While the evidence behind ketogenic diets for diabetes is still preliminary and the evidence for weight loss isn’t all that convincing (more on that next), the evidence of using the diet to treat epilepsy is extremely robust. The idea for treating people with epilepsy with the keto diet came about in the 1920s, when researchers observed that people who fasted experienced fewer seizures. (Researchers still aren’t sure why the diet can work for epilepsy, but a few mechanisms have been proposed, including making neurons more resilient during seizures.)

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The keto diet isn’t exactly new. It’s been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s, and it’s had promising outcomes from treating Type 2 Diabetes. However, epilepsy and diabetes aren’t the only reason people give the ketogenic diet a try. It’s also used as a diet for weight loss. The diet banishes most carbs, including fruit, and opts-in for fatty foods like avocados, salmon, eggs, cheese, butter, oil, and the holy grail of fatty meats — bacon.

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Thank you… I would appreciate the calculator in spreadsheet form… I just entered my first day…yikes!! it’s a disaster… And, I didn’t enjoy the food// didn’t know what to eat….when I did the % of protein, carb and fat… the values were 56gm, 13gm, and 71gm … I don’t get how to put a simple day’s food on paper? I thought I had to put cream in my coffee to help the intake of fat… forgot that cheese and egg are protein as well… I love veggies but have t o restrict the intake… any suggestions would help… thanks Joanne

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DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry): If you can afford it, a DEXA scan will give you the most accurate results. A DEXA is an X-ray treatment that measures body composition and can detect bone mineral density, lean body mass, and fat mass with great accuracy. However, they can only be done on a health facility and a comprehensive session can cost up to $160.

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^ Freeman JM, Vining EP, Pillas DJ, Pyzik PL, Casey JC, Kelly LM. The efficacy of the ketogenic diet—1998: a prospective evaluation of intervention in 150 children. Pediatrics. 1998 Dec;102(6):1358–63. doi:10.1542/peds.102.6.1358. PMID 9832569. https://web.archive.org/web/20040629224858/http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press/1998/DECEMBER/981207.HTM Lay summary]—JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Updated 7 December 1998. Cited 6 March 2008.

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Today, the ketogenic diet is the world’s fastest growing diet, and with good reason. When practiced correctly, it has been proven to burn fat, reduce inflammation, fight cancer, balance hormones and gut bacteria, improve neurological diseases, and even increase lifespan. Unfortunately, many people remain unaware of several key factors that are crucial to the diet’s success, setting them up for frustration, failure and relapse.

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