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New apps simplify ketogenic low carb epilepsy diet, which also helps weight loss

Learn about ketogenic diets.
Victory Belt Publishing

For parents who have children with epilepsy, something as seemingly simple as planning family meals can require complex calculations. That's because many of them, under the guidance of their children's physicians, are turning to high fat low carb ketogenic diets that are precisely calculated to control seizures. Now several health professionals have worked together to design a mobile approach that they hope will simplify treatment, reported the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine on July 28.

Several studies have shown that ketogenic diets can provide physicians with an alternative to medication for patients who do not respond to other medications. However, because these types of low carb high fat (LCHF) diet plans must be calculated to include the correct proportions of protein, carbohydrates and fat, it can be challenging for parents to implement.

The medical professionals therefore decided to explore a way to use mobile applications to streamline meal planning. They used a linear algebraic model to automate the process. Although other ketogenic diet calculators are available, they feel that the mobile option offers both convenience and ease-of-use.

New studies have shown that ketogenic diets can also help with certain types of cancer, diabetes, dementia and weight loss. Neuropharmacologist and ketogenic diet researcher Dr. Dominic D'Agostino discussed his own use of ketogenic diets for cancer in a July 29 podcast with Jimmy Moore, author of "Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet."

Dr. D’Agostino bases his approach on the theory that cancer cells cannot grow without glucose. Because carbohydrates become glucose, the use of a ketogenic diet starves cancer cells. Moreover, ketogenic diets are high in fat with only moderate amounts of protein, which also makes a difference in the battle against cancer.

Several studies have been conducted as well on how ketogenic diets can help with weight loss. For example, a study published in Endocrine journal compared a very low calorie ketogenic diet with a standard low-calorie diet for treating epilepsy.

The researchers divided a group of obese patients into a ketogenic diet group and low-calorie diet group. At the end of one year, almost 90 percent of the ketogenic dieters had lost more than 10 percent of their starting weight while maintaining their muscle mass. The low-calorie dieters lost significantly less.

In an exclusive interview, Jimmy Moore revealed that he has used a high fat low carb ketogenic diet to lose 180 pounds. At his highest weight, he weighed 410 pounds.

Jimmy became a believer in the low carb approach when he lost 100 pounds in 100 days. "It was at that point that I knew I stumbled on to something pretty special."

The key to following a high fat low carb ketogenic diet for weight loss? "I actually enjoyed eating this way and felt like I could do it for the rest of my life. And after shedding 180 pounds in 2004, that's precisely what I've done in the decade since," he said.

For those who want to use the approach for weight loss, Jimmy emphasizes that it requires determining the correct amount of carbohydrates "to your individual tolerance level, moderate in protein to your personal threshold, and high in dietary fat, mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats. This is the essence of a ketogenic diet where I'm burning fat for fuel instead of being a sugar-burner."

Although the stores contain numerous products labeled "low carb," Jimmy recommends following the Paleo diet principle: Eat unprocessed, real food whenever possible. "Adhering to the real, whole foods promoted by the Paleo diet can improve the micronutrient make-up of your ketogenic diet and that's my aim on a daily basis," he summed up.

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