Is low-carb a fad? What is the answer according to Google Trends?

Is low-carb a fad?

When you hear someone say “Low-Carb is a FAD DIET” send them this video.


When I think of fad diets, the first one that comes to mind is the Dukan diet. In 2011 everyone was ‘attacking’ and ‘cruising’ to get to their true weight.

Google is actually the best judge of whether something is a fad or not. If you just pop onto Google Trends and punch in a few words, you can instantly see how popular those words are on Google Search.

So I went and did that for Dukan, and then for Low-Carb. I asked to see the trend over the last 10 years.

Below you can see the Dukan graph. Spikes in July 2011 and then falls off the cliff and peters out to pretty low interest by 2014.

Here is the same trend search (and same date range) that I ran for ‘low-carb’.

You can see that there was already significant interest 10 years ago, but that interest has grown each year up until 2018. In South Africa a lot of people believe it peaked when Real Meal Revolution was published in 2013, but this graph shows we were miles from the peak back then.

By the way, the sharp zigzag that you see there is typical for diets and other health products. The low dip is in December where people seem to worry the least about their health. The sharp spike is in January when everyone swears ‘things are going to be different this year’. The steady drop throughout the year mimics everyone’s interest in, and general ability to stick to their guns on their goals.

This is what they look like laid over each other. I find this the most useful because it tells me that even though Dukan was massive, it is dwarfed by the size of low-carb. I found this fascinating.

Regardless off the travisty in human behaviour above, there is no way you can call this obvious steady incline over 10 years a fad.

‘Low Carb is a fad’ = Myth

If you’re interested in finding out which foods are best to eat on a low-carb diet sudden, download the Low-Carb Real Food Lists, print them and stick them on your fridge.