The keto diet is still making headlines after gaining popularity several years ago.
Food Sensitivity Specialist YorkTest researched the most-viewed food-related hashtags on TikTok and found that Americans can’t get enough of the low-carb, high-fat diet. Accumulating over ten billion views, keto has almost doubled the number of views than any other diet or food lifestyle.
Additionally, it has been found that 550,000 Americans search for “keto diet” on Google every month.
food institute research to find out why.
WHY IS KETO SO POPULAR WITH CONSUMERS?
There seem to be several reasons behind the keto mainstream.
“I find keto popular with consumers because it’s a black-and-white concept that seems to deliver results without the need for salads or deprivation,” said Amy Shapiro, registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition. The Food Institute.
Shapiro added that there are keto recipes for sweet alternatives like cookies that followers can still eat and stay within their macro recommendations.
“People are used to abusing carbs and it’s something they can accept because they can still have ‘carb-like’ foods but in different fun versions to recreate on TikTok with interesting alternative ingredients and maybe healthy,” she added. “People are diet-driven when they can substitute their favorite foods and still get results.”
Nuala McBride, a licensed nutritionist for meal-planning app HitMeal, told us that the keto diet remains popular because it gives strict parameters to follow with the lure of weight loss in the end.
“The diet eliminates the main unhealthy foods, which are processed foods and foods high in sugar,” McBride said. “These two categories of food types are usually the main contributors to weight gain.
Interestingly, McBride pointed to the keto diet community as another driver of her popularity. “The keto diet welcomes people into a community, especially on social media,” she said.
DOES KETO HAVE ANY POWER TO STAY?
Keto was the fastest growing diet term called out on menus in 2021, according to Datassential’s MenuTrends.
Additionally, keto options are currently offered in 1.5% of all restaurants in the United States and are expected to reach 2.7% menu penetration by 2025, said Marie Mold, registered dietitian at Datassential. The Food Institute. However, this does not mean that it holds long-term autonomy.
“Diets tend to come and go, and my prediction is that keto will follow that trend,” Molde said. “It won’t be entirely forgotten thanks to its popularity over the past few years, but will eventually be replaced by the next fad diet – like how keto replaced paleo.”
Keto is popular because of its association with weight loss, but from a nutritional standpoint, it’s not recommended as a long-term diet or lifestyle for most people, Molde noted.
Shapiro also clarified that she doesn’t advise clients to go keto unless they have certain medical conditions that require or would benefit from a high-fat diet.
In fact, the keto diet was originally designed not for weight loss, but for epilepsy, according to a report by Live Science.
A recent study also suggests that the popular diet may also improve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis. In the study, when MS patients followed a keto diet for six months, they reported less fatigue and depression, and better overall quality of life, reported MedicalXPress (March 2).