The ketogenic diet is a natural, nontoxic metabolic therapy being studied and utilized for cancer prevention and treatment. It works because cancer cells are dependent upon a constant supply of blood sugar (glucose) to stay alive. Normal cells can make energy from both glucose and ketones (metabolic by-products of burning fat), but most cancer cells can only use glucose. Avoiding carbohydrates (starch and sugar) while enjoying delicious and healthy protein and fats will lower blood glucose and increase blood-ketone levels, resulting in a normal body state called nutritional ketosis. Research has shown that nutritional ketosis starves cancer cells while nourishing normal cells and strengthening total body health.
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!

Cholesterol serves a number of important roles in the body. First of all, cholesterol is a critical structural element in certain tissues such as our brain and nervous system. In fact, it is estimated that around 25% of our cholesterol can be found in the brain. Just to highlight our failed fat philosophy over the years, higher saturated fat intake and high cholesterol levels are associated with better mental function in old age (1)!


A great deal of exciting research is emerging regarding the application of a ketogenic diet in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (17) Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by brain insulin resistance, a condition that starves neurons of the glucose they normally need to function correctly. Scientists have found that ketones are an excellent alternative fuel for the insulin-resistant brain. In addition, ketones reduce brain oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, two significant factors in the neurodegenerative disease process.
Also, consider supplementing with the amino acid leucine, as it can be broken down directly into acetyl-CoA, making it one of the most important ketogenic amino acids in the body. While most other amino acids are converted into glucose, the acetyl-CoA formed from leucine can be used to make ketone bodies. It’s also present in keto friendly foods like eggs and cottage cheese.
Cancer cells need to carefully maintain their “redox status”. Redox status is the balance between oxidants and antioxidants. Oxidants, including free radicals and other “reactive” chemical species, are made continuously in every living cell as a byproduct of metabolic activities. Several antioxidant systems have evolved in our body to specifically counter the harmful actions of these oxidants.
Dousing your steak with butter, swigging MCT oil out of the bottle, and putting grass-fed butter and MCT oil into your coffee may be more fat that your body can handle, actually leading to the opposite effect than intended—inflammation. Even on a high-fat diet, too much dietary fat can—and often will—stall fat loss. Dial down that excess dietary fat and include more fiber-rich vegetables, berries, legumes, and non-gluten grains for a healthier, more diverse gut microbiome to keep your weight within a healthy range.
Medications may be tapered and discontinued on an individual basis because one of the most common parental reasons for starting the diet is anticonvulsant reduction. However, not all children are able to come off medications. Some child neurologists tell families that the diet and medications are often a “partnership” in seizure control . Children should be seen in clinic every 3 months for the first year, with more frequent visits for infants and medically fragile patients.
To hit my fat targets with normal Filipino food, I used to mix coconut oil with my meats and veggies, and butter with my black coffee. Coconut oil and butter consists mostly of saturated fats. At the advice of one of my doctor friends, I’m currently experimenting with olive oil and peanuts, which are mostly monounsaturated fats, to hit the same fat targets. We’ll see how this affects my productivity and lipid profile.

What an excellent and helpful article! I had great cholesterol numbers before starting Keto and now my cholesterol is high. My HDL is good and my Triglycerides are low, but my LDL is high. I'm really questioning what I'm doing. I do experience many benefits of Keto, but I have a family history of heart disease and I'm worried and confused. Unfortunately my doctor is no use. She just says follow a Mediteranean Diet. End of story. Or go on Statins, which I would never do. Thanks to your article, I have some new resources to research. 

Short-term results for the LGIT indicate that at one month approximately half of the patients experience a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency, with overall figures approaching that of the ketogenic diet. The data (coming from one centre's experience with 76 children up to the year 2009) also indicate fewer side effects than the ketogenic diet and that it is better tolerated, with more palatable meals.[18][50]
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:

Feel free to practice cyclical ketosis (maybe doing a ketogenic diet five days a week and going higher in healthy carbs the other two days) or whatever works for you. I’ve never heard an expert say you should be in ketosis 24/7, and militantly sticking with this plan can ultimately stall your goals. Once you’re in a state of ketosis, you can transition to a more flexible ketogenic plan. You can rotate complex carbs, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash, into the diet every three to four days to maintain your glycogen stores if you work out and lift weights regularly.


