How the Ketogenic Diet Can Help Migraines

What if you could eat your way to feeling better?  A lifestyle switch that involves a serious look at your diet can help manage migraine symptoms and reduce both the frequency and intensity of attacks.

Years ago, before someone turned keto into a fad diet, this eating plan was used to treat people with epilepsy. The high-fat, low-carb, calorie-restricted diet “alters genes involved in energy metabolism in the brain, which in turn helps stabilize the function of neurons,” according to a study out of Emory University.

The keto diet has worked to treat migraines in many cases. So, in this post, I’ll be going over the keto diet and a few tips on implementing this difficult-to-maintain lifestyle change that will take focus and dedication.

What is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is linked to a long list of health benefits. You’d think that would make it easy to follow, but it’s one of the hardest regimens to keep going. There are four main types of keto diets. They include:

·         Standard: this is a very low-carb (5%), high-fat (75%) diet that includes moderate amounts of protein (20%). It’s also the most common.

·         Cyclical: five days on the high-fat diet followed by two days of high-carb eating.

·         Targeted: active people need more carbs, so this type of keto diet allows you to add more carbs around your workout routine.

·         High protein: like the standard diet, but with a bit more protein (35%), which lowers the amount of fat (60%) you’d take in. Carbs stay at 5% of your food intake.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

This major lifestyle choice comes with benefits like:

·         SERIOUS weight loss and management.

·         Management and prevention of diabetes and prediabetes respectively.

·         Reduced risk of major conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

·         Slow tumor growth in some types of cancer.

·         Aiding in brain recovery after a concussion.

·         Less acne since you each much less sugar.

Keto Food Focus

There are some foods you’ll want to avoid completely for good. It can feel overwhelming at first but hang in there. You’ll find creative recipes and ideas both on my website, in social media groups, and in Google searches. 

The foods you’ll want to avoid include:

·         Sugary foods like baked goods, candy, ice cream, and fruit juice.

·         Grains and starches like bread, pasta, rice, and cereal.

·         Low-fat products. They’re highly processed and usually have some sugar or extra carbs.

·         Fruit, but keep the berries, especially the dark ones. Stay away from the high sugar fruits like mangoes and bananas.

·         Beans and legumes

·         Alcohol

·         Unhealthy fats

·         Root veggies and tubers like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.

The foods you’ll want to keep, and increase are:

·         All meats but beware of processed foods like sausage and hot dogs. You want high-fat items, though, so go for red meats, steak, dark meat chicken and turkey. 

·         Fatty fish is good, so go for trout, tuna, and salmon.

·         Unprocessed cheeses are often okay, but remember to eat this in moderation

·         Eggs, butter, and cream. Look for omega-3 eggs and grass-fed cream and butter.

·         Nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

·         Good oils like EVOO, avocado oil, and coconut oil.

·         Low-carb vegetables.

·         Avoid store-bought sauces when you can. Instead, spruce up your meal with herbs and spices.

When changing eating habits, it’s helpful to keep a small notebook with you, or to keep an app on your phone that will help you remember the foods you can and cannot have. For the most part, you’ll always want to keep a snack with you because hunger can come on quickly. Not being prepared for those hunger pitches is one of the biggest reasons people stop following the plan. Take those preventive measures and remember you’re not alone. If you need help, I’m just a phone call away.

Sources:

U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Pathways and Control of Ketone Body Metabolism: On the Fringe of Lipid Biochemistry”

Healthline: “The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto”

Science Daily: “Ketogenic Diet Prevents Seizures By Enhancing Brain Energy Production, Increasing Neuron Stability”