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Does a Ketogenic Diet Help Diabetes or Make It Worse?

Keto diets put to the test for diabetes reversal.

Get the preface for Dr. Greger’s brand-new book, How Not to Diet, by subscribing to his free newsletter at

I tried to think of all the ways to describe it. If you can think of a better metaphor, please let me know!

This was the final video in my 7-part keto series. Be sure to catch up on the rest if you missed any:
• Is Keto an Effective Cancer-Fighting Diet? (
• Keto Diet Theory Put to the Test (
• Keto Diet Results for Weight Loss (
• Is Weight Loss on Ketosis Sustainable? (
• Are Keto Diets Safe? (
• Keto Diets: Muscle Growth and Bone Density (

What can we do about diabetes? Here are a few videos to get you started:
• How Not to Die from Diabetes (
• Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes (
• What Causes Insulin Resistance? (
• Diabetes as a Disease of Fat Toxicity (
• What Causes Diabetes? (
• Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes (
• Eggs and Diabetes (
• Fish and Diabetes (
• Diabetics Should Take Their Pulses (
• How to Prevent Prediabetes from Turning into Diabetes (
• Curing Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (
• When Drugs & Diets Don’t Lower Diabetes Deaths (
• Reversing Diabetes with Food (
• Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food? (
• Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet? (
• Benefits of a Macrobiotic Diet for Diabetes (

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

If you’d rather watch these videos on YouTube, subscribe to my YouTube Channel here:

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski / flickr

#ketodiet #keto #drgreger

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39 thoughts on “Does a Ketogenic Diet Help Diabetes or Make It Worse?

  1. This is the final video in a 7-part series. You can see the whole series at -NF Team

  2. So I don't see how this is any different to doing low carb. You may 'reverse' diabetes but as soon as you eat any fat then you will have a massive reaction to carbs. So how is it any more effective than low carb diet? They are both extreme diets that reverse but don't 'cure' diabetes.

  3. Studies show that a vegan diet reduces cancer while a high meat diet like the keto diet increases the risk of cancer.

  4. The ketogenic diet which is the most natural human diet and is the way humans have been eating for thousands of years completely helps and in most cases reverses the cause of it like mine, I can eat sugar and it no longer effects me anymore, when I was vegan it just made it worse so I know for a fact it's all the processed sugar and processed foods that causes diabetes.

  5. Great video. You can see when the dislikes approaches 10% there's a backlash from people looking for confirmation bias for keto and they get this. It's like drilling through granite, getting into their minds. I can be the same way with my bias. I'm not blaming here.

    It's just interesting to see the slight variations in likes and dislikes and what it says, or what I think it's saying.

  6. The problem is this simply isnt true. Greger is confounding temporary phenomenon with the underlying pathology.

    'fasting' for a week results in exactly the same temporary response to glucose. The question is what happens to actual insulin resistance on a low carb diet or fasting? It improves.

    Greger doesnt address this.

    A recent study by the US military found that after a three month Ketogenic diet Insulin resistance was improved by 48% compared to controls.

    This is repeated in multiple study findings

    I wonder why Dr Greger doesnt mention these, but merely mentions the results if an immediate glucose test?

  7. I had suspected this for some time. (If it sounds to good to be true….) I am very interested in what you might have to say about fasting and Diabetes. Thanks for all the hard work you and your team do for us!

  8. You have a video where you define the ketogenic diet you are speaking of ? You keep on mentioning Atkins, Atkins is similar but not the same. Responsible ketogenic diet educators always emphasize the importance of vegetables and moderate protein. Pls look up Dr Fung and Dr. Westerman’s work one is a nephrologist and one heads obesity clinic at duke university for past 20 years.

  9. I noticed these studies were done mainly with Atkins not keto and the keto studies were likely eating less veggies as shown in the article in this video. The problem with most if not all these research studies is that they do not test groups that properly follow healthy keto more likely the keto ppl were eating less veggies too much bad fats etc…if done correctly you should be eating 7-10cups veggies as Dr.Berg tells us and healthy fats not crazy huge amounts either and moderate protein from healthy sources.
    And not sure how you think you are making type 2 diabetes better by not going keto. Yes it is a lifestyle change you cant/shouldn't go back to unhealthy diet that caused the issue to begin with. And ok so you say it makes it worse when you try to eat a toxic amount of sugar in one drink like the glucose test , why would anyone think your body would welcome such a huge amount of toxic sugar after being on clean healthy foods for a long time. This would shock your body plus being fat adapted your body is now used to burning fat for fuel then you give a huge sugar drink to test them! Crazy and as much as I would love to go back to eating carbs and sugars like honey those are the very things that caused insulin resistance! How else would you recommend fixing it? I saw you mention a few things one was surgery not sure how that works but anyway who wants meds or surgery when you can eat lots of vegetables , some berries too on keto don't go crazy eating all the wrong fats and you shouldn't eat more fat then veggies either! In fact once you are fat adapted you can live off you're own fat stores and you cut back on dietary fat you don't need to keep eating high amounts of fat. Listen to Dr.Berg explain how to follow the diet properly to live a healthy life. It is meant to be a forever lifestyle change for the better not a on and off diet

