It’s Time to Rename “Fad Diets” as “Treatments” – You’re Not on the Real Keto Diet

Meet the keto diet.

However, in the epilepsy community, it’s known as the ketogenic diet and it can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s.

But, hey, someone said they lost 120 lbs on keto. So, toot, toot! All aboard the temporary weight loss train!

The ketogenic diet is not a diet. It’s a treatment for children and teens with uncontrolled (refractory) epilepsy. In 1994, it gained mainstream attention – as a seizure control treatment – when a young boy with refractory epilepsy was kept seizure free thanks to the ketogenic diet. I live with epilepsy, and I learned about the treatment as a teenager.

When a patient first goes on the ketogenic diet, it requires their doctor referring a dietitian. The dietitian calculates the ketogenic formula for the patient, accounting for their height, weight, level of physical activity, medications and/or supplements and so forth. Each morsel is either restricted, monitored, and measured to the milligram.

Unless you can claim these measures, you’re not eating the ketogenic diet. Because this high fat, low carb diet is a wing and a prayer for families. Not a chicken wing, hold the sauce.

We need to stop taking diets meant for chronic diseases and assigning them cutesy names just because we want thinner thighs and flat stomachs. Because these aren’t fad diets. They’re not even diets. They’re a treatment.

Yes, the ketogenic diet can help with other diseases, however, seizure control is the primary intent.

Fitting into your size 4 dress by New Year’s Eve isn’t a disease.

And please stop flipper-flop dieting. One day you’re keto. The next you’re gluten free. Then you’re paleo. Then back to keto.

A moment on paleo. Do you know what paleo is? It’s food found in nature by hunting and gathering. Do you remember the last time you saw paleo chocolate chip cookies hanging from a tree? I don’t. But stores carry paleo chocolate chip cookies. So, they’re out there. Being gathered. In nature.

So, please, stop stealing diets. No one was interested in Celiac disease until they saw people becoming temporarily thinner. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Oh, you’re on the gluten free diet! How much weight have you lost?”

Um, my soul and will to live?

The Celiac disease diet can also help fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. But I wrote “can,” meaning it’s possible. Plus, a person with Celiac disease doesn’t have a choice. They have to ensure each ingredient is gluten free.

Restrictive, ketogenic and Celiac disease diets aren’t fads. They aren’t optional for people whose health depend on an ingredient or calculation. These diets should be called treatments.

Not fads.

Because you can cheat on a fad diet.

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