The past 3 1/2 months my sister Emily (the girl in the white blouse) has been on a very strict diet for seizure control. It is called the ketogenic diet. Emily has been having 1800 calories per day with a fat to protein ratio of 4:1. Every meal she eats is weighed to the tenth of a gram.
The diet has reduced many seizures but it has not made her seizure free like we had hoped. A few days ago mom talked to the dietitian who has been working with Emily and changed the diet. Now mom only counts the grams of carbohydrates Emily has every day and she gets as much protein as she wants. Right now Emily gets 10 grams of carbs every day. Without having to weigh every tiny bite Emily eats and ascribe to the strict ratio, meal making for her is much easier. Emily is still consuming a lot of fat (in the form of cream, butter, and coconut oil) as high fat diets help control seizures.
To give you an idea of how many carbs “10 carbs a day” is, here’s the approx. carb count (in grams) for a few common foods:
1 ritz cracker – 2 carbs
1 grahm cracker – 11 carbs
3 raisins – 1 carb
1 cup of watermelon – 10 carbs
1 cup of strawberries – 10 carbs
3 lettuce leaves – 1 carb
7 (1/4 inch) slices of cucumber – 1/2 a carb
1 medium tomato – 3 carbs
1 cup whole milk – 11 carbs
1 egg – 1/2 a carb
1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt – 8 carbs
1 oz cheddar cheese – less than 1/2 a carb
butter – 0 carbs
cream – 0 carbs
steak, chicken, fish, bacon – 0 carbs
On Saturday, Mom, Lydia and I took Emily out to dinner at Texas Road House. We explained to the waiter Emily is on a very low carb diet and asked him to find out how many carbs are in the salad, salad dressing, veggies, etc. We also asked him not to bring any bread as we knew without question their rolls would be way too high in carbs. Other than that, Emily was free to choose any meat she fancied and enjoyed a Caeser salad (without croutons!). She chose sirloin steak and grilled shrimp.
It was a nice outing for Emily to be able to do for the first time months.