Low Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT)

Also known as: LGIT.

What is low glycemic index treatment?

Low glycemic index treatment is a form of high fat and low-carbohydrate diet that can be used as a medical treatment for epilepsy. It promotes the consumption of foods that have a low Glycemic Index (GI) like whole grains/high fiber starches, fruits and vegetables; while excluding those that have a high GI, like foods high in carbohydrates and simple sugars. For unknown reasons, the reduction in carbohydrates created by this diet, seems to reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy.

What happens during the treatment?

The patient will meet with a dietitian and other health professionals (Neurologist and Nurse Practitioner) to formulate diet goals and meal plan/menus. Overall, the plan typically involves:

  1. Restricting carbohydrate intake via measuring foods in household measurements, choosing carbohydrates that are low in GI

  2. Providing liberal protein intake

  3. Adding enough fat to every meal and snack


Is any special preparation needed?

A LGIT diet may be recommended for individuals who have refractory epilepsy. Assessment by a health care provider is recommended before beginning a Ketogenic Diet such as the LGIT. It is important to obtain detailed medical and dietary history, as well as baseline laboratories. With this information, the health care providers would be able to determine if a patient is a good candidate for the LGIT dietary treatment.

What are the risk factors?

Fatigue, lethargy, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, elevation in cholesterol and triglycerides, micronutrient deficiencies, etc. are potential side effects of any Ketogenic Diet including the LGIT.

Reviewed by: Cristina Visona, MS, RDNN, CSP, LDN

This page was last updated on: January 19, 2022 02:43 PM