Diet programs that restrict carbohydrates have grown in popularity in recent years. More people are shunning carbs in the hope of losing weight or leading a healthier life.
If you’ve decided to limit the amount of carbs that you take, you can choose to follow the keto or low carb diet.
Both of these follow the same idea, which is eating less carbs. This makes it hard to differentiate between the two. Nevertheless, they’re not the same.
In this blog, I’ll take you through what to expect with each of these diets and show you how they differ from each other.
Keto is one of the most popular diets among health enthusiasts right now. It’s a diet regimen that’s followed to switch the source of energy in the body from glucose to fats.
When you follow a ketogenic diet, your body goes into ketosis. This is a metabolic state in which your body sources fuel from ketone bodies.
Ketones are molecules produced by the liver for use as fuel when there’s inadequate insulin in the body to turn sugar into energy. They’re normally released in periods of less food intake or restricted carbohydrate intake.
Since the liver produces ketones from fatty acids, this process leads to a significant loss of body fat. As a result, you’ll experience weight loss if you keep up the keto diet.
A standard keto diet requires you to take 70% fats, 20% proteins, and 10% carbohydrates daily. You can also reduce the carbohydrate amount further to 5%.
With this diet, it’s important that you keep an eye on everything that you eat. You should know how many carbs are in every ingredient or snack to avoid kicking your body out of ketosis.
Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet
Foods containing high fat and low carb content are suitable for a keto diet. Besides that, you should also look for foods that provide proteins.
Some of the foods that you can eat on a keto diet include:
- Low carbohydrate vegetables such as kale and spinach.
- Meat and poultry, which are good sources of animal protein.
- Seafood such as fatty fish that’s rich in omega 3 and other health-enhancing nutrients.
- Nuts and seeds that support health and prevent the risk of heart disease.
While you eat these, you should avoid foods with high carbohydrate or sugar content. This is because these two can disrupt ketosis in the body by switching the energy source to glucose.
- Vegetables that contain a lot of starch, including potatoes and yams.
- Fruits that are high in carbs, such as bananas and apples.
- Grains including wheat, rice and corn.
- Beverages like beer and colas, which contain carbs and added sugar.
- Enables the utilization of fats stored in the body, leading to weight loss.
- Provides the body and brain with clean energy.
- Allows you to quit using processed and sugary foods that are detrimental to your health.
- Boosts mental clarity and focus.
- When you start a ketogenic diet, you’ll experience effects such as fatigue, headache, dizziness, and brain fog. This happens when your body has not yet adapted to using ketones for energy in the absence of glucose.
- The keto diet can be difficult to sustain because it requires you to watch how much macronutrients you take in every meal.
If you’re going for the keto diet, here are a couple of products you should consider using to help you along:
This is a snack from Perfect Keto that you can take as breakfast, dessert, or on the go. It contains MCT oil and collagen, with only 3g net carbs and no added sugars.
Each pack contains 12 bars of the delicious and clean keto-friendly snack. Other ingredients found in this bar are organic almond butter, organic cocoa, soluble tapioca fiber, and stevia.
This is a great snack to have whenever you feel hunger pangs without unbalancing your blood sugar levels.
- You can take this keto bar as breakfast, dessert, or a travel snack.
- It contains natural ingredients with no fillers, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols.
- Helps curb sugar and hunger cravings.
- There are mixed reactions from customers on the taste of the bars. When buying, identify a flavor that you’re familiar with and like.
ChocZone Maple Syrup
Love drizzling your pancakes in maple syrup or topping your dessert with the sugary condiment? Well, you don’t have to give that up in the name of keto because you have a great option, ChocZone’s maple syrup.
This is a sugar-free, low-carb syrup that contains monk fruit and soluble vegetable fiber. It’s a great alternative for sugar in recipes.
- It’s thick and tastes delicious.
- Provides a great-tasting treat without exposing you to sugars and carbs that can disrupt your ketogenic state.
- Some customers have reported that their blood sugar levels spiked after using the syrup, which should not occur with a keto product.
Low Carb Diet (LCD)
Like keto, a low carb diet also involves eating less carbohydrates and more of other macronutrients. Fats should take up the highest portion of your meals while you eat proteins in moderation.
This sounds much like keto, but the difference is that a low carb diet is not as restrictive. You can refer to keto as a very limited low carb diet, but not every low carb diet is keto.
With a low carb diet, you don’t eat so little sugars and starch that your body goes into ketosis. While you should take at most 20g of carbohydrates daily on a standard keto diet, LCD can allow up to 100g per day.
People who are on a moderately low carb diet take between 20-50g of carbs per day, while those who are on a very restricted low carb diet take not more than 20g of carbs per day.
