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Ree Drummond and keto — what the 'Pioneer Woman' is saying about the popular diet

The popular Food Network host explained what she incorporated from the trendy keto diet into her cooking after trying it last summer.
/ Source: TODAY

"The Pioneer Woman" has crossed the keto diet frontier.

Food Network host Ree Drummond told People magazine that she has incorporated some aspects of the trendy diet, which espouses the high-fat, low-carb approach, into her newest cookbook.

Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman
Food Network host Ree Drummond is incorporating some aspects of the keto diet into her latest cookbook. Alamy Stock Photo

"Last summer, I kind of dove into the keto world and enjoyed it," Drummond said. "It was a good exercise."

The ketogenic diet involves eating foods that are high in fat while staying away from nearly all carbohydrates to achieve a 4-to-1 ratio of fat to carbs and protein of 4-to-1. The goal is to lose weight by burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Though the host of "The Pioneer Woman" enjoyed her foray into the diet that has helped TODAY's Al Roker lose 40 pounds, she told People she eventually "settled back into a more sustainable, realistic way of eating."

Her sixth cookbook, "New Frontier," which will be released on Oct. 22, "is not a keto cookbook or a low-carb cookbook," she said. However, it does feature ways to take some of the carbs out of certain dishes.

"It's been really fun to come up with versions of really delicious dishes that you can take a few steps to make them lower in carbs,'' she said.

The popular diet has had its share of detractors and defenders. Al defended the diet earlier this year against criticism from "Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels, who asked, "Why would anyone think this is a good idea?"

"What works for you, works for you,'' Al said on TODAY in January. "There's science on both sides that says it's not a great idea and science that says it is a great idea."

TODAY anchor Savannah Guthrie also gave the keto diet a shot at the end of last year, but she joked to Al in January that she and keto "have broken up."

In addition to dabbling with keto-style recipes, Drummond has also released a new line of sauces and dressings inspired by cooking for her four children, ages 15 to 21.

"The teenage life and the college student life has informed not only the recipes in my cookbook but also the voice behind everything I'm doing," she said. "You've got to be realistic about cooking, and you can't make every single thing from scratch every single day, so that's part of why I wanted to launch this line because I feel like I have so much to say in that realm."