The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the 1920s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications. This classic ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbohydrate. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains, and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as nuts, cream, and butter.[1] Most dietary fat is made of molecules called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)—made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic. A variant of the classic diet known as the MCT ketogenic diet uses a form of coconut oil, which is rich in MCTs, to provide around half the calories. As less overall fat is needed in this variant of the diet, a greater proportion of carbohydrate and protein can be consumed, allowing a greater variety of food choices.[4][5]
The "classic" ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is usually used in children with seizures that do not respond to medications. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins. Foods are weighed and measured.
Pattern B LDL, on the other hand, has a much smaller particle size and is much more prone to oxidation. Another thing about pattern B LDL is that it is small enough to enter into the endothelial lining of the artery where it can become oxidized and more likely to form plaque.  There is a high association between these small dense particles and cardiovascular disease.

Regardless of the efficacy of the KD, most patients discontinue the diet because of its unpalatable and restrictive features. In the last 20 years, new variants of the KD diet have emerged, including the Modified Atkins diet (MAD), a low-glycemic-index diet, which although it has a high fat content, allows more protein and does not restrict calories and fluids. Several studies have shown that the new variants of the KD have a similar efficacy to the CKD (Kossoff et al., 2006; Tonekaboni et al., 2010; Coppola et al., 2011; Miranda et al., 2012; El-Rashidy et al., 2013). As presently understood, the KD is involved in multiple mechanisms responsible for biochemical alterations, including cellular substrates and mediators responsible for neuronal hyperexcitability. However, it is not yet known with certainty whether the success of the KD is due to a single or several mechanisms (Bough and Rho, 2007; Lutas and Yellen, 2013; Rho, 2017; Youngson et al., 2017).
A high carbohydrate intake can exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by feeding opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. (29) These microbes ferment dietary carbohydrates, producing gases that increase intraabdominal pressure, a driving force behind acid reflux and GERD. The gas manufactured by these bacteria also contributes to bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in IBS.
For patients who benefit, half achieve a seizure reduction within five days (if the diet starts with an initial fast of one to two days), three-quarters achieve a reduction within two weeks, and 90% achieve a reduction within 23 days. If the diet does not begin with a fast, the time for half of the patients to achieve an improvement is longer (two weeks), but the long-term seizure reduction rates are unaffected.[44] Parents are encouraged to persist with the diet for at least three months before any final consideration is made regarding efficacy.[9]

Leanne: Yeah, that believed in coconut from the very beginning and they didn’t go on this campaign of ridding it from the earth. I’m totally pro coconut oil and saturated fat. It’s been so great chatting with you about this cholesterol piece. I hope that a lot of our listeners, watchers, readers are going to benefit from the information that you’ve shared. If they want to know more about you Cholesterol Clarity is awesome. Keto Clarity is great. Your podcast, just download every single podcast Jimmy’s ever made. It will keep you busy for the next two years.
Some children with epilepsy can have disabling seizures―up to hundreds per day―which can severely limit their quality of life and prevent them from participating in school and social activities. Seizure control is the first step in helping kids with epilepsy achieve otherwise normal lives. When medication isn't working and/or the side effects from it are too much to bear, the ketogenic diet might be offered as a treatment option. In fact, the statistics show that it is often more effective than another, new medication, and frequently also improves alertness and behavior.
Spices are an easy way of adding more flavor, vitamins and antioxidants into your food. Furthermore, they are low in carbohydrates. Make sure that you're using fresh, organic spices for maximum flavor and nutrients. Some spices sold in packets found at the local grocery should not be used, as they often contain fillers that can increase your carbohydrate consumption, thus putting you out of ketosis.26
The LGIT has proven to be effective in the treatment of focal and generalized epilepsies, with a reduction in seizure frequency occurring at 3–14 months and seizure control continuing for at least 1 year after the end of treatment (Pfeifer et al., 2008; Kim et al., 2017; Rezaei et al., 2018). Pfeifer and Thiele (2005) reported the use of LGIT in 20 drug-resistant epilepsy patients aged 5 to 34 years. After an average of 20 weeks of treatment, 50% of the patients had a >90% reduction in seizures. Coppola et al. (2011) studied 15 children, adolescents and young adults with refractory epileptic encephalopathies treated with LGIT. After 12 months they found 75–90% seizure reduction in 6 patients (40%), 50% reduction in 2 patients (13.3%), and the seizure frequency unchanged in 7 (46.7%). In a retrospective review of LGIT in 76 children, Muzykewicz et al. (2009) found an overall >50% reduction in seizure frequency in 50% of the patients at 3 months, which reached 66% at 12 months.
"This is something that physicians will want to include in their discussion about the risks and benefits of this particular treatment," the director of Detroit's Henry Ford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program tells WebMD. "But we know that uncontrolled seizures carry all kinds of risks. This remains a useful treatment. But like many treatments, it is not without risks."

