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Keto Diet for ADHD: How to Improve Focus and Reduce Symptoms

Keto Diet for ADHD

If you are struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may be looking for ways to improve focus and reduce ADHD symptoms. A keto diet for ADHD could be the answer you have been searching for. It can be done while on Adderall or other medications, making it a great option for those who want to stick to a medication regimen. In this article, we will discuss how the keto diet can help treat ADHD and reduce symptoms and offer tips on how to get started.

As early as the 1920’s, doctors have used the keto diet to treat children with epilepsy.  Since epilepsy and ADHD are both brain based disorders, in theory, a keto diet may be one of many ADHD treatments. 

What is keto and how does it help ADHD symptoms?

The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet that has been shown to help improve focus and reduce symptoms of ADHD. The ketogenic diet works by forcing the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

When you are on a keto diet, your body enters into a state called ketosis. In ketosis, ketone bodies (the byproduct of fat burning) are used as fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates.

Heidi Pfeifer, R.D., LDN, a clinical dietitian specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, has seen positive evidence. [1] Dr Pfeifer experience treating children with epilepsy has found that a strict or liberal keto diet (40-60 grams of carbs per day) improves ADHD symptoms in these children. “We have seen improved behavior and focus with both versions independent of full seizure control,” says Pfeiffer.

The keto diet has been shown to have many health benefits including:

  • Improved ADHD symptoms like focus and concentration
  • Increased energy levels throughout the day
  • Reduced cravings for sugar and junk food
  • Weight loss due to increased fat burning process

The Science Behind Keto and ADHD:

How does the keto diet help with ADHD symptoms? Adequate ketone levels are necessary for brain function and development. The ketogenic diet increases ketone bodies in the blood, which can help improve focus and reduce symptoms of ADHD by providing an alternative source of fuel to glucose.

The ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention in children with ADHD. A keto diet for adhd is also effective for adults because it provides an alternative source of fuel to glucose from carbohydrates (sugar). The keto diet is high healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acid which is beneficial and can reflect significant improvements in focus by increasing ketone levels in the blood which can help to improve brain function.

How to get started on the keto diet for ADHD:

If you are interested in trying the keto diet for ADHD, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Here are some tips:

Start by gradually reducing your carbohydrate intake. Most people with ADHD start by reducing their carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day.

Make sure you are eating enough fat. Eating enough fat is essential for ketosis and brain function. Try to eat at least 70% of your calories from healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts.

Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks. These foods contain empty calories that can cause a blood sugar spike and lead to more symptoms of ADHD.

Make sure you are getting enough protein. The keto diet is not high in protein so make sure you are eating enough lean meats like chicken, fish or turkey breast with each meal. Also, try adding nuts and seeds for extra fat and protein!

Foods to avoid on a keto diet for ADHD:

There are a few foods that you will need to avoid on a keto diet for ADHD. These foods include:

  • Processed foods
  • Sugary snacks and drinks
  • White breads, pasta and other refined carbs
  • Alcoholic beverages

Keto and Adderall and Other Medications: How is it done?

It’s possible to do keto while on Adderall. You may need to make some adjustments to your diet and medication regimen, but it is definitely doable. Here are a few tips:

  • Follow a keto meal plan that includes plenty of healthy fats, moderate protein, and very few carbs.
  • Take your medications as prescribed and be sure to eat keto-friendly foods when you take them so that your body has enough fuel for energy.
  • Monitor your ketone levels with a ketone meter to make sure you are staying in ketosis.
  • If you are not seeing the results you want on keto, speak with your doctor about increasing your dosage of Adderall.

Supplements that can help with keto and ADHD:

In addition to keto, there are a few supplements that can help improve focus. These include:

Lecithin – Lecithin is an important nutrient for brain health. It can help with memory, learning and cognitive function.

Fish oil – Fish oil contains omega-three fatty acids which have been shown to improve focus, attention and brain function.

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 can help improve mood, sleep quality and energy levels.

Magnesium – Magnesium is an important mineral for maintaining ketosis and has many benefits including improved sleep quality. It also helps with keto flu symptoms like muscle cramps or weakness.

Iron – Iron is an important mineral for ketosis and has many benefits including improved sleep quality, energy levels and mood. Keto diet foods high in iron include: beef liver (from grass-fed cows), spinach and kale.

Keto Diet Food List: What Can I Eat on keto?

If you are just starting out on keto, it can be a little confusing to know what foods are allowed. Here is a list of keto-friendly foods:

  • Healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce
  • Eggs (make sure they are pastured or omega-three enriched)
  • Meat and poultry such as chicken, beef, pork and turkey
  • Fish like salmon or tuna
  • Low carb vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
  • Nuts like macadamia nuts, almonds or walnuts.
  • Sugar free snacks and drinks

Keto Diet Tips and Advice

If you are considering keto for ADHD, be sure to speak with your doctor first. He or she can help you make adjustments to your medication and diet regimen to ensure that keto is safe for you.

Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Start slowly by adding just a few keto-friendly foods to your current diet and gradually increase the number of keto-friendly foods you eat over time.
  2. Be sure to drink plenty of water and other keto-approved beverages such as unsweetened coffee or tea, bone broth or electrolyte drinks like SmartWater or Powerade Zero.
  3. Make sure you are getting enough protein – aim for about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight.
  4. Include a variety of keto-friendly foods in your diet to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
  5. Monitor your ketone levels with a ketone meter to make sure you are staying in ketosis.
  6. If you are not seeing the results you want on keto, try adding in intermittent fasting  This can help improve ketone production and make ketosis more effective.
  7. If you experience keto flu symptoms like headache or fatigue, be sure to drink plenty of water and get extra sleep until they subside. Try taking a quality multivitamin to help with the transition into ketosis.

Best Keto Apps and trackers

Keto apps are great for keto beginners. It can be overwhelming to start keto and it is easy to get lost in the details of nutritional ketosis. Keto apps provide you with all the information you need about ketogenic foods, macros and ketone levels so that you don’t have to research everything yourself.

  • Carb Manager keto app
  • Keto Diet App
  • MyFitnessPal keto diet tracking feature

Meal plans and recipes are also included in some keto applications to assist you get started.

Best Keto Books for ADHD

If you are looking for more information on keto and ADHD, there are a few keto books that can help. These keto books provide in-depth information about the ketogenic diet and how it can be used to improve mental health, focus and reduce symptoms of ADHD.

The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been used for centuries to treat children with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is now being studied as a treatment for patients with ADHD. This book provides in-depth information about the keto diet and how it can be used to improve focus and reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Keto for ADHD: A ketogenic guide to naturally treat your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Keto for ADHD is a keto book that provides information about keto and how it can be used to improve focus and reduce symptoms of ADHD. This book contains in-depth information on ketogenic foods, macros and ketone levels so that you don’t have to research everything yourself.

Keto Kids: Ketogenic Cookbook for Low Carb Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, And Snack Recipes to Promote Healthy Living with Easy to Follow, Quick, Delicious, And Child Friendly Meals!

This book includes our tried and tested keto recipes, teaching you THE BEST ways to help with health conditions, promote weight loss, increase energy, and suppress hunger! 

The ketogenic diet is not a cure-all for ADHD, but it can help to improve focus and reduce the presence of symptoms. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with this condition, be sure to share these tips with them. 

And if you’ve found success using any other methods or remedies, we want to hear about your experience! We would love to learn more so that others may benefit too. Please feel free to comment below and let us know what works best for you!

Keto diet for adhd

References:

[1] https://www.additudemag.com/ketogenic-keto-diet-adhd-symptoms/

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