The ketogenic diet is one that revolves around limiting your carbohydrate intake so that your body enters a state called “Ketosis.” Ketosis is when your body can’t get enough glucose from carbs to convert it into energy, so it instead looks elsewhere for an alternative energy source—in this case, fat. Naturally, this has been an attractive concept to those looking to reach certain weight goals, but it seems like it’s only recently that it has gained so much attention. To better understand why it’s not just a fad, let’s examine the fascinating history of the ketogenic diet.
1921: The Roots of Keto
The roots of keto did not come from wanting to lose weight, as many may think, but instead would help people with epilepsy. Fasting had a positive effect on epilepsy patients, and a physician named Dr. Peterman from the Mayo Clinic was the first to standardize the keto diet in an effort to “fast” without actually fasting.
This diet showed promising results in people with epilepsy and would serve as a helpful way of managing seizures, as the antiepileptic drugs didn’t come around until 1938.
1971: The New Keto
Though the fascinating history of the ketogenic diet started by treating epilepsy, the diet would not become mainstream because it only benefited epilepsy patients. It wasn’t until 1971 that a scientist named Huttenlocher revised the keto diet to be easier to follow in the hopes that more people would adopt the lifestyle. This new Medium-Chain Triglyceride keto diet allowed more room for carbs and proteins while still maintaining ketosis, making it less of a heavy commitment for newcomers.
1994: Rediscovery of Keto
Keto would fade from the public once more until 1994, when an episode of Dateline NBC would bring attention to it once more. It reported on a severe case of epilepsy treated successfully with the ketogenic diet, and keto suddenly became highly accepted and uncontroversial virtually overnight. Then, many more people would begin to try out the diet for themselves.
The Keto Diet Today
Today, the diet is so common that you can even find keto meal plan delivery that makes the commitment easier than ever. The surge in popularity came about as some people found success in losing and managing their weight with the keto diet, and suddenly, the keto diet’s treatment of epilepsy became almost like a secondary effect.
If you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle, maybe modern-day keto is for you!