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Startup claims keto diet can help reverse type-2 diabetes, but doctors have concerns

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 26, 2020

The keto diet is very popular right now. You might know someone doing it or have seen people endorse the diet online.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is endorsing the diet and partnering with startup Virta Health Corporation, which claims the diet is proven to reverse type-2 diabetes.

“A well-formulated ketogenic diet can not only prevent and slow down progression of type-2 diabetes, it can actually resolve all the signs and symptoms in many patients, in effect reversing the disease as long as the carbohydrate restriction is maintained,” Virta wrote on its website.

However, some health experts are concerned.

Doctors say while the high fat, low protein, low carb diet helps people lose weight, there’s no evidence it can reverse diabetes.

Dr. Michael A. Snyder, head surgeon at Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery, says he would never recommend keto to diabetes patients.

According to Dr. Snyder, the diet is not sustainable and it has nutritional gaps. He says there are better options.

“Mediterranean diets, plant-based diets could work with a dietician and a certified diabetes educator on how to control the diabetes, as well as your behaviors is important,” said Dr. Snyder. “Glucose control, well tested manner is nothing novel. There's nothing novel about diabetes treatment in that regard.”

Dr. Snyder says the keys to beating diabetes are weight control, diet, glucose control and behavior.

Doctors can help patients come up with a medically safe plan. If you’re considering a new diet, contact your primary care physician first.