In 2014, a group of three Brazilian researchers assessed the available literature on the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets in a meta-analysis. They specifically looked at trials that compared a ketogenic diet that consisted of no more than 50 grams of carbs per day with a conventional, low-fat diet with less than 30% of calories from fat. The researchers included 13 studies that lasted 12 months or more with a total of 1577 subjects. “There is solid evidence to support use of the ketogenic diet in individuals with epilepsy who have seizures that are drug resistant,” says Dority. In the short term, people who follow the diet report weight loss.
This means that the body burns fat for fuel, as its main source of fuel and breaks it down into ‘ketone bodies’ (or ‘ketones’) in a process called ketosis. Research supports this eating pattern for epilepsy when managed along with a health care team, since its treatment can be very complex. However, with regards to the keto diet as a tool for weight loss and other health benefits, the jury is still out.