Ketogenic Diet Resources

More and more I recommend the ketogenic diet, also known as the paleo diet, GAPS, Atkins, or low carb diet, to people struggling with inflammation, obesity, cancer or psychiatric illness. The basic idea is simple. You increase fats and proteins, and greatly reduce sugars and simple carbohydrates. The body begins to burn fat instead of sugar, and switches from excessive insulin production into ketosis. Most people lose weight fairly quickly with this diet, depending on how well they are able to avoid carbohydrates. Usually the weight loss is biggest around the mid abdomen region, also known affectionately as the wheat belly or beer belly. Other health benefits include cancer reduction, since sugar is known to “feed” cancer, and improving brain function. The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920’s to treat epilepsy, especially in children. Ninety years later no one is quite sure how it works but it does. Since bipolar illness is often now treated with anti-epileptic drugs, some have postulated that perhaps bipolar illness would also benefit from a ketogenic diet, and there are some small studies suggesting this is true.

The greatest myth in health and nutrition is that there is one diet that is superior for everyone. People have very different requirements at each stage of the lifecycle – compare the needs of a 10 year old boy to a pregnant or breastfeeding mom to a 60 year obese woman with breast cancer or a 50 year old male post MI. Each situation has a different need for calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In addition many people have unique food sensitivities that are making them far more miserable than they understand. Removing gluten and casein from the diet seems to benefit a subset of autistic patients. Recently a large clinical antipsychotic trial found unexpectedly that almost 24 percent of schizophrenics had antigliadin (gluten) antibodies. In addition Spiritual preferences, cultural preferences and environment also play a role in determining diets. However for people who feel fatigued and ache all the time, have trouble maintaining an ideal weight, have been diagnosed prediabetic or have mood problems, the ketogenic diet or one of its variants is worth exploring.

Please remember that the ketogenic diet or paleo diet increases meat, vegetable and fruit consumption. Meats should always be grass-fed, to provide a non-inflammatory ratio of omega 3’s to omega 6’s. Know the dirty dozen list of what fruits and vegetable are found to be most toxic. Start slow, first getting rid of processed foods (as a hint anything bought in a plastic bag with a trademarked name is probably not good for you), trans fats, artificial sweeteners and sugars, and then start on reducing grains.

Here are some resources for people looking to get started on this diet:

AUTOIMMUNE PALEO (an elimination diet esp. good for people with Hashimotos, RA, fibromyalgia)
http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol/
http://www.thepaleomom.com/aip-friendly/
http://autoimmune-paleo.com/
http://www.autoimmune-paleo.com/resources/

MEDITERRANEAN KETO
http://www.diabeticmediterraneandiet.com/ketogenic-mediterranean-diet/

JOHN HOPKINS KETO (for epilepsy)
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/specialty_areas/epilepsy/pediatric_epilepsy/ketogenic_diet.html
http://home.iprimus.com.au/kuekids/keto/infofact/jhkdfs.html/

RESOURCES FOR HEALTH BENEFITS

KETOGENIC DIET and CANCER 
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/16/ketogenic-diet-benefits.aspx
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/749855

KETOGENIC DIET and BIPOLAR 
http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/10/ketogenic-diets-and-bipolar-disorder.html

KETOGENIC DIET and INSULIN RESISTANCE

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/does-eating-low-carb-cause-insulin-resistance/#ixzz2eBp7aReK

AUTISM and GLUTEN/CASEIN FREE DIETS (GAPS DIET) 
The benefit of gluten free/ casein free diets in a subgroup of autistic patients seem well established. One explanation is that gluten may actually increase endogenous opiods in the brain which worsens autistic behavior. 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23316152
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22564339
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23990835

SCHIZOPHRENIA and WHEAT 
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01558557/

COMMON OBJECTIONS to the KETOGENIC DIET

CARDIOVASCULAR – In the 80’s we were told by the government that FAT WAS HIGHLY UNHEALTHY, and were given a food pyramid and told to eat at least 5 servings of complex carbohydrates. Most of us began to find the sight of bacon and eggs horrifying, and dutifully ate lots of COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES. And our weight kept creeping up till two-thirds of us are now considered overweight or obese by the government, and Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome became an epidemic. However a number of studies over the last ten years has completely challenged the FAT IS AWFUL hypothesis, and in fact shown that diets high in good fats are actually more healthful. To get started with relearning that fat is healthy start here.

  • A 2011 study found that “reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.”
  • From a 2010 study out of Japan, saturated fat intake “was inversely associated with mortality from total stroke.”
  • A 2010 meta-analysis found “that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/high-fat-diet-healthy-safe/#ixzz2eBZr7Ku8

PLANT BASED – But the CHINA Study clearly showed that a plant based diet was much healthier. Not really. Here are some links that challenge the validity of the books conclusions:
http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Campbell-Masterjohn.html

Overall the selection of diet is highly personal and unique for each individual. However diet is one of the most important components of personal health. If you are struggling with a chronic physical or mental illness you owe it to yourself to experiment and discover what others have long known, that food is medicine.


Mary Ackerley MD, MD(H), ABIHM is a classically trained psychiatrist and homeopathic physician who specializes in the holistic treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, digestive disturbances and hormone replacement therapy.

She can be reached through her clinic MyPassion4Health at 520-299-5694 or online at www.MyPassion4Health.com

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