Yes, this is an evolving area. Classical (traditional) ketogenic diet, MCT oil ketogenic diet, modified Atkins diet, low glycemic index diet, modified ketogenic diet are currently used worldwide. The amount and type of fat, protein, and carbohydrate characterizes the difference between these diet types. Different ketogenic diet centres may use different versions of the ketogenic diet. Many centres offer more than one option. Your ketogenic diet trained medical team will help you determine which type of diet is best suited for you or your child. Each patient should be treated as an individual and every ketogenic diet should be tailored to meet their particular needs.


The anti-angiogenesis love affair not only affected conventional researchers and oncologists, but infiltrated deeply into the “alternative” cancer world. During the late 1990s, I read numerous articles lauding the anti-angiogenic effect of various herbs. Some ten years ago or more, a number of alternative physicians began promoting artemesinin, an herb from Africa long used as a treatment for malaria, as a “natural” anti-angiogenesis supplement.
Once a child is considered a candidate for the diet, a screening evaluation by selected members of the team responsible for implementing the diet is initiated. This screening includes a comprehensive evaluation by the dietitians and nursing staff. The purpose of this evaluation is to educate the family and to assess their ability to maintain the diet. At the same time, the different types of meal plans and foods that the child can eat are discussed, along with their preparation. Children traditionally are fasted for 24 hours prior to the initiation of the diet, beginning after the dinner on the day prior to admission. Occasionally, medically complex children will not be fasted. There are many ketogenic diet centers now that do not fast children, and research indicates that there is no difference in efficacy between fasted and non-fasted children. However, a more rapid reduction of seizures often seen with earlier ketosis can lead to a quicker response . Evidence also suggests that fasting is not the same as the diet in terms of mechanism of action and so may be of additional help. The decision to fast should be individualized and also at the comfort level of the ketogenic diet team.
As I wrote in my book, “Nevertheless on the therapy [Kelley’s] he slowly began to improve, to the point his mental status normalized and over a period of a year, he progressed from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane.” When I completed my study in 1987, he had survived 5 years and was in excellent health, with no evidence of cancer in his brain or spinal canal.

