April 2, 2020
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Is Keto Diet Safe for Kids?


When it comes to diets its hard to find one hotter right now than the Ketogenic diet. Your mom, your cousin, your friend, everyone seems to be doing Keto. But it’s now so popular some parents are even putting their kids on the controversial eating plan. Should kid Keto even be a thing? Pediatrician Dr. Dafna Ahdoot joins us. Doc, thanks so much for being here. (crowd applauding) I want to ask you from your perspective as a pediatrician what your thoughts are on kids, diets and in this case Keto? In general with the Keto diet what happens is that you’re eliminating completely an entire food groups, you’re eliminating carbs or just really minimizing it to a very low amount and kids need 65% of their calories basically comes from carbohydrates and the brain needs sugar to thrive, our bodies needs sugar to be physically active and especially kids. So, if we’re eliminating that we’re kind of putting these kids at risk for nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, fiber deficiencies, constipation. So, I’m really not into Keto diet for kids but I do agree that we need to reduce the amount of carbs, especially unhealthy carbs in kids’ diet in general. Now, I do want to bring in the conversation and joining us via Skype to debate this topic internal medicine physician Dr. John Limanski. He also goes by Dr. Keto online so Dr. Limanski, I want to ask you your thoughts on this obviously, you’re a proponent of the Ketogenic diet but with kids obviously so many other issues at play what are your thoughts on this? A Ketogenic diet can be one tool that we as physicians use to improve the health of our patients. As an internal medicine doctor I obviously treat adults and we’ve had tremendous success with it. But you did mention that there are pediatric patients who are starting to really have adult diseases. Things like hypertension, diabetes, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease. And in those children it might be something to consider using. I’ll openly admit, that I think a Ketogenic diet can be a nice short term way to… Especially for people who are dealing with major medical issues to lose weight. There’s no doubt about that. I unequivocally have concerns with long term Ketogenic diet and I also worry that some people don’t know the right way to do it because you can be on a Ketogenic diet and eat all the wrong foods. And I think… “Hey, I eat bacon at every single meal, I’m on the Ketogenic diet.” Avocados are also on the Ketogenic diet guess which one I would prefer you eat, right? So, there’s a lot of confusion out there but I want to talk about kids because with kids do you worry about creating this relationship with food where they might look at a piece of whole grain bread and say that is terrible for you! And I’m going to tell you I think making a sandwich on whole grain bread with almond butter can be a great snack for adults and kids. So, how do you reconcile that? Where you’re going to say literally No, no, no don’t eat that, that’s bad when I humbly think it’s good. Yeah, no I agree with you. Most of the studies that look at children who have been on a Ketogenic diet don’t do it indefinitely. This is not something that we’re considering putting them on for the rest of their life like maybe, some adults would do. It’s a six month, 12 month process to really reverse some of these diseases that if we don’t treat aggressively at that age we’ll start seeing diseases in children that we see in adults which is what’s happening. And so, I think for a short period of time if you really are struggling with those children who cannot make that switch over and ever if you’re restricting the processed foods they’re still not improving, it could be something to consider. Again, I treat adult patients, my children are more of a low carb variety. And there’s ways to do more of a low carb way of eating, still maintaining good healthy carbohydrates, but just maybe avoiding some of the higher glycemic ones. So, making small changes.

Randall Smitham

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Mommy Of One Posted on October 25, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Yes it works so good with kids who have seizures

    Reply
  2. i coulda dropped my croissant Posted on October 25, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    i’m 16 and do keto, freaking love it

    Reply
  3. R Rodrigo Posted on October 25, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    I’m tired of these younger doctors that don’t do their research they just go by protocol!! She says we need sugar? Really? Get a clue just because someone is on Keto doesn’t mean their eating bacon and sausage 😂
    Keto is the best cure ever it’s putting doctor’s out of business!!!!

    Reply
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