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Definition of Ketogenic diet

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ketogenic diet: a high-fat diet that dramatically restricts carbohydrates that has been used in the management of people with seizure disorders that have not responded to two antiseizure medications. The ketogenic diet produces a reaction in the body that is similar to the fasting state, known a ketosis. With ketosis, substances known as ketones or ketone bodies accumulate in the blood. These are the same substances that accumulate during ketoacidosis in people with type 1 diabetes. The ketogenic diet typically is not recommended for weight control, because it is not superior to other weight management plans and may be associated with health risks, including nutritional deficiencies. Also known as keto diet.

Reviewed on 6/13/2018


Romanowski, A, MS, RD. Ketogenic Diet: Which Patients Benefit? Medscape. Updated: March 20, 2018.

Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss. Harvard School of Public Health.

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