This diet is not without its side effects, so it is very important to become well informed when considering ketogenic diet therapy. Do not attempt the ketogenic diet without medical supervision from a properly trained ketogenic diet team, especially if you are taking anti-seizure medications. This ketogenic diet team includes a neurologist, a registered dietitian and nurse and sometimes a nurse practitioner, pharmacist, social worker and other specialists.
The body excretes more salt on a keto diet than on a standard diet due to reductions in insulin, which normally promotes a certain degree of water retention. Once you’re in ketosis, add an extra three to five grams of Himalayan, sea, or Redmond Real salt to your diet every day. (Five grams is about one teaspoon, but that may vary depending on the type of salt and the size of the grain.)

If you're new to keto, watch out for hidden carbs. Generally, dairy products and nuts are a good way to meet your daily fat intake, but know that some of those items may contain more carbohydrates than you think. For example, yogurt topped with nuts may seem like a great keto-friendly snack, but a 5.3 ounce serving of plain yogurt has 12 grams of carbohydrates. Vanilla flavored yogurt has 24 grams of carbohydrates. Add an ounce of cashews, weighing in at nearly nine grams of carbs, and you’re up to 21 to 33 grams of carbs for that snack, which could knock you out of ketosis. Be sure to read nutrition labels carefully and pay careful attention to serving sizes. Track foods using a keto-specific app like Senza or KetoDiet can help you stay within your recommended daily carb intake.
Chapter 4 mentions specific issues related to use of a ketogenic diet in cancer treatment. It discusses goals, benefits, potential side effects, and monitoring progress of treatment. Chapter 5 discusses the details of planning a ketogenic diet, including the contribution of the macronutrients plus a section on fasting and intermittent fasting. The section on macronutrients includes definitions of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. This book’s acknowledgment of the importance of the inflammatory properties of omega-6 fatty acids and advice that the omega-6 and omega-3 in the diet should be balanced are worthy of note. To our knowledge, there are no popular diet books that mention the nutritional requirements for essential fatty acids. Imbalances in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 could negate the benefits of a ketogenic diet.

Yes, they're technically a fruit, but we think olives deserve a shout-out all of their own, since they're also a great source of healthy fats and are one of a few keto-approved packaged foods. Plus, they're a great source of antioxidants, will satisfy your craving for something salty, and are blissfully low-carb. “About a palm's worth only has 3 grams of net carbs,” Sarah Jadin, RD, told Health in a previous interview.

According to a 2015 review of the literature on the ketogenic diet for human glioma patients (32 case studies), “Prolonged remissions ranging from more than 5 years to 4 months were reported in the case reports. Only one of these patients was treated using KD as monotherapy. The best responses reported in the more recent patient series were stable disease for approximately 6 weeks.”
In retrospect, it makes sense that in the Arctic the Eskimos, in order to survive, would have adjusted to their high fat, moderate protein, no carb diet. With its brief summer and lacking soils suitable for crops, the region provides insufficient plant foods suitable for human consumption but does offer an abundance of fatty animal food both on land and in the sea. If the Eskimos hadn’t adapted to such food, living as they did in such a difficult, extreme part of the world, they simply would have died off.
Perhaps the first person to really put ketogenic diets on the map was Dr. Robert C. Atkins, a cantankerous medical doctor who began experimenting with a low-carb diet in 1963. His first book, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, was published in 1972. Dr. Atkins died in 2003 from a tragic fall (interestingly, the Atkins website’s timeline does not mention his death), but his diet plan lives on today.
Having first read Dr. Price’s book during my journalism days, I knew that according to his exhaustive work, humans were a varied species, in the past living in and adapting to all ecological niches excepting the Antarctic, offering a variety of food sources. To me, his work offered a solution to the conflicting dietary advice even then being offered to the world. It didn’t make sense as Nathan Pritikin insisted or as Bob Atkins argued, that all humans should follow one specific type of diet: It just didn’t seem reasonable, to me at least.