  10. This guy is just like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons who wake me up early on the weekends when I'm trying to catch up on my sleep.

  11. 1/3 of Americans will be diabetic by 2050, and high fat is a big part of the problem, but no the only part. Of course, the sugar is bad, too, the refined foods, and other things, too. Keto = high fat. It's just telling people it's ok what they want to eat; it validates them, so it's easy to convince people; it's self confirmation bias.

  12. On this Dr has been rated as pseudoscience with some elevated health claims. To quote 'Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information.

  13. My mother definitely lost 25kg and reversed her type 2 diabetes. She has done the hard work, and enjoys high carbs here and there but has found Keto food to be way more fulfilling. Yes her blood sugar level rockets because she was sensitive, but that was only at the start of reintroducing carbs – people would rather tare it down than believe a human will adapt to it's conditions. High BGL should not be the aim, and using it as the argument is far from Keto and just stupid.

  14. Your presentation is very misleading: I have T2D and following a LCHF diet helped me reduce my HBa1c from 8.2 to 6.2 in 4 months, my TG from 108 mg/dl to 91, my Ch-T from 140 mg/dl to 124, my CH-LDL from 0.74 mg/dl to 0.47 , increased my CH-HDL from 0.50 to 0.59. The bonus: I lost 11 kgs (from 74 to 63). I haven't taken any form of medication. Note: if an individual is on a LCHF diet, it is very normal that they have blood glucose spikes after a high carb meal, that is known as the second meal effect. The second meal phenomenon is due to fact that the metabolism has re-adapted itself to fat (healthy fats) ingestion while on a LCHF which necessitates more bile and less insulin. The same phenomenon would happen to an individual on a high carb diet having fatty meals (not enough bile to help digest). I feel more comfortable with high bile than insulin , would you? By the way, thanks to regular exercise (walking for not less than an hour daily) I noticed an increase in my body lean mass and less fatigue, contrary to what you have quoted and presented as fact. Actually, it is fiction, my case is fact.
    P.S. my sexual performance? My wife is so happy: rigid and sustained erection …

  15. 101 sales (to give fear to your audience). More than 90% of the video rumbling around other stuff). How can you live with yourself?

  16. I wonder if Eric Berg is smart enough to have given up on Keto himself personally and is just pretending at this point for his channel.

  17. Having just had a brush with type 2 myself, I now see that the KETO loons are using diabetes as an argument against anyone eating carbs ever.

    Shame on them – well at least the ones with medical credentials – not the meathead gym bros who can't help themselves…
    Keto is for people who have an unhealthy liking for barbecue and are going to die early and painfully anyway.
    And those who think the "Cardassian" "no-neck" look is a good one (Shawn Baker)

  18. Check out the Newcastle researh – unclog your liver and pancreas and reverse type 2 and massively improve type 1.
    No point avoiding "carbs" for life if your liver remains clogged with lard.

  19. Dr. What do you think about iron pan? I don't know if I am Iron deficient but I'mnplanning to buy one. What should I consider? PLEASE answer or make a video on it because I urgently need to buy a pan.

  20. How about; "The Silence of the Lambs Diet"
    Dr. Hannibal Lecter: I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  21. The latest study on the subject followed 135,335 people age 35 to 70 in 18 countries for more than seven years. Published in 2017, this research found that people who ate the most fat (an average of 35.3 percent of calories) were 23 percent less likely to die than those whose fat intake was lowest (an average of 10.6 percent of total calories). And it didn’t matter whether the fat was saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. The higher fat diets also were associated with a lower risk of stroke. The same study found that people who ate the most carbohydrates (77 percent of total calories, including carbs from fruits and vegetables) had a higher risk of dying (not necessarily of cardiovascular disease) than those who ate the lowest amount of carbs (46 percent of total calories).

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