The keto diet and ADHD symptoms and Quora
I try to be active on Quora because I think it’s a good way to position myself as an expert on ADHD. I’ve had several people specifically request my answer to questions. Since the keto diet has helped me manage ADHD symptoms, I felt absolutely qualified to answer the following question in July:
“How has the keto diet affected your ADHD symptoms?”
I have a whole keto series in progress for this blog, but here’s how I answered:
Even before I knew about the “keto” diet, I was following something like it, and have been for over 20 years. The most impactful thing I’ve done to manage my ADHD is to consume more fat. The brain NEEDS fat. For this reason, I recommend that people with ADHD try the keto diet, or something close to it. (Modify as needed. Your mileage may vary.)
A medically-controlled version of the ketogenic diet that involves measuring food and nutrients has been used to treat epilepsy and other neurological disorders for decades.
Some people with ADHD benefit from the intermittent fasting aspect of ADHD too. It’s something worth testing out. We do tend to need regular fuel with fat and protein but if IF works for you, then do it. I think that IF is more for people who do the keto diet for weight-loss, as IF forces the body to use fat for energy.
The key is to experiment, listen to your body and see what works. When you find what works, stick with it.
Worth emphasizing: Essential fatty acids are crucial, which means eating fatty fish and/or taking fish oil. If you’re vegan, then pumpkin seed oil or a marine plant source would work too. Fish is best, though.
Hope this helps.