Fortunately, patients have an alternative—a ketogenic diet. Research indicates that a ketogenic diet improves multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome, inducing significant reductions in body fat percentage, BMI, hemoglobin A1c levels, blood lipids, and blood pressure. (10, 11, 12) The ketogenic diet produces these beneficial effects by reversing the pathological processes underlying metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.
The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. 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.
To make sure the diet is nutritionally balanced, an experienced dietitian works out exactly how much of which foods the person can eat each day. To help with this, people have individual recipes, are given support on how to plan meals, and are guided on which foods should be avoided. As the diet can be quite restrictive, the dietitian will recommend any vitamin and mineral supplements that are needed.
The ketogenic diet now has nearly 100 years of history supporting its use. Most major medical textbooks and reviews no longer question its efficacy. About 50% of the children appear to have had an excellent response to the diet as defined by marked reduction (at least a 50% reduction) in seizure activity. About 15% of children become seizure-free after initiation of the ketogenic diet, usually within 3-6 months, and typically stop the diet after 2 years. Of those children who become seizure-free, a minority (15-20%) have recurrence after the diet is stopped. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of recurrence of seizures are:
“For me, the focus is on optimizing nutrition, and on nutritional interventions as part of the therapy for chronic diseases,” he said. “Depriving the body of access to any major macronutrient changes metabolism and invariably has a negative impact on health. The best nutritional intervention for weight loss is a caloric-restricted, portion-controlled, well-balanced meal plan.”
Ketogenic diet is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment for epilepsy. Most ketogenic diet centres have traditionally specialized in treating children ages 0 to 18 years of age. However, there is growing evidence that shows its usefulness in controlling seizures in adults. In the content below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the benefits and challenges of this diet therapy. Please note, the ketogenic diet should never be attempted on your own. It should only be attempted with the support of a trained medical team.
Ketogenesis has existed as long as humans have. If you eat a very low amount of carbohydrates, you starve your brain of glucose, its main fuel source. Your body still needs fuel to function, so it taps into your reserve of ketones, which are compounds the liver creates from fat when blood insulin is low. This process is known as ketosis: It’s like when a hybrid car runs out of gas and reverts to pure electricity.
As you might suspect, this metabolic theory of cancers is controversial in the mainstream cancer paradigm, but there’s already promising initial evidence to support it, and most traditional cancer specialists concede that this metabolic theory has merit, and it may be a piece of the puzzle. I would say that the dominant paradigm idea right now is that metabolic dysfunction is likely one of the pieces of the puzzle, but that cancer is multifactorial and probably does involve genetic mutations that may be independent of metabolic dysfunction and that there are other causes that may not be directly related to metabolic dysfunction.
In conclusion, clinical application of KDs as an adjuvant therapy for cancer patients first requires that the KD be evaluated for its anti-tumor effect for each single type/genetic subtype of cancer in a preclinical setting, as the safety and efficacy of the KD strongly depend on the tumor entity and its genotype. Based on the results of rigorous preclinical and clinical studies performed thus far, the KD would appear to be a promising and powerful option for adjuvant therapy for a range of cancers. Cancer-specific recommendations await the findings of randomized controlled clinical trials.
Around this time, Bernarr Macfadden, an American exponent of physical culture, popularised the use of fasting to restore health. His disciple, the osteopathic physician Dr. Hugh William Conklin of Battle Creek, Michigan, began to treat his epilepsy patients by recommending fasting. Conklin conjectured that epileptic seizures were caused when a toxin, secreted from the Peyer's patches in the intestines, was discharged into the bloodstream. He recommended a fast lasting 18 to 25 days to allow this toxin to dissipate. Conklin probably treated hundreds of epilepsy patients with his "water diet" and boasted of a 90% cure rate in children, falling to 50% in adults. Later analysis of Conklin's case records showed 20% of his patients achieved freedom from seizures and 50% had some improvement.[10]
