Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable seizures affecting children and adults. The cause of these seizures is unknown and the condition is chronic in nature. The symptoms can only be managed with a combination of medications, common treatments for epilepsy seizures, and alternative therapies for a better life.
One can also try ketogenic and Atkins diet that have been proven to be effective in seizure control according to recent studies. The body converts fats into energy on these diets as opposed to converting carbohydrates into fuel for essential functions. Here is a quick overview, comparison, and associated benefits of the same.
A keto diet is considered among one of the oldest forms of treatments for epilepsy seizures. The diet consists of foods that are rich in fats, moderate in proteins, and low in carbs. Often, medical professionals recommend a ketogenic diet for people who are suffering from severe symptoms of epilepsy. Note that the foods that form part of a keto diet are effective for managing the symptoms in both children and adults. Studies have shown that the frequency of seizures can be controlled and, in most cases, reduced by way of fasting.
A ketogenic diet mimics this state of fasting by incorporating only those foods that are low in carbohydrates, contain moderate proteins, and are rich in fats. The diet helps produce ketones that trigger metabolic changes to promote an anti-seizure effect. Recent evidence shows that the keto diet is effective as it helps in controlling seizures among the many symptoms of epilepsy. However, the diet will vary in terms of effectiveness depending on the type of epilepsy and its associated symptoms.
Modified Atkins Diet
As an alternative to a keto diet, the modified Atkins diet has limited restrictions when it comes to foods making it a more palatable diet for epilepsy seizure treatment. This diet was developed at the John Hopkins hospital and combines the elements of a classic keto diet and Atkins diet to provide a 1:1 or 2:1 macronutrient ratio of carbohydrate to protein intake. Note that the levels will vary depending on the age of the person and the severity of the symptoms of epilepsy.
However, studies have shown that the diet is particularly effective in children suffering from frequent seizures and epilepsy attacks. An Atkins diet, in general, incorporates beef, pork, bacon, and lamb while excellent sources of protein include salmon, trout, and sardines. Butter, cheese, cream, and full-fat yogurt are essential dairy products. Kale, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli are vegetables that pack the essential vitamins and nutrients to maintain a chemical balance.