Children With Epilepsy & Food

I am always excited to find uses of food that go beyond the level of enjoyment.  Food can bring people together, food can be a gift, and food can be ceremonial.  A new article in the New York Times magazine has enlightened me how food can be medicine. Although I don't often think of childhood epilepsy, it is a life-threatening condition that affects hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.  A new treatment that uses food as medicine is astounding to me.

The Times Magazine recently featured an article about Sam, a boy whose diet is specifically calculated to reduce seizures.  Interestingly, it is an abnormally high-fat diet that keeps his seizures at bay.  What would give many people a heart attack is what allows Sam a relatively normal lifestyle.  A typical week for Sam consists of "a quart and a third of heavy cream, nearly a stick and a half of butter, 13 teaspoons of coconut oil, 20 slices of bacon and 9 eggs."

This fat-centric diet is known as "keto," short for the process of ketosis, which tricks Sam's body into a starvation state by burning fat instead of carbohydrates.  I am in awe of this diet, which has an antiepilepctic effect.

Read more about Sam's story and the evolution of the keto diet's acceptance in medical facilities here.