Does your diet measure up?
by Ashley Fern | 9:02 pm

We have all heard the term tossed around that’s just a “fad diet”. The question is what does the term fad diet really mean. I have heard it often in reference to the keto diet and lifestyle, Atkins dieting, south beach diet, and pretty much any diet out there that isn’t endorsed by the mainstream medical system.

Personally, I believe the mainstream medical system with regards to everyday health in the United States especially to be extremely broken. So it begs the question “What is a fad diet?”

I think that if you break it down the term ” fad diet ” is extremely relative. Everyone has their own idea and perception of what it means. I have always been under the impression it meant that the diet was only a new trend that didn’t have a proven track record.

Look at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online definition of the word fad…

Definition of fad

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal : CRAZE

Using this as the meaning for the word fad puts a new face on a fad diet. In this case a fad diet is simply one that becomes very popular for a time. It should not put doubt on whether that means the diet produces legit results or not.

Regarding the keto diet and lifestyle adopted by many it can be defined as a fad at this time. However, this diet has been around for quite some time.

A short history of the Keto Diet and Lifestyle

The Keto diet was originally formulated in the 1920s by doctors trying to come up with a cure or prevention of epileptic seizures. According to an article written by Dr. Mandal M.D. on the diet was mostly abandoned after the introduction of other drugs which helped mitigate some seizures, however it was still used in cases where medicine did not work. She along with pediatric neurologist Wheless in an article on Wiley Online Library say that another doctor came out with a version of the Keto diet named the MCT diet in the 1970s. This led to a resurgence of the diet in treating epilepsy although it is till typically a last resource for mainstream treatment. Unfortunately, like many other modern mainstream medical doctors, many pediatricians default to relying on medication instead of diet to treat disease.

In the last 15 years many holistic doctors have started to research and use the keto diet to help treat other illnesses and obesity. It has gradually emerged and gained support in many circles including renowned cardiologists Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Bret Sher, nutritionists like Dr. Kellyann, and holistic doctors like Dr. Jockers and Dr. Axe.

Is a fad diet necessarily bad for you?

Not necessarily, the fact that a diet has become popular does not make it “bad”. Every person must do their own research and even ask their own doctor about any major diet change. Dr. Sher has an excellent article outlining things to ask your doctor about a keto or high fat, low carb diet plan.



I can hardly imagine a diet that’s been around for over a hundred years can be considered a fad diet especially when it has numerous accounts and documentation causing people to have a more healthy lifestyle. Nice short history.

Aug 23.2019 | 12:11 am


I learned something new by reading this post. I had no idea that the Keto diet has been around almost 100 years and that it was first developed to prevent epileptic seizures. Surely this disqualifies it as a fad diet as it has been around so long.

I am terrible at following any type of diet, unfortunately, but I do try to eat healthy 80 percent of the time with the odd 20 percent being not so good. I have never been a believer in extreme diets, and wonder how difficult the Keto diet would be to stick to long term.

Aug 23.2019 | 05:48 pm


    Hi Michel, 

    I’m glad you learned something from my post. I’ve heard of the 80/20 approach and even know of a keto advocate that subscribes to this plan. If you are truly interested in keto you might look at his material. I have followed him on youtube here. I know that it’s best to stay strict for the first while in order to become fat adapted. Then many people find a rhythm  of carb cycling that works for them and their personal needs and health goals. 


    Aug 23.2019 | 06:00 pm

Jordan Smith

Thank you so much for the time you took to write this important article! As a RD I know how much work this would have taken. I appreciate your deep-dive article like this. However, reading through different posts where some people claimed fad diet bad or that it doesn’t work. I would be willing to bet that 80 percent of the time there is an obvious reason and no offense to that person, but perhaps a little more research would have helped (as you said “Do your own research).. Thanks again for this insight.


Aug 23.2019 | 06:12 pm


    Thanks Jordan, I’m glad to receive feedback from an RD. 

    Aug 23.2019 | 07:05 pm

Ronald Henderson

Ashley, I am happy to offer you feedback on your site. I wll be honest and will only offer constructive criticism. I reviewed your website content. I do not know what your definition of a Keto Diet is. You state that this diet has less sugar in it. What other foods are contained in a Keto Diet? What are some examples of Keto recipes and preparation. What kind of nutritional balance does this type of recipe provide other than less sugar and healthy fats.
The mention of you eating leftovers does not add to the explanation of a Keto Diet. You mentioned the Atkins Diet. How does a Keto Diet differ from an Atkins Diet? If you provided more information on these suggestions, your content, would be much more descriptive and understanding to the audience you want to reach.

Sep 16.2019 | 07:44 pm

    Ashley Fern

    Thank you for the feedback. Did you read the keto basics post? I will offer info on the differences and similarities between keto and Atkins in a future post. The truth is I am only getting started and haven’t addressed every issue as of yet. Most people are looking for a general overview to get started. It doesn’t have less sugar it has no pure cane sugar. Also, there are a lot more nutritional benefits. I have to be careful as to how I make nutritional claims and add a disclaimer. Thank you for your constructive criticism I will see what I can do to fill out the profile in the next few weeks.

    Oct 03.2019 | 05:44 pm

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