9 g Protein: 18.6 g
0 g total dietary fibre
208 kcal of energy
0 g carbohydrate
24.6 g protein
11.4 g total fat
0 g total dietary fibre


Soybeans are used to make tofu. While soybeans are not recommended on a keto diet, tofu works well because it is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

Tofu does contain estrogen-like elements, which can have a long-term effect on hormone levels if ingested in significant quantities. As a result, if you’re careful about how much you eat, it can be keto-friendly.

Tofu contains the following nutrients per 100 g serving:

94 kcal of energy
Protein: 9.4 g Carbohydrate: 2.3 g
5.3 g total fat
2.4 g total dietary fibre

Milk and Dairy Products

Dairy can be used as part of a keto diet because it has few carbs and no added sugar. Synthetic dairy products, such as ice cream or flavoured yoghurts, may disrupt your ketosis since they include a significant number of carbs or have a lot of added sugar.

Dairy contains fat, which takes longer to digest and helps us feel full for a longer period of time. It also contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.

You can consume dairy products such as butter, cheese, paneer, and ghee. Choose healthier alternatives of these as often as feasible, such as paneer, reduced sodium cheese, and homemade ghee.

Some dairy products have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:

Cottage Cheese

321 kcal of energy
3.5 g carbohydrate
21.4 g protein
25 g total fat
0 g total dietary fibre


717 kcal of energy
0 g carbohydrate
0.8 g protein
81 g total fat
0 g total dietary fibre

Fats That Are Beneficial

A large percentage of calories in a keto diet come from fats, which induce ketosis in your body. However, because some fat types pose health hazards, it is critical to ingest primarily healthy fats. Healthy fats can be found in fatty fish, nuts & seeds, nut butters, and avocado.

Furthermore, harmful fats such as bacon, sausage, red meat, and fried cheeses must be avoided. Prioritize monounsaturated fats (as in the examples above) and cook items in coconut oil, homemade ghee, or olive oil for rapid sautéing to support a keto diet without putting your health at risk.

Let’s take a closer look at the many sources of healthy fats.


Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, making them an excellent addition to a ketogenic diet. They also include fibre, which improves intestinal health. They are also high in potassium, folate, and vitamins C, E, K, and B6.

Avocado has the following nutritional value per 100 g serving:

160 kcal of energy
Protein: 2 g Carbohydrate: 8.5 g
14.7 g total fat
6.8 g total dietary fibre

Nut Butters and Nuts

Nuts are one of the best sources of healthful fats, making them an excellent choice for a keto diet. Furthermore, the fibre in nuts may have anti-diabetic benefits.

You can eat them as a snack or as nut butter. Stick to low-carb nuts like walnuts and almonds and avoid nuts like cashews, chestnuts, and pistachios, which are too high in carbohydrates for the keto diet. They can be ingested in a variety of ways, such as a fistful of mixed nuts at tea time or roughly chopped on your oats porridge in the morning, but keep track of how much you eat; only one fistful is your daily quota!

Some nuts have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:


654 kcal of energy
Protein: 15.2 g Carbohydrate: 13.7 g
65.5 g total fat
6.7 g total dietary fibre


579 kcal of energy
20 g carbohydrate
29.3 g protein
50 g total fat
21.6 g total dietary fibre


Seeds are another good source of healthy fats to include in your keto diet. They have low to moderate carbohydrate content. Furthermore, they are strong in fibre, which does not interfere with ketosis.

Fibre is not digested and absorbed in the small intestine, thus it does not raise blood sugar levels. Seeds can also help you lose weight without starving yourself.

Some nuts have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:

Seeds of Sunflower

283 kcal of energy
10 g carbohydrate
11.6 g protein
25 g total fat
5 g total dietary fibre

Sesame Seeds

573 kcal of energy
Protein: 17.7 g Carbohydrate: 22 g
49.7 g total fat
11.8 g total dietary fibre

Fruits with Low Carbohydrate Content

Fruits should be consumed in moderation on a keto diet. They can be consumed if they are low in carbs and have a low glycemic index, but they must be consumed in the proper quantities.

Fruits like avocados, strawberries, and watermelon are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are suitable for a keto diet if consumed in moderation.

