What is the Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy?

Doctors have moved away from prescribing the ketogenic diet for epilepsy due to the convenience of prescribing an anti-convulsant. Medication is easier for a doctor to monitor and implement than dietary changes. It can also have a more immediate effect than a dietary change. But the ketogenic diet for epilepsy is really effective when done correctly!

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy is an extremely low carbohydrate diet that focuses on healthy fats. The ketogenic diet has recently become more accepted within the weight loss community, but there are often some key differences between the two diets.

First and foremost, the weight loss ketogenic dieters will often eat processed or unhealthy foods as long as they are under the macronutrient levels that are prescribed. People don’t always focus on eating healthy foods when they are concerned about weight loss.

What to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet?

When prescribed for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet focuses on maintaining a high fat to carbohydrate ratio. The main goal is to get the body into ketosis and keep it there.

The classical ketogenic diet is about 80% fats, 15% protein and 5% carbohydrates. Any foods that fit into the these macronutrient levels tend to be generally accepted on the ketogenic diet.

Most of the foods that are less than 20 grams of carbohydrates will be vegetables. Fatty cuts of meat such as rib-eye steak, high fat ground beef and bacon are encouraged. Additional fats such as mayonnaise and butter are encouraged.

Why Does the Ketogenic For Epilepsy Work?

There isn’t actually one accepted reason why the ketogenic diet works in preventing seizures. The best we can do is examine the diet and hypothesize why it may be preventing seizures. Some of the key concepts taken from Frontiers in Neuroscience include:

  • Glucose produces rapidly available energy that is necessary for seizure activity. In the ketogenic diet, the blood glucose energy levels are low, reducing the availability of glucose as an energy fuel for seizures.
  • Chronic ketosis elevates the brain energy reserve through the stabilization and reduction of excitability of the synapses.
  • The Ketogenic diet induced stabilization is also due to critical changes in the amino acids due to ketone metabolism.
  • The ketogenic diet interferes with the concentration of gamma-aminobutryic acid, which is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter.
  • The gut microbiota can have an anti-seizure effect on the ketogenic diet. It increases the beneficial bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides spp. This leads to changes in the colonic luminal metabolome with a decrease in gamma-glutamyl amino acids.
  • The ketogenic diet interferes with pro-inflammatory cytokines which could cause seizures.
  • The ketogenic diet eliminates many foods that contains toxins that could trigger seizures.

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy has a different mechanism than anti-epileptic drugs. It functions on a metabolic theory that suggests seizure control is realized through natural restoration of the metabolic state. This includes the mitochondrial pathways and energy metabolism.

The ketogenic diet requires systemic modifications and a dynamic metabolic homeostasis. The interplay between ketone bodies, glucose levels, mitochondrial function, and synaptic neurotransmitters can lead to changes in seizure threshold. These changes are what lead to the anti-convulsant properties of the ketogenic diet.

Efficacy of the Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy

What kind of results can you expect from the ketogenic diet? This will definitely be influenced by your ability to comply with the diet.

Kossof studied 20 children on 10 grams of carbohydrates a day. 65% had a greater than 50% reduction in their seizure activity and 35% had over 90% reduction. Four of the children were seizure free at six months on the diet.

Kang studied children in South Korea. 36% of 14 children on the Modified Atkins Diet for seizures (slightly more carbohydrates than the ketogenic diet) demonstrated a greater than 50% improvement in seizures. 12% became seizure-free.

In a study in South Korea, 36% of 14 children treated with the MAD showed improvement of >50% in seizures and 12% were seizure-free ()

A meta-analysis of studies on the ketogenic diet showed that the number of patients who achieve greater than 50% seizure reduction ranges from 20-70%. The diet is abandoned between 12-82% of patients.

It does require quite a bit of discipline to stay on a ketogenic diet, which may be why many of the patients are abandoning the diet. However, achieving greater than 50% reduction in seizures is quite good. Many patients who take anti-convulsants don’t get full control on the anti-convulsant.

How Do Your Begin the Diet?

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy is started under close medical supervision especially when being used as a mono therapy. It is begun gradually over a 3 to 4 day period. The blood sugar and ketone levels are monitored.

Carbohdyrates are reduced to less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Fats will be 80% of the diet, while Protein will be about 15% of the diet and the remaining 5% of the diet will be carbohydrates from vegetables.

For epilepsy patients that are currently on medication, it is safe to start the ketogenic diet simply by reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your fat intake gradually. Start by eliminating processed junk foods like candy, soda, and chips.

Similar Dietary Approaches to Epilepsy

The classical ketogenic diet can be very restrictive. Some patients may want to adopt a diet that is more flexible or even one that is a bit more strict.

  • Modified Atkins Diet – Uses a high proportion of fats and strict control of carbohydrates. Approximate portion sizes can be used in place of weighed out recipes.
  • Low glycemic index treatment – This diet focuses on how carbohydrates affect the level of glucose in the patient’s blood. It restricts the amount of carbohydrates eaten. Approximate portion sizes are used as well.
  • GAPS Diet – A diet focusing on healing the intestinal lining of the gut in order to prevent seizures. It was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and helps to address neurological symptoms that arise due to a leaky gut.
  • Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet – An approach from the Paleomedicina group in Hungary led by Zsofia Clemens to treat seizures. The diet focuses on only eating paleolithic food and organ meat in a ketogenic ratio. It is a much stricter diet with greater success rates.

 

Conclusion

The ketogenic diet can be an effective way to get your seizure under control whether you are taking an anti-convulsant or not. There are many benefits to the ketogenic diet when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body as well. If you haven’t tried the ketogenic diet, click here to get a free digital cookbook.

How to Start the Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss

You’ve heard all the buzz about the ketogenic diet and even seen some great before and after pictures. Now, you want to know how to start the ketogenic diet for weight loss. It can sound very confusing at first with all the talk of macros and ketones, the net carbs versus the total carbs. It can even sound a bit unappealing when you hear that it is about 75% fats! For years that alone scared me off! Don’t worry. This diet can be simplified to fit even the busiest lifestyle!

Doing this diet for weight loss is a little bit different than doing this diet for epilepsy. You can be a little bit more flexible with your macronutrients. You don’t have to worry about being a gram off on your carbohydrates when you are doing this for weight loss.

 

Find Your Starting Point

This will probably be the only time that I tell someone to step on the scale. However, if you are getting started with a weight loss goal, you need to have a solid starting point and a firm goal in mind. Otherwise, you may end up like millions of other dieting casualties.

  1. Weigh Yourself – Know your weight. It may not change, but it is good to know.
  2. Measure yourself – Sometimes when we lose weight and add muscle, the weight doesn’t change, but the inches do!
  3. Take pictures – It is great to have before and after photos as evidence that something is working for you. Don’t forget to take some starting point pictures. Plan on taking some as each month goes by.
  4. Assess what you are currently eating. Examine the packages of food that you have and see what the carbohydrate count is for the foods that are in your refrigerator. If they are over 20 grams per serving, you’ll have to eliminate them from your diet. They are likely leading to insulin resistance and weight gain.

