Can low carb diet cause diabetes?

They found that ketogenic diets don't allow the body to use insulin properly, so blood sugar isn't properly controlled. This leads to insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that people with type 2 diabetes can lose weight and lower their blood sugar levels with the ketogenic diet. In one study, people with type 2 lost weight, needed fewer medications, and lowered their A1c when on the ketogenic diet for a year.

Most studies compared a low-carb or very low-carb diet, defined as less than 26% or 10% of daily calories from carbohydrates, with low-fat diets. Because controlling carbohydrates is important for managing type 2 diabetes, it may seem that the ketogenic diet would be a go-to diet for people living with diabetes. Studies show that metabolic processes are altered when people eat a diet high in fat, such as meat, and low in carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta. Originally created in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet (also known as the “ketogenic diet” or simply “keto”) is a trending diet that emphasizes fats and proteins and severely limits carbohydrates and sugars.

For example, the distinction between a “ketogenic diet” and the Atkins diet doesn't make sense because the Atkins diet is also a KD. Researchers found that mice fed the diet began to show signs of insulin resistance, a process that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, after just a few days of dieting. Grandl and colleagues compared a high-fat diet to a ketogenic diet in mice, feeding animals specific foods and then conducting tests to understand how their bodies reacted to diets. Several publications have alarmingly warned that the ketogenic diet (KD), or low-carb, high-fat (LC-HF) diet, can have detrimental metabolic effects that lead to the development of diabetes.

The study showed that compared to mice on a high-fat diet, those on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet appeared healthier while on the ketogenic diet, but they also began to rapidly develop insulin resistance, meaning their livers were less able to respond to insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. High-fiber and low-fat diets work the same or better than low-carb plans, in many studies, to achieve weight loss and reduce glucose intolerance.