Low Carb Vs Keto: 10 Things You Should Know
Low carb and keto are two popular ways of eating that both revolve around limiting ones carb intake. But when it comes to low carb vs. keto, which diet is better?
Even with their similarities, low carb and keto have significant real-world differences:
- Low carb diets usually range from 20-100 grams per day.
- Keto usually ranges from 0-25 grams of daily carb intake.
- On low carb diets, protein and fats are fair game.
- A keto diet requires that you get 75-85% of your calories from fat, and only 15-25% from protein.
Because of this emphasis on fat, keto works differently, feels different, and tends to make people look different than low carb diets.
In this article, well be looking into the ins and outs of both low carb and keto. Well begin with some similarities before diving deep into the differences. Enjoy!
My 6 Week Keto Results
Like my Coffee shirt in the video? You can get one for yourself at this link!
I realize the right pic looks different or that I’m more tan looking, but it was just taken at night and the bathroom light was needed whereas the first pic was in the morning with daylight from the window.
Crazy right though? I just can’t even believe it for myself until I see this picture of my mid section! I’m truly in shock how it was just 2.4 pounds I lost in 6 weeks and just a half percent in body fat. But clearly the keto diet produces results. I feel better. I look leaner and more toned and I’m just motivated to continue on even though I’m not one of those people who have lost a crazy amount of weight in a short time. I’m in it for the health benefits I mentioned above, but also I’m feeling pretty darn good in my size 6 pair of jeans!
Keto May Help You Stay Mentally Sharp
A study found that ketones protected against oxidative damage in several brain regions, including the hippocampus your brains memory center and one of the first brain regions to deteriorate in dementia.
Several studies found that ketosis can help reverse symptoms of Parkinsons in 43% of participants and that it may help to reverse memory loss in people with early-stage dementia.
Following keto long-term could protect your brain from mental decline and neurodegeneration, keeping you independent and mentally strong for your entire life.
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Whats A Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet is a way of eating that restricts dietary carbohydrates, mainly from grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and bread.
Studies suggest that a low carb diet comprises 1030% of calories from carbs, although there is no set definition. For a healthy person who consumes 2,000 calories per day, this equals 50150 grams of carbs (
- may impact micronutrient intake
A low carb diet restricts carbs, such as grains, rice, and starchy vegetables, to 1030% of your overall calorie intake, which may lead to weight loss. You should consider the diets pros and cons before starting it.
Your Fitness May Suffer
If you’re an active individual who loves fitness, you might find your strength diminishing and your endurance slightly tapering off when your carb intake is low. The reason for it is very simple: you have less energy available.
Until your body gets into ketosis and learns how to use fat for fuel, there’s a pretty good chance it will start gluconeogenesis or breaking down protein to get to glucose. This will make it hard for you to gain more muscle or reach progress in the gym and it can make you frustrated and impatient.
Once your body starts utilizing ketones, you’ll be able to use stored fat for fuel and optimize your high protein and high fat needs to grow muscle and get back on track for your fitness goals. Unfortunately, until that happens, you’ll have to be patient and really push through your workouts even when you feel you have zero energy.
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The Bigger Picture Which Low
As you can see, there are a wide array of variations for the low-carb diet, and we havent even scratched the surface of what is possible.
Each diet can be adjusted endlessly. The keto diet, for example, can also be converted into a dairy-free, vegan, or vegetarian diet that promotes ketosis.
This means that you can use the concepts from these low-carb diets to formulate a diet that helps you achieve your body composition goals and optimize your health at the same time. However, doing this requires us to dig deeper into the research on keto and low carb diets to understand the principles behind their effectiveness.
Low Carb Vs Keto Diet And My 6 Week Results
The differences between a Low Carb Diet and Ketogenic Diet and my 6 Week Keto Results!
If you’re following my blog then you are most likely into a sugar free diet and many of you are also low carb. But I’m guessing there aren’t too many of you following me that are on the keto diet so I figured a post all about the differences might be needed.
Most of my recipes are all low carb, some lower carb then others and fit nicely into a keto lifestyle. You’ll see below my 6 week results. I’d love to hear if you are new to low carb, or on keto and your results, please share in the comments!
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The Distinction Between Low
Low-carb describes an overall approach to dieting, in which the consumption of carbohydrates is limited. Ketogenic eating, however, places even more serious restrictions on the amount and types of carbs youre allowed to eat. Thats why the medical community often refers to keto as a very-low carb diet, instead of just calling it low carb.
The first thing to understand about low-carbohydrate diets is that theres no rigorous definition for the term. Nutritionists, dietitians and doctors usually describe four general levels of carb consumption, based on the ratios of the three macronutrients in a diet . Heres a summary of the most common definitions.
