Insulin for low carb/keto

Hi, Just curious about others’ experience with keto/low carb foods. For me I often still need a lot of insulin (relatively-speaking) to cover these. For example, I’ve had Healthy Life’s keto buns a few times now, which are each 1 carb, and yet I need a whole unit of insulin to cover it (normally my ratio is 8.5 carbs/unit). I’ve had similar experiences with other low carb foods needing proportionately more (sometimes a lot more) insulin. Any ideas why this might be so/similar experiences?

Hi @BKN480 high protein and high(er) fat content, for me, means temporary insulin resistance. Example. If I were to measure how much actual sugar was in a helping of ice cream it may be 15 grams. I typically need to bolus for 3x that, and it is due to the fat “influencing” my insulin resistance. I used to think along the lines of “fat interferes with carb absorption “ but that alone doesn’t explain why I sometimes need 2x or 3x the insulin for a known amount of carbs. Lots of folks on keto need to adjust carb ratios and basal to compensate. Hope this helps.

Hi Becky @BKN480! A lot of times the “low carb” foods are really low “net” carbs. So, they have carbs, but part of the carbs are things like cellulose, sugar alcohol, or fiber. When the company calculates the net carbs, they subtract the fiber/cellulose/ sugar alcohol carbs from the total amount of carbs. I have discovered that I still have to bolus for the total carbs - not the advertised net carbs. Frustrating. I have stopped buying Keto/low carb products for that reason. I figure if I have to bolus for the total amount of carbs, I would rather eat the real thing. :grin:


Thanks for the input! I try to eat in moderation for everything - calories, fat, carbs… I’m not on a keto diet, I just thought, “hey, a super low carb bun, maybe I need hardly any insulin for this!” Wrong. One time I ate a bowl of broccoli and a few carrot stix without bolusing and my blood sugar went to 180. In a stir fry, for ex., I don’t need to bolus for broccoli and carrots, b/c it gets covered by whatever insulin I’m taking for rice/sauce/etc. But there again, it’s the whole super low carb thing, it seems like - I guess the evil diabetes gods are just like, “No matter what you eat, you need to take insulin. Bwahahahaha…”

Fat is weird for me, relative to what I’ve read about how it effects blood sugar. There have been many times where I do have a fair amount of fat relative to rest of carbs - e.g. mayo on a low-carb sandwich, or coconut milk in a curry, or a fair amount of peanut butter on a small slice of toast w/ a bit of jelly… and no effect whatsoever on blood sugar. So for some reason I’ve learned I don’t need to factor it in (it seems like). When I have, I go low. Managing type 1 is just weird and fairly individual, it seems like… anyway thanks again!


I always subtract fiber entirely from my carb counting. I’ve just learned that if I don’t, I go low, but if I don’t count fiber, I never go too high (if I go high, it’s for other reasons). But sugar alcohols could be an issue - I haven’t really learned too much how they effect me, other than erythritol has no effect. Cellulose - there’s tons of that in the bun I mentioned. I’ll look more into that. So yeah, it must be these other things, like you’re saying… I wish I knew the intricacies of how it all worked in my body to effect glucose, b/c it’s definitely not 100% straightforward… but with experience I’ll continue to learn, and I’ll keep a closer eye out for all these other ingredients to see how it effects it. Thank you!

Or, it may be that fiber requires insulin if there’s relatively a lot of it, and not a lot of other carbs… for ex. if a bun is 1 “net” carb, but 17 fiber carbs, then it’s going to affect blood sugar significantly more than 1 carb would… (and of course, allulose and cellulose are themselves fiber)… anyway thanks again, more to learn!!

Howdy! Our old food measurement undermines diabetics. As there’s nothing that’s “zero” in this context - only the short term is measured using the old methodology. Proteins for instance will impact sugars but are always counted minimal or 0 carbs. You can watch the post prandial and k is after the liver metabolizes, it’s broken down. So I’d track your needs and just apply each time. New foods, same process. I doubt the food measurement will ever change. Sorry!