It was originally developed in 1921 by Dr. R. M. Wilder at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to treat patients with seizures. It was the preferred treatment for epilepsy until medications came along and this all-natural treatment was almost forgotten. For almost 70 years this way of eating was unheard of until a dateline episode aired in 1994. It highlighted a father's journey to find relief for his son who suffered from seizures and did not respond to modern medications. After his son become seizure-free with the keto diet, Jim Abraham created the Charlie Foundation in honor of is son to raise awareness of the benefits of such a diet. Since then, it has continued to gain media attention.
There are two sources a body can use for fuel. 1) Sugar/glucose and 2) Fat stores (the fat actually on your body, thighs, belly, etc.).
Sugar/ glucose for fuel: Our body can only metabolize a small amount of carbs a a time. When we eat carbohydrates, if we are healthy, insulin transports glucose from the bloodstream into our cells where it is used for energy. The gas tank for this fuel source is itty-bitty. Ever heard of the word 'hangry'?! Hangry happens when your body is dependent on glucose for energy and your gas tank ran out. But what is worse is since this gas tank is super small it is also super easy to over flow. This 'overflow' does two main things( whole lot more, but we will just focus on the two)- the excess is stored as fat, and it puts a cells that are responsible for the insulin on overload. Eventually they stop responding-type 2 diabetes. You may hear people say they are hypoglycemic or they can't go more than 3 hours between meals. Thats because they are operating off of their itty bitty glycogen gas tank. It is actually a biological preservation process. If a famine was to occur we are litteraly wearing our food on our hips! All the extra carbs that instantly turned to sugar, then turned to fat. Problem is in today's modern world this famine never comes and we are just keep adding storage.
The Ketogenic Way/ using our fat stores for energy: When you consume a low amount of carbs and no sugar an amazing and liberating thing happens... you tap into a whole new, huge gas tank. When our body burns fat, molecules called ketone bodies are created and these are what our cells use for energy. This gas tank is huge and is already filled up! it is actually the preferred metabolic state of the human body and was the way our bodies operated for most of human evolution. Our bodies and brains prefer it. (and so do our waistlines).