Today, diets come and go just like fashion trends. So it’s rare that a way of eating gets as embedded into our national psyche as the keto diet did. Since its emergence in the mainstream several decades ago, the famous high-fat, low-carb diet has garnered millions of followers worldwide.
The food industry followed the demand, with more and more keto-friendly options popping up on restaurant menus and even on grocery store shelves.
And now it’s official, keto is America’s favorite diet. British company Supplement Place recently conducted an analysis of the most popular diet trends based on global Google searches, and found that Americans are more interested in keto than any other diet.
And it isn’t just America that’s going gaga over this healthful way of eating that’s helping people shed the pounds. Keto has been found to be the most popular diet trend worldwide, too.
Other diets with a stronghold in many countries are Weight Watchers, which is the top diet in France and Germany, and Intermittent Fasting, favored in Russia, Italy, and most of Europe.
How exactly does keto work?
The ketogenic diet may seem counterintuitive at first, as it advocates the consumption of large amounts of fatty foods like cheeses, eggs, oils, nuts, and yes, even bacon. But the purpose of consuming lots of fat and very few carbs is to bring your body into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is a state where your body shifts from burning sugar and carbohydrates for energy, and instead starts utilizing stored fat in the body. The fat is broken down into molecules called ketones that are released into your bloodstream and flushed out in your urine.
Related: 37 Healthy Keto Snack Recipes for Weight Loss
Cedrina Calder, MD, a preventative medicine doctor based in Nashville, explains that most people in ketosis aim to stay under 20 to 50 grams of net carbs daily, though the specific carb tolerance varies from person to person based on a number of factors, including activity level.
While many followers have reaped great benefits from this diet, Dr. Calder cautions it is one of the more difficult diets to sustain on a long-term basis for an average person. “For the average patient, I advise them to choose a healthy pattern of eating that they can sustain rather than focus on a temporary diet,” she says.
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