Epilepsy patients can now try the ketogenic diet for seizures. This diet was developed in the 1920s to treat people with epilepsy, who did not respond well to drugs in that day. The ketogenic diet is based on the premise that the body reaches ketosis, a natural metabolic state, when the patient follows the ketogenic diet. The diet is known to help the patient lose weight, lower glucose levels and decrease frequency of seizures, also in children. Ketosis can benefit so many people but others prefer not to try to reach this state of being.
Ketosis Helps Control Blood Sugars
Ketosis is a state of metabolism when the body is forced to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates or glucose. People have to eat between 20g and 50g of carbohydrates daily to reach ketosis which can happen naturally when fasting, starving, when pregnant or when an infant. This very low-carbohydrate diet forces insulin levels to decrease while the level of fatty acids in the body increases as they are released from body fat stores. They then pass through the liver to be oxidised and changed into ketones which are molecules which provide energy for the body. Ketones can also give the brain energy, instead of the usual glucose. In fact, ketones become the main sources of energy for body and brain, instead of carbohydrates and glucose. But carbohydrates must hardly be eaten, and insulin levels need to be kept very low.
Try the Ketogenic Diet for Seizures
Millions of people globally suffer from seizures caused by a brain disorder called epilepsy. Many of these patients take medication to control the frequency and intensity of seizures but still they suffer. Doctors have found that children who start the ketogenic diet benefit to the point of having fewer seizures and even getting completely better. For the person who starts the ketogenic diet and hopes to reach a state of ketosis, there are some side effects which disappear after a few days, once the body has re- adapted: bad breath, headaches, tiredness, constipation, high cholestrol levels and kidney stones. Some people do not do well on this diet where you have to eat plenty of vegetables for fiber. It is safe but please consult your doctor before embarking on such a diet.
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What Happens to You on a Ketogenic Diet?
Firstly, your body reduces its blood sugars and insulin levels at a rapid rate. Fat is burned for energy and the fat is changed into ketones in the liver which can then supply energy to the brain. You lose weight and are less at risk for several chronic diseases. You never starve on this diet and always feel satisfied so often do not notice that you are losing weight but your energy levels do increase a lot. The ketogenic diet is good for weight loss, reduction in seizures, metabolism and can benefit any neurological or insulin-related diseases such as diabetes.
Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet
- Meat, fatty fish
- Butter, cream
- Good cheeses
- Nuts and seeds
- Cold-pressed vegetable oils
- Spices, salt and pepper
- Low carb vegetables
Foods to Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet
- Fruit – except berries
- Beans / legumes
- Root vegetables
- Grains / starches
- Sugar / processed foods
- Unhealthy fats
Tests have shown that a ketogenic diet can benefit children with epilepsy as the diet helps reduce the intensity and frequency of seizures. It provides energy for the brain, from fats, not from carbohydrates / glucose.
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