 

 

Learn the Foods that You Can Eat

The main thing to keep in mind on a ketogenic diet is that you want to cut your carbohydrates to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. If you want to see faster results, you will focus on total carbohydrates. For somewhat more relaxed results, use the total carbohydrate count.

When I was getting started counting carbohydrates, I was completely overwhelmed. I had some ideas of low carbohydrate foods and was checking the nutrition labels. I was frustrated by trying to calculate the macros every day. Thankfully, I had a conversation with my sister, who had been diagnosed at age 3 with type I Diabetes. She said, after a while, you know which foods you can freely eat. Focus on those. She admitted to me that she didn’t always count carbs when eating lettuce, celery or zero carbohydrate foods like meats and cheeses.

Here are some foods that you should freely eat on the ketogenic diet:

  • Meats – shrimp, bacon, hamburger, beef, chicken, salmon
  • Eggs – deviled eggs, egg salad, scrambled eggs
  • Cheese – string cheese, cheddar cheese, Parmesan, mozzarella
  • Mayonnaise – great for chicken salads and egg salads
  • Celery – fun with cream cheese
  • cucumber – sliced and put into salads
  • pickles – dill pickle relish, pickles as a side dish
  • Lettuce – great for salads and wraps

Just within this list, you could create a whole week’s worth of meals and not even worry about carbohydrates! However, if you are like me, after a while, you’ll be craving variety. That is when you’ll want to check out the free keto cookbook for some fun recipes.

Start Eating Keto Foods

Wait, what about calculating my macros? Shouldn’t I know exactly the amount that I’m going to eat? No. Get started incorporating the lower carbohydrate foods into your diet first. Lots of people will tell you to figure out the macros and then calculate out each one for every meal. However, I want you to make this a lifestyle. I want to simplify the ketogenic diet for you. Getting used to these nutrient dense, low carbohydrate foods is an important step. It is far more important than measuring out each gram of carbohydrate.

As you incorporate more and more keto meals into your lifestyle, you’ll discover that you are pretty satiated and you won’t feel that you need to eat nearly as often as you once thought you needed to eat. Spend a week or two just getting used to the keto meals and foods and purging your refrigerator of the high carbohydrate foods that you shouldn’t be eating. Removing the temptation of high carbohydrate foods will ultimately lead to success.

Some people like to start by making one meal per day ketogenic. They figure out the breakfasts that they will eat on the ketogenic diet. Once they have mastered a keto breakfast, they start swapping out the high carbohydrate foods that are in their lunch for something more keto friendly. For me, I love chicken salads, egg salads and tuna salad for lunch. It is easy to pack and take with me to work.

 

Figure Out the Macros

Now that you know what foods are low carbohydrate and you’ve gotten used to eating lower carbohydrate at a few meals, you should take a look at the macronutrient ratios that you should be hitting. For weight loss, the most important macro is going to be 20 grams of carbohydrates. You’ll want to make sure that you stay below that number.

The next macronutrient that you want to consider is your protein intake. The ketogenic diet is a moderate protein diet. Twenty percent of your diet should be .

Finally, you should be consuming about 70% fats. This can come from fatty cuts of meat like bacon, butter, avocados or oils and salad dressings.

The keto buddy is a great app to help you calculate your macros. Here’s a link to it – https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy

 

Track Your Foods

Once you have a good idea of the foods that you should be eating and are comfortable incorporating them into your lifestyle, you should track your food consumption. I will admit, I’ve only done this for a month or two. Once I had a good routine of eating low carb/high fat foods, and saw some improvements in my health, I let this step drop off a bit.

It is important to keep in mind that this is a healthy way of eating, not simply a quick fix to get to your weight loss goal. Your goal should be to create a healthy lifestyle. Tracking your foods won’t be necessary after you’ve gotten used to the diet. It will become second nature to eat low carbohydrate foods.

 

Join a Support Group

I tried doing the ketogenic diet last year on my own. I had a friend that was doing it and I started to incorporate the concepts into my diet. I was moderately successful with it on my own. However, when I discovered that there are whole facebook groups dedicated to learning about the ketogenic diet and getting healthier with it, I joined a few of them. I noticed that my committment to my health skyrocketed as I discovered other people who I could help and who could help me when I got down about the diet or just wanted to cheat on it.

You may discover that you don’t participate much in the support group, but you may find that you make loads of friends from it. Ketogenic support groups also share recipe and snack ideas in case you find that you need variety in your life.

Support groups will share awesome resources with you, such as books, ketone testing devices, and other concepts such as intermittent fasting. These can help to support your progress and success.

In your ketogenic journey, your weight loss progress may stall. This is a great time to turn to your support group and ask for advice. Often they can tell you to adjust your macronutrients, or figure out if there is a food that may be slowing down your progress. (This is quite often dairy!)

 

 

 

 

Quest Bars – Keto Friendly Snack Bars that are Great for Weight Loss

Quest Bars Review

Name: Quest Bars
Website: Available at Amazon.com
Price: $29.31 for a box of 12 Quest Bars
Owners: Quest
Overall Rank: 85 out of 100

Quest Snack Bars, Product Overview

These snack bars are designed to fit into the low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins, Ketogenic diets, and Modified Atkins. Quest nutrition protein bars are tasty by themselves, but you can also use them as an ingredient in desserts or for a breakfast treat.

Quest nutrition protein bars are formulated with a low carbohydrate diet in mind. They are 20-21 grams of protein, 4-6 net carbs per bar and less than 3 grams of sugars. Each bar is between 4-8 grams of fat.

Quest bars are sweetened with erythritol, sucralose and stevia. The Quest bars contain unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, dried raspberries, dried strawberries, apples and dried coconut, cinnamon, cocoa butter, peanuts, almonds, coconut oil and natural flavors. All of the Quest bars are gluten and soy free.

The Quest nutrition company strives to make Quest bars with the most scientifically beneficial and metabolically sound ingredients. They use whey and milk protein isolates so that you will have a cleaner protein in every bar without excess fat and other junk commonly found in protein bars.

 

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

PRO #1: They taste pretty good. They didn’t fool me into thinking that I was eating some decadent chocolate or peanut butter, but after I got used to the texture, I started to enjoy the flavors. I could have easily eaten one a day if I had an unlimited supply. I started to enjoy them that much!
PRO #2: They are great for people who want to stay low carbohydrate, but have an on the go lifestyle. You can easily pack them for hikes or travel.
PRO #3: A great variety of delicious flavors. You aren’t stuck with just one or two weird chocolate protein bars. They have everything from peanut butter to white chocolate raspberry, cinnamon and coconut cashew.

