The modified Atkins diet is indicated for men and women and is widely used in teenagers and adults with epilepsy.


The modified Atkins diet is a modification of the “classical” ketogenic diet to make it less restrictive. It is another possible diet to be used in the treatment of people with epilepsy. Its history dates back to the early 2000s, when it was initially studied at the John Hopkins Hospital, by Dr. Eric Kossoff and his colleagues, in children and adults who had never experienced the ketogenic diet. Fifteen years on, studies involving more than 500 people have allowed to conclude that the efficacy of this diet is very similar to the ketogenic diet.

The foods used in the Modified Atkins diet are also very similar to those recommended in the ketogenic diet, but there are some fundamental differences:

  • In the modified Atkins diet, there is no fluid or calorie restriction or limitation.
  • Although fats are strongly encouraged, they are not weighed and measured. Most patients will consume plenty
    of dairy and oils.
  • There are no restrictions on proteins. In general, 35% of the daily calories come from proteins.
  • Foods are not weighed and measured, but carbohydrate counts are monitored by patients and/or parents.
  • There is also a difference between the “modified” version and the traditional version of the Atkins diet. The modified version allows fewer carbohydrates than the traditional one and also promotes a higher intake of fats.

With results identical to those of the ketogenic diet, the modified Atkins diet is indicated for men and women and is widely used in teenagers and adults with epilepsy. It is mainly used by people with daily seizures who do not respond fully to the medication. Those who follow this type of diet should consider eating foods rich in fat (bacon, eggs, mayonnaise, meat, oils and olive oils), certain fruits and vegetables and also nuts, avocados, olives and cheeses. Fluid intake is indicated and is also a mean to avoid the side effects from this type of nutrition. Carbohydrates are limited, but people are free to choose which ones they prefer to consume.
Although it is a type of diet recommended for adult and adolescent with epilepsy, it is advisable to consult your neurologist before starting this diet and to check if you have high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, a history of kidney stones, nutritional deficiencies, or are considering getting pregnant.