Tim Tebow Explains How The Keto Diet Breaks Down Fat



Could Keto Be Safe for People With Diabetes Thanks to Telemedicine?

A study released in February 2019 suggests people with type 2 diabetes may be able to follow the fad keto diet safely with online physician supervision. Here’s what to know about the research.

By Meredith Rutland Bauer

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The ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular among people with type 2 diabetes, but many dietitians are critical of the high-fat, low-carb approach.
The ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular among people with type 2 diabetes, but many dietitians are critical of the high-fat, low-carb approach.
Nora Carol/Getty Images

February 12, 2019

The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is all the rage in the weight-loss world, and while dietitians disagree on whether it’s safe for everyone, new research suggests an extra component — telemedicine — may make it so for people with type 2 diabetes.

The study, published in February 2019 inDiabetes Therapy, found that participants who tried keto with online physician supervision through an app were able to lose weight, lower their average blood sugar levels, and reduce their type 2 diabetes medication by more than people who followed the traditional diabetes diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). They saw results in 10 weeks — and they were able to maintain the improvements after 12 months, study authors say.

“What the trial demonstrates [is that] not only can type 2 diabetes be rapidly reversed in 10 weeks but those results are sustainable in a year,” says Jim McCarter, MD, head of research for San Francisco, California-based Virta Health, a telemedicine company that sponsored the study.

RELATED:Does the Ketogenic Diet Work for Type 2 Diabetes?

How Was the Study Done, and Who Conducted It?

Study authors from Indiana University Health and Purdue University, along with other collaborating universities, followed about 350 people with type 2 diabetes to see if a smartphone app used with a low-carb keto diet could help them safely lose weight and lower their blood sugar. Virta supplied the app, but McCarter says despite that fact and Virta’s sponsorship, an institutional and review board at Indiana University approved and monitored the research, eliminating the potential for bias. Virta is a for-profit company.

For the research, a control group of 87 people followed their regular routine of meeting with a doctor in person and eating the ADA diet. Meanwhile, 262 people followed keto, while regularly meeting with Virta Health coach and physician via the app, as well as connecting with an online community of people working to manage their blood sugar.

The ADA diet focuses on portion control, carb counting, and a balanced diet rich in whole foods, while the keto diet focuses on drastic carb reduction, moderate protein, and high fat.

In the study, after one year, 83 percent of the keto diet group was still following the program, and 94 percent of that group was able to reduce or eliminate their insulin dosage. Overall in that group, study authors saw an average A1C percentage decrease of 1.3 percent, with 60 percent returning to prediabetes status, and an average weight loss of 12 percent, with the average participant losing 30 pounds after a year. The study authors found “no significant changes” in A1C or diabetes medication use in the ADA diet group. The ADA group also didn’t lose weight, the authors say.

RELATED:Is Reversing Diabetes Possible Through Weight Loss?

What Should People With Type 2 Diabetes Take Away From the Study?

Kelly Kennedy, RD, staff dietitian at Everyday Health, says the A1C reductions noted in the study are impressive but notes the research isn’t perfect.

Namely, the study wasn’t double-blinded, where neither the study authors nor the study participants know which group is the control and which is the experiment. This aspect would have eliminated potential bias among the participants and authors in this study, Kennedy says. Not to mention, Virta Health’s telemedicine app was the primary application used, so the company stands to benefit from positive study results — another factor that could’ve led to bias in the way the findings were presented.

There’s also the fact that only one group got the chance to rely on doctor supervision through telemedicine. Research published in fall 2015 in theOnline Journal of Nursing Informaticssuggests using telemedicine may help people with diabetes lower their A1C levels. “The (new study) results may speak more to the benefits of personalized health plans and/or telemedicine rather than the benefits of the ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes,” Kennedy says. “I wonder what the results would be like if both groups had access to telemedicine while following a typical ADA diet and a ketogenic diet, respectively.”

RELATED:After an ER Visit, One Woman Shares How the Keto Diet Is Helping Her Manage Type 2 Diabetes

While an increasing number of people are trying keto to lower their A1C and lose weight, Kennedy says the approach is usually recommended only after someone has tried other eating plans without success. She says the addition of telemedicine could make the ketogenic diet safer and more effective for people with type 2 diabetes because doctors can keep an eye on their patients’ progress and reported side effects via regular check-ups. But, she says, “I still wouldn't recommend it as a first step.”

The ketogenic diet aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it’s burning fat instead of carbs for energy. Research so far suggests there are both pros and cons to trying keto, but dietitians agree keto may put people at risk for nutrient deficiencies, research on its possible long-term health effects is lacking — and the diet can be difficult to stick to in the short term. Typically, people following keto aim to get 75 percent of their calories from fat, 20 percent of their calories from protein, and just 5 percent of their calories from carbs.






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Date: 06.12.2018, 16:20 / Views: 32385