Most of the time I will post Ketogenic lifestyle hack, tips, recipes, reviews and personal experiences with the Ketogenic/low carb lifestyle that I’m following in a fun and playful manner… because I’m only a qualified expert on….myself and I make posts in the hopes that my interpretation of the ketogenic lifestyle resonates with people and in some way can relate to their own lives and make a positive change.
Writing this fun and playful blog is primarily for weight management/ fat loss etc, because that’s my struggle. Long before my Super Size Big Mac & Fries addiction was cured by the Ketogenic Diet, doctors were prescribing the Ketogenic diet for epilepsy patients. Below are excerpts from a 2018 report by Mark J. Occhipinti, Ph.D. What is the History and Evolution of the Keto Diet?
Mark J. Occhipinti, PHD.is the president of the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). He has presented at over 100 fitness conferences in 46 states and abroad, presenting to over 120,000 health and fitness professionals, including appearances on BBC and various international television and radio broadcasts. Mark received the CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year. Served on the medical advisory board of several online health websites, and as a fitness expert for several U.S. newspapers.
The Basics of Ketosis
At a basic level, the ketogenic diet is rooted in the idea that limiting your carbohydrate intake and consuming fats instead will put your body in a “fasted state” where it will burn ketones instead of glucose- resulting in better health for you.
The central idea is that following a meal plan that’s 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs puts the body in a state called ketosis. While your system primarily chooses to run on glucose (sugar), restricting your carbohydrate intake will cause it to feel that it’s starving, so it will generate a secondary energy source from fat to continue sending glucose to the brain. When you limit your carb supply, your body starts to break down fat into compounds called ketones, which are an alternative fuel source that many people believe has impressive benefits for your health and weight.
The key here is that when you’re in ketosis the body thinks that it’s in a Fasted State. It’s this fasted state when the body breaks down fat into ketones and burns it for fuel that low carb dieters strive for. As Dr. Occhipinti points out in this next section, Fasting plays an integral part in the nutritional treatment of epilepsy.
A History of Epilepsy Research
While the term ‘ketogenic’ wasn’t used until the 20th century, there’s a historical precedent for fasting for health. Ancient Greek physicians advocated for restricting one’s diet to treat diseases like epilepsy and other health problems, and fasting was considered to be integral to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, fasting is the only epilepsy treatment recorded by Hippocrates, and it was standard practice across much of the world for over two thousand years.
While most people today start the ketogenic diet to lose weight or otherwise improve their health, the eating strategy originated as a treatment for epilepsy. The research story begins with the first modern study of fasting and its role in epilepsy, which took place in France around 1911. The study found that epilepsy patients who consumed low-calorie diets combined with periods of fasting experienced fewer seizures and had fewer adverse health effects from the condition.
Around the same time, an American osteopathic physician named Hugh Conklin began to recommend fasting to his epileptic patients to help them get their seizures under control. Using a method that caused epileptic patients to fast for 18-25 days at a time, he boasted a 50 percent success rate for adults, and as high as 90 percent for children.
The Ketogenic Diet: A Compromise from Fasting
At first glance, these results were impressive. However, there was one glaring problem. While researchers had proof that fasting could control seizures, the obvious complication was that fasts are meant to be temporary. Many patients found that their seizures came back once they returned to their regular diet. As other doctors began working to replicate these results, some experimented with modified fasts that focused on eliminating starches and sugars, rather than restricting all calories equally. Specifically, Dr. Wilder at the Mayo Clinic observed that certain epilepsy patients had fewer seizures when their blood sugar was lowered from eating a high-fat, low-carb diet. He consequently created the ketogenic diet as a way to mimic the metabolism that fasting produces.
While there were plenty of cases where the ketogenic diet proved successful in 1938, with the discovery of phenytoin, an anticonvulsant drug, the focus shifted to developing new compounds of this kind….hard to believe that doctors would rather prescribe a drug versus having patients maintain a nutritional regimen. (insert sarcasm here!). To be fair, the world was a different place in the late 30’s, they had a global crisis of their own and they were just entering the “wonder drug” era… however, there was more money in selling monthly medication prescriptions than prescribing a diet… a paradigm that still exists today!
The Ketogenic diet had a resurgence in the late 90’s, when Jim Abrahams, American movie director, producer & writer, best known for iconic spoof movies such as Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie & Hot Shots among others, his son, Charlie who had difficult-to-control epilepsy that began in 1992 since he was one-years-old. As a last resort, they turned to the Ketogenic Diet through the John Hopkins hospital for help.
The diet worked! Within 48-hours, Charlie miraculously went from having about one hundred seizures a day to none at all and get off of the 4 anti-convulsant medications he was taking within a month. Remarkably, Charlie became epilepsy-free for over twenty years.
Their story & the Ketogenic diet got national attention in 1997 when Jim wrote directed “…First, Do No Harm” starring Meryl Streep and Fred Ward…. I need to see this movie again, I don’t fully remember it, but if Meryl Streep was in the movie… I know I saw it because my wife is a HUGE Meryl Streep fan!
As I said earlier, this post is a little out of the norm for me… since I look to write “fun & playful” posts. I hope that you found this informative and interesting and would love to read your comments… my pledge is to respond to every comment in a timely manner.
Just to stay grounded and add a little fun and some more value here… check out the video and recipe below for Strawberry Cheesecake fat bombs from the folks at Custom Keto Diet… I’ll look to make these in the future and upload a post to see if I was able to make them as good as they look like here in the video
Keto Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs
Preparation time: 1 hour
🍽 Servings: 3 fat bombs
30 grams of Strawberries (fresh or frozen), diced
100 grams Cream Cheese, softened
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Erythritol
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1) Puree the strawberries and erythritol in a food processor.
2) Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
3) Divide the dough into balls and chill until ready to serve.
➡️ Nutritional Information:
Energy – 146 kcal
Protein – 2.6g (7%)
Fat – 14g (85%)
Carbohydrates – 3g (8%)
Fiber – 0.8g