The keto craze is hitting the mainstream

Keto is blowing up.The ketogenic diet is a strict regimen of low-carb, high-fat foods that forces the...

Posted: Sep 17, 2018 11:19 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2018 11:19 PM

Keto is blowing up.

The ketogenic diet is a strict regimen of low-carb, high-fat foods that forces the body into a state of ketosis — when you burn fat, instead of carbohydrates, for energy.

With the help of social media and word of mouth, demand for keto-friendly products have gone through the roof.

Like Whole30, where dieters cut out sugar, grains, dairy and legumes for 30 days, and paleo, modeled after eating habits in the paleolithic era, keto has become trendy.

But interest in keto has far outpaced interest in other fad diets. A Google Trends chart over the past year shows searches for "keto" have dwarfed searches for "paleo" "Whole 30" and "intermittent fasting."

On Instagram, dieters share their progress. Accounts with tens of thousands of followers show before and after weight loss photos and snaps of keto-friendly meals. Often, users put their weight loss in their bios.

"Probably our first six months of sales were through people talking about us on Instagram," said Brian Hemmert, chief marketing officer for Fat Snax, which sells low-carb, high-fat cookies and matcha tea blends.

Because keto is is so strict, snacks and meal replacements are especially helpful to those trying to maintain the diet.

Hemmert said that demand for Fat Snax products, which are available online, has been growing rapidly. In the next few months Fat Snax will be sold at a national chain.

"There's been such a groundswell on this," said Anthony Gustin, founder and CEO of Perfect Keto, which sells protein powders and other keto-friendly products and shares information on how to maintain the diet.

"Growth has been pretty wild." Gustin said that Perfect Keto averaged 20% growth each month in the last year.

Ted Tieken, founder of Keto and Company, which makes keto meal shake powders, said that he's noticed a change in awareness around the diet.

About "six months ago, I stopped having to explain what keto was to the average person," he said. And in the last several weeks, "people get offended when I explain."

Tieken is launching a meal-replacement shake, Sated, which is compatible with a keto diet. He used a Kickstarter campaign to gauge interest in the product. So far, hundreds of backers have pledged more than $172,000 dollars.

Tieken said that he plans to produce somewhere between 1.5 million and 3 million bottles based on demand for the shake, a sweet, filling meal replacement.

He estimates that right now, Keto and Company has about 5,000 customers per month. But he noted that "demand has been increasing consistently."

Critics say the taxing diet is unrealistic. When people adjust to a lack of carbohydrates, they often feel fatigue and light-headedness. When US News and World Report ranked the 40 most popular diets this year, it put keto — and the similar Dukan diet — last. The panel of experts that created the list said the keto diet is difficult to maintain and that the high-fat intake could be dangerous for some.

But Keto fans say there are a number of health benefits to the diet, like more energy, better focus and, notably, weight loss.

The US diet sector is growing overall. According to Euromonitor, the meal replacement product category grew by 12% from 2012 to 2017. In that same period, the supplement nutrition drink category grew by 23%.

And people outside the niche keto community are paying attention.

Vincent Kitirattragarn, founder and CEO of Dang Foods, didn't set out to make foods that fit a keto diet. He started Dang six years ago to sell modern Asian snacks that are healthy.

About a year ago, Dang started developing FATBAR, a keto-friendly snack bar.

"It's very, very clear to us, after interviewing people and doing market research, that there was a huge demand for keto products and that demand was not being met by the market," he said.

FATBAR will be available online this fall and in Whole Foods stores in early 2019.

— CNN's Sandee LaMotte contributed to this report.

Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify Gustin's role at Perfect Keto and the company's reported period of growth.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
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Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
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Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1390015

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1541781574
Cuyahoga1361632341
Hamilton989691326
Montgomery681371161
Summit569981051
Lucas51769869
Butler48139663
Stark42350983
Lorain32165539
Warren30497338
Mahoning27564643
Clermont26081297
Lake24873422
Delaware22600147
Licking20818246
Fairfield20789223
Greene20667275
Trumbull20378516
Medina20178290
Clark18235332
Richland16749236
Portage16442231
Wood15973209
Allen14405261
Miami14063261
Muskingum12976155
Wayne12234244
Columbiana12046242
Tuscarawas11248271
Marion10935150
Pickaway10642129
Scioto10585127
Erie9888171
Ross9648177
Lawrence8967125
Hancock8637143
Ashtabula8509187
Geauga8272156
Belmont8262188
Jefferson7736175
Huron7566131
Union743951
Washington7396126
Athens712065
Sandusky6984135
Darke6884137
Knox6839122
Seneca6533137
Ashland6078115
Auglaize596888
Shelby5845104
Brown578272
Mercer565890
Crawford5591117
Defiance5579101
Madison552171
Highland550982
Fulton543583
Clinton535781
Logan520587
Preble5123111
Putnam4909107
Guernsey487664
Williams469982
Perry464454
Champaign454964
Ottawa443584
Jackson436663
Pike400745
Morrow398251
Coshocton393669
Fayette385053
Adams371575
Hardin367570
Gallia356658
Holmes3326111
Henry331869
Van Wert321471
Hocking312370
Wyandot286058
Carroll267052
Paulding247443
Meigs223042
Monroe193149
Noble174442
Morgan170329
Harrison161741
Vinton141919
Unassigned05
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