Keto diet shows success for local diabetes patients - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Keto diet shows success for local diabetes patients

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The keto diet is the latest fad taking over the dieting world lately. Many, including diabetics looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, have considered the diet -- a low carb, high fat dieting plan.

When sticking to the diet, the body burns stored fats for energy instead of carbohydrates. This is just one reason why many diabetics are turning to the keto plan to improve their overall health.

Dr. Jegan Gopal, a bariatric surgeon who works at The Better Weight Center, says the keto diet affects each person differently, but it could be a way for diabetics to better their health.

"Their fasting glucose levels can improve, their hemoglobin A1C can improve," Dr. Gopal said.

Dr. Gopal adds those levels are important to monitor in someone with diabetes, and an improvement can reduce the need for insulin. 

In April 2018, Justin Shirley of Corpus Christi began the keto diet. Justin, a type 2 diabetic, wanted to make a healthy lifestyle change.

"I love fried foods, I love eating out," Shirley said. "But I knew being a type two diabetic, I couldn't do that anymore."

Since then, Justin has lost 25 pounds.

"I feel much better about myself," Justin said, "I have a lot of energy."?

Justin has made great progress in a short two months. A blood screening from late March shows Justin's results consistent with diabetes. The most recent results in May show normal readings. Justin says those are numbers he hasn't seen in years.

"I was amazed that on this diet, I can control my blood sugar, I can lose weight, I can have a better lifestyle," Justin said.

Many people have had similar success stories, but Dr. Gopal wants people to keep in mind one thing in mind: the keto diet is still controversial.

"Long term consequences of the keto diet? We have some idea," Dr. Gopal said. "But in terms of what it does in terms of diabetes, heart disease, liver disease -- we don't have that data yet."

Dr. Gopal highly recommends anyone interested in beginning the keto diet, to see a doctor first.

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