Whether you’re currently “going keto” or you know someone who has, the ketogenic diet is steadily gaining popularity. Fun fact: A spokesperson for Pinterest says that U.S. searches for keto recipes are up more than 500 percent year over year.
So what the heck is it? The ketogenic diet was developed as a treatment for epilepsy decades ago, but the super low-carb eating plan had an unintended side effect: weight loss, says Karen Ansel, R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer.
Here’s how it works: Each day, keto followers have a budget of 20 to 40 grams of carbs to work with (FYI, a medium apple has about 25 grams of carbs). That carb deficit causes the body to turn to fat for fuel, resulting in the accumulation of byproducts known as ketones. In order to reach ketosis, your calorie intake should be 80 to 90 percent fat, with the rest coming from protein and carbs.