PRO #4: I found Quest bars to be very filling due to the amount of protein in them.

The Bad:

CON #1: Somewhat expensive for a snack.
CON #2: Over the years Quest has tweaked the flavors. Many people complained about the recipe adjustment in 2015, but others have said that the latest recipe is great. It is a matter of personal preference.

CON #3: They don’t have a fat ratio that fits the ketogenic diet, so you will have to get your fats from other sources. However, it is difficult to make fat shelf stable. If you are trying to stay ketogenic, you’ll have to add some extra fats to our meals.

Who are Quest Bars for?

These are great for people who are counting carbohydrates. They only have between 4-7 net carbohydrates per bar. The bars are filling enough that you can use them as a meal replacement.

Quest bars are perfect for a Diabetic who is on the go and needs some fuel. With less that 5 net carbs per bar, this should keep a diabetic’s blood sugar levels stable.  It is great for ketogenic dieters who are watching their carbohydrate intake. Additionally, people who are looking to lose weight and stick to a low carbohydrate diet will enjoy snacking on Quest Bars.

Quest Nutrition Support

If you find the Quest Bars unsatisfactory, you can contact Quest Nutrition Support via phone or mail.

Quest Nutrition, LLC
Attn: Consumer Engagement
2221 Park Place
El Segundo, CA, 90245

Support@Questnutrition.com – Expect a response in 72 hours.

You can contact support at  – 888-212-0601
Mon – Fri: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST
Sat – Sun: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST

 

Quest Bars Price

The Quest bars are about $.91 per ounce. They come in a box of 12 for $23.06. I think the price of these bars is a little on the high side. However, when compared to Atkins protein bars, they are a few cents per ounce less than the Atkins’ brand.

They are convenient and you do end up paying for convenience. The pricing in my opinion is quite fair for these bars.

My Final Opinion of Quest Bars

I have enjoyed eating Quest bars when I was trying to stick with my low carb dieting. I am not a big fan of processed foods, but I do enjoy the convenience of having them for a quick snack or meal when I am traveling or when I am pressed for time.

Quest bars are not a big part of my diet, but they are an indulgence when I am taking trips. They are great for packing to take on a long hike. I do appreciate the convenience of having a protein bar from time to time.

Quest Bars at a Glance…

Name: Quest Nutrition Bars

Website: Available at Amazon.com
Owners: Quest Nutrition
Price: $20.31 for a box of 12 variety pack
Overall Scam Rank: 85 out of 100

VERDICT: LEGIT! These do have a good flavor to them and they will fill you up with 20 grams of protein in one bar. Each bar has 5 grams of net carbs or less, so they fit nicely into a ketogenic diet.

Keep Track of Your Progress with SmackFat Ketone Test Strips For Urine Ketone Testing

When you embark on the ketogenic diet, it is nice to know if you are doing things correctly and your body is becoming a fat burning machine. However, some people love numbers and data and want to ensure that they are on their way to producing the ketones that will sustain their body instead of glucose. Enter in the ketone test strips!

At the beginning of the ketogenic diet, ketone test strips can give you an idea of whether your body is producing ketones. As you become more and more fat adapted, you won’t be peeing out the ketones, so the strips won’t be as useful to you. Your body will actually use up the ketones as energy, so you won’t be registering as many ketones once you are fat adapted.

Testing your ketones with urine ketone test strips is painless and easy. You can get a result within a minute and know whether your body is producing ketones!

Smackfat Ketone Test Strips Review

Name: Smackfat Ketone Test Strips

Website: Amazon.com

Price: $9.95

Owners: Smackfat

Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

SmackFat Ketone Test Strips, Product Overview

Smackfat ketone test strips are urine test strips to support people who are on the ketogenic diet and progressing towards ketosis. Smackfat was created by Kaba. He defeated his obesity by losing 85 pounds in four months. Since then, the Smackfat brand has focused on helping everyone who is willing to give the ketogenic diet a fair shot.

Ketones build up in the body when it needs to bread down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. This typically occurs when the body does not get enough sugar or carbohydrates. As you lower your carbohydrate consumption, your body should start to create ketones.

These are focused ketogenic diet strips that accurately read the ketones in your urine. They are very accurate. Urinalysis is simple and easy. You just dip the strip into your urine and read the strip. Sensitivity is position for ketogenic benefits.

Each bottle of Smackfat ketone test strips contains 100 test strips. This is more than enough to help you get into ketosis and stay on top of your daily ketone measurement if you choose to test frequently.

Smackfat offers motivational support. It provides video demonstration as well as informative education for not only the ketone strips, but also with the ketogenic diet.

There is a lifetime product warranty with Smackfat ketone test strips. You are backed by the lifetime product replacement guarantee that assures you will have the best customer experience.

 

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

PRO #1: It’s great for tracking ketosis on a low carb diet.

PRO #2: They offer an ebook on the ketogenic diet as a nice bonus.

PRO #3: The strips are very simple and easy to use.

The Bad:

CON #1: The generic ranges they show don’t offer much explanation of what they mean. This renders them somewhat useless unless you are more familiar with the ketogenic diet and your state of ketosis.

CON #2: For some people, it is difficult to tell the difference between the colors of the results.

 

Who are Smackfat ketone test strips for?

Smackfat ketone test strips are for people who are following the ketogenic diet and people who may be suffering from diabetes and want to check and see if they are producing ketones.

Smackfat Tools & Training

These ketone strips come with specific instructions. You must follow the instructions in order to get accurate results.

Smackfat Ketone Test Strips Support

The support offered with the product. Is there a community, forum, personal support, do the owners support it. Smackfat also has a support group for people who are following the ketogenic diet.

Smackfat Ketone Test Strips Price

These are $9.95 for a bottle of 100 test strips.

My Final Opinion of Smackfat Ketone Test Strips

Once you’ve decided to pursue a ketogenic lifestyle, you may decide that you want to measure the ketones simply and easily. Smackfat test strips can help you with that.

Smackfat ketone test strips are good when you are starting out. As you get into your ketogenic journey, you may want better readings. At this point, you can consider breath or blood tests.

Before you pursue any new way of eating, you may want to consult with your physician. An easy to use and read ketone testing system is a great way to track your progress and share your results with your doctor.

Smackfat test strips can allow you to pursue your health goals with confidence. If you don’t see that you are progressing towards ketosis after a couple days, you can tweak your diet to lower your carbohydrate levels.

Testing your ketones provides you with the feedback that you need to know whether you’ve lowered your carbohydrates enough to get into a fat adapted state.

Smackfat Keto Testing Strips at a Glance…

Name: Smackfat ketone test strips

Website: Amazon.com

Owners: Smackfat

Price: $9.95

Overall Scam Rank: 90 out of 100

VERDICT: LEGIT – These are good testing strips. They will give you a great idea of whether you are headed towards ketosis or not!

