There’s also the fact that only one group got the chance to rely on doctor supervision through telemedicine. Research published in fall 2015 in the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics suggests using telemedicine may help people with diabetes lower their A1C levels. “The (new study) results may speak more to the benefits of personalized health plans and/or telemedicine rather than the benefits of the ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes,” Kennedy says. “I wonder what the results would be like if both groups had access to telemedicine while following a typical ADA diet and a ketogenic diet, respectively.”
While an increasing number of people are trying keto to lower their A1C and lose weight, Kennedy says the approach is usually recommended only after someone has tried other eating plans without success. She says the addition of telemedicine could make the ketogenic diet safer and more effective for people with type 2 diabetes because doctors can keep an eye on their patients’ progress and reported side effects via regular check-ups. But, she says, “I still wouldn’t recommend it as a first step.”
The ketogenic diet aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it’s burning fat instead of carbs for energy. Research so far suggests there are both pros and cons to trying keto, but dietitians agree keto may put people at risk for nutrient deficiencies, research on its possible long-term health effects is lacking — and the diet can be difficult to stick to in the short term. Typically, people following keto aim to get 75 percent of their calories from fat, 20 percent of their calories from protein, and just 5 percent of their calories from carbs.