The Strange History of the Extremely Low-Carb Diet Fad
The “keto diet” was originated created to treat patients with epilepsy and diabetes. Individuals on the version of the diet that’s become popular today say it helps to burn fat and also makes their poop float.
Some say “cellar door” is the most beautiful phrase in the English language. But to a health and science writer like myself, the most beautiful phrase is actually, “It made my poop float.”
My friend Gila* told me at a party recently that she had tried the ketogenic diet, which was originally designed to treat diabetes and epilepsy, and that the high fat content had made her shit buoyant. Of course I had questions: Why try a diet that was originally only supposed to be done in a hospital setting? Wouldn’t eating nothing but fat eventually kill you? And would eating too much fat really make your poop float?
A ketogenic diet is any diet that prompts ketosis, a state in which the central nervous system runs on ketone bodies instead of its usual diet of glucose. It’s very low carb, moderate protein, and super high fat. Foods that are cool on a keto diet include bacon, heavy whipping cream, and coffee with butter in it, aka bulletproof coffee. Keto is quickly becoming the new eating fad—a natural extension of Atkins and paleo. Only now the miracle food isn’t protein; it’s fat.