Keto Foods to *Raise* Blood Sugar


(J) #1

Please forgive me if this topic has been broached one too many times, but after many searches, I had difficulty finding information this specific.

Essentially, since Tuesday, I have been following the Keto diet. I was told I have turned the corner into Type 2 Diabetes land. I don’t really do “gradual” on much anything, so I jumped right in. Immediately my blood sugar numbers have been great, averaging in the 75-85 rage, mostly. However, at times, I’ve been going into the low 60s.

I do not want to return to high bad carb measures, and would like to maintain within a Keto diet, but I cannot seem to find what, if any foods, that will raise my blood sugar when I’m hypoglycemic, but are also Keto-friendly. I would like to get “Fat Adapted.”

Any suggestions?

(Robin) #2

There are way more knowledgeable folks on here about your issues than I am. But I do believe that once your body is used to less carbs/sugars… your hypoglycemic blood-sugar events will go away. They are caused (I think) by spikes and crashes in blood sugar. Once you become balance and on even keel, they should be a thing of the past. I used to have them and would cram a chocolate bar in my mouth because it was so uncomfortable. Little did I know it was withdrawal symptoms from the very poison aka sugar, that drove me to take more.

Like I said, I may not know what I’m talking about. This is just my experience. The smart guys will be here soon. :vulcan_salute:t2:


How did you FEEL? Did you have the symptoms of hypoglycemia – shaky, sweating, chills, clammy, light-headed, confused, …?

I’ve seen discussions online about long-time keto-ers that sometimes have blood sugars in the 30 and 40’s. Remember, if your body is using ketones as the primary fuel, “normal” glucose levels should be different than someone using glucose as the primary fuel.

In most cases, hypoglycemia is caused by over-medication.

My First Ketone Test
(J) #4

Thank you

(Bacon is better) #5

Given that you only know this because you are measuring, there is no problem here, only your body working as designed.

The main danger of hypoglycaemia in people who eat a lot of carbohydrate is that their body has very little in the way of a backup plan, if blood sugar drops. However, someone eating a well-formulated ketogenic diet has plenty of circulating ketones with which to feed the brain, so hypoglycaemia is hardly an issue. If you ever start to feel the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, get to the hospital, but if you feel fine, you are fine.

The one thing to watch is if blood sugar and ketones rise together. This means that something is going wrong with your insulin production, and you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Type I diabetes used to be called “juvenile-onset” diabetes, but people can actually get it at any age. Dr. Troy Stapleton, an Australian radiologist, has a couple of lectures on the Low Carb Down Under channel on YouTube, in which he describes his experience of becoming Type I at the age of forty.


Your metabolism is the direct descendant and survivor of 4 1/2 million years of evolution since our direct ancestors came down from the trees and decided to toss the salads. It’s way smarter than you think. :ok_hand:

(J) #7

Thank you for the response. I felt -at the lowest point- like a typical paleo/keto flu. Headache. But not shaky, sweating, no chills. The light-headedness could be a low BP thing, but it is very mild. I otherwise feel GREAT. Energy enough for my 5x5 Stronglifts, daily walks, etc It’s likely that I’m just a bit paranoid since I’m monitoring the levels with the Free Libre sensor thing.

(J) #8

Thank you for the response. I am ignorant on how to measure ketones. All in all -other than mild “Keto flu” symptoms, I feel great. I’m hoping that in a few days this will all pass. I had steak, green beans, and a salad with avocado tonight, and currently at 90 mg/dl.

(Bacon is better) #9

“Keto flu” is a symptom of sodium deficiency. The kidneys excrete sodium more readily, without insulin interfering with their functioning. It’s not really much of a problem, being easily remedied by using a bit more salt, and drinking to thirst (over-hydrating will deplete electrolytes, so is not recommended). The government recommendations for salt intake are too low for health, at least according to a couple of studies released a few years ago. The U.S. recommendation in particular is far too low.

As far as measuring ketones is concerned, many of the blood glucometers can also measure β-hydroxybutyrate, but β-hydroxybutyrate and glucose each require separate strips. You may find urine strips to be cheaper, but they are a less accurate indicator, and many people stop excreting ketones over time, as their body begins to use them more efficiently. Though even serum β-hydroxybutyrate tends to drop, for the same reason.

(Allie) #10

Sounds more like you need salt tbh.

(Robin) #11

Agree. Salt to the rescue.