- High-carb: 45% or more of total calories come from carbohydrates
- Moderate-carb: 26-44% of total calories come from carbohydrates
- Low-carb: 25% or fewer of total calories come from carbohydrates
- Very low-carb: 10% or fewer of total calories come from carbohydrates
In easier-to-measure terms, that would mean a low-carb diet would contain fewer than 130 grams of carbohydrates per day, and a very-low carb diet would contain 20-50 grams per day. The general recommendation for keto is on the low end of the scale, at 20 grams.
Low-carb diets dont just limit total carbohydrate consumption they encourage people to dramatically restrict the low-quality carbs in their diet. Keto diets go even further, prohibiting them completely.
Theres plenty of research, however, on the medical and health benefits that these diets may provide.
Who Is This For
· people wanting to make a sustainable lifestyle change that will result in decreasing body fat%
· people that like the flexibility of scheduling cheating and/or having wine
· people that want to keep an active social life, but want to improve health benefits
· I believe this approach works best for people that are all-in types
· people that are not averse to tracking
· although many people on slow carb do practice serious exercise routines, it is not a requirement for fat loss
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Low Carb Vs Keto: Both Are Well
Another similarity between low carb and ket? Theyre both well-researched.
And much of this research has produced similar findings. Both low carb and ketogenic diets have been found to foster weight loss, optimize insulin levels, and increase satiety. In other words, limiting carbs to any degree seems to coax the body into processing energy better.
Both diets have clear advantages over going the low-fat route, too. Low-carbohydrate diet effective for adults, says the title of a 2003 study.
A more recent meta-analysis described something similar: VLCKD dieters achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to a LFD in the longterm. Study after study after study has shown that low-carb diets promote faster, easier weight loss than low-fat diets, even if calorie intake remains the same!
Older studies affirm the benefits of a low-carb, high-fat approach, too especially if said fat takes the form of saturated animal fat. A 40-year-old report recently found in the dusty basement of a Minnesota university found that saturated fat was far better than polyunsaturated fat for longevity, even though it raised cholesterol levels more.
Health Benefits Of Low Carb Diets
Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrient groups, in addition to fats and protein. They are our main energy source and play a huge role in the human body, controlling insulin production and promoting digestive health. They get broken down into sugars, with glucose being the main energy driver.
When not used up immediately, excess glucose is converted into storage form, glycogen, or converted into fat and stored in body fat cells. Glycogen can be found in the liver and in our muscles and when the need for energy arises, the storage starts getting depleted.
Unfortunately, today’s way of living and standard human diets have an unnecessarily high amount of carbs which most people can’t seem to use, transforming it all into storage way past their body’s capacity level. The body then starts using fat cells for storage, but the rate of conversion isn’t fast, and glucose stays floating in the bloodstream, causing inflammation and wreaking havoc throughout the entire body. This is where low-carb diets can really be helpful.
Low carb diets can help lower that inflammation and keep it at bay, as well as reduce your appetite and help you control your cravings. Studies show how reducing carbs leads to lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing the levels of your good cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels and insulin production, as well as bringing your blood pressure down.
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Ketosis Symptoms: How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis
There are blood, breath, and urine strips. Some keto experts recommend testing breath over urine bu,t blood meters are the most accurate.
The reason many recommend breath testing is that the urine and blood strips can only be used only once, making them more expensive in the long run. A breath analyzer is reusable.
However, urine strips only represent the ketone levels that you pee out and anything you eliminate represents excess. Therefore, urine strips simply measure excess ketones whereas breathalyzers and blood meters show up-to-the-minute ketone levels.
Keep in mind that just because you reduce the amount of carbs you eat does not mean that you are now burning body fat for energy. In fact, you might be better off eating slightly more carbs than you are if youre not in ketosis! This is particularly true when initially moving from high carb eating to low-carb.
If your body is still burning carbs for fuel rather than fat in the case of ketosis, and you drastically reduce the amount of carbs you eat, you can feel very lethargic. Some even get what’s known as keto flu.
Low Carb Diet Vs Keto Diet
What’s the difference between the two and is one better than the other? Does being low carb immediately put you in ketosis?
The truth is, there’s a huge difference. The keto diet is an extremely low-carb diet that consists of high fats, moderate protein, and only 5% to 10% carbohydrates. Typically, this equates to 20-40g of carbs per day. Just for reference, one banana contains approximately 27g.
