GLUCOSE NUMBERS and KETOGENIC DIET
When eating a ketogenic diet, the most exposure to carbohydrates is overnight especially towards morning as the liver produces glucose to keep your brain fueled and to prepare you for getting up. Therefore, if you are eating a very ketogenic diet, the blood ketones go up during the day as you burn more fat for fuel (as apposed to a high carb diet where the opposite happens).
Something to consider, a ketogenic diet rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a normal physiological response to carb restriction. Carb restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. This breaks down fatty tissue into ketone bodies (blood ketones). Your muscles prefer to run on ketones and so they become insulin resistant leaving the glucose in your blood for other cells (like the brain).
However, while muscles are in “refusal mode” for glucose any glucose put into your bloodstream, from food or gluconeogenesis (blood glucose made from protein or other tissues), will rapidly spike blood glucose. This is fine if you stick to LC in your eating. It also means that if you take an oral glucose tolerance test you will fail and be labelled diabetic. In fact, even a single high fat meal can do this, extending insulin resistance in to the next day.
So if you are getting a blood glucose test, you can increase your carbs to 150 grams a day for 3 days prior and your blood glucose levels will show normal according to the standards. Otherwise, you can look at a better marker for metabolic syndrome which is you HbA1c levels. If these are low (5.5 or less is what a doctor will define as low diabetes risk, 5 or less is ideal), it doesn’t matter what your fasting blood glucose levels are.
Also an interesting note, when mice in a recent study by Ortman, Prinzler and Klause were allowed to select their own diet, lo and behold, the mice chose (by calories, not weight!) 82% fat and 5.6% carbohydrate. Sensible mice!
If you would like to read more on how to become keto-adapted with a “well-formulated” diet, check out my book Keto Adapted.
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