What Is the Ketogenic Diet, and Why Are We Talking About It? — Keto for Newbies

It’s not the first time you’ve heard a friend tell you they’re “going keto,” in the same casual tone that they might also tell you they’re going to Trader Joe’s or Target. But the mechanism of the diet itself is a lot less casual, and more intense than most people realize.

The ketogenic diet has an interesting evolution, with a medical history that dates back to the 1920s. The diet was originally designed as a way to treat epilepsy in children. It worked — or at least helped — and has since been adapted for use in other neurological disorders, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, and even brain cancer. It’s favored among celebrities, Silicon Valley techies, and other social media influencers who tout the tasty fat-burning regimen, but it’s also one of today’s most Googled, top Pinterest performing diets that’s likely flooding your Instagram feed, too.

Eat more beef, butter, and bacon, while losing weight and potentially boosting brain, mood, and sleep benefits, too? It’s easy to see why some are so quick to sign the dotted line.

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