Which One Is Better For Weight Loss
Both a low-carb diet and keto diet can help you lose weight. When you eat carbohydrates, the hormone insulin is released to take glucose to your cells for energy. Extra glucose is stored as glycogen but if there’s glucose leftover after that, insulin stores the rest as fat. When you cut carbs, not as much insulin is released so the body can be in fat burning mode instead of fat storing mode. You will also likely end up cutting down your calorie intake, since the foods you can eat are limited.
But, a lot of things can help you lose weight quickly. The question is: Which pattern of eating can you keep up with for the long term? Although you may lose weight on a low-carb or keto diet, if you can’t eat that way forever, you won’t keep the weight off forever.
Research backs this too. Countless studies have tried to figure out if low-carb or low-fat is better for weight loss. Most reach the same : Low-carb diets can lead to faster weight loss in the short-term, but at one to two years follow-up, the weight loss outcomes are the same for low-carb and low-fat dieters.
A 2017 study in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes found that after one year, those that followed a ketogenic diet lost more weight and had lower A1Cs than those following a low-fat diet.
Few to no studies have compared the effects of low-carb diets to ketogenic diets on weight loss or other health outcomes.
The Missing Ingredient: Food Quality
The quality of your food matters. It matters a lot. From reducing toxins to increasing nutrients, eating higher quality food can make a healthy diet even healthier.
Thats why any diet whether its Keto, Paleo, low carb, or something else should be about more than just eating the right amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It should be about eating high-quality food, too.
Well explain how to incorporate food quality into diet toward the end of this article.
Food quality MATTERS. Although neither the Ketogenic Diet nor low carb diets require high food quality, its still something you need to pay attention to.
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Why Do People Do Low Carb And Keto Diets
Firstly, people opting for either of these diets may have similar aims such as weight loss, managing a health issue, or just better overall health.
However, by the very nature of these two diets, people doing them may have different objectives/targets.
Here are some of the reasons people may do either diet
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Effect On Health Markers
Generally speaking, a higher fat, lower carbohydrate intake tends to raise HDL levels and lower triglycerides .
Diets higher in fat may also raise LDL levels in some people, mainly if there is a high ratio of saturated fat .
Furthermore, low-carb diets are associated with decreases in fasting blood glucose and insulin levels .
Ketogenic diets usually have a more pronounced effect on all of these markers compared to more liberal low carb diets. The main reason is that the diet is both higher in total fat and lower in carbohydrate.
Overall, studies demonstrate that both diets may improve markers of cardiovascular risk .
Difference Between Keto And Low
The main difference between a low-carb diet and a keto diet is in terms of the percentage of macronutrients that you consume on a daily basis to meet your calorie needs .
A keto diet requires you to increase your fat intake and severely reduce carbs from your daily diet. Ideally, you consume only about 5-10% of your daily calories from carbs, up to 20% from protein, while about 70-80% of your calorie needs are met through your fat intake . Once you reduce your carb intake let’s say, under 20 grams per day you enter the state of ketosis.
“[Ketosis is a natural metabolic process in which the body burns fat for fuel,” Pamela Nisevich Bede, a registered dietitian for ZonePerfect, told Abbot Nutrition News. “It begins once the body’s glycogen stores are depleted.”
On the other hand, any eating style in which you consume less than 45% of your calories from carbohydrates can be considered a low-carb diet. In this type of diet, your calories come from foods rich in protein and certain healthy fats, Bede told Abbot Nutrition News.
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Whats The Difference Between The Keto Diet & Eating Low Carb
To help break down the difference between these two ways of eating, its important to understand the goal of each of these diets. When you follow a keto diet, the goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis. You will be consuming about 5% of your calories from carbohydrates in order to help maintain that state of ketosis. In place of the carbohydrates, you will be consuming lots of healthy fats with moderate amounts of protein. The amount of fat you will be eating is a big differentiating factor between these diets. With the keto diet, you will consume as much healthy fat as your body needs to feel satisfied as fat is the primary component of this diet. The fat you consume will also be used as your primary fuel source. Your body will learn how to use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
With a low carb diet, the goal is not to get your body into a state of ketosis, but you will still be limiting the amount of carbohydrates you consume. With a low carb diet, you can consume up to 20% of your total calories from carbs which as you can see if quite a bit more than the 5% or less with a ketogenic diet. With a low carb diet, it is also important to know that the fat loss you experience is often temporary. You will also eat less fat than you would on a ketogenic diet and consume quite a bit more protein.
Keto Vs Low Carb Diet Which Should I Choose
Low Carb and Keto diets are two popular ways of eating that prioritise reducing your intake of carbohydrates.
On the surface they seem quite similar, and you may be wondering what exactly sets them apart.