How Long Does the Keto Flu Last? | Keto Flu Remedies

So, you’ve just started this wonderful ketogenic diet and now you are feeling miserable. What happened. It is probably what is commonly known as the “keto flu.” I know, you didn’t sign up for this. How long does the keto flu last? Well, that is going to depend on a number of factors. It really is individual and will be based on how quickly your body is removing toxins. It is the process of cleansing and changing over to burning fats as a fuel source that is making you feel like crap.

It is somewhat tough to answer this question as it varies from person to person. Generally, most people find the keto flu symptoms are the worst in the first week of eliminating the carbohydrates from their diet. For some, the symptoms of the keto flu will linger into the second and a few people report experiencing the keto flu lasting from three to five weeks.

What is the Keto Flu?

The keto flu is a natural reaction that your body has when you switch from burning glucose as energy to burning fat instead. As your body switches, it can feel like you are withdrawing from an addictive substance. This withdrawal period can leave you feeling dizzy, achy, nauseous, and experiencing muscle cramps.

Fat is actually your body’s preferred fuel source, even though it is the secondary fuel source that it uses. Glucose, or sugars, is used up quickly by the body. When glucose is used up, the body begins to rely on fat. As your body begins to burn fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates, you enter a metabolic state known as ketosis.
The keto flu occurs as the body is adapting to fat burning or ketosis. Keto flu is the result of becoming keto-adapted, electrolyte loss and dehydration and withdrawal from carbohydrates and sugary foods.

The process of keto-adaptation means getting the body used to the process of beta-oxidation, which is converting fat into energy. Most people are in a state of glycolysis, or converting glucose into energy. Getting into beta-oxidation is easier for some people than others due to metabolic flexibility, which refers to how well a person can adapt to using different fuel sources. Genetics and your current level of health will determine how metabolically flexible you are.

Most diets contain a huge amount of processed foods, which are high in added sugars and salts. As you switch to a keto diet of whole foods, the salt-laden choices are eliminated and sodium intake is drastically reduced.

Sodium causes the body to retain water. Therefore, less sodium intake means that you have less water retention. The lack of carbohydrates also lowers. This leads the kidneys to release excess water. As the excess water is released, electrolytes are flushed out. This creates an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Until everything becomes balanced, you may experience flu-like symptoms.

Finally, you are dealing with carbohydrate withdrawal. Research shows that sugar impacts the brain in a way that is similar to heroin or cocaine. While it is pleasurable, we get a nice shot of dopamine when eating sugar. This gives us a good feeling.

As sugar is drastically reduced when you start the keto diet, you will experience withdrawal effects such as mood swings, irritability, cravings for sugar and other flu-like symptoms.

 

 

 

When Does the Keto Flu Start?

People typically experience flu-like symptoms from the keto flu as their bodies are transitioning from glucose burning to fat burning. The keto flu starts within the first few days of implementing the diet. The first few days of a ketogenic diet, you will notice an increase in cravings for carbohydrates. These cravings typically subside after the first couple of days. However, you may still feel drowsiness, headaches, brain fog, difficulty getting to sleep, some nausea may occur as well as stomach irritability. These symptoms show up usually within the first week of start of your diet as you are adjusting. The keto flu tends to subside the longer that you are on the ketogenic diet and following it consistently.

 

Symptoms of the Keto Flu

As your body adjusts to the ketogenic diet, you may experience some following symptoms. These may be mild or intense. You may have some or all of them depending on how metabolically flexible your body is when you start the ketogenic diet. If your body is very metabolically flexible, it will quickly and easily adjust to burning fats for fuel instead of glucose. If it isn’t, you will feel some following symptoms.

  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Brain Fog
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Stomach aches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle soreness
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sore throat

 

Soothing The Keto Flu Sore Throat

One thing that has people concerned is what to do about the keto flu sore throat that shows up. You don’t want to down a lozenge that is coated in sugar. That moves you out of ketosis. However, you do want relief from the sore throat.

  • Drink hot water – this will soothe the throat
  • Drink some chicken stock or bone broth – the heat will soothe the throat. It will provide you with vitamins and minerals. Rather than going for the carb-loaded chicken noodle soup (or store bought chicken broth, which can be high in MSG and other additives), give bone broth a try to help alleviate your symptoms. Bone broth is an easy way to sneak more water into your diet and it also provides electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
  • Try some electrolytes – pickle juice anyone?

How to Beat the Keto Flu

There are some things that you can do to minimize the keto flu symptoms and beat the keto flu.

  • Get moving – promotes good digestion and circulation of the body. Go for a walk, take a hike or a gentle jog. Don’t overexert yourself as you are adjusting to your new diet, but make sure that you are incorporating movement throughout your day. This can also can actually help relieve muscle pain and tension and release endorphins which will help boost your mood and motivation.
  • Stay hydrated – you will feel more flu like symptoms when your body is dehydrated. A well hydrated body functions better and the channels of elimination work properly. Staying hydrated will help relieve headaches and boost your energy levels when you’re feeling sluggish.

If you don’t know how much water you need, follow this simple equation. Divide your current body weight (in pounds) by two. The result is the number of ounces you should be drinking per day. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you’ll need at least 75 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated.

  • Start weaning yourself off of carbohydrates before you officially start the ketogenic diet. You will notice fewer cravings as your body adjusts if it is done slowly.
  • Increase your salt: The average American diet is overloaded with processed foods. As you eliminate the processed foods, the salt that was causing water retention in your body suddenly isn’t there and you are flushing out the excess water. Taking some salt can help to hold onto some water. Five grams of salt per day is ideal to counter the keto flu and replenish electrolytes.

Conclusion

The symptoms of the keto flu are uncomfortable, but going through it is worth it. Your body will begin to heal and function much better. Most people experience weight loss after that initial period. They also discover more energy, less bloating and fewer digestive issues.

However, the diet only works if you stick with it. If the symptoms seem unbearable, try to add a few more “clean” carbohydrates to your diet. Add some extra vegetables and fruits and then slowly reduce your carbohydrate load so that the keto flu symptoms aren’t so unbearable.

What happens if you give up or cheat on your diet? Don’t worry about it. Just pick back up the next day. Adjusting will be easier the second time around. Keep in mind that this is a journey towards better health!

 

 

 

 

The Ketogenic Diet and Fertility – A Cure for PCOS?

As I learn more and more about the ketogenic diet, I’m fascinated by how many benefits there are to eating a higher fat diet. I was surprised

to discover that many people in the ketogenic dieting groups reported not only

weight loss, but also improved health. Many of them had been suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but after a time on the ketogenic diet, they were able to conceive. Many of them refer to their children as “keto babies.” After seeing many of them chatting and talking about their improved fertility, I decided to do some research into why the ketogenic diet was beneficial.

