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Modified Atkins Diet

The Modified Atkins diet (MAD) was developed at John Hopkins Hospital as a ketogenic therapy that combines elements of the Classic Ketogenic Diet with those of the Atkins diet. While the widely known Atkins diet limits carbohydrate in favor of generous portions of protein, the MAD encourages ample fat and only enough protein to meet physiological needs, with carbohydrate restricted to an age-dependent range of 10-20 grams per day. The MAD approximates a 1:1 to 2:1 macronutrient ratio.

In lieu of a gram scale to weigh individual food items, the MAD employs household measurements and religious observance of nutrition facts panels to identify potential sources of carbohydrate. Because low-carbohydrate foods and meals can be found in many restaurants, the MAD has been observed to be a more accessible ketogenic dietary therapy, particularly for adolescents and adults. Less rigidity allows the MAD to be initiated on an outpatient basis, though consistent, long-term laboratory and medical surveillance is still required. When followed as prescribed, the MAD has been cited as a highly effective treatment for improving seizure control.

Think the Modified Atkins Diet is right for you? Talk to your doctor and Registered Dietitian for a comprehensive evaluation.