The ketogenic diet was created in 1921 as a therapeutic diet for pediatric epilepsy, but it gained popularity for being a rapid weight loss formula, at least short-term. The premise of the diet is to make your body utilize fat for fuel instead of glucose, our main fuel source. When the human body is deprived of carbohydrates and reduces the amount to less than 50g per day, insulin secretion is significantly reduced, making the body go through a number of important metabolic changes. Two of the most important metabolic changes include gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis happens first and it’s a process that derives glucose from any other source except carbohydrates. These sources include lactic acid, glycerol, and the amino acids alanine and glutamine. Once this storage gets depleted, the body starts ketogenesis, or breaking down fatty acids into ketones which replace glucose as the main source of fuel. This taps into your fat storage and helps you lose fat.
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Which Diet Is Better For You
After years of being told dietary fat is bad, an ever-increasing number of people are now aware it isnt harmful.
Growing research now show sources of carbohydratesother than low-starch vegetables and low-sugar fruitare responsible for many preventable chronic disease. This explains the surging popularity of the ketogenic diet.
The practice of eating ketogenic foods is approximately 100 years old. But, the original purpose of the diet was to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy rather than losing body fat.
Over the years, it was discovered that the keto diet has many other benefits too. Losing weight is just one of the advantages of strict carbohydrate restriction.
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.
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What Is A Low Carb Diet
As the name suggests, Low carb diet refers to lowering the number of carbs in the diet. A normal person takes around 225-300 gms of carbs per day. Whereas, on a low carb diet you can only take 50-150 carbs. The division of macronutrients in your diet should be around 10-25% carbs, 40-50% protein, and 30-40% fat.
You will have to understand the carbohydrate content of various food items and will have to stick to low carb alternatives.
There are several forms of low carb diet plans available and the most popular of them being, Atkins and Paleo diets. The difference lies in the type of food allowed in each diet plan but the basics remain the same which is to restrict the carbohydrate intake.
Undeniably, Low carb diets remain an effective tool for weight loss. Furthermore, it also works in regulating high blood pressure and helps in keeping triglycerides or bad cholesterol in check.
So how does Low carb diet work?
Well, it basically limits the number of carbohydrates which in turn decreases the level of insulin. Consequently, it leads to lesser fat deposition and faster metabolism which ultimately results in weight loss.
Low carb diets simply result in consuming fewer calories which put the body in a calorie deficit and helps in losing weight.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Initiation of a Low-Carb Lifestyle
After a shared decision-making process with the patient, there are numerous ways to start a patient on a low-carb diet. Low-carb nutrition may be advisable for those who desire healthy or athletic performance, weight loss, improvement of glycemic control for type 1 or 2 diabetes, or a seizure disorder.
- First, understanding what macronutrients are and their relation to food is a critical part of counseling.
- Secondly, determine the patient’s desire for either small steps or a rapid induction phase through motivational interviewing and S.M.A.R.T goal setting.
- Limitation of added sugar and refined carbohydrates is critical in the overall improvement of food quality and will generally reach a moderate carbohydrate level.
- A way to initiate low-carb is through a rapid induction phase of 2 to 4 weeks, with 20 to 50 gms of carbohydrates to induce nutritional ketosis. Ad libitum vegetables that grow above the ground and are lower in carbohydrate content are encouraged. Additionally, carbs should be limited to those found in whole, unprocessed food.
- Finally, after the induction phase, depending on goals, patients can remain in the keto phase or slowly add healthy carbohydrates from whole, unprocessed vegetables and low-glycemic, high fiber fruit .
Maintenance of a Low-Carb Lifestyle
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Final Takeaways Of The Keto And Low
|improved glucose metabolism and weight loss for patients with type 2 diabetes||Risk of side effects, including headache and diarrhea|
|Higher risk of nutritional deficiencies and imbalance|
|More significant side effects, including mood changes and brain fog|
Following a low-carb diet can be an effective way to lose weight. However, the more severe the carbohydrate restriction , the more short-term the weight loss typically is.
In other words, the keto diet often is difficult to maintain in the long term since it is so restrictive. Therefore, the moderately low-carb diet, with net carb consumption between 25 to 150 grams, is the best choice for sustainable weight loss.
You may also choose to continue consuming a regular carbohydrate diet of 275 grams per day or 45% to 65% of calories from carbs in an average 2,000-calorie diet. If you do, ensure that at least half of the grains are from whole grains and that less than 10% of calories are from added sugar.
However, if you decide to begin the keto diet since it is so strict, it is essential to consult your physician and registered dietitian before starting the diet.
The information provided on the site is for educational & informational purposes only. If you seek diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice or want to make significant changes in your diet and health-related routine, please, consult a medical professional or healthcare provider.