Keto Myths To Stop Believing, According To MasterChef Competitor Michael Silverstein - Exclusive

Whether you're a fan or not, there's a good chance you've got some kind of opinion on the keto diet. Originally developed roughly a century ago to treat certain medical conditions, the ketogenic diet has seen a revived popularity in the last few decades as low-carb diets have taken the mainstream by storm. But as with many long-term diets, there is a lot to understand about the science of keto — and a lot of room for misconceptions about the diet and its health benefits.

If there's one person who's got it covered, it's Chef Michael Silverstein. The "MasterChef" competitor is making a name for himself in the culinary world as a champion of the keto diet, which he says helped change his life. According to Silverstein, "Keto gets a bad rep. It needs a better PR team." He's taken on the job — now out with his second keto cookbook, he's on a mission to show what the keto diet is all about, sharing absolutely delicious recipes along the way.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Chef Silverstein debunked some of the common myths about the keto diet and explained how keto cooking can be a lot easier and healthier than you might think.

Keto isn't just focused on fat

Many negative opinions about keto come down to a misunderstanding of what it entails, says Michael Silverstein. "People see a lot of information on the web about keto being very dangerous," he said, noting that popular conception sees it as a "fat-filled, overly saturated dietary restriction ... The truth is, it's meat and greens. It's the way human beings have been eating for thousands of years."

Silverstein claims that modern eating habits are actually more detrimental to our health. "There's so much science that has proven that a lot of the trouble that we have with our health these days is related to an over consumption of sugar and wheat and gluten," he said. That's what keto is all about, according to him. "I really think about keto as getting rid of some of the wheat, the flour, the sugar, but you can still eat the food you love."

Of course, it all comes down to moderation and making informed choices about the best foods for your body. "Any diet can be dangerous if you overdo it, and keto is included in that," said Silverstein, adding, "If you're eating bacon-wrapped mayo, you're not doing keto right." The keto approach he's talking about means eating meals like "fish with some broccolini on the side, or a nice steak with some beautiful salad or slaw ... it's using really good ingredients, really healthy proteins and meats, along with a little bit of that nice natural fat that you might get from avocado."

Keto cooking is simpler than you probably think

If you're looking to reap the benefits of a meat-and-greens-forward diet like keto, it's easier than you'd expect to get started. You probably eat keto-approved meals more often than you think. When it comes down to it, Michael Silverstein said, "Keep it simple. You don't need fancy ingredients or complicated processes and additives and stuff to make something delicious."

According to Silverstein, keto cooking is simply about making delicious, low-carb foods that make you feel good. "People get focused on the rules when they're dieting ... they get so caught up in the rules that they forget to eat real food," he said, adding, "The only thing you're doing wrong is eating food you don't love."

You can learn even more about Silverstein's approach to a keto lifestyle in both of his cookbooks. "They're not diet-y. They're not overly restrictive and health driven. They do that, but ... every recipe in my book is delicious food, the food that anybody would want to eat, whether you're keto or not."

For more from Chef Silverstein, click here to see if MasterChef Table is available to order near you on Grubhub. Catch new episodes of "MasterChef" Season 12 every Wednesday on Fox.