When you’re on a low carb diet, you’ll be cutting your consumption of starch and sugars. This helps stabilize blood glucose levels and decrease the levels of insulin, a hormone that encourages fat storage in the body.
Foods to Eat on a Low Carb Diet
You should eat less carbohydrates, adequate proteins, and lots of fats when on a low carb diet. Of course, you need to make sure that you’re eating healthy fats; otherwise, you’ll increase your risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
Foods that you should eat on LCD are similar to those of a keto diet, only that you can eat more of the carbohydrates. Therefore, you can eat:
- Vegetables that grow above the ground – they contain less sugar and starch.
- Beverages such as coffee and tea, with no sweeteners added.
- Meat and fish.
- Natural fats such as butter.
Avoid starchy and sugary foods like:
- Rice, pasta, and bread – that’s grains and their products.
- Snacks such as candy, chocolate bars, and donuts.
- Potatoes and other high starch vegetables.
- It’s more sustainable than the keto diet as it doesn’t require a strict restriction of carbs.
- Weans you off processed high carb foods that do nothing to help with energy or curb hunger, leading to overeating and resulting in weight gain.
- Your body is not subjected to a harsh adaptation phase as with keto.
- A low carb diet keeps you satiated while you lose weight. This is unlike other weight-loss diets that require you to starve or skip meals.
- It helps reverse type 2 diabetes because of its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels in the body.
- Promotes a healthy gut, with fewer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as indigestion, diarrhea, and bloating, which are common when you’re eating lots of carbs.
- Limited intake of fruits, since a lot of them are high starch or contain a lot of sugar.
- Affects your macros intake.
Grab this book today and get access to 154 recipes for a low carb diet lifestyle. These recipes are gluten and grain-free with no processed sugars.
Find recipes for various meat and fish dishes alongside casseroles, starters, and soups. Whether dinner or breakfast, you’ll find several low carb recipes here that you can use to help you maintain a low carb diet.
- Contains 154 recipes that you can use to make homemade low carb meals. With such a resource, it gets easier to identify low carb foods and how to combine them with high fat and protein-rich options.
- All foods included are gluten-free and grain-free, plus they don’t contain any added sugars.
- Some customers complain that there’s no information provided on the number of carbs in each recipe. However, this might not be much of a challenge unless you’re aiming for a very strict low carb diet.
Keto vs. Low Carb Diet: Which One Should You Go For?
Now that you know the basics of each of these restricted carbohydrate diets, which one should you go for? Here are some factors to keep in mind when making your decision:
What do you want to achieve with your diet? Do you wish to lose weight, or are you looking for a healthier diet to manage your health conditions?
Between keto and LCD, the former could be the best for weight loss. By switching your body’s source of energy to fats, it allows you to rid of all deposits that contribute to body weight.
LCD could be a better option to manage autoimmune disorders, as it contains low carbohydrates but is not as limited as keto.
Which between these two is more sustainable for you? Are you ready to make huge changes to your lifestyle, or just a few adjustments?
With a keto diet, you’ll have to make more drastic changes to your daily meals. LCD is a little less restrictive and easier to follow if you’re not particularly interested in getting into ketosis.
Go with keto if you’re committed to counting the macros you take in each meal and can be extra watchful of your carbohydrates. Everything that you eat or drink should be well-scrutinized for carb content and any hidden sugars.
You should also be ready to deal with some of the side effects that may occur during the adaptation phase, such as fatigue.
With a low carb diet, you’ll not have to count your macros strictly. With a simple meal plan that you can follow for your daily and weekly dishes, you’ll be set and good to go.
When switching to any low carb diet, it means that you’ll be spending more on high fat and protein foods and less on carbs. In fact, you might save a lot since you’ll be cooking more at home.
However, there are supplements to consider. When you go with a keto diet, it’s crucial that you maintain your ketosis state. This can be challenging sometimes, especially when you’re unable to prepare keto meals due to time restriction or when traveling.
Therefore, you’ll need to spend on ketone supplements that help you stay in ketosis. This expense is not present in LCD, since you’re not concerned with maintaining ketosis.
However, even with a low carb diet, you have to make plans for healthy snacks and other products to use to help you avoid the sugary and starchy treats that you were used to.
Having the right products and supplements for the diet that you go with will ensure that you’re able to keep from eating too much carbohydrates.
Keto and low carb diet both restrict your intake of carbs. If you want to go all out, keto is perfect for you. But if you want to keep a moderate pace, LCD is a better option.
Consider what you want to achieve with your diet, and this will help you choose the best diet for you. Both can improve your mental and physical health while accelerating weight loss.
Low carb diets have been shown to be more effective at maintaining a healthy lifestyle compared to other diets, so whichever you go for, you’ll be making a good decision for your overall health.