Here we will give you a brief overview of what these diets involve, some pros and cons of each and how they might be suitable for your goals.
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The Keto Diet May Be Better For Our Hormones
Weve all heard of hormones, but for most people, what they do in our bodies remains a mystery. Lets take a moment to demystify these important molecules. What are they?
Hormones are chemical messengers that orchestrate many of the bodys biological processes including reproduction.
Along with providing essential fats, a high fat diet based around animal products provides another key component to fertility: cholesterol. Several of the most important reproductive hormones all derive from cholesterol.
Cholesterol also helps our bodies create vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D, in turn, is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in female fertility and IVF. Thanks in large part to its cholesterol content, the keto diet can optimize the hormonal state of males and females alike.
Targeted Keto Is For Athletes Looking To Improve Their Performance
How It Works Youll follow the keto diet as usual until 30 to 45 minutes before exercise then its time to eat about 25 g of carbs, says Daniela Torchia, PhD, a registered dietitian based in Loma Linda, California. The idea is that youll have just enough carbs to fuel your workout and still be able to return to ketosis easily after you cool down. Choose carbs that are easy to digest and be sure not to add calories to your daily total simply redistribute them, Dr. Torchia says.
A study published in 2019 in the Journal of Sports Medicine found that 28 days of a keto diet helped to increase some athletic endurance. But researchers added that the diet’s benefits were mainly seen in short-duration, vigorous-intensity exercise, and that results were inconsistent, so it may not be the go-to approach for all athletes.
Who It’s Best For This approach is intended for people who frequently engage in intense, muscle-building workouts, according to Torchia. Were talking high-intensity exercise, like running, swimming, or playing tennis for hours on end, Torchia says. Hitting the gym at a moderate pace a couple of times a week likely wont cut it.
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Difference Between Keto Diet And Low Carb Diet
A keto diet and low carb diet are two well known ways of dietary eating that limit an individuals carb intake. Although the diets serve the same basic function, they are marked with several distinctions which set them apart. Such differences are necessary to understand to choose the right nutritional plan.
What’s The Difference Between Low
The words “low-carb” and “keto” get thrown around a lot. Are they the same thing?
At first glance, it may appear that if you eat one less cup of rice, you can transition from a low-carbohydrate diet to a ketogenic diet. After all, both nutritional strategies place an emphasis on reducing carbohydrates, and both are often followed for their fat-loss potential. Pretty much the same thing, right?
Not so fast, ketobro. Although both diets are considered low-carb compared to the standard Western dietyou know, the one made up mostly of processed carbs and mystery ingredientsthe similarities stop there, both in philosophy and execution.
Here’s what you need to know about low-carb and ketogenic diets so you can make an informed choice!
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The Keto Diet Limits Carbs Altogether While The Atkins Diet Increases Them In Phases
As mentioned, the makeup of a typical keto diet, give or take depending on the individual, is around 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbohydrates.
For someone who consumes 2,000 calories per day, this means eating no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, and sometimes as few as 20 grams. This allows the body to reach ketosis, and the ketogenic diet requires you to remain in this fat-burning stage long-term.
The Atkins diet, on the other hand, induces ketosis, but only in phase one and sometimes phase two. As you reintroduce carbs back to your diet, you eventually transition out of ketosis. This difference points to that idea that the Atkins diet is not as restrictive as the keto diet.
Why Its Possible You Dont Lose Weight In Ketosis
As you can see, the differences between low-carb vs. keto has other factors besides the number of carbohydrates consumed.
If you are in a state of ketosis, it really is the best mechanism for weight loss. However, it is possible, theoretically, to be in ketosis but not lose weight.
For example, if your exercise routine involves weight lifting, you might weigh the same even after a couple of months of being in ketosis.
But one thing is for sure with ketosis: you will lose body fat.
As long as you remain in a state of ketosis, your body will be burning fatty acids for energy. So although your scale might read the same number after several days or weeks of being in ketosis, its likely your pants will fit much looser.
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Key Similarities Between Low
Both diets are low in carbohydrates, but the keto diet is lower in carbs and higher in fat.
Neither diet technically restricts entire food groups, unless the food pushes you over the carb limit for the day. Grains, legumes, dairy, fruits, vegetables, processed foods, sugary foods, and some alcohol are restricted for this reason .
Can You Lose Weight On Keto Without Being In Ketosis
The short answer is yes.
You dont need to be in that specific nutritional condition, but your body will still benefit from the diet. It may help with fat loss if calories come mainly from fats rather than carbs or proteins like they would on an Atkins plan.
However, this doesnt mean glucose isnt burned at all just less so because there are fewer available sources for energy when fewer macro nutrients provide them.