Causes of Infertility

The medical profession defines infertility as the inability to get pregnant after one year of trying. Infertility is commonly thought of as a woman’s issue, however it can affect men as well. In thirty five percent of couples, the man is having an issue with infertility. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately twelve percent of women in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty conceving a child and carrying it to term.

The most common causes of infertility are insulin resistance, obesity, and inappropriate hormone levels. When your body is experiencing any of these conditions, it becomes more difficult to get pregnant and carry a child. There are too many additional demands from your body in order to recreate an additional life when you have hormone issues, obesity or insulin problems.

Insulin and Fertility

Insulin has an impact on your fertility and in the conception process. Insulin is an important hormone that controls how your body changes food into energy by absorbing glucose from your bloodstream and moving it into your cells. Every function of the body relies on having normal insulin levels.

PCOS and insulin resistance often go hand in hand. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is chronically elevated. Excessive carbohydrate intake and physical inactivity lead to insulin resistance. 

When you are insulin resistant, your cells stop responding normally to insulin. Your body can’t easily absorb the blood glucose from your blood stream. Therefore, it produces more and more insulin to keep up with the glucose demand.

Elevated levels of insulin stimulate the ovaries to produce more androgens, which are “male hormones.” This leads to the development of PCOS.

Insulin resistance is strongly associate with type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is connected to female sexual dysfunction and issues with the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. Often women who suffer from type 2 Diabetes have difficulty in the bedroom with desire, lubrication, arousal and pain during intercourse. When sex is avoided due to pain and lack of desire, the chances of becoming pregnant severly decline.

It is important to note that over seventy percent of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Statistics also demonstrate that over eigthy percent of women in the United States with PCOS are obese or overweight. These factors comine and contribute to infertility.

 

Improves Conditions that Harm Fertility

The conditions that are playing a role in infertility – obesity, insulin resistance and PCOS –  have shown improvement for people who are following the ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet can help women lose weight quickly and effectively. It improves type 2 Diabetes by reducing insulin resistance. Getting insulin levels normal and keeping them there can trigger healing within the body and assist proper function of the other hormones that support pregnancy. 

Research has demonstrated that obesity can factor into a woman’s infertility. Women who are overweight or obese have a tendency to struggle with mensturation and ovulation issues. Their conception rates tend to be lower. They also often suffer from miscarriages and other pregnancy complications. Studies have shown that the risk of infertility is three times as high in obese women. The causes of obesity can vary, however the ketogenic diet is very beneficial for weight loss. Getting out of the obese category will improve your chances at becoming pregnant.

Hormones and Fertility

There are some key hormones that required in order to have a baby and for your body to function properly. Some of the hormones that the body produces are known as androgens. Androgens are a group of hormones that are commonly referred to as “male hormones.” Men and women need androgens, but they require different amounts of this hormone.

Androgens are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells in women. They play an important role in many hormonal functions, such as the synthesis of estrogen, puberty, prevention of bone loss, and sex drive.

Excess amounts of androgens in women can produce irregular menstrual cycles, acne and excessive hair growth. Having an excess of fat cells can lead to an overproduction of androgens.

The primary femal sex hormone is estrogen. It is secreted mainly by the ovaries, but also in small amounts by the adrenal glands. An imbalance of estrogen levels will prevent ovulation and the thicking of the lining of the uterus. This makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant there.

Another hormone that plays a key role in pregnancy is prolactin. It is produced in the pituatary glad. Prolactin stimulates breast development and milk production. Elevated levels of prolactin can trigger infertility by inhibiting ovulation.

Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) are other hormones produced in men and women that play a major role in puberty and fertility.

Abnormal levels of LH and FSH interfere with the production of eggs and semen. Therefore, abnormal levels of these hormones hinder one’s ability to reproduce.

A 2005 study showed that women who were put on a 24 week low carbohydrate diet had the following impact on their hormone levels:

  • 12% reduction in body weight
  • 22% reduction in percent free testosterone
  • 36% reduction in LH/FSH ratio – bringing them into normal range
  • 54% decrease in the participant’s fasting insulin levels

These decreases in hormone levels tend to positively impact a woman’s fertility. During the 2005 study, two women became pregnant despite prior fertility issues.

Getting Started with the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is one of the least expensive diets that will improve your fertility. The first thing that I would recommend is to download a free version of the Ketogic cookbook, Bacon and Butter. This will give you some great recipes to learn as the ketogenic diet becomes a way of life.

The second step you can take with the ketogenic diet is identifying what foods are carbohydrate rich and start cutting them out of your diet. You can drastically reduce your bread and pasta intake until you don’t have any around the house and then simply not buy it anymore.

Finally, you should connect with other people who are doing the ketogenic diet. There are facebook groups that share recipes and success and struggles. It can be extremely helpful to learn from other people. If you are looking for support with the ketogenic and getting pregnant,

 

 

 

Keto Crave | Keto Meal Replacement Bars and Snacks

Keto-Crave Review 

Name: Keto Crave

Website: Amazon.com

Price: 39.97

Owners:Zenwise Health

Overall Rank: 80 out of 100

Keto Crave, Product Overview

This is a great tasting ketosis friendly snack with natural and organic ingredients that support your macronutrient intake for the ketogenic and low carbohydrate diets.

  1. The KetoCrave bars are perfect for your ketone needs. KetoCrave bars are formulated with five grams of net carbs, sixteen grams of fat and eight grams of fiber to ensure great results for people that care about ketones. They contain no added sugar.
  2. KetoCrave bars are created with premium ingredients for the ketogenic dieter. KetoCrave bars are made with MCT oil, cacao butter, grass fed whey protein, and almond butter. When you combine these powerful ingredients, you promote increased energy for the body and mind.
  3. KetoCrave bars will help people lose weight. KetoCrave bars are great for breakfast, lunch or after dinner. These snacks are not caffeinated and provide energy without jitters while supporting metabolism to encourage fat burning and weight control.
  4. Both beginners and advanced dieters will enjoy Keto Crave bars. KetoCrave bars are gluten free keto snacks, which are great for those who are interested in a faster per-workout solution, athletes, sports activities, weight lifting, running and biking.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

PRO #1: Excellent on the go energy bars. Easy to take with you when you don’t have time to eat. Very convenient.

PRO #2: Keto Crave bars are a great source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs promote ketone product which promotes improved mental focus, alertness and concentration. They will help you conquer your day.


PRO #3: Keto-Crave bars are a rich source of pre-biotic fiber, which helps to feed the gut microbiome. They can increase metabolism and support weight loss.

PRO #4: Keto-Crave bars are created with quality ingredients. Coconut oil, MCT oil and cacao are all the highest quality. They are very healthy and many people on the ketogenic diet implement these ingredients into their daily lives.

