A Brief Summary of Low Carb Diets for Type 2 Diabetes

Several diets are circulating on the forums, groups and websites, to control type 2 diabetes (metabolic syndrome). They have different names, but have carb counting in common.

Keto – “keto” is short for “ketosis”, a condition in which the body is producing ketones as an energy source for muscles and brain. The liver produces ketones by converting fats, when glucagon, a signalling hormone, is produced by the pancreas. In the popular language, “keto” has been redefined to mean a diet that’s high in fat and meats. The bacon-wrapped shrimp is a classic “keto” food, promoted because it’s so high in fat, and has been classically considered “unhealthy” food.

Mediterranean – this is low carb diet that is heavy in vegetables, leafy greens, and lighter meats in smaller quantities. The main fat is olive oil. By avoiding breads, potatoes, grains, and beans, the Mediterranean diet can be a low in carbs as keto. The body goes into ketosis on this diet as well.

Richard Bernstein – wrote the book “Diabetes Solution“, which is the basis of several Facebook groups. This diet is based on “food lists” of acceptable foods — they basically include everything on the Mediterranean diet, and a few extras like low carb fruits and a little bit of carrot. This diet is based on measuring blood glucose with a glucometer. You measure before you eat, and an hour after you eat, to get an idea of how the food affected you. If your blood glucose is high (above 135mg/dl) you try to avoid or limit the food causing the increase.

There are some other low carb diets: Atkins, Zone, South Beach. They can all be evaluated with Bernstein’s method.

The produce of Bernstein’s method is the production of a food list, of “safe foods”.

My food list is pretty basic: lots of leafy greens, some watery root vegetables like daikon, bean sprouts, meats, tofu, eggs, cheese. I should reduce my fat intake a bit.