Modified Atkins diet for Epilepsy (1750)

Key points below

What is the Modified Atkins Diet (MAD)?

How do we start the MAD?

The MAD is not a good fit for everyone. Do not start this diet before talking with your child’s neurologist.  There are blood tests that should be done before starting the diet, to make sure it is safe for your child.  

The MAD can be a big lifestyle change. You will meet with a dietitian in clinic to learn about the diet. They will work with you to help include foods that your child and family already eat.  They will teach you about low carb choices and creative recipes that can help make the diet easier to follow. 

The MAD includes:

Will medicines change after starting the MAD?

Often, the diet is started with your child’s current medicines. If you use liquid or chewable forms, those may need to change to a form with less carbs. If the diet helps to improve seizures, medicines may change in the future.

What are the side effects?

Side effects are not common but may happen. 

Drinking enough fluid and taking prescribed supplements will help with these issues.

What follow-up care is needed?

Routine visits to the Neurology Clinic are needed every 3 to 6 months. At each visit, the dietitian will look at growth and nutrition. Blood work will be done to see how your child is doing with the diet. To get the best seizure control your doctor may make diet or medicine changes.

More resources on dietary therapies for epilepsy:



Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.