My friend Karen asked why I hadn’t written a column about the ketogenic diet. Her interest, as CEO of The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, is understandable. Using a ketogenic diet for stopping or reducing seizures in people with epilepsy is well documented and used when medications are ineffective. Ketogenic diets remain a hot topic so here are a few thoughts.
A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbohydrates. Bread, grain, beans, sugar in any form, starchy vegetables and most fruits are eliminated. The healthier version of the keto diet is high in fish, meat, eggs, chicken, greens and salads. Butter, creams and oils are included with most meals. When carbohydrate intake is dramatically reduced the body starts breaking down fats in the liver and releasing ketones. These ketones can be used by the body and brain for energy. This is the process that saves people during times of starvation.