Have you heard nutritional terms tossed about like “low carb diet” or a “keto plan”?
If you weren’t lucky enough to learn about nutrition in school or from your family, then how do you learn it? The answer is to self-educate, so I congratulate you on landing on this site. You’ve just taken the first step.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the key differences between low carb vs keto diets. Better yet, we’ll dig into science-back answers as to which diet (if either) will work best for you.
What’s the Keto Diet?
Short for ketogenic, this diet features consuming very low-carb, high-fat food items. It gained lots of popularity, because it features various therapeutic properties. One of these includes treating refractory epilepsy and possibly impairing the growth of certain cancer types.
One of the primary reasons people go for a keto diet is to lose weight without compromising their health. When you follow a keto diet, your goal will be to achieve nutritional ketosis. When you do, your body will make ketones from fat in your liver and then use it as your body’s fuel source instead of carbs.
You can achieve nutritional ketosis by eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs each day.
You’ll need to keep your protein intake moderate, as too much protein is bad for ketosis, while increasing your fat intake dramatically. A standard keto regimen can be restrictive, meaning you must stick to it or it can fail.
What’s a Low-Carb Diet?
This way of eating puts restrictions on dietary carbohydrates, especially carbs that are rapidly broken down by the body. Examples of rapidly digested carbs include grains, breads, and sugar-sweetened beverages, for example. Most dieticians suggest getting 10-30% of your daily calories from carbs, but there is no standard definition.
This means that if you’re a healthy person consuming 2,000 calories each day, 50-150 grams of it would be carbs. Since one gram of carbs is equivalent to 4 calories, that would be 200 to 600 calories of your daily calories coming from carbs.
When you restrict your carb intake, you’ll want to increase your protein intake, as well as the healthy fats and vegetables you consume. This will serve a replacement for the carbs and help you feel full.
Technically, vegetables are a carb source, but they are so low in carbs and high in fiber that you can eat large quantities of them even on a low-carb diet.
Also, restricting carbs means eliminating lots of high-calorie foods from your daily diet. With all these factors, your overall calorie intake will decrease and it may become easier to lose weight.
Did you know that 34.2 million Americans suffer from diabetes? Regardless of whether you’re one of these, having a low-carb diet induces several health benefits. This is because this regimen improves can blood sugar control and reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
Low Carb vs Keto: What’s Best for You?
The right diet will depend on several factors, like your body goals, lifestyle, preferences, and biology. Some people are innately respond better to a keto diet while others find a low-carb plan to be more effective.
But even with their differences, these diets both emphasize healthy fats, vegetables, and low carbohydrates.
Here are things you must consider to determine the right diet for you:
Benefits of Keto Diet
A ketogenic diet has several interesting advantages and advantages. First, in a state of ketosis, you’ll body will be running on fat as a fuel source instead of carbs. You’ll first burn your dietary fat for fuel and then will utilize your body fat.
Another advantage of keto is that it can reduce the likelihood of overeating, as achieving ketosis is often accompanied by hunger suppression. If you can feel full without consuming additional calories, you’ll get to burn through your body’s fats without feeling as much hunger.
Achieving ketosis may produce a faster metabolism. Most report that dieting on keto burns around 300 more calories per day compared to those with different diet plans. It means burning more calories and feeling fuller while consuming less food.
A keto diet is good for these purposes as well:
1. Stable Energy and Blood Sugar
A keto diet helps when you experience fluctuations in energy when taking in sugar. It’s because your fat intake has no effect on your blood sugar or insulin levels. If you cut the carbs, your blood sugar becomes balanced, meaning your energy level becomes consistent.
2. Decreased Inflammation
Studies suggest that engaging in keto lowers inflammation. It’s due to beta-hydroxybutyrate, a ketone metabolite. It’s especially great for relieving liver inflammation.
3. Endurance Athletes
Having this diet may give you a performance edge over people who are burning carbs during submaximal endurance activities. That is, exercise performed a 60-80% of one’s VO2 max.
Benefits of Low-Carb Diet
When comparing low carb vs keto, the primary benefit of this diet is that will allow for a more relaxed routine. The keto diet has this strict requirement of needing to avoid carbs at all costs. This is because eating carbs will disrupt your ketosis, which can take several days to stabilize.
If a strict lifestyle isn’t your preference, then going low-carb may give you more wiggle room. Meaning, it could be a better diet choice if you’re looking for a long-term way of life.
Also, it works well when you aren’t fond of cutting carbs, like breads, fruits, and rice, out of your diet to develop healthier eating habits. This is because you can still eat them in moderation.
Here are other benefits of a low-carb diet:
1. Explosive Sports
If you do intense workouts on a regular basis, such as sprinting or powerlifting for example, then consuming carbs around your workout may facilitate performance and recovery.
2. Carb Timing
With a low carb diet, you can “time” your carbs to be consumed around your workout. This principle of nutrition, often called nutrient timing or carb timing, can more readily be accommodated by a low-carb diet than a keto diet.
3. Stable Energy and Blood Sugar
A low-carb diet will also go a long way toward blood sugar balance, as does the keto diet. Its effectiveness will further improve when you eat complex carbs instead of simple carbs. For example beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (complex carbs) are generally superior choices to their simple counterparts (like white bread, juices and baked goods).
Most people find that their energy stabilizes when eating low-carb food items. Meaning, you may not need not go “full keto” to achieve your goals.
Keto vs. Low-Carb Diet: What’s the Right Fit?
These are some considerations when you’re looking for the differences between low carb vs keto. Both are similar and highly effective diets, so the question is, which one do you want to integrate into your lifestyle?
Are you looking for food items to kickstart a healthy lifestyle? If so, look at this list of healthy meals you can cook on a budget.
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