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Charlene Tan-Smith - Ketogenic Dietitian
B.Sc Post Dip (Diet), Post Grad Paeds (Melb)
New Zealand Registered Dietitian

I have been a registered dietitian since 2005. This has been both in private and public practice with most of that time at Christchurch Public Hospital CDHB. I have specialised in pediatrics since 2006. I was previously a nutritionist for Ministry of Health in Singapore.

I am currently the Paediatric Ketogenic Dietitian at Christchurch Hospital working with the team to treat children with refractory epilepsy. I have a passion for helping people through the Ketogenic Diet, and continue to increase my knowledge and experience through my international networks.

I love that the Ketogenic Diet is a fascinating treatment still developing and growing, and is starting to be used in exciting ways worldwide for more conditions in both children and adults.

Ketogenic Diet Therapy Infographic

What is Medical Ketogenic Dietary Therapy?
Who is it for?

It is not a fad weight loss diet. This is why we refer to Ketogenic Dietary ‘Therapy’.

A Ketogenic Diet is a diet that mimics a starvation state in the body, where the body starts to use fat as a source of fuel. There are many Keto diets out there that can trick the body into the starvation phase. Ketogenic Dietary Therapy is evidence based, specifically calculated dietary treatment to switch your body into starvation state and create ketones in the body. Most of the research generated supports it as a treatment for refractory epilepsy. However there are many areas including Neuro-Oncology where the therapy is starting to be trialed with promising results.

The diet typically has up to 90% fat content, restricted protein and minimal carbohydrates. Whereas the fad weight loss diets have 50-60% fat, low carbohydrates and often no restriction on protein.