The Ketogenic Diet

Justine Friedman Clinical Dietician

The goal of the diet is to put the body into a state called ketosis by starving the body of glucose.

In this diet, Ketosis is achieved by allowing a daily allowance of on average 70% fat per day, a limit of 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and 20% protein per day generally from meat, eggs and cheese.

For those looking to control diabetes or to lose weight, this diet may be helpful, however for people with cancer, there are some concerns.

The diet limits sufficient intake of daily calories by limiting lean protein, fruit and vegetables and important dietary vitamins and minerals. Other areas of concern are unintentional weight loss and the fact this diet may inhibit appetite. Most concerning with the diet is it can cause a rise of ketones in the body that can put strain on the kidneys and cause nausea and dehydration.

Clearly, this way of eating may not be suitable for everyone. 

At this time, there is not enough data for the use of this way of eating for all types of cancer. Please do not try this type of diet without first discussing it with your health care team.

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