Comparing the Classic Ketogenic Diet to Less Restrictive Diets

In the classic ketogenic diet, fat makes up 90% of the calories. Although proven to be effective for managing seizures, the classic ketogenic diet is strict and can be unpleasant for some children to eat. An alternative to the ketogenic diet is the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) ketogenic diet. The MCT diet is less restrictive in that fat makes up only 70% of the calories, with MCT oil taken as a supplement. An even less restrictive diet, the Modified Atkins Diet, only limits the intake of carbohydrates.

Dr. Elizabeth Donner at the Hospital for Sick Children is comparing how effective these diets are for managing seizures and whether they are well-tolerated in children with epilepsy. The question is whether the less restrictive diets – which are often much easier to maintain for both the child and their family – are as effective as the classic ketogenic diet at reducing seizures.

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