It bothers me. Is there something I do not understand. It seems to me that proteins must be avoided as much as possible, but the ketonic diet is recommended. Is this not a high protein diet? I have tried the diet, but it made me feel sick - true that I definitely had less tremors, After a week I just could not face the diet anymore. I then ate fruit and nuts for breakfast and lunch and nothing dinnertime. I sleep much

16 Replies

  • You should only avoid protein 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking Sinemet to allow for maximum absorption of the drug.

  • ...taint necessarily so...

  • This gets pretty technical, and is covered pretty well by Satwar elsewhere in these posts and in detail in the book "THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOW CARB LIVING" by Volek and Phinney. The brief answer is that your body is constantly rebuilding essential organs and that requires protein. If your food does not provide enough for essential maintenance, then your body will destroy lean muscle to get the protein that it needs. Best to have enough protein in your diet.

  • My diet is modified ketonic or nutritional ketogenic. High protein should not be interpreted as very large portions or quantities of animal protein. My dinner and supper are centered around one (1) serving of meat. The serving size is modest. By blood test, I am in a ketogenic state. I avoid sugar and fructose as much as I can. I watch my carbohydrate count and keep it low. I too get "sick" of this diet regimen therefore the reason I select the modified diet that allows a little more "wiggle" room.

  • I have been doing gluten free I feel the Parkinson is tons better but my over isn;t the best. HARD TO KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT. I too am in a pickle because it is hard to know.

  • Kadie57 - the PD is tons better and what isn't the best?

  • MY over all not able to go by myself anywhere because meds wear off easy, so I never know --when I drive somewhere and stay there all afternoon, if I can get back. I get so tired shopping /walking to far. IN fairness the PD still affects everything I do, it just seems when I feel good I set out because of feeling good then do to much! Then my husband got sick, he is diabetic now and has heart valve problems. SO it is has been allot in a short time. Maybe if Winter in Wisconsin would take a trip and go away, we could have spring/ has been a long cold deary winter. Thanks for asking.

  • used to happen to me all the time, that definitely was a low point so I can relate

  • Anid,

    You appear to be getting confused about the role of protein in our bodies. From my understanding fwes is absolutely right that protein is essential for the rebuilding of our bodies. The problem as I see it is in not do we need protein, yes, it is an essential macro nutrient, but rather how much do we require? Like everything else where diets are concerned there are many opinions causing confusion to people like us who need reliable advice.

    From my understanding the Ketogenic diet is not a 'high protein diet' when compared with other macro foods such as fat, carbohydrates. Broadly speaking it is a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet (I'm sure Satwar will correct me if i have got that wrong).

    Some facts you may wish to consider: human breast milk contains 6% protein which is sufficient during the greatest period of growth of humans. Apart from the protein in animals and fish nature provides about 8% protein in other food sources which many people find sufficient to live on.

    Professor Colin T Campbell, In one of his talks quotes an experiment carried out on rats. Two groups of rats were fed diets for a fixed length of time, one with 20% protein and the other 5% protein. At the end of the experiment all the 20% protein rats were found to have tumours whilst none of the rats fed 5% had any. This can be checked out in one of his YouTube talks. This is not to say that it applies equally to humans if fed such a diet, but it made me hesitant about eating too much protein after watching his talk.

    For me, the moral of the story is to research as much as you can about human protein needs, before deciding which way to go.

    No matter what, I will finish off by repeating fwes's statement which is that protein is essential in the human diet.


  • Try the diets...if they do not work for you than change the diets to something that is silly to assume that one diet fits all...

    Best wishes,

    Steve (Bisbee, AZ)

  • I think protein intake requires the most study and thought in a ketogenic diet, it is vitally important to get it right. Firstly I believe the RDI for protein is 50 g per day. Phinney and Volek suggest that when you are under stress (eg weight loss diet) that you should be consuming 0.6 to 1.0 g / lb of lean body mass (body weight excluding fat). For me @ 170 lbs (weight with body fat) my suggested protein intake is 78 to 130 g protein. I am no longer restricting calories to lose weight, hence I feel very comfortable in the 60 to 80 g per day range.

    An interesting feature about protein is that you do not want to eat too much (aside from your potential medication interference), as it will increase your insulin level in response to protein intake and depress ketones in your blood. You also want to consume your protein in small 7 g portions throughout your day and try not to wolf it all down in one gulp, because your pancreas will likely overreact with insulin production and depress ketone levels again

    For me, operating in the 60 g daily range, often allows me to awake to serum ketone levels of 4 to 5 mM/l, which is as high as you can go. I'm still working on making sure I don't suffer from protein deficiency, and would be happy with a waking serum ketone of 3 mM/l.

  • Satwar

    I always enjoy your posts on achieving Ketosis, but am coming to the opinion that you have to be really dedicated to do so, which may be more than most PwP can handle given that we also have to take one or more medications throughout the day as well. So, can you please give some guidance as to what you are setting out to achieve in symptom terms?

    1. Is it elimination of a tremor and/or several other PD symptoms?

    2. Will you eventually be able to give up your PD medication?

    3. Are some proteins better than others?

    4. Is being able to achieve ketosis expensive in financial terms?

    5. Once you get the hang of the quantities and routine, is it easy to follow?

    I hope that you not mind me asking these questions.



  • Yes I am learning all the time and I certainly don't know all the answers. Once I got my carbs down, I have learned that protein became very important to manage properly. It's easy to restrict protein and get good serum ketones, but it can be very unhealthy. You get into an unhealthy state because you are avoiding protein to avoid insulin surges. I am hoping, that if I spread the protein out in smaller portions throughout the day, it will allow me to tolerate a higher daily total. Phinney & Volek promote this approach. Yes I agree that it becomes very challenging to try and keep medication doses away from protein dosages. My neurologist said I don't take enough medication to worry about the protein effect. I get my protein from many sources: bacon, eggs, greek yogurt, steak, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, hard cheese.

    I would say at this point that once I get above 2 mM/l I get a very significant reduction in my tremor, and I walk better also. I am very reluctant to give up my medication because it acts as a safety parachute when I mess up my dietary ketone levels. I do have a number of backup plans for bad ketone days. (1) coconut oil, (2) C-8 oil ($45/liter) |(3).ketone salts ($75/ 400ml).

    I think my switch from vegetable protein to animal protein (to avoid carbohydrates) has made my food bill more expensive. Over time I plan on trying to increase my vegetable protein, with a watchful eye on carbohydrate. Ketone supplementation can get very expensive, and only lasts for a short period of time, but it's nice to know it's there if I need it.

    Hope this helps

  • Thank you Satwar for your detailed and honest reply to my questions. Much appreciated.

    Best wishes


  • My opinion is just do what is good, high quality natural and organic nutrition for overall body healthy and functioning. Parkinsons is so complicated that whatever helps all the body systems has to help. Depriving one of the body system functions of nutrition known to help its functioning like omega 3s and cardiovascular health, can't be good for the whole body--eat right and exercise as much as you can is what I try to do.

  • I find that my symptoms are must less when I'm in Ketosis ( use the home ketoSticks to monitor. I focus more on low carbs under 20 grams and the use l-Dopa from Mucuna, but on an empty stomach. It works for me, but others report stomach upset!

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