When you think of celebrities who’ve completely defied the hands of time, Halle Berry usually comes to mind. At 51 years old, the actress looks decades younger than her actual age, and it turns out, she credits one specific diet for her timeless look.
In a post uploaded to her Instagram account, Berry opened up about the benefits of her longtime eating plan, the ketogenic diet. “I have been following the keto or ketogenic diet,” she writes on the post. “Keto is a very low-carb food plan that actually forces your body to burn fat like crazy. I also believe it’s been largely responsible for slowing down my aging process.”
Not only does Berry say the keto diet—a low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat eating plan—has kept her looking youthful and slender, but she also claims it gives “appetite control, more energy and better mental performance,” as well as control migraines and “possibly reverse type 2 diabetes.” Considering these are monumental claims to make, we checked in with nutritionist Keri Glassman to find out exactly what the keto diet can and cannot do for your body.
“The ketogenic diet is the act of moving your body into the state of ketosis through the foods you eat, or don’t eat,” Glassman explains. “A few studies have shown it may promote weight loss, lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity in diabetics.” According to Glassman, this diet moves the body into a state called ketosis. During ketosis, instead of breaking down carbs (there are none!) into glucose for fuel, the liver converts fat into ketone bodies, which become the body’s primary source of energy. Hence, Berry’s claim that this diet “burns fat like crazy” isn’t wrong because the body uses fat as fuel, therefore burning it off throughout the day.
However, as with any diet, there are cons to eating this way as well. “There’s an initial period during which your body is adjusting to its new carb-free existence, and many people experience symptoms like fatigue, brain fog and nausea for a few weeks,” says Glassman. “You also end up deficient in important micronutrients, like folate, calcium and potassium, which is why most ketogenic devotees recommend taking multivitamins.”
Ultimately, when it comes to deciding if a diet will work for you, Glassman has the best advice: “All of the best diets—no matter what they’re called—involve eating whole foods as opposed to packaged and processed, and filling your plate with quality sources ofprotein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral- and fiber-rich vegetables.” So, as long as you stick to a diet packed with healthy—not processed—foods, you’ll eventually see results.
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