How a Healthy Keto Diet Can Help Manage Diabetes

A top view of individuals cutting vegetables, demonstrating the preparation of a healthy keto meal.

Living with diabetes is a journey that calls for careful attention to medication, lifestyle and diet. In recent years, the keto diet has gained popularity for its potential in diabetes management, thanks to its links to weight loss and steady blood sugar levels. Let’s explore how a healthy keto diet can be useful for managing diabetes and keeping you healthy.

Benefits of a healthy keto diet in diabetes management

Diabetes is a condition where your body can’t handle sugar properly, either because it doesn’t make enough insulin or can't use what it makes effectively.

The healthy keto diet was developed by Dr Lim Su Lin, Chief Dietitian of Singapore’s National University Hospital to maximize the weight loss and metabolic benefits while mitigating the potential rise in bad cholesterol often associated with typical keto diets. The diet consist of net carbohydrate of no more than 50g per day,  calorie restriction tailored to the individual and  total fat within 50% of calorie intake with emphasis on healthy fats such as monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of using carbs for energy, it starts burning fat. For people with diabetes, especially type 2, a healthy keto diet can be helpful in several ways.

Stable blood sugar: As the keto diet cuts down on carbs, it lessens spikes in blood sugar levels. This might mean needing less diabetes medications in the long run.

Better insulin response: Many people with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, which means their cells don’t respond well to insulin. Some early studies suggested that fat in diets might increase insulin resistance; however, newer research says that it is the type of fat that matters. A healthy keto diet focuses on healthier unsaturated fats which include nuts, seeds, olive oil and fatty fish.

Weight loss: A healthy keto diet leads to weight loss, especially in those with too much belly fat. This can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Heart health: People with diabetes are more likely to have heart problems. A healthy keto diet can help improve blood pressure, triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels. This can lower the risk of heart issues.

More energy: In the long term, a healthy keto diet can give you more energy. This makes it easier to stay active, which is important for managing diabetes.

Tips for following a healthy keto diet

Starting a healthy keto diet might seem tough at first, but these tips can make it simpler and more doable.

Choose quality fats: Go for healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Avoid bad fats like trans fats found in processed foods.

Eat non-starchy vegetables: Although the healthy keto diet is low in carbs, make sure to include non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus and broccoli for nutrients and fibre.

Adequate protein: Ensure adequate lean protein such as tofu, fish, poultry without skin, lean meat, nuts and pulses. 

Drink up: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Being dehydrated can mess with blood sugar and cause other problems.

A woman checking her blood sugar level with a glucometer.

Photo by Klaus Nielsen

Monitor blood sugar levels: If you have diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, especially when starting a new diet or making big changes to your eating habits.


While a healthy keto diet has lots of benefits for people with diabetes, it's important to approach it with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. This is especially true if you're taking diabetes medications or have other health issues. With careful planning and monitoring, a well-rounded approach to the healthy keto diet can help you achieve better blood sugar control and improve your quality of life.

If you are looking for convenient and healthy keto meal options, check out HealthFull’s Meal Packages.

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