PRO #5: Great for curing a sweet tooth as you are transitioning to the ketogenic diet. The taste is delicious and you will discover many rave reviews of the flavor on Amazon as well. 77% of people gave these bars five stars! An overwhelming winner!

 

The Bad:

CON #1: Somewhat expensive. At $3 per bar, eating these on a daily basis can explode your grocery bill! These fit better into a rare treat category in my book.

CON #2: Some people complain that they seem to be a bit on the smaller side.

CON #3: Prebiotic fiber can cause gas in some people. Some people complained about the gas that these bars caused them and recommended not to eat them while at work.

Who is Keto Crave Bar For?

The KetoCrave bars are specifically designed for people who are adapting to the ketogenic diet. They are best suited for people who live busy, on-the-go lifestyles and don’t have time to cook and experiment with flavors in the kitchen.

Meal replacement and snack bars are also great for the athletes who don’t want to stop their training to eat.

Keto Crave Bars Price

At $3.33 each, these are a treat to have once in a while. This could be the same cost as a fast food restaurant, but you could easily make a meal from ingredients in your kitchen for a bit less.

My Final Opinion of Keto-Crave Bars
While these bars are quite delicious and fit nicely into the macronutrient profile of the ketogenic diet, they are a bit on the pricey side. KetoCrave bars are ideal if you are traveling and won’t know when you will be around low carbohydrate foods. It is also great for the professional or athlete that is always on the go. Having a snack bar or meal replacement bar on hand will help you stick with your diet when it seems impossible.

These bars can fend off cravings when you are stuck in traffic and getting hungry. For me, they are quite expensive and a rare treat rather than a regular part of my ketogenic diet.

These bars receive good ratings on Amazon. The average rating is four and a half stars. Many people write rave reviews of this product as it helped them transition from a higher carbohydrate diet to the ketogenic diet.

Keto-Crave Bars at a Glance…

Name: Keto-Crave Snack Bars

Website: Amazon.com

Owners: Zenwise Health

Price: $39.97 or $3.33 each

Overall Scam Rank: 80 out of 100

VERDICT: LEGIT! These are great snacks or meal replacements for the ketogenic dieter. The macronutrients fit nicely into the ketogenic macro profile.

The Awesome Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

Many people are extolling the health benefits of the ketogenic diet. Is it a fad diet? Should you jump on board with this diet trend? I’m a huge fan of the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920’s treating epilepsy. People are now reporting feeling better on the ketogenic diet, losing weight with the ketogenic diet.

<<Click Here for a Free Keto Cookbook>>

1. It is Satisfying

Low carb diets kill your appetite. When you start consuming fats to fuel your body, you no longer are burning through your fuel source quickly. You will discover that you don’t need snacks throughout the day. Because you aren’t constantly feeling the urge to eat, you tend to eat less.

Studies show that when you cut out carbs and rely on protein and fats for fuel, you tend to eat fewer calories. When researchers compared low fat and low carbohydrate diets, they had to restrict the calories in the low fat diet to have a comparable study. Most of the people in the low carbohydrate diets naturally reduced their caloric intake.

2. Flatter Tummies

When the ketogenic diet is implemented for weight loss, the fat that is lost tends to come from the abdominal cavity.

When fat is stored it can be stored as visceral fat or subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is around the organs and more likely to lead to serious disease as it tends to lodge around the organs.

Low carbohydrate diets and especially the ketogenic diet are great at reducing visceral fat. Over an extended period of time, this can lead to

Having a lot of fat in that area can drive inflammation, insulin resistance and is believed to be a leading driver of the metabolic dysfunction that is so common in Western countries today.

Not only do they cause more fat loss than low-fat diets, an even greater proportion of that fat is coming from the abdominal cavity.

3. Reduction in Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the fat molecules in blood. They are often measured to determine the risk of heart attacks. This is determined by how much of them we have in our blood after an overnight fast. 

The main driver of elevated triglyceride levels is due to excessive carbohydrate consumption, especially simple sugars and fructose.

Once carbohydrates are cut from the diet, people tend to have a very dramatic reduction to triglycerides in their blood.

4. Reduced Blood Sugar Levels

While it makes sense that you cut out the sugars in your diet, the blood sugars will level off. However, many people don’t realize that when you eat carbohydrates, they turn into simple sugars in your body once you consume them. From there, they will enter the body and start to elevate the blood glucose levels.

High blood sugar levels are toxic. The body responds with an insulin reaction. This tells the cells to bring glucose into the cells and start burning or storing it.

In healthy individuals, an insulin reaction will be a small spike in blood glucose levels. However, for individuals who are insulin resistant, they will experience further problems. It is more difficult for them to bring the blood sugar into the cells.

 

5. Better Brain Function

The ketogenic diet has long been known to help people with epilepsy function better. However, it is also being shown to help increase memory, cognition, and clarity. It can help to reduce migranes as well.

The ketogenic diets were first used in the Mayo clinic in 1920 to treat children with epilepsy. Researchers still have not discovered the exact mechanism for seizure prevention. It has something to do with the increased stability of neurons as well as the upregulation of mitochondrial enzymes as well as the brain mitochondria. 

Due to the improvement in brain function, there has been some serious attention given to ketogenic dieting and Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have documented that there is improvement in cognition and memory in adults with impairments in these areas. There is a growing body of research which shows improvement at all stages of dementia.

Ketosis has demonstrated that it is effective against Parkinson’s as well.

The general ketogenic dieter has often reported that they experience increased mental clarity, focus and less frequent migranes. These can be attributed to more stable blood sugars and a reduction in inflammation that occurs as a result of ketosis.

 

5. Reduces Inflammation

In an article recently by Nature Medicine, it was discovered that the ketogenic dieting has a profoundly anti-inflammatory impact on the body and can help with a lot of related health problems.

The NLRP3 inflammasome, which is a key player in many of the inflammatory diseases, is suppressed by BHB, which is one of the ketones produced when an individual implements the ketogenic diet.

This is significant for people who have arthritis, acne, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions. Many people have reported that these conditions clear up with a ketogenic diet.

6. Improved Sleep

Many people who have done a ketogenic diet report an increase in general energy levels and lack a carbohydrate craving by day four or five. This is due to a stabilization of insulin levels and a readily available source of energy for the brain and body tissues. 

While the mechanism for improved energy is apparent. It is still unknown why sleep improves on a ketogenic diet. Some studies have shown that a ketogenic diet improves sleep through decreasing REM and increasing slow-wave sleep patterns. Some theorize that it is possibly related to the complex biochemical shifts which involve the brain’s use of ketones for energy combined with the other body tissues directly burning fat.

