Keto History

History of the Keto Diet

Keto History

History of the Keto Diet

Wondering how the keto diet started? While it may have only recently boomed in popularity, this diet plan was actually created decades ago. Initially designed to help those suffering with epilepsy, today it is largely used for its weight-loss benefits.  Here, you’ll discover a brief history of the keto diet and how it became as popular as it is today.

The Creation of the Keto Diet

The keto diet was actually created back in the 1920s. It started out as a therapy for those living with epilepsy. It was designed to provide a healthy alternative to fasting.

After the introduction of new medical treatments, the diet was temporarily abandoned. However, it was discovered that even with the new treatments, around 20% to 30% of those suffering with epilepsy still experienced seizures. So, the diet was reintroduced to help control the condition.

The keto diet we know today was started by Rollin Woodyatt, an endocrinologist. He discovered that ketone bodies were produced by the liver when patients followed a high-fat, low-carb diet. He used this to create the keto diet, which was then used to treat epileptic patients in 1921.

The Development of the Keto Approach

Although Rollin Woodyatt started the keto diet, it was physician Dr. Peterman who is credited for developing the classic keto diet we know today.

The modern keto diet follows a 4:1 ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It suggests getting 90% of calories from fat, 6% from protein and 4% from carbohydrates. This is the ratio most experts suggest you follow. However, benefits can still be felt from consuming just 75% calories from fat.

The changes in the diet from the 1920s have helped to make it possible to follow the diet for longer periods of time. Nutritionists also suggest consuming 1g of protein for every kilogram of body weight.

How Did the Diet Come Back into Popularity?

It is thought that the popular TV show “Dateline” was responsible for bringing the keto diet back into the mainstream. One of its episodes in 1994 showed a two-year-old who experienced severe epileptic seizures. After following the keto diet, his seizures were able to be managed.

This sparked a lot of research into the keto diet. It gained so much attention that the father of the two-year-old directed a film about their experience which featured star Meryl Streep. From there, more people started to look into the benefits the diet could provide.

Understanding the Modern Keto Diet

Today, the modern keto diet focuses on so much more than its epilepsy benefits. It is also thought to have neurological benefits and is most commonly followed for its weight-loss benefits. It isn’t certain when the switch to the diet for its weight-loss benefits occurred, but it has exploded in popularity in recent years.

So, while it may only recently be gaining in popularity, the keto diet has been around since 1921. Over the years it has changed somewhat in how it works and the foods that should be consumed. The above are just some of the way the diet and its use has changed over time.