Introduction to the Keto Diet vs. Lowcarb
Is a keto diet and a low-carb diet the same thing? No, not at all. Low carb diet is a broad category with different subtypes such as the Keto diet, Atkins diet, and many more. So we can say that all keto diets are essentially low carbohydrate diets, but all low-carbohydrate diets are not keto diets.
For adults recommended daily intake of carbohydrates is about 200 to 300 grams per day. However, a low carbohydrate diet and keto diet reduce carbohydrates to the minimum.
However, these eating plans are not identical. The differences involve the extent and timing of carbohydrate intake and the impacts on the body. Also, the macronutrient breakdown of each diet looks very different. Low carbohydrate diets do not necessarily require your body to enter the ketosis state, and in contrast keto diet solely depends upon this metabolic state.
Let's review the keto diet vs. low-carb, their pros and cons, to know the differences and similarities and their effects on our bodies.
Many people consider the keto diet a low carbohydrate diet, and it is a low carbohydrate diet that requires you to consume a high amount of fats. It is the significant difference between a keto and a low-carb diet.
Calorie intake for keto diet followers comes from healthy fats such as:
To meet the correct amount of carbs, only non-starchy vegetables, seeds, nuts, and small amounts of berries are allowed. The daily calorie intake for a keto diet requires 70 to 80% fats, 10 to 20% proteins, and 5 to 10% carbohydrates.
How does a keto diet work?
Like any other low carbohydrate diet, the keto diet initially decreases insulin levels, but the process does not end here. The goal of this diet is the onset of ketosis.
When carbohydrate in a body is limited, glucose levels also drop. So the energy required for daily processes is provided by glycogen stored in the liver. When all the glycogen stores are depleted, fats are the next best thing to provide energy.
Since our muscles and brain cannot use fatty acids directly, our body turns fatty acids into energy-rich compounds called ketones. When the bloodstream has enough ketones, the body enters the metabolic state of ketosis.
Usually, our diets provide a small number of ketones, but the significant share of ketones comes from triglycerides in the blood and fat stored in the fat tissues. Many people report rapid weight loss as they transition to a keto diet. As long as the ketone levels are maintained, weight loss and fat burning continue.
Keto Diet Benefits
- It has been found that ketosis can induce positive changes in the metabolism that can minimize resistance to insulin way better than any standard low-carb diet.
- The keto diet has also been discovered as a very effective replacement for intermittent fasting used to manage childhood epilepsy. Studies show that the keto diet can successfully control epileptic seizures in adults and children.
- The keto diet has also shown positive results in managing neurological diseases such as brain tumors, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's.
To put it simply low carbohydrate diet requires you to eat fewer carbs than are generally recommended. Usually, dietitians describe the amount of carbohydrate consumption for these diets based on the ratio of fats and proteins. There are four categories of low-carb diets based on total carbohydrates consumed.
- Very low carb:10% of total calories contributed by carbs
- Low carb:25% of total calories contributed by carbs
- Moderate carb: 26 to 44% of total calories contributed by carbs
- High carb:45% of total calories contributed by carbs
A low-carb diet would always contain less than 130 grams of carb carbs per day