 

7. Fights Cancer

Some studies suggest that ketogenic diets may starve cancer cells. The theory behind this is that cancer feeds off of carbohydrates. A highly processed, pro-inflammatory, nutrient deficient diet is optimal for cancer cells and causes them to proliferate. It is believed that cancer cells cannot metabolically use fat for fuel as normal body cells can.

The Department of Radiation Oncology at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center for the University of Iowa and the National INstitutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders adn Stroke conduced research on cancer cells and the ketogenic diet. The concluded that the ketogenic diet is an effective treatment for cancer and other serious health issues.

A diet which eliminates excess refined sugar and procesed carbohydrates is effective in fighting or reducing cancer.

8. Longer Life

The Lancet published a study that examined more than 135,000 adults from eighteen different countries. The high carbohydrate intake was associated with a higher mortality. However, when the total fat was related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascualr disease, myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality.

It shows that saturated fat intake has an inverse association with the risk for suffering from a strong. This means that the more saturated fat included in someone’s diet, the more protection you have against having a stroke.

9. Improved Fertility

As I frequent many ketogenic success facebook groups, one thing I see is that many people are sharing about their “keto babies.” Women who had suffered from infertility and PCOS are finding that a ketogenic diet is enabling them to get pregnant.

PCOS offten occurs in conjunction with insulin resistance. This causes a wide range of hormonal issues, which include infertility in women. Due to the extremely low carbohydrate intake, this diet can address the insulin resistance and help those who suffer with PCOS.

10. Mood Stabilization

Many people are discovering that a ketogenic diet is showing an improvement in autism symptoms. The reason for this has to do with its impact on improving the brain function. In addition to people with autism showing improvement on the ketogenic diet, there are studies that demonstrate that the ketogenic diet is helping people who experience bipolar mood swings.

In the paper,Potential Therapeutic Use of the Ketogenic Diet in Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Frontiers in Pediatrics, it was determined that ketogenic diets were beneficial when it comes to treating autism.

<<Click Here for a Copy of Bacon and Butter Cookbook>>

 

 

 

 

Are Ketogenic Diets Safe?

I’m always surprised when people raise the safety question regarding the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920’s to treat people who have epilepsy. It is a diet that focuses on healing the brain and eliminating the inflammation that causes seizures. The problem that we have gotten into as a society is that we rely too much on doctors. The “standard of care” for epilepsy now is to try one of the many anticonvulsants on the market today first.

Now, standard of care doesn’t refer to some standard of quality. It refers to the industry standard. Therefore, everyone in the medical industry is following the procedure of trying the latest anticonvulsant for a seizure patient first. This does not mean that the ketogenic diet is harmful. Nor does it mean that it is less effective than the newest anticonvulsant on the markets.

Generally Regarded As Safe

The items that are on the ketogenic diet can be generally regarded as safe according to the FDA. Eggs, cheese, meat, and low carbohydrate vegetables. Therefore, one would assume that it is safe to be eating ketogenic foods. They are not deemed as harmful and are regarded as safe if you are relying on the FDA’s standard.

However, many things are making the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) definition. Snicker bars, pasta, red dye in M and Ms, McDonald’s, french fries, pizza. All of these things are given approval to be sold in our supermarkets. The FDA doesn’t seem to mind that we eat this stuff, even though it isn’t very nutrient dense. One may wonder, does the FDA really care about my health and well being? Are we sure that they aren’t just a political branch that is bought out by industries for favors. I’ll let you make the decision on that one.

Positive Effect in Obese Patients

While some foods that are generally regarded as safe do create conditions that trigger obesity, the ketogenic diet does not. In fact, current research demonstrates the opposite effect on health. In a study published in Experimental and Clinical Cardiology in 2004, researchers explored the long term effects of a ketogenic diet on obese patients. This study qualified long term as 24 weeks, or six months. The study’s results demonstrated that the ketogenic diet significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of patients. It also decreased the level of trigylcerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Therefore, the ketogenic diet had a positive effect on people.

Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did not produce any significant side effects in the patients. Therefore, the present study confirms that it is safe to use a ketogenic diet for a longer period of time than previously demonstrated. Since this study did not discover any long term negative side effects in patients, this particular study determined that a ketogenic diet is safe.

Reduces Inflammation

When someone starts a ketogenic diet, they are usually coming from a high carbohydrate diet where their bodies focused on glucose metabolism. The ketogenic diet switches them to a fat burning mode. As they burn fats, their bodys begin to produce and metabolize ketones. When you compare ketone metabolism to glucose metabolism, ketone metabolism produces fewer reactive oxygen species, which have been known to have an inflammatory impact on the body. A metabolism based on ketosis produces fewer free radicals and reactive oxygen species by affecting the mitochondrial  co-enzyme Q couple and the cytoplasmic glutathione couple.

When on the ketogenic diet, there is another mechanism which may be assisting in preventing inflammation. There seems to be mounting evidence to show that a ketolytic metabolism increases the levels of the neurotransmitter known as adenosine. Adenosine has been well known to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It acts through recptors at multiple sites including endothelia, neurons and leukocytes. Therefore, the ketogenic diet may create an anti-inflammatory effect  on your body via elevated adenosine levels.

The inflammatory response is influenced by factors that impact the cellular bioenergetic state. These factors include caloric restriction, ketogenic diet and the glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose. Caloric restriction and the ketogenic diet produce a ketogenic state in the body in which the utilization of glucose for energy is suppressed. These conditions will reduce brain inflammation.

Improves Health in Women With PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a endocrine disorder which affects many women. It prevents them from having children, can cause a lot of pain and dysfunction within the body because the hormones are not in balance. A diet that is high in carbohydrates can be devastating for the health of a women with PCOS.

In a pilot study investigating the impact of a ketogenic diet on PCOS over a twenty four week period, it was discovered that the ketogenic diet increased weight loss, improved hormone regulation, improved luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) ratios and it improved the fasting insulin levels in women with PCOS.

The study concluded that further research is necessary to determine if the positive results are due to weight loss or a result of the ketogenic diet. It seems to me that the ketogenic diet most likely triggered some of that weight loss and therefore, it isn’t too much of a stretch to conclude that the ketogenic diet has a positive effect on PCOS.

Conclusion

The ketogenic diet is a healing diet. It helps to reduce inflammation and it aiding people in shedding excess body fat. The ketogenic diet is helping people with epilepsy to prevent painful and devastating seizures. The studies have not found a significant degree of side effects from the ketogenic diet. Therefore, it is a fine to conclude that doing a ketogenic diet will be relatively safe and even improve your health over time.

The concern that many people have about the ketogenic diet lies in the large percentage of fats that are included in the diet. The overall message that the food and drug administration has sent to us is that eating fat creates fat. However, the research that was used to come to that conclusion is not very reliable. It was an epidemiological study. There are many variables that could be causing the results that may not have been considered.

