Keto diets are doing the rounds right now. For the last ten years, internet bloggers have promoted them like crazy, extolling their seemingly endless benefits. Not only do they assist with weight loss, but also acne, general aches, pains, anxiety, and much more.
The Allure Of Keto
What’s so exciting about keto is that it flies in the face of conventional thinking. The traditional Mediterranean diet – one of the most studied healthy diets – is not a high-fat diet. Historically, the vast bulk of the calories came from whole grains and beans, supplemented by a small amount of fish and plenty of low-calorie vegetables. Thus, around 70 percent of calories came from carbs, with about 10 percent from protein and the rest fat. Olive oil played a small part, but it certainly wasn’t a significant constituent of what people were eating.
Keto, though, turns the macronutrient composition of the diet on its head. Instead of 70 percent carbs, it asks people to eat 70 percent fat, and sometimes more. Carbs should be as low as possible, perhaps down to as little as 5 percent.
The Origins Of The Keto Diet
Doctors initially used keto diets to treat children with epilepsy. They found that if they put them on a diet of liver, offal, and oil, they could reduce the number and severity of seizures, dramatically improving their condition. In the days before drugs, it was often the only option.
Later, researchers wondered whether keto could be the solution to dealing with metabolic conditions, like diabetes. In the 1970s and 1980s, a plethora of research came out linking refined carbs to these diseases, making the case for eating a low-carb diet more compelling. If carbohydrates cause people to get sick, why not just remove them from the menu?
The logic of the proposition seemed sound. And some scientists even documented results. Diabetics found that they had much better blood sugar control. Diabetes associations all over the world began to entertain the idea that people should eat high-fat.
The Recent Surge In The Popularity Of Keto
Health gurus and bloggers soon became a part of the revolution. Keto wasn’t just something that could help a few people. It was the diet we’d all been waiting for, and the explanation for the current obesity epidemic.
Recipe sites began offering easy keto nachos, grain replacements, low-carb pizzas, and much more. All the ingredients avoided traditional sugars and starches and attempted to recreate traditional experiences using alternative foodstuffs. Meat, nuts, seafood, oils, and butters were all back on the menu.
Most importantly, keto diets seemed to offer something new. People have been going low-fat for decades, and yet their waistlines continue to expand. Clearly, there is something wrong with the current approach to diet and lifestyle, and we need a change. For many, keto is the answer.
As the years roll on and more people become interested in the diet, better evidence will likely come through for what is going on in the body when we eat lots of fat. Some people swear by it, so we need to figure out what’s happening in the body.