Keto diet for children: is it good?

This eating plan has become a trend in recent years and is very popular among celebrities. Low carb intake accelerates weight loss, but is the Keto diet recommended for kids?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet in which the body produces small fuel modules in the liver called ketones, which are used for energy. According to Top Doctors Spain, ketones are an alternative fuel for the body, used when there is a shortage of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

“The entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, allowing fat burning to increase dramatically. The body is in a state of ketosis when it produces ketones”.

The Keto diet consists of low carbohydrate consumption. Photo: Pixabay
The Keto diet consists of low carbohydrate consumption. Photo: Pixabay

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A healthy relationship with food

The Keto diet is indicated for particular cases, both in adults and children; it is recommended for children who have epilepsy, so it cannot be applied to every child, details the nutritionist Rosa Ávila.

The restriction of food is not healthy on a physical level since children need to consume all food groups for their development; in addition, by prohibiting products with sugar or junk food, curiosity is aroused, and they likely consume them in secret so that it is necessary to maintain a balance.

“It is a diet you cannot follow in the long term; zero sugar diets are not recommended for children either. It is not advisable to exclude food groups such as meat or carbohydrates; children need all food groups because they serve a function”.

The specialist highlights that to have a healthy diet, it is necessary to adapt the foods made at home and try to include at least three food groups in each meal.

“Diets should not be maintained long-term. To make it easier for moms to incorporate fruits and vegetables, you have to adapt the foods they usually eat and thus modify their meals”.

Consumption of all food groups is important for the development of children. Photo: Pixabay
Consumption of all food groups is important for the development of children. Photo: Pixabay

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Negative effects

If your little one follows a Keto diet, he could have low blood sugar, dehydration, and fatigue. He may also have nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal pain explains

Keto diet vs. epilepsy

This type of eating plan is used to treat epilepsy in some children. It is an alternative when medications do not work or have adverse side effects, details the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In these cases, this feeding mode consists of a proportion of 3-4 grams of fat for each gram of carbohydrate and protein. About 90% of calories come from fat, requiring you to eat more fatty foods, such as butter and cream.

The research Epilepsy, cognition, and ketogenic diet published in the Journal of Neurology reveals that the ketogenic diet is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for epilepsies that do not respond to pharmacological therapy; in addition, it shows no adverse effects on cognition or behavior and improves mood, as well as social interactions.

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A balanced diet is essential for the development of your little one. Do not forget to receive advice from a professional so that your child has adequate nutrition.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here