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The Ketogenic Diet

Keto meal.PNG

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic Diet Therapies (KDTs) are medically supervised diets that can be used in the treatment of epilepsy in infants, children and adults. At Austin Health, there are two types of KDTs used in management of epilepsy; the Classical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) and Modified Ketogenic Diet (MKD). The CKD is very low in carbohydrate, adequate in protein and high in fat. While MKD is also low in carbohydrates, adequate in protein and high in fat, it is considered a more liberal form of the diet. These two diets ensure the body will burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrate and protein. This creates ketones. When the body is in a high ketone state, called ketosis, the brain no longer uses glucose for energy but instead uses ketones. Ketosis decreases seizure activity in some circumstances by mechanisms not fully understood.

Generally, the Classical Ketogenic Diet is the preferred diet choice to start with for children and the Modified Ketogenic Diet is the preferred diet choice to start with for adolescents and adults. The most appropriate type of Ketogenic Diet Therapies for the individual should be discussed with the treating team.

KDTs should not be commenced without medical and dietetic supervision. Regular medical monitoring is important to prevent potential side effects, such as nutritional deficiencies, poor growth in children, kidney stones and high cholesterol.

The Ketogenic Diet team at Austin Health

Ketogenic Diet Program Leader Professor Ingrid Scheffer, Paediatric Neurologist

Ketogenic Dietitians; Kellie Draffin and Shea Godsill

Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy Clinical Nurse Consultant; Brialie Forster

For more information contact Brialie Forster on: (+61 3) 9035 7190 or

Paediatric and Adolescent Unit (Ward 2W) at Austin Health (+61 3) 9496 5515

Click here to download a pamphlet to learn more about the Ketogenic Diet

Interested in buying Ketocooking, a book full of recipes for the Ketogenic Diet? Click here

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