The ketogenic diet is a commonly used term now, specially in relation with Epilepsy. It consists of a high-fat and at the same time a low-carbohydrate food plan that will assist in controlling seizures caused during epilepsy. This diet plan is approved only by the concerned physicians as well as has to be cautiously monitored by a dietitian.
By the term ketogenic diet we refer to a diet plan which will produce ketones in the body (keto refers to ketone and genic means producing). Ketones are created as the human-body makes use of the fats present in the body to produce energy. Generally the human-body utilizes carbohydrates present in the body as a source of energy, but since the ketogenic diet is extremly short in carbohydrates, fats replaces as the main source of fuel in its place. These Ketones are not harmful. While diagnosed they can be found in the patients urine, blood, as well as breath. Ketones have been considered as one of the most probable reasons behind the success of this diet plan as presence of increased ketone levels have lead to better seizure control. However, other theories also explain the working of this diet.
Of late it has been noticed that the children have been mostly benefitted by the diet. Doctors generally prescribe the ketogenic diet to children whose seizures could not be controlled by various other medicines. Doctors rarely suggest this diet for adults. However, some studies have shown that though this diet plan seems to work on adults as well, but the results are very restrictive for a large amount adults.
The ketogenic diet consists of 3 or 4gms of fat in proportion to every 1gm of carbohydrate as well as protein, i.e., in a 3:1 ratio. The dietician will formulate a diet which consists of 75-100 calories and 1-2gms of protein for each kilogram of body weight. Maintaining the proportion is very essential because of which it becomes mandatory to take the advice and assistance of a qualified dietician.
The ketogenic diet has shown positive results in reducing or even preventing seizures in a number of cases especially with the children who have not been much benefitted by medications. At least 50 percent decrease in the seizures have been noticed in half the number of children who took the ketogenic diet whereas about 10-15 percent of then could get a complete relief from seizure.