Dietitian nutritionist and NutriSense co-founder Kara Collier made an appearance on the Ketogenic Girl podcast to dispel some common misconceptions about the keto diet -- and how a CGM can be an invaluable companion for anyone attempting it.
As we’ve commented on extensively, diets affect everyone differently. Having a meal high in carbohydrates, for example, may cause a sharper spike in glucose levels in one person than it will for another person enjoying that same exact meal. At the end of the day, the effectiveness of a diet depends heavily on our individual biology and habits.
Kara does a deep dive into the specifics of glucose management and keto in this podcast. She also discusses optimal glucose levels to aim for depending on what you’re doing (or eating) at any particular time.
The entire podcast is definitely worth a listen for anyone interested in learning more about the keto diet as well as blood sugar management.
Can Keto Make You Insulin Resistant? [6:40]
Is Cyclical Keto Dieting Bad for You? [15:11]
What is the optimal glucose range for a Keto Diet? [19:00]
Will a High Protein Meal Cause a High Glucose Spike? [27:00]
One of the most common myths we’ve seen about the keto diet recently is that intermittent fasting associated with it can promote insulin resistance. As Kara explains in the podcast, this is certainly a real thing -- but it’s not the same thing as suddenly developing diabetes.
“There is such a concept as physiological insulin resistance. It is real. I have seen it. But, it is not the same as pathological resistance,” Kara said.
Kara went on to explain the difference between physiological insulin resistance and pathological insulin resistance -- better known as diabetes. While it’s true that a keto diet may promote physiological insulin resistance, the effects are temporary and can typically be resolved within days.
“Ketogenic diet is not going to make you diabetic. They are different. So, physiological insulin resistance is really just our bodies being adaptable. That’s just one of the advantages of being a human -- we’re extremely adaptable.”
A popular approach for many people dieting is to keep themselves disciplined during the week -- and let loose during the weekends. You may have found yourself guilty of taking a “cheat day” in the past. Most people assume that the occasional splurge isn’t going to ruin your entire diet, but is that true when it comes to keto?
According to Kara, there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
“We’ve seen people achieve cyclical ketosis in a wide variety of ways. And one of those might be on the weekends you have more carbohydrates, but it’s from nutrient-dense foods, it’s in moderate portion sizes, and it’s after an intense exercise,” she said. “Or, maybe you hike on the weekends and afterwards you had 200 grams of sweet potatoes and starchy vegetables. That can be a really appropriate way to do cyclical ketosis.
Kara went on to explain that you need to test yourself to find your tolerance -- and that tolerance depends on your overall health. Those who are more physically active will have more wiggle room when it comes to cheat days.
That said, Kara still cautions that you don’t treat these special occasions like a free-for-all.
“There’s a few different categories that we’re looking at when we’re thinking about glucose numbers. The first is fasting glucose,” Kara said. “For the most part we want this between 70 and 90 milligrams per deciliter.”
Tracking your glucose levels is easy with a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM -- a key part of the package you get from NutriSense. CGMs provide updates on your blood sugar levels every 15 minutes, allowing you to easily test how food, sleep, exercise, or even stress is affecting you.
When it comes to keto dieting, high protein meals are not your enemy. With the proper balance in your meals, you can get away with consuming quite a lot of it.
“Somebody who’s consuming really high protein -- somebody eating 2 grams per kilogram of their body weight, which would be considered pretty high -- I still don’t see a glucose spike. Maybe a very minor bump,” Kara said.
There is a ton of information we haven’t covered yet, so we encourage you to check out the full Ketogenic Girl podcast here.
If you’re ready to begin your wellness journey, there’s no reason to wait. As we said earlier, dieting and wellness goals are easier than ever with the proper tools at your disposal. So, this is the perfect time to jump in!
With NutriSense, you get a CGM subscription as well as access to a registered dietitian to assist you with putting together your own personalized diet.
Get started with NutriSense here.