Public Health Collaboration
As a ketogenic diet charity, Matthew’s Friends come into contact with many that support these types of diets. There is much evidence available giving the benefits of lower carbohydrate eating and the Public Health Collaboration are pushing to have changes made nationally so that the option of lower carbohydrate diets are included within the NHS. You will see links through to their information on this section of our site. At the moment, there seems to be no choice unless you are going on a very specific medical ketogenic diet for drug resistant epilepsy and this is only really available for children at this time.
Matthew’s Friends support the fact that more focus has to be put on nutrition in general when dealing with health issues and we would ideally like to see a dietitian in every GP practice. We believe that nutrition can play a massive part in the health and wellbeing for an individual but guidance is needed and ALL options should be available, including a lower carbohydrate option. We appreciate that lower carbohydrate eating is not for everyone and all diets should be tailored to the individual.
We must also be extremely careful not to confuse the two areas of lower carbohydrate eating and Ketogenic therapy.
Lower Carbohydrate eating can be quite beneficial to an individual for weight management and generally feeling better. This mainly concentrates on getting rid of processed, sugary foods and very high starchy carbohydrate foods such as white rice, white bread and white pasta, but it does have plenty of fruits and vegetables included and this type of diet does not change the metabolism in the body – lower carbohydrate eating normally means that you consume no more than 125g of carbohydrate a day and when you actually look at this type of diet, not much is actually restricted. You are just learning more about the types of foods you are eating and making better choices, which we have already looked at in the previous two chapters.
However, the diets being looked at above must NOT be confused with very low carbohydrate KETOGENIC diets, which should ONLY be managed by an experienced dietitian. These are MEDICAL diets which change the metabolism in the body and can obviously have side effects. This is especially important if you are suffering from any type of chronic illness such as (but not limited to): Epilepsy, Brain Tumour, Diabetes and Parkinson’s. These diets are a PRESCRIBED treatment for the individual and the diet WILL need ongoing fine-tuning for maximum benefit. One diet does NOT fit all.
Always check with your medical team before undertaking any type of dietary changes.