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Mental Health Performance And Attention
This is an area full of anecdotal reports but with a shortage of scientific evidence. In theory, shifting the brains metabolism from glucose to ketones could be beneficial for cognitive function in general. Therefore, a ketogenic diet of under 20 grams is required. Even then, however, there is no consensus as to improved cognition. This is an area best left to self-experimenters to see if they happen to see improved mental clarity and less brain fog.
Verdict:No clear evidence. Self-experimentation with a keto diet is reasonable, as carbohydrate is a non-essential nutrient. Diet Doctor has written a few articles that explore the nature of the evidence so far for both mental health conditions and for attention deficit disorder.
Which Is Better For You
The diet you choose will depend heavily on your lifestyle and goals.
Both diets can help with weight loss. A keto diet is likely to help you lose weight faster however, many people find it hard to maintain. If youre looking to maintain a healthy weight over the long term a low-carb diet may well be the better option. Keto diets can also make it hard to build muscle due to the low protein intake.
If youre looking to boost mental performance, or often feel sluggish after eating then a keto diet may be worth a try.
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Could Keto Give Us Slight Fat Loss Advantage
However, it is also possible that keto diet can increase satiety and weight loss more than a non-keto, low-carb diet because by cutting carbs low enough we can leverage the benefits of a low-carb diet along with the hunger-suppressing properties of ketones.
How much extra weight loss someone can get from being in ketosis is unclear. Research has yet to directly explore the effect that ketones can have on our calorie consumption and body composition.
In summary, the data suggest that non-keto, low-carb diets, and keto diets lead to similar amounts of weight loss. Even if future research shows that keto increases weight loss more than other low-carb diets, I doubt the difference will be significant enough to crown the keto diet as the best diet for weight loss for everyone.
However, we must remember that weight loss isnt the only thing we should be focused on when making diet decisions. The most important variable to consider, first and foremost, is how your diet and lifestyle affect your overall health.
Keto Macros: Carbs Protein & Fat
When following a keto diet, the idea is to eat very few carbs, a moderate amount of protein, and just as much fat as you need to feel satisfied, rather than stuffed.
CarbohydratesLimit carbs to 20 or fewer grams of net carbs per day, or 5 to 10% of calories. Although its possible that you may not need to be this strict, eating fewer than 20 grams of net carbs every day virtually guarantees that youll be in nutritional ketosis. Learn more >
ProteinEat enough protein to meet your needs. Most people need at least 70 grams per day, or 20 to 35% of calories from protein. Learn more >
FatInclude enough fat to add flavor. Theres no reason to add lots of fat unless you need extra calories. Plus, many whole foods like eggs and meat contain plenty of fat. On a keto diet, about 60 to 75% of your calories come from fat. Learn more >
If you are wondering what kind of results you can expect from a keto diet, the answer depends on how strict you are, along with a number of other factors.
Evidence shows that keto diets help with weight loss, blood sugar control, and many other conditions.7 But outcomes from even the most well-run study are still an average of what each participant experienced.
That means that your experience with keto will be unique. Your weight loss and health improvements may be sudden and dramatic or they may be slow but steady.
What benefits might you experience by switching to a keto diet? Quite a few, possibly.
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How To Know If A Keto Diet Is Healthy For You
Although carbs arent essential, it is possible to experience issues with your cholesterol levels, adrenal health, and/or thyroid output as a result of following a keto diet. This is why we strongly advocate getting relevant biomarkers checked at least a month after starting the keto diet to see if it is improving your overall health or making existing conditions worse.
If the keto diet isnt improving your overall health, then it may be best to increase your carb consumption until your relevant biomarkers improve . However, this doesnt mean you should just start eating whatever processed food is available because this will make your health even worse.
Instead, it is best to follow a whole-food-based, low-carb diet like the Paleo diet or a low-to-moderate carb Mediterranean diet. After a month or so of following your new approach, it may be best to get another blood test to see how your biomarkers are doing.
So Is The Keto Diet Healthy
The keto diet has proven health benefits and is effective way to lose weight in a short period of time. But high-fat diets when they consist of harmful fats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high triglycerides, and blood vessel diseases. If you have a medical condition that might be exacerbated by keto, such as high cholesterol or atherosclerosis, definitely talk to your doctor before starting the keto diet.
The keto diet also presents the risk for nutrient deficiencies from lack of food groups, like fruits and starchy vegetables. Lack of fiber can also cause digestive discomfort.
If you choose to go keto, fill your plates with as many non-starchy vegetables as possible and stick to lean sources of protein and healthy fats for the best results. And know that you can always start with a less restrictive low-carb diet.
Just be aware that for some, the restrictive eating habits associated with any low-carb diet can complicate your relationship with cravings and send you into yo-yo dieting mode. Only careful consideration and thoughtful approach can help you determine the benefits for you.
Good food brings people together.So do good emails.
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