What is the keto diet and what are the best keto recipes? (2024)

IN recent years, tonnes of celebs and dieters have credited going keto for their svelte figures.

By swapping out the carbs for fats and proteins, they claim to have transformed their eating habits - but what is the diet and who's on it? Here's everything to know.


Originally developed in the 1920s to help patients suffering from epilepsy, in more recent times, keto has been found to be a really efficient weight loss tool.

Oh, and it's also recommended to some people for managing metabolic disorders like PCOS anddiabetes, as well as Parkinson's disease and even some cancers.


What is the keto diet?

The keto diet involves eating lots of "good" fat, to curb hunger pangs, while cutting out carbs and eating moderate amounts of protein.

It's said to boost energy levels and help speed up weight loss.

The diet relies on a normal metabolic process called ketosis - that helps the body keep working.

It's where the body, starved of carbs for energy, starts to burn fat reserves instead.

For healthy people, who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after three or four days of following the plan and eating less than 50g of carbs a day.

That's about three slices of bread, two small bananas or a low-fat fruit yog.

So if you're cutting out all those carbs, what can you eat?

Fat is the answer! It should make up about 60 to 80 per cent of total daily calories, while protein makes up 10 to 15 per cent and carbs are less than 10 per cent.

And it's not just a calorie free-for-all. Keto enthusiasts should cap their daily intake at 1,800 calories a day.

If it sounds like Atkins, it's not far off - the main difference being limiting protein on a daily basis.

Is the keto diet safe?

The keto diet can work wonders for people with varying health conditions, and also helps to budge weight.

But there isn't very much evidence to say whether the keto diet is a safe way to eat long term, other than for people with epilepsy, according to the Mayo clinic.

Restricting carbs can have some nasty side effects that keto dieters complain about, including headaches, bad breath and even flu-like symptoms as they adjust to ketosis.

Because you are almost entirely cutting out a food group, you could also end up lacking in some nutrients found in fruits, vegetables and grains, such as magnesium and vitamin C.

These foods are also rich in fibre, so avoiding them may trigger gut discomfort and possibly constipation.

Eating a lot of animal foods on the keto diet can lead to more acidic urine, which isn't good for the kidneys.

There is also a danger that people who use the keto diet without enough research end up eating too much saturarted fat, found in oils, animal fat, cheese, coconut milk, butter and chocolate. Saturated fat should not be eaten in high amounts - the NHS recommends no more than 20-30g a day - because it is linked to bad cholesterol, and therefore heart disease.

Keto may be a method that helps you to lose weight, but long-term carbs could be reintroduced to your diet.


What are the best keto diet recipes?

To give you an idea, these are some sample keto recipes...

  • BREAKFAST: 2eggs, half an avocado and 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs with 4 bacon rashers and grilled tomatoes
  • Egg, tomato, basil and goats cheese omelette
  • Sugar free yoghurt with natural peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.
  • LUNCH:Baked chicken served with fried bacon, shredded lettuce and grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fried salmon served with broccoli, butter and grated cheddar cheese
  • Grilled aubergine, courgette, black olives, almonds, leafy greens, lemon juice and cheddar cheese - dressed with olive oil.
  • DINNER:Rib-eye steak served with 2 cups of spinach, wilted in coconut oil, and a handful of macadamia nuts
  • Chicken fajita bowl served with onion, green peppers, lettuce, Mexican cheese, half an avocado, cherry tomatoes and sour cream
  • White fish served with egg and spinach, wilted in coconut oil
  • Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, served with vegetables grown above ground
  • Bun-less burger served with bacon, egg and cheese.


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What celebrities have been on the keto diet?

Scores of celebs have shed pounds with the keto diet.

Former adult actress Jenna Jameson lost an incredible 14 pounds with the high-protein meal plan - here's some more celebs who love the lifestyle:

  • Halle Berry
  • Kourtney Kardashian
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • LeBron James
  • Megan Fox
  • Adriana Lima
  • Vanessa Hudgens
  • Jess Wright

Woman sheds 9st on keto diet after curing her binge-eating disorder

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What is the keto diet and what are the best keto recipes? (2024)
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