Keto diet vs low carb diet: what’s the difference and which is better? While both diets involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a much more restrictive way of eating and involves restricting carb intake and eating a lot of fat, with moderate amounts of protein.
Dietitian Heidi Normanton, founder of Heylo. “Meanwhile, low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially the simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Eating a low-carb diet helps regulate blood sugar but it doesn’t induce ketosis, so the body first uses stored glucose for energy, then turns to fat for fuel.”
It’s important to understand your body and the calories and nutrients it needs to function properly before starting a new diet, adds elite trainer Farren Morgan, moderator. Tactical athlete. He recommends talking to a dietitian or a medical professional first.
In this article, we look at the key differences between the keto and low-carb diets, so you can decide if either plan is right for you.
What is the keto diet?
“The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is based on reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of healthy fats,” says Morgan.
It’s pretty restrictive, but while all keto diets are low-carb diets, not all low-carb diets are keto. The keto diet involves getting 70% of your daily calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 10% from carbohydrates.
What is a low carb diet?
Like keto, a low carb diet follows the same principle of cutting down on carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. “Carbohydrates are easier to digest, but do not provide the same essential nutrients as protein and fat for your growth and development,” explains Morgan.
The Keto Diet and the Low Carb Diet: Similarities
“Both diets have the same goal – weight loss – but the keto diet is considered a subtype of a low carb diet, while the low carb diet represents one. umbrella covers so many other diets it has.” Morgan.
Simply put, a low carb diet is very relative and there’s no specific amount of carbs you should or shouldn’t consume – unless you’re following a diet plan like Atkins or Dukan. Eating less carbs also means you may not be eating as much fat as you used to if you’re trying to force your body into ketosis, and you’ll be eating more lean protein and veggies for energy.
Both plans have some notable health benefits. A study in BMJ revealed that low-carb eating is associated with higher remission in people with type 2 diabetes, while the keto diet can improve heart health, according to another study in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Further study published in Frontiers in neuroscience magazine found that The keto diet helps prevent seizures and to treat epilepsy, for which it was first used in the 1920s.
Keto diet and low carb diet: the difference
First, your carbohydrate intake will vary depending on whether you’re following a keto or simply low carb diet. “With a low-carb diet, you’ll eat 50-150 grams of carbs per day, but the keto diet is limited to 50 grams,” says Morgan.
Protein intake is another factor that varies. “Low carb diets typically require large amounts of protein, but the keto diet will throttle your protein consumption down to between 20-22% of your total calories. The keto diet also requires a larger amount of fat than a low-carb diet to make up for in protein and carbohydrates.”
If your goal is to build muscle, says Normanton, then a low-carb diet may be a better choice, since glucose is needed for muscle recovery. “Many people also feel that a low-carb diet is an easier transition and so some people start with that, then switch to the keto diet,” she says. “The keto diet is also popular with athletes, and some marathoners swear their bodies are ‘fat-adapted’ and it can help them maintain endurance for longer periods of time. without recharging.”
But there are some slightly annoying side effects associated with both plans. “Switching to these diets will be a process, especially for the keto diet,” says Morgan. “With a low-carb diet, you may feel weak or constipated due to the effects of your micronutrient consumption. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet, you may experience the ‘keto flu’, which includes symptoms like headaches, brain fog, irritability, fatigue and lack of motivation. “
Morgan says these symptoms usually last for a week or less, but in severe cases they’ve been known to last up to a month, so it’s important to be mentally prepared and fully equipped. enough with an experienced professional to guide you before you decide to start the diet.
Keto Diet vs Low Carb Diet: Which Diet Is Best?
“Both are effective for weight loss, so what matters in the end is which diet is best for you and your body,” says Morgan. “If you are looking for a lean but muscular physique, you can go for a low carb diet, while those looking for an overall slim figure can aim for the keto diet. ”
D’Andrea Meira, I., Romão, TT, Pires Do Prado, HJ, Krüger, LT, Pires, MEP and da Conceição, PO (2019). The Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy: What We Know So Far. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019,00005
Goldenberg, JZ, Day, A., Brinkworth, GD, Sato, J., Yamada, S., Jönsson, T., Beardsley, J., Johnson, JA, Thabane, L., & Johnston, BC (2021). Efficacy and safety of a low and very low carbohydrate diet for remission of type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data. BMJ, m4743. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4743
Yurista, SR, Chong, CR, Badimon, JJ, Kelly, DP, de Boer, RA and Westenbrink, BD (2021). Therapeutic potential of ketone bodies for patients with cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 77 (13), 1660–1669.
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