Keto Provides Hope
I am so excited to be teaming up with Jessica Lee to help spread hope through knowledge of how the Ketogenic Diet is changing lives. "Fad Diets" often times get a bad rap, and though the Keto Diet might not be the best way to weight loss, its health benefits are undeniable when it comes to the treatment of epilepsy. I'm not sure if many know about the use of this diet, but I do know that you will be touched by the personal experience in how the Keto Diet provided hope for the Lee Family and how the Keto Hope Foundation continues to advance the Ketogenic Diet in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy one family at a time.
“So, what’s the deal with this Keto Diet anyway?”
In summary, the Keto Diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet that changes how the body uses energy. I hope you’ve read Carolyn’s recent article in Cooking Light because she presents an unbiased educated review of the ketogenic diet, its benefits, and its potential harms when it comes to health and weight loss.
Let me give you another perspective...
The Ketogenic Diet (also called Keto Diet) may be labeled a fad diet but it actually has been in use for over 100 years as a treatment for epilepsy. It did have a resurgence about 20 years ago in the medical field which is lucky for us because back in 2014 our daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy at 4 months old.
Imagine your infant child, having dozens of seizures a day, and the medications aren’t working. You feel helpless and hopeless. Trust me.
Enter the ketogenic diet.
Within days her seizures were significantly reduced and within a month completely controlled. You know what else is amazing about this diet? The effect on brain metabolism is often long-lasting meaning we could wean her off (and we did about 18 months later) and her seizures would remain controlled (and they are!).
But wait, that means we had a toddler on this incredibly strict diet -- how in the world did that work? Honestly, it wasn’t that difficult as long as we planned ahead. We traveled with coconut oil and a scale everywhere and her first foods were vegetables and healthy fats such as avocado, olives, and nuts. I don’t deny that as children get older (and the more exposed they are to processed, carbohydrate heavy foods) the harder the diet can be but the benefits are worth it.
Antiepileptic drugs often have mood altering side effects whereas on the diet she was more alert and happier than ever. The most common side effect from the Keto Diet is GI distress (nausea, constipation, vomiting) so it certainly isn’t a completely benign undertaking. One of my biggest concerns for our daughter was her future heart health but the recent Lancet PURE study reaffirms that carbs (NOT FAT) are responsible for cardiovascular disease. That’s just one example of how we are all changing the way we think about food.
For our family it was absolutely the right choice and we wanted to help others with their journey on the diet so in 2016 we launched Keto Hope Foundation. It is a way to offer support to parents, help educate communities and provide ketogenic friendly snacks for kids on the ketogenic diet. Our Keto Bakery, which is also nonprofit, has been so much fun and all of the products are available for order online through the website.
The Keto Diet, because of its effects on brain metabolism, is being studied as a possible treatment for brain tumors and disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s. We know from current research that it is often at least an equivalent alternative to pharmaceuticals when it comes to epilepsy. With so much focus being on what we put in our body, it’s nice to know that Hippocrates was right-
“Let food be thy medicine.”
Jessica Lee is a mom, physician, avid reader of books and lover of good food. As a co-founder of Keto Hope Foundation, she has learned how to bake a perfectly crunchy cracker. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her incredibly supportive husband and two mischievous angels/kids.