What’s the Difference Between Keto and Low Carb Diets?
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the “Keto diet” or just “Keto,” and the Low Carb diet are both popular diets that have been around for decades. Both types of diets focus on reducing the intake of carbohydrates, but there are some key differences between the two that are worth noting.
- The macronutrient ratios (also called “Macros”) are different. A Keto diet typically consists of high amounts of fat, moderate protein, and very low carb intake. The optimal ratio is usually 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs. On the other hand, a Low Carb diet typically includes a higher protein intake and moderate fat intake, with the preferred ratio being around 60-75% fat, 20-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
- The Keto diet is more restrictive than a typical Low Carb diet. Keto is a very low carb, high-fat diet that requires strict adherence to specific macronutrient ratios. This can make it more difficult to follow, especially for those who are not used to eating large amounts of fat. In contrast, a low carb diet is more flexible and allows for a wider range of foods, making it easier to stick to in the long term.
- The Keto diet promotes ketosis. The Keto diet is designed to promote a metabolic state called ketosis, hence the name, where the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. When following a ketogenic diet, the body enters a state of ketosis, which can lead to a number of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation.
- Keto may be more effective for certain health conditions. The ketogenic diet has been studied extensively and has been found to be effective in treating a number of health conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. A low-carb diet may also help with these conditions, but the keto diet may be more effective. Since the majority of people practicing either one of these diets is rarely using it to treat their conditions, you can assume that most people today are choosing either diet as a preferred method of weight loss or weight management.
- Keto may have more side effects than a Low Carb diet. While both diets can lead to weight loss and improved health, the keto diet may have more potential side effects, such as the “keto flu,” which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches.
Foods you can eat on Low Carb Diet, but not on a Keto Diet
A low-carb diet typically allows for a wider range of foods compared to a ketogenic diet. While both diets limit the intake of carbohydrates, a low-carb diet allows for a higher intake of carbs compared to keto. Here are some examples of foods that can be consumed on a low-carb diet but are not recommended on a ketogenic diet:
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and brown rice are a good source of fiber and other nutrients, but they are higher in carbohydrates than other low-carb options.
- Legumes: Legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, but they are also high in carbohydrates.
- Fruits: Fruits like apples, bananas, and oranges are a great source of vitamins and minerals, but they are also high in natural sugars, so they should be consumed in moderation.
- Starchy vegetables: Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn are high in carbohydrates and should be consumed in moderation on a low-carb diet.
High-fat foods that are good for Keto
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate diet that is designed to promote a metabolic state called ketosis. Here are the top 5 types of food recommended for a ketogenic diet:
- Fatty meats: Meats such as bacon, sausage, and ground beef are high in fat and protein, and are excellent sources of energy for the body.
- Low-carbohydrate vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and provide important vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They also provide important minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
- Avocados: Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium, and fiber. They can be used in a variety of recipes and are a great addition to any ketogenic diet.
- Coconut oil, olive oil and butter: These oils and fats are rich in healthy saturated fats and are great for cooking, baking and as a salad dressing. One other important derivative of coconut oil is known as MCT Oil also known as medium-chain triglyceride oil, is a popular supplement used in a ketogenic diet because it is easily absorbed and quickly converted into ketones by the liver. MCTs are a type of fat that is easily digested and absorbed by the body, and they provide a quick source of energy for the body and brain.
While both the ketogenic diet and the low carb diet can be effective for weight loss and improving health, there are significant differences between the two. The keto diet is more restrictive and can lead to a state of ketosis, but it may also be more effective for certain health conditions. Meanwhile, a low carb diet is more flexible and easier to stick to, but may not be as effective for certain health conditions. Before starting any diet, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine what is best for your individual needs and goals.