April 18, 2016

Podcast Interview - Ketogenic Diets for Neurological Health

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook and missed the announcement last week, I’ve recorded another episode of the Real World Paleo Podcast with Christine Lehmann, the Reverse Diabetes Coach, and a fellow Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. (In fact, Christine and I met when we were in the same class for our NTP training.) You can check out the details here, and the show is available on iTunes and Stitcher.

You may recall I was on this show a few months ago, talking about ketogenic diets for Alzheimer’s disease. This time, we expanded the discussion to other neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s, ALS, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. We briefly touched upon the potential efficacy of ketogenic approaches for psychological conditions as well, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. We also spent a few minutes talking about intermittent fasting and how it might be an additional tool in the arsenal to combat neurological and neurodegenerative conditions.

If I do say so, myself, I think I dropped a couple of truth bombs about the multiple biochemical mechanisms at work in the ketogenic diet that make it so effective for such a diverse array of conditions. (Hint: it’s the mitochondria, baby! [Mostly.]) Among the topics we discussed were why ketogenic diets and other nutrition & lifestyle interventions aren’t more widely employed in conventional medicine for the treatment of neurological disorders; whether or not eating this much fat will “clog your arteries” and/or make you gain weight; the differences between strict ketogenic diets and low carb diets (they are not the same thing!); whether or not someone should follow a ketogenic diet to prevent a neurological condition (not necessarily), and more. We even touched briefly upon autism, weight loss stalls, and the role of intermittent fasting beyond neurological issues—specifically, how it can help us reset our emotional and psychological attachments to eating specific things at specific times of day, and help “normalize” our view of when and how much we should be eating. (Spoiler: something has gone awry when you can buy food at shoe stores and electronics stores. Have we become physically incapable of purchasing a new pair of sandals or the latest game system without reaching for a bag of gummy bears in the checkout line?)

It’s funny. I am a couple years shy of staring down the barrel of forty, yet I still very much feel like a kid. Like I have no idea what I’m doing and am probably the stupidest person in any room I walk into. As a general rule, I tend to think everyone else—everyone else—has it all together. They know what they want from life, are totally secure in themselves, and conduct their personal and professional affairs with purpose. In contrast, I am floundering, flipping and flopping like a fish that has just been reeled onto a boat and has no idea what’s happening. I try to get from one day to the next without doing too much damage to anyone else and generally proceeding in a positive direction so that I’ll be happy where I end up twenty years from now. (And hopefully not falling face-first into an industrial-sized tray of baklava in the process.)  

These two cartoons provide excellent, spot-on visuals for how I feel almost all the time:

And yet, after listening to myself on this show, I’m being forced to reassess my view of myself. It actually kinda-sorta sounded like I know what I’m talking about. Crazy! I have to remind myself that I may not know everything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know something. Something, to be specific, that people aren’t going to hear from their doctors. Something that could save—or at the very least, greatly improve—their lives. So do go give it a listen.

Christine was kind enough to provide links to some of my favorite papers regarding these subjects in the show notes. I’ll include them here, too, because you never know who might stumble across this post sometime in the future, so it couldn’t hurt to have these links in as many places as possible. (All of these are the full-text versions, yay!)
And if you’re looking for other good shows to listen to, you’ll want to check out the interview Christine did with Sally Fallon about raw milk, making cheese, and all things nutrient-dense food related, and the one she did with Forrest Pritchard, a local (to me) farmer and bestselling author. (Click here to read my review his first book, Gaining Ground. I’ll have a review of his second one, Growing Tomorrow, coming soon.) Additionally, if you just can’t get enough of my voice, I was a guest host for Real World Paleo episode number 30, where nutritional therapist Laura Carr talked about natural strategies for fertility, family planning, and pre- and post-natal care for moms in the real world. (Not my usual topics, that’s for sure!)

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.


  1. Thanks for the info, I'm always looking for interesting podcasts. OBTW you sound like you know something...because you do!

  2. That is certainly a true statement - you don't know, and will never know, everything. And this is also certainly true - you do know something. Something important to everyone, and something that most people do not know.
    Keep helping others with the (huge) something you know so well. And feel freakin good about it.

  3. I'll never forget sitting at a long stoplight one day, and looking around me at all the other people in their cars, and having the revelation that NONE OF THEM KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON EITHER! They just acted like they did, and that had fooled me for so long.

    1. Haha! I think *some* people really do "have it all together," but most are probably just as lost as I am. They just fake it better than I do, and don't let the uncertainty and self-doubt cripple them like I do. o_O

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