Celebrities like the Kardashians swear by the fat-rich keto diet - but how does it work? | Style magazine

Diet from Silicon Valley to the Hollywood Hills are convinced that the keto diet is a miracle for the body.

The high-fat regime has become the celebrity eating plan like Halle Berry and Kardashian, Silicon Valley technicians, venture capitalists and sports stars like LeBron James. Fans of the diet believe it can help burn belly fat, suppress hunger and increase energy, while encouraging the consumption of fatty and oily foods.

The keto diet is designed to bring the body into a natural state of fat burner called ketosis. It is the same process that happens when people are dying of hunger. In ketosis, the body switches from the default mode – burning carbohydrates and sugars for the first time – and begins to break down fatty acids.

The injection of ketosis typically takes at least a few days. Dr Priyanka Wali says that most people consume the remaining glycogen stores in about five days, and experts agree that it takes at least one to three months to see and feel the benefits of the restraining plan.

The keto diet was not originally developed for weight loss. Doctors have started prescribing the diet in the 20s to help with difficult-to-control seizures that did not respond to other medications. The diet can significantly reduce the convulsions in children, and in some cases, stop them completely. It can also help to control blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Many keto fans who do not have epilepsy or diabetes report feeling more acute and energetic in their diet. Some competitive athletes are also convinced that following a keto plan will help them perform. The ultra-marathon runner Zach Bitter, the world record holder for the longest distance in 12 hours, said his keto helped him achieve record performance.

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The DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) of the US military has also paid US $ 10 million for the development of a ketone-ester drink that generates energy from ketones, with the intention of one day to give it to the soldiers. The drink is now on the market for professional athletes. But the keto diet research for athletes is still mixed: some studies suggest that relying on fat can damage an athlete's performance. Large-scale studies are needed to know for sure.

Keto from the numbers

One of the most difficult things of the keto diet is the careful counting that it requires.

Dietitist Kristin Kirkpatrick of the Cleveland Clinic suggests that people who go on a diet should get 70% to 80% of their calories from fat and less than 10% from carbohydrates. To this end, most dieters try to keep the daily carbohydrate intake between 20 and 50 grams.

Considering that there are about 6 grams of carbohydrates in a medium-sized carrot or a portion of normal Greek yogurt, keto meal planning requires foresight. It's not as simple as exchanging the morning toast with some strips of bacon.

Since going to keto can get complicated, a Redditor even created a keto food pyramid that encourages people to follow the diet to print and put on their refrigerator.

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Here's what's safe to eat on the keto diet

Meat (virtually any type, including poultry and red meat)


Green leafy vegetables

Eggs, including egg yolks


Oils, in particular those containing healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats (such as olive oil). This is essential because relying too much on fats more saturated with dairy products and meat can cause problems with digestion and damage the heart.

Avocados, another great source of monounsaturated fats

Nuts and seeds

Cauliflower: the vegetable is low in carbohydrates and rich in dietary fiber, so many ketones dieters use it as a substitute for bread, pasta and crusts.

Berries, especially blackberries and raspberries

Double cream

Lots of water and other unsweetened drinks to stay hydrated. Both tea and coffee are fine.

Maybe even dark chocolate: most people suggest to stick to cocoa concentrations above 70% -80%, since lower concentrations are too heavy.

What to avoid in the keto diet


Other carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and wheat flour. (There is however a great warning to this rule, which we dive into later.)

Anything made with corn, particularly corn syrup high in fructose and other sweeteners

Legumes like chickpeas and beans of all kinds. These nutrient-rich foods are rich in protein and fiber, but the idea of ​​ketosis is to rely more on fat. Many ketone diets restrict protein intake from around 10% to 15% of daily calories, which means that a single cup of black beans could make you reach a daily limit. Also, that cup of black beans also has a good deal of carbohydrates.

Most fruits. A single apple could make you exceed your carbohydrate count for the whole day.

Milk. A cup of whole milk has 12 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of whipping cream has less than eight.

Although it may seem difficult to limit carbohydrate consumption rigorously, there is an important loophole to keep in mind. Because some carbohydrates come from dietary fibers, which the body does not disintegrate and absorb, diet ketones can subtract those from their daily count.

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The resulting number is called net carbohydrates, and is a better measure of how many carbohydrates you're ingesting. For example, while a carrot can have 6 grams of carbohydrates, about 1.7 of them are dietary fibers, so the intake of net carbs from the carrot is just over 4 grams. Similarly, over 75 percent of the carbohydrates present in spinach are fibers, which make it a relatively safe choice for ketones.

Kirkpatrick suggests that people on a diet limit their consumption of net carbohydrates to 25 grams a day.

Like any restrictive diet, it is difficult to get a balanced dish of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy on a keto plan. Diet is also not recommended for pregnant women, people with liver and kidney problems, or anyone who is prone to gout.

Whatever your weight loss or diet goals, it is essential to speak with a dietician or a professional doctor before starting.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider .