Is Keto Safe For Kids?

Navigating the world of nutrition can be challenging enough for an adult. When it comes to kids, many parents apply their dietary preferences to the whole family. This approach certainly saves time and money with shopping and meal preparation, but fad diets and the nutritional needs of growing children and young athletes are not equal.

What Is The Keto Diet?

Keto has become a popular dietary approach for many adults looking to lose weight and those active in the fitness industry. In general terms, Keto or “ketogenic” diet is a low carbohydrate, high protein meal plan. Several popular diets can fall under this umbrella including paleo, Atkins, and the South Beach Diet. Die-hard keto followers focus more on protein and fat for 90 percent of their calories, leaving a very slim carbohydrate margin.

Harvard Medical School describes keto as: “The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.” In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein.”

It’s a restrictive form of eating in that some claim it helps to shed pounds and improve performance. While many adults may experiment or swear by it, should children and young athletes adhere to a keto diet? Let’s look at arguments for both sides.

Keto for kids…Yes

The Harvard School of Medicine also points out that the keto diet is used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. Studies since the 1920s show that keto can reduce seizures by 50% in children with epilepsy when appropriately prescribed as a diet. And some research has shown keto diets help children with brain cancer. tumors depend on carbs (glucose) for energy. The keto diet has been said to starve tumor cells of the glucose they need, thus helping reduce tumor size when combined with other forms of treatment. An article in the medical journal Aging (Albany, N.Y.) entitled “Ketogenic diet in cancer therapy,” summarizes the…

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