Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Keto and Banting

By the legend, Dr Steph Fowler (PhD)

 

Aside from weight loss, the banting diet is best known for its ability to reverse type 2 diabetes, which used to be called ‘adult onset diabetes’. Now, more and more of us are being diagnosed including an ever-increasing number of children and teenagers. So what’s going on and how can Banting or keto help?

Diabetes, technically called ‘diabetes mellitus’ is a condition which affects the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In type 1 diabetics, the pancreas fails to make insulin while type 2 diabetics both insulin production and insulin use within the body are affected. The net result is too much glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) which damages organs including the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and blood vessels (1, 2). 

Insulin is a hormone with four main roles in the body, the most important of which is managing our blood sugar levels to avoid organ damage. If you haven’t met insulin before, it may be worth checking out the blog on weight loss which likens insulin to a policeman, controlling the rowdy soccer crowd (glucose). 

After a single, small local game, there are only a few rowdy fans who need a night in lock up and police can easily get the crowd under control and wrestle the unruly few into cells overnight which is exactly how insulin works on glucose in the body. 

With more frequent soccer games, there are the same rowdy few but more policemen are needed to keep a handle on the new crowd until the old one can be cleared from lock up. And so it is with insulin resistance, our bodies make extra insulin like police calling for reinforcements from other towns, while the insulin tries to clear the glucose from our blood stream (3). Eventually cells are full, all the policemen are on the streets and it takes longer to process the rowdy game goers locked up in the cells. 

Now it is the Grand Final, and instead of a few rowdy soccer fans we have a stadium full. Only, while there are enough policemen floating to control the previous crowds, they’re still not enough to cover the Grand Final. Plus, the cells are also full so there is nowhere to put anyone else.  Glucose now floods the bloodstream (hyperglycaemia) and insulin is no longer able to control it. There is not enough is being produced and the insulin that is there doesn’t work as it should (4). The net result is our blood glucose goes up, we are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and insulin is prescribed so we can lower blood glucose avoiding the detrimental effects on our bodies. Alternatively (or additionally), Metformin is prescribed to increase our sensitivity to insulin (1). 

While constantly adding more insulin reduces our blood glucose, it doesn’t address why it is happening in the first place. Our bodies release insulin from our pancreas at different rates depending on our blood sugar levels. And, our blood sugar levels vary according to how much food we’ve eaten, what kind of food it was and how quickly we were able to digest it (5). 

While proteins can cause a mild insulin response, most of the insulin released is in response to the digestion of carbohydrates (even complex ones) as they are made up of sugars. 

By not eating carbohydrates, our body has a chance to clear the cells of the backlog and avoid high blood sugar all while maintaining blood sugar levels and avoiding hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) by gluconeogenesis, a process in the liver which turns non-carbohydrate molecules into glucose to fuel the body. This is how Banting or Keto and their low carbohydrate dietary approach reverses type 2 diabetes. It works by lowering blood sugar and lowering blood insulin and improving the markers of diabetes (6, 7) rather than just masking the high blood sugar as a prescription of insulin does. 

Testimonials from our current members show we aren’t wrong. If you want to reverse diabetes and your doctor is cool with you going low carb (please tell your doctor you’re doing this), you should check out our Online Keto Course. It is the most effective way to learn how to do the low carb diet, and we have proven results that we guarantee 100%. 

If you’re up for crushing excess weight or reversing a chronic lifestyle condition, you should see this. 

  1. 1. American Diabetics Association Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(Supplement 1):S67-S74.
  2. 2. Brownlee M Biochemistry and molecular cell biology of diabetic complications. Nature. 2001;414(6865):813-20.
  3. 3. Yaribeygi H, Farrokhi F, Butler A, Sahebkar A Insulin resistance: Review of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2018;234(6):8152-61.
  4. 4. Rachdaoui N Insulin: The friend and the foe in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(5).
  5. 5. Holt SH, Miller JC, Petocz P An insulin index of foods: The insulin demand generated by 1000-kj portions of common foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66(5):1264-76.
  6. 6. Turton J, Brinkworth GD, Field R, Parker H, Rooney K An evidence-based approach to developing low-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: A systematic review of interventions and methods. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019;21(11):2513-25.
  7. 7. Yancy WS, Jr., Foy M, Chalecki AM, Vernon MC, Westman EC A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition & metabolism. 2005;2:34.


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