Unfortunately that’s wrong. Unfortunately total cholesterol doesn’t tell the whole story. It includes one number that you want to have higher. That is you HDL good cholesterol. When you start eating low carb, high fat, keto, one of the tell tale signs that you’ve done it very well is your HDL, especially you ladies, you’re lucky Leanne … you ladies can make your HDL just go really high. I have to work hard as a guy to get mine in the 70-80 range, which is pretty good for a guy. Most people walking around their HDL is sub 40, and most of them probably sub 20 if they’re not eating enough fat. You have to eat saturated fat in order to raise that good HDL cholesterol. Okay?
There’s less research, as I mentioned before, in humans, but the little that does exist, I think, is promising and should lead us to doing more. One study monitored tumor growth in response to a high-carb versus a ketogenic diet in 27 patients with cancer of the digestive tract. Tumor growth increased by 32.2 percent in patients who received the high-carb diet, but actually decreased by 24.3 in the patients on ketogenic diet. However, in this study, the difference was not statistically significant. That’s a whole other discussion about statistical significance that I won’t go into here, but that’s one potential reason to take that study with a grain of salt.
The MAD aims to provide increased flexibility and palatability, with a 1:1 ratio of fat to carbohydrates and protein, and contains around 65% fat, 25% protein, and 10% carbohydrate (Payne et al., 2018). Fat is encouraged and the carbohydrate intake is limited to 10–20 g/day in children and 15–20 g/day in adults (Kossoff, 2004; Kossoff and Dorward, 2008). Because of carbohydrate restriction, the MAD can also produce urinary ketones (Carrette et al., 2008). The MAD does not require weighing food on a gram scale, or restriction of calories, protein or liquids, and may be a good option for patients who are unable to tolerate a more restrictive diet such as the classical ketogenic diet (KD) (Cervenka et al., 2012). Low-carbohydrate multivitamin and calcium carbonate supplementation is recommended in the MAD (Kossoff et al., 2009).
For many years, LDL-C tests have been used as the primary method of measuring LDL in the blood. It is cheaper and easier to measure. Recent research has called into questioning how effective LDL-C is compared to LDL-P in precisely assessing cardiovascular risk. After reviewing cross-sectional data, a recent peer-reviewed paper from the world-renowned Framingham Heart Study stated that
Serum cholesterol and triglycerides may increase, especially during the first 6 months. These levels may even out by 6 months, then decline often back to normal values. It is rare to stop the diet due to a cholesterol problem, especially after 1-2 years of use. Adjustments to the diet (e.g., increased protein and polyunsaturated fat) can be made in children with significantly high cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.
The traditional Atkins’ Diet was certainly high fat, in the range of 70% or more, nearly all from animal sources, and with minimal dietary carbs, less than 10%. Dr. Atkins, famed for his all-encompassing emphasis on ketosis during his early years as a diet doctor, insisted his patients routinely check the levels of ketone bodies in their urine several times a day, using special “ketone strips.”
Compared to TBI, the amount of scientific literature documenting the beneficial effects of a ketogenic diet for epilepsy is vast. The ketogenic diet was first introduced as a therapy in the 1920s, when doctors learned it could successfully treat seizures in children with refractory epilepsy. (27) Interest in the ketogenic diet waned when antiepileptic drugs were introduced in the 1960s and ’70s; however, the ketogenic diet has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity in the epilepsy community, particularly among those suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy.

"The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe," warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
[57:08] – While the experiment worked, in that it showed a decrease in lipid levels, other markers such as postprandial glucose levels increased. Dave talks about the importance of informing yourself, finding a balance and listening to how the body feels. He also talks about plans to continue experimenting with different levels but taking into account different risk-factors. Ultimately, he prefers a lower ketogenic ratio. (Listen to Emily Maguire talk working about different macros)

In fact, once all our our reserved glucose/glycogen runs out after several days on a low-carb, keto diet, our bodies create compounds called ketone bodies (or ketones) from our own stored body fat, as well as from fats in our diet. In addition, researchers have discovered that ketones contain main benefits, such as fat loss, suppressing our appetites, boosting mental clarity and lowering the risk for a number of chronic diseases.
After I finished my conventional immunology training under Dr. Good, in 1987 Bob graciously offered me a job in his clinic, not to work with patients seeking dietary or general nutritional advice, but to help supervise a cancer unit he was then in the process of establishing. Though I was grateful for the proposal, I turned him down, determined to set up my own practice.
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