Based on recent research, anecdotal evidence from people who are on the ketogenic diets and reporting excellent health from them, and my own experience with the ketogenic diet, I would have to say that ketogenic diets are safe and effective. The challenge with the ketogenic diet for treating epilepsy is compliance with the diet. Many people are not very disciplined when it comes to food. Therefore, sticking with a ketogenic diet can become frustrating and often individuals will give up. The ketogenic diet can now be implemented with a lot of variety. Many ketogenic cookbooks are available as resources for people who are following a ketogenic diet. This free ketogenic cookbook offers those who are interested in doing the diet with a wide variety of recipes to choose from.

 

 

 

 

Should You Try the Ketogenic Diet for Adult Epilepsy?

It has been known for decades that the ketogenic diet is an effective treatment for children with intractable epilepsy. However, doctors are reluctant to prescribe the ketogenic diet for adults with epilepsy. With the ketogenic diet gaining momentum and popularity within the weight loss community, many people with epilepsy are starting to wonder if they should try the ketogenic diet for adult epilepsy.

My response would be an emphatic, “YES!” The ketogenic diet has been studied and shown to be effective. Even if your doctor doesn’t recommend doing a ketogenic diet, it is a much healthier diet than the standard American diet. You have the freedom to choose to be very relaxed with it or very strict with it. The worst thing that could possibly happen is that it would start preventing seizures and you may need less medication. I take that back, the worst thing that could happen is that you become so healthy that you feel every side effect of your medication. However, your health will gradually improve and you can alert your doctor to monitor and reduce your medication as time progresses.

 

History of Ketogenic Diet with Epilepsy

The history of treating people with epilepsy dates back to 1920 when Dr. Galen, a New York physician, reported at the American Medical Association convention that he had immense success treating epilepsy by initiating a program of fasting. In the 1920s, the only pharmaceutical interventions available included phenobarbital and bromides. Dr. Galen was treating a patient who had aggressive seizures. On the second day of fasting, the child’s seizures subsided. They did not return over the next two years as he followed up. Further studies confirmed the effectiveness of fasting as an effective treatment for seizures. The ketogenic diet is a way to mimic fasting.

Fasting is one way to trigger the state of ketosis. As a person enters ketosis, his body begins to use fat instead of carbohydrates as a fuel. The body begins to produce ketones, which becomes an alternative source of calories to power the brain.

To this day, a ketogenic diet, meaning a diet that is designed to increase the availability of fat while decreasing the availability of carbohydrate, remains an important tool that can be utilized in the treatment of children with epilepsy who do not have a full response to medication.

Over the years, as more and more anti-convulsant therapies became available, doctors started to prescribe anti-convulsants as the first line of treatment. Only when children didn’t respond to anti-convulsants was a ketogenic diet discussed. The reason for this is that it is easier for parents to implement a drug regimen than it is to get compliance with a strict diet.

Recently, a report appearing in the journal, Neurology, revealed that a ketogenic diet is also profoundly helpful in adults as well as children in terms of treating epilepsy. The research found that there was a reduction of about 50% in 32% of patients treated with a ketogenic diet. There was a reduction of seizures in 29% of patients who followed the modified Atkins diet. Nine percent of the patients on the ketogenic diet had a greater than 90% reduction in the frequency of their seizures.

Both the ketogenic diet and the modified Atkins diet are designed so that your take in approximately 75% of your calories from fats. The study indicated that resolution of seizures came quickly with both diets, within a few days to weeks. The most common side effect of treating adults with epilepsy with the ketogenic diet was weight loss.

It is important to note that only 60-65% of patients taking medication to become completely seizure free using the medication. Thirty-five percent of people with epilepsy are resistant to the effects of medication.

Implementing a ketogenic diet can improve your seizure control, whether you are on medication or not. This diet can and should be considered as long as there are no evident metabolic or mitochondrial reasons to avoid it.

 

Fats for Fuel

The ketogenic diet switches your body from burning carbohydrates for fuel to burning fats for fuel. Carbohydrates are quick shots of energy. Adjusting your diet so that there are more available fats than carbohydrates switches your body to prefer burning fat for energy. This will improve the mitochondrial function of your body.

The body has a natural ability to utilize both fat and glucose for fuel. However, many people lack the ability to burn fat. This is a direct result of consuming a diet that is high in carbohydrates for an extended period.

As a result, many people struggle with weight issues and poor health. Some people may not be overweight, but have excess visceral body fat, which can be dangerous as well. Implementing a ketogenic diet can help to reduce the excess body fat. Implementing a pattern of intermittent fasting, or a feast and then famine cycle can help to reestablish the metabolic flexibility that is required to burn fat as a fuel. Avoiding late night eating and excessive snacking can help as well.

Animal-based omega 3 fats have been shown to reduce autoimmune responses. Some people have hypothesized that epilepsy is an autoimmune condition and the inflammation in the body triggers the seizure response. Omega 3s improve glucose metabolism and lower the inflammatory markers, which can improve seizure control.

 

How to Implement a Ketogenic Diet

Implementing the ketogenic diet does not have to be difficult at all! The first step is to identify which foods are high in carbohydrates and to eliminate those. These tend to be packaged and processed foods. You will dramatically reduce or eliminate all grain and any food that is high in sugar.

The next step is going to be to learn how to count the carbohydrates in your foods. You’ll want to reduce your carbohydrate count to about 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This means that you will focus on eating leafy green vegetables, and meats. It is that simple. You can get more complicated by starting to measure out the amounts, but if you simply start by focusing only on eating leafy greens and meats, you should cut your calories to around 20 grams per day.

As a general rule, you will want to restrict protein to approximately 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass. To make sure you’re actually meeting your nutritional requirements and maintaining the ideal nutrient ratios, a nutrient tracker can be an invaluable tool. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is not necessary.

 

 

 

Start the Ketogenic Diet

While no one likes the idea of limiting rich and decadent foods, there are plenty of foods on the ketogenic diet that are satiating and enjoyable. The ketogenic diet does not necessarily have to be implemented by your doctor. You have the freedom to take the initiative and cut your carbohydrate intake on your own. You have the freedom to check out a macronutrient calculator and figure out how many grams of carbohydrate to take in for your size. You have the freedom to make the diet as simple or as complicated as you want. You have the freedom to aim for zero carbohydrates and eat mostly meats and animal products.

There are many ketogenic diet cookbooks that you can start to use for your everyday meals. These will help you adjust to eating a lower carbohydrate diet. You have the freedom to start by simply changing one meal a day to fit the ketogenic parameters. When that becomes natural, change the next meal and keep thinking about lowering your fruit and high vegetable carbohydrate intake.

 

<<Click Here for a FREE Ketogenic Diet Cookbook>>

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Speak to your doctor for personalized advice.