Some fruits have the following nutritional values per 100 g serving:


30 kcal of energy
Protein: 0.6 g Carbohydrate: 7.5 g
0.1 g total fat
0.4 g total dietary fibre


32 kcal of energy
Protein: 0.6 g Carbohydrate: 7.6 g
0.3 g total fat
2 g total dietary fibre

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Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet

Now that we’ve covered all of the items that are safe to eat, let’s take a look at what should be avoided in order to keep your body in ketosis.

Fruits and vegetables that are starchy

Starchy veggies have more digestible carbs than fibrous vegetables, which raises blood sugar levels. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets are examples of them.

Furthermore, because they include a larger percentage of carbs, high-sugar fruits such as bananas, mangoes, and chikoos might cause your blood sugar to jump more quickly.

Baked Goods

Pastries, doughnuts, and cakes are heavy in sugar, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they contain butter, which makes them heavy in saturated fat and cholesterol, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.


Although legumes are high in minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc, they are high in carbohydrates and hence detrimental to the ketogenic diet.

Refined Grains

Refined grains are devoid of all nutrients and have little fibre. Because they have a high glycemic index, they digest quickly. It produces dangerous blood sugar surges and fat buildup, particularly around the midsection.

White bread, white spaghetti, pizza dough, white flour, white rice, and morning cereals are all off-limits on the keto diet. As a result, you can substitute spiralized veggies, spaghetti squash, and zoodles.

Meals that can be included in a Keto Diet for Diabetes

Non-Vegetarian Alternatives:


Scrambled eggs with spinach and raspberry
Coconut oil-based omelettes
Eggs scrambled with oil and cheese
Omelette with smoky bacon and cheese
Avocado on boiled eggs
Omelette with mushrooms
Salad for breakfast with cooked eggs

Snack for Mid-Morning:

Seeds from a pumpkin
Eggs boiled
Smoothie with strawberries


Malai tikka chicken
Curry of Goan fish
Mayonnaise-dressed mashed cauliflower with mutton seekh kebab
Chicken with basil
Avocado filled with eggs
Meatballs from mutton
Baked chicken topped with cheese

Snack in the Evening:

Coffee without sugar in a bullet
Green Tea with Blueberries and Almonds


Salad with chicken
Mint chutney with mutton seekh kebab
Soup with creamed fish
Salad with avocado and eggs
Zucchini “noodles” with vegetable egg bhurji
Chicken tandoori with pudina chutney

Options for Vegetarians:


Upma with cauliflower
Smoothie with strawberries
Sandwich with paneer bhurji (vegetable cheese)
French toast with pumpkin
Smoothie with ginger
Keto berries pancakes
Pudding with chia seeds

Snack for Mid-Morning:

Pumpkin seeds in lemon water
Watermelon Jeera water flavoured with walnuts


Tikka Paneer
“Macaroni with cheese” made from cauliflower
Grilled eggplant with spicy sauce
Paneer with ginger and almond flour roti
Stir-fried spinach, mushrooms, and capsicum with olive oil
Soup with eggplant and mushrooms
Capsicums filled with paneer
Quinoa khichdi accompanied by a green salad

Snack in the Evening:

Tea noir
Seeds from a pumpkin
Coffee without sugar in a bullet


Fried rice with cauliflower and zucchini
Salad with grilled mushrooms
Soup with broccoli
Garlic sauce for keto kabab rolls
Paneer tikka malai
Tomato soup accompanied by a green salad
Stir-fry broccoli and mushrooms with cheese

Vegan Recipes:


Bhurji of tofu with olive oil
Smoothie with greens
Poha Lauki Cauliflower Juice
Idli with rava and coconut chutney
Ketogenic porridge made with full-fat coconut milk and ground flaxseeds.
Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese and avocado

Snack for Mid-Morning:

Water with lemon and barley
Almonds, soaked
Sticks of carrot


Vegetables with tofu
Soup with spinach and mushrooms
Vegan lasagne with roasted eggplant
Scrambled tofu on keto zucchini bread
Green peas, broccoli, and carrots sabzi
Stir-fry cauliflower rice with tofu.
Toasted sesame seeds with grilled tofu

Snack in the Evening:

Sliced cucumber
Water from methi seeds


Soup with spinach and bottle gourd
Vegetables in a stir-fry with tofu
Soup with coconut and cauliflower
Mushroom-zucchini noodles
Lasagna with vegan eggplant
Crispy tofu accompanied by a green salad
Salad with vegetables and tofu

Potential Health Dangers

While the keto diet has many health benefits, it is not a cure-all for diabetes. According to a new study, one of the drawbacks of keto diets is that they encourage a smaller intake of vegetables, fruits, and grains in exchange for a higher intake of fat, which can be harmful.