Cardiovascular Disease – A ketogenic diet is often feared because of its high dependence on dietary fat for energy. This misguided fear is based on the outdated notion that eating fat negatively affects cardiovascular health, in particular, blood lipids. On the contrary, a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet may actually improve blood lipid profiles, including decreased triglycerides and total and LDL cholesterol, and increased HDL cholesterol.39 40 41 A ketogenic diet might also alter the size and volume of the different LDL particles in a beneficial way, shifting from small, dense particles (believed to be atherogenic) to large, fluffy particles. 42 (See the Natural Grocers Customer Literature File Fats— Saturated for more information)
Consistency of meal preparation and consumption is necessary to see optimal effective seizure control. You should receive training on the proper principles of ketogenic meal preparation. Depending on the type of ketogenic diet, your medical team may require that you weigh foods on a scale, or you will be advised to use household measuring utensils.
Dietary treatments for diseases have probably been used for over 2000 years (Yuen and Sander, 2014). Fasting is the only therapeutic measure against epilepsy recorded in the Hippocratic collection. Two Parisian physicians, G Guelpa, and A Marie, recorded the first modern use of starvation as a treatment for epilepsy in 1911 (Wheless, 2008). The modern use of this form of therapy began in the early 1920s (Lima et al., 2014; Yuen and Sander, 2014), when Drs. Stanley Cobb and W.G. Lennox of Harvard at Harvard Medical School observed the effects of starvation as a treatment for epilepsy, noting that seizure improvement typically occurred after 2–3 days (Wheless, 2008). In the same period, Dr. Russel M. Wilder a physician at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, suggested that a specific diet could produce similar benefits to fasting, and proposed a diet that produced ketonemia. He studied a series of patients with epilepsy and demonstrated a result equivalent to fasting and that was maintained for a much longer period. This new concept of diet was designated the “KD.” Peterman, also at the Mayo Clinic, described a composition of the KD similar to that used today (Wilder, 1921).

In fact, ketogenic diets have been used for nearly a century to treat seizures, says Gary Yellen, a professor or neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. “It dates back to studies from the 1920s that found this kind of diet was like a sustainable form of fasting, which we’ve known, supposedly since antiquity, to be beneficial for epilepsy,” he says.

We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.
If your ketone value is above 0.5 mmol/L first thing in the morning, you’re in ketosis. However, a range of 0.7 to 2.0 mmol/L is optimal for most people. If your value is above 3.0 mmol/L, you may not be eating enough and/or should consider adding some carbohydrates back to your diet. However, in the long run, your goal should not be a specific number on the ketone meter, but an improvement in your symptoms.
Yes and there is also 1000s studies that are paid by the meat industry to say that meat is good. What u say is right BUT the meat industry is really messed up too. Super intensive production of really low quality beef is killing us and the planet. Watch cowspiracy/ and documentaries of the sort and then tell m the balk of the problem is not here.. or at least as big as sugar corporations
The ketogenic diet may also worsen some mitochondrial diseases, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, or organic acidurias. In general a metabolic screen, including urine amino and organic acids, serum amino acids, lactate, pyruvate, and carnitine profile, should be performed before starting the ketogenic diet to make sure children do not have a contraindication to using it.
A ketogenic diet may be an option for some people who have had difficulty losing weight with other methods.  The exact ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein that is needed to achieve health benefits will vary among individuals due to their genetic makeup and body composition. Therefore, if one chooses to start a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consult with one’s physician and a dietitian to closely monitor any biochemical changes after starting the regimen, and to create a meal plan that is tailored to one’s existing health conditions and to prevent nutritional deficiencies or other health complications. A dietitian may also provide guidance on reintroducing carbohydrates once weight loss is achieved.
I mean, they have no real scientific basis for their belief. The idea that high levels of cholesterol is dangerous is known as the Diet Heart Hypothesis. This hypothesis was first put forth by Ancel Keys in 1955. It states that eating high levels of saturated fat will increase your cholesterol, and increased cholesterol will clog arteries and cause heart disease.

Instead of thinking about the total carbs you’re eating, assess what those carbs provide to you. Do the majority of your carbs come from fruit and vegetables, with a payload of fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants? Fantastic. Or are you consuming them in the form of added sugars (cookies, candy, soda) or refined flour? If you are, you know what to do.

Hi Maya. I LOVE your site!! Interesting, informative with fab recipes and ideas. Hubby and I have just started eating low carb and I have to say, we are not finding it too difficult and I already feel sooo much better!! I find the hardest part is choosing low carb veg, I feel as if we are not eating enough. Any suggestions on how to get more veggies into our diet?


Hello, following a Keto diet with IF but cholesterol ratios not proper. Diet fats come mainly from olive oil, avocado oil, once a week beef, no butter, bacon etc. Had to go back on statins. Goal is stay away from drugs. Is there a doctor/clinic in the Boston area that you can recommend that understands/tests what you explain in this article? Please advise.

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