18 Jul High Fat Diet to Help Combat Medical Conditions
By Valentine Reed-Johnson, RD, CDN, Contributing Blogger
You may have seen a rise in marketing for full fat products, or maybe you have noticed the prevalence of avocados in restaurants. This recent trend is partially due to a wave of research supporting intake of good fats. However, you may be surprised to know that there is a medical diet out there which is, strangely enough, more focused on unhealthy fats.
For those who struggle with epilepsy, medications often aren’t enough. Especially for younger patients, alternative approaches are often much appreciated. Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet can help epileptics control symptoms. Hospitals around the country are introducing the diet on neurology floors, and the long term outcomes have been positive; at least a 50% reduction in seizures, some even cured.
The ketogenic diet is a high fat diet, rich in mostly saturated fats, and low in carbohydrates. Most ketogenic diets are a 4:1 ratio, providing 3-4 grams of fat to every 1 gram of carbs. The diet is challenging due to the limitation of carbohydrates and protein. This diet changes the metabolic state of the body making it burn fat, instead of carbs, for energy. Changing the state of metabolism to make the body burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy is a state called ketosis.
This is not an easy diet to follow, and must be closely supervised by a medical doctor and licensed or registered dietitian nutritionist (AKA RDN). This diet isn’t recommended for the average, healthy individual, and has potential negative long-term side effects, such as high blood fat levels.
Food As Medicine
As a dietitian it is exciting to know that there is an up-trending focus on food to help alleviate the symptoms of, or even cure certain diseases. Eastern medicine has always promoted the power of diet; it’s about time we caught on.
Valentine is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, currently working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. At the hospital she covers general medicine floors. Eventually, Valentine hopes to open up a private practice along side her hospital position. Valentine believes in providing practical nutrition knowledge, encouraging others to think logically when it comes to their health. Follow Valentine on twitter or check out her website.