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Diet favoured by celebs helps manage epilepsy

The ketogenic diet is one favoured by many celebs such as Kim Kardashian and Terri Hatcher, thanks to its high-fat, low-carbohydrate content. The diet ensures that the body uses fat as its primary energy source as opposed to the usual energy source of carbohydrates. Different and much stricter than the Atkins diet, which prescribes its followers high-protein and low-carbohydrate intake, the ketogenic diet is often prescribed by physicians and doctors to those with epilepsy.

Body fat has been held responsible for the last forty years as the cause of medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative illnesses. The ketogenic diet, which rids the body of most fat, has proven more effective at preventing epileptic seizures amongst children who don’t respond to drugs, has proven to reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes and has been shown to stave cancer cells.

The diet works well for children who have focal seizures and is likely to improve their condition markedly, but is unlikely to stop seizures altogether, which is the effect it has on other patients with epilepsy. Over half the children who begin eating according to the ketogenic diet plan have at least a 50% reduction in the number of their seizures, and between 10-15% of children become seizure-free.

“There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help,” Dr Volek, a professor at the University of Connecticut in America, and a pioneer of the ketogenic lifestyle.

The ketogenic diet consists of eating healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and high-quality protein. Junk food trans-fats like partially hydrogenated vegetable oils should be avoided at all costs, and at the same time, avoid foods with high levels of sodium and high-intake of protein as these are anti-ketogenic and inhibit the effects of the diet.

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