Some short-term keto side effects, such as “keto flu,” occur as your body adjusts to the diet. Fatigue, constipation, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headaches, and nausea are all symptoms.

However, adequate water and electrolyte intake can help to prevent these symptoms. Nutrient shortages, digestive difficulties, low blood pressure, kidney illness, and excessive cholesterol are all potential health risks.

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Who Shouldn’t Follow a Ketogenic Diet?

People with kidney disease: The keto diet has a lot of protein, which might lead to kidney stones. Furthermore, it may aggravate kidney disease in those who already have it.

It’s just harder on the kidneys because their purpose is to filter pollutants from the blood and consume too many proteins. This is why it is critical to limit your protein intake.

Ketones, which the body produces during ketosis, are a risk factor for diabetic ketoacidosis, which is more common in persons with type 1 diabetes than in those with type 2 diabetes.

People with a history of heart disease: If you have a history of heart disease, you should be cautious about the keto diet. It’s because cholesterol levels rise throughout the first stages of the diet, increasing the danger.

Women trying to conceive: The keto diet is especially detrimental to pregnant or trying to conceive women. On a keto diet, you don’t eat vegetables, fruits, or whole grains, which include the nutrients needed for a healthy infant. Low-carb diets have been linked to an increased risk of neural tube abnormalities in newborns, according to study.

Conclusion – Ketogenic Diet

A keto diet for diabetes can be extremely advantageous since it shifts your body’s primary energy source from carbohydrates to fat. However, it can lead to major health issues in the long run. As a result, it is equally critical to stress that you should only undertake it under medical supervision.

Although the keto diet has numerous potential benefits for diabetic control, sticking to it demands a significant time commitment. Moderation is essential if it is to be sustainable. So, pause for a moment before deciding whether this is the right diet for you.

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Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Q: Is the keto diet suitable for diabetics?

A. Yes, keto is beneficial to diabetics. A keto diet comprises foods that are high in fat and calories yet low in carbs.

A lower carbohydrate consumption in the diet can help eliminate big blood sugar spikes, minimising the requirement for insulin. It also assists the body to keep its glucose levels low.

Q. Can you eat anything on a keto diet?

A. You can eat meals that provide a variety of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and the appropriate number of calories and healthy fats.

Non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, mint, cauliflower, and cabbage; healthy fats such as avocado and its oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and olive oil; and non-sugary fruits such as berries and watermelon are examples of these foods.

Furthermore, you should not overlook the importance of protein ingestion. Tofu, eggs, paneer, and dairy products are examples of these foods.

Q. Who should not follow a ketogenic diet?

A. People with kidney illness should avoid keto since it contains a lot of protein, which might lead to kidney stones. The keto diet should be avoided by those with type 1 diabetes since it increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Furthermore, persons with a history of heart disease should exercise caution because cholesterol levels rise during the first phases of the diet, increasing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, pregnant or attempting to conceive women should avoid the keto diet.

Q: Can you drink alcohol while on the keto diet?

A. Drinking when on a keto diet is not a good idea because it slows the rate of ketosis and makes the effects of alcohol more severe on the body. It is undoubtedly advisable for a diabetic on a keto diet to avoid alcohol.

Q. What vegetables should I avoid while on a keto diet?

A. Vegetables with a high starch content should be avoided while on a keto diet. Starchy veggies have more digestible carbs than fibrous vegetables, which raises blood sugar levels.

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets are examples of them. Low carbohydrate vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, and broccoli can be substituted.

Q. Can you eat bananas on a keto diet?

A. No, bananas contain a lot of sugar, which can defeat the objective of ketosis. Because they contain more carbohydrates, high sugar fruits might cause your blood sugar to jump more quickly.

A banana contains 20 g of carbs. As a result, instead of fruits like bananas, choose low sugar fruits like avocados, raspberries, and lemons.

A: Are mushrooms keto-friendly?

A. Because mushrooms are low in carbohydrates, they are an excellent supplement to a keto diet.

Micronutrients such as B vitamins, phosphorus, vitamin D, selenium, copper, and potassium are also present. They also make a fantastic meat alternative and may be added to a stir fried.

Mushrooms are one of the healthiest low carb foods on the keto diet.

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