The ketogenic diet is used to control epilepsy, and also to lose weight. In this article, you will find more information about this diet plan and menu.
The ketogenic or keto diet was invented, or rather designed, some 80 years ago. Following this diet helps in treating refractory epilepsy. You must be aware that seizures are one of the most common symptoms or effects of epilepsy. Following this diet plan is believed to reduce the number of seizures, and even prevent it completely. On the other hand, this diet is planned such that it can even help lose weight in men and women. Let us take a look at it in detail.
This is a low-carb high-fat diet, i.e., a person is supposed to consume high amounts of fat and exclude carbohydrates from his/her diet completely. According to the diet plan, when a person consumes large amounts of fat and less amounts of carbohydrates, his body tends to burn fat in place of carbohydrates. Fat burning leads to a stage of fasting metabolism or starvation. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses fat as a source of energy. When the stored fat is used as a source of energy, they are broken down into ketones. Thus, the body achieves the state of ketosis. It has been found that the number of seizures decreases considerably in the starvation or ketosis stage. This diet is specifically useful in treating uncontrolled epilepsy in children and adults.
On the other hand, the cyclical ketogenic diet plan is also followed by those who wish to lose weight and build muscles. Consumption of excess refined carbohydrates leads to weight gain and hence, following a low carb diet can lead to weight loss. This is a low carb or rather a no carb diet. At the same time, following a ketogenic diet helps in quick and efficient fat burning. As fat is used for production of energy, it is burnt quickly and does not accumulate in the body.
Ketogenic Diet Food List
Following is a list of foods to consume, and those to be avoided, in this diet plan.
Foods to Consume
- Lean meat, lean poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, salami, sausages
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, peanut butter
- Oils, butter, soy, flaxseed, mustard
Foods to Avoid
- Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yams, sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables
- Bread, rice, pasta, donuts, cake
- Honey, salad dressing, candy, chocolate
- Bananas, peaches, other starchy fruits
You should remember that nearly all the products obtained from grains contain carbohydrates and hence, they should be excluded from the diet. On the other hand, highest amounts of fat are obtained from dairy sources. Secondly, consuming lean meat, poultry and seafood is also essential to gain proteins and fat.
Note that minor side effects may be observed due to drastic change in diet. Many people complain of weakness and fatigue due to lack of carbohydrates in their diet. Lack of starch can also lead to low energy levels. Secondly, according to some diet plans, one is advised to exclude most of the fruits and vegetables. This can lead to mineral and vitamin deficiency.
Although some potential side effects are observed, this diet has been found to be effective in reducing the severity of epilepsy. Lastly, note that be it for epilepsy or weight loss, it is wise to consult a doctor before following this diet plan. Take care!