(J) #12

Understood. I have been mindful of salt, have gotten quite a bit. I’ve been taking a magnesium supplement, but my sugar remains low and even gets down in to the high 50s. I don’t feel any worse than I did when I was eating like crap, but am wondering why my sugar is so low. I have been fasting for 20+ hours because I’ve not been hungry, and when I eat, I have good fats, good protein, and veggies. Any Google search implies panic mode is expected when under 70 mg/dl, but the last thing I want to do is go to see a doctor and their answer is carbohydrates or sugar. Is there no “keto” way to raise sugars? Is this just a phase that will pass in a few more days?

(Bacon is better) #13

The reason for the panic you see in your Google research is that the bad effects doctors are accustomed to panicking over are seen in carb-burning patients, not in ketotic ones. The panic is reasonable—where carb-burning patients are concerned. But do people in ketosis need to worry? After all, you have no symptoms of low blood sugar, so I’m not clear what your reason is for believing you have a problem.

George Cahill, author of the study, “Starvation in Man,” did an experiment on some of his fasting subjects, in which his team used a euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp to drive the subjects’ serum glucose down to levels even lower than what you are measuring. Since the subjects had been fasting for several days at that point, their ketones were elevated, and they suffered no ill effects from serum glucose levels that would normally lead to hypoglycaemic shock, coma, and possibly death. This was a highly unethical thing to attempt, as the researchers realised afterwards, but the experience was instructive and indicates that ketones are sufficient to feed the brain in the absence of glucose.

In fact, Prof. Benjamin Bikman, a specialist in bio-energetics who has done a lot of research into human metabolism, goes so far as to say that the brain may very well need no glucose at all, given an abundance of ketones in the system. At any rate, he says, he can find no evidence to show that the brain actually does have an absolute need for glucose—and so far, he says, no one has been able to meet his challenge to produce such evidence. His hunch by no means constitutes proof, of course, but if a researcher of his stature feels there is reason to question the received wisdom, it is an indication that perhaps the received wisdom is possibly not as solid as we have hitherto supposed.

(Allie) #14

This is based on carb eaters, not keto - you need to judge by how you feel. Mine gets down to 3mmol sometimes which is apparently 54 but I don’t worry because I feel perfectly fine.

(Bob M) #15

You are a candidate to take blood ketones. What you should see is that when your blood sugar goes down, your ketones go up. You’re able to use both as energy sources, and you’ll see a fluctuation between the two.

What happens to carb burners is they can’t switch to using ketones (and they aren’t in ketosis anyway). So, a 70 for them can cause shaking, depression, a bad feeling, etc. For you, since you can use ketones, you’ll just use more of those.

Edit: I’ve seen people who register in the 30s while fasting for days. No issues. (My lowest was low 60s while fasting 4.5 days.)

(J) #16

Okay, I think I have an idea of what may have been going on. I had not reduced my BP medicine at all the last few days. I skipped this today, and -even though my Blood Sugar levels were at the same lower level- I felt much better. I tested my BP on the hour every hour, and it stayed consistently below 120/70. One time as low as 109/60-something. So, I can only imagine how low it must have gotten yesterday (didn’t have access to my checker) when I was on a full dose. Thanks, all, for suffering my questions!


Just grab some glucose tablets, if you can feel yourself going hypo just eat 1 vs the 4 you’d normally eat. It’ll bounce you back up quick, but having no glycogen stores it’ll be gone as fast as you put it in. Keep them as an “in case of emergency” type of a thing.

That aside just don’t got for 20g of carbs, do 30 or 40. You’ll still get all the benefits of keto.

All that said, 60’s isn’t terribly low, if you’re not feeling negatives from that I wouldn’t really worry about it. What was your A1C? You sound pretty insulin sensitive.

(J) #18

I dunno the answer to the A1C question. Sorry. I just know that a few weeks ago, the Doc said I was beyond Pre-Diabetes, and now in Diabetes Millenus or whatever. So, starting last week I went Keto. Now my blood sugars are well within range (and lower, as evidenced by this thread).

(Bacon is better) #19

Just be aware that the real problem with Type II diabetes mellitus (to give it the full formal name) is not so much what glucose is doing (even though that’s what the medical profession focuses on), but what insulin is doing. Now that you’ve got your blood sugar down, if you keep on avoiding carbohydrate, you will give your insulin response a chance to return to normal, as well. Unfortunately, it takes quite a bit longer to reverse insulin-resistance than it does to lower blood sugar, but if you keep on this way of eating you will stand an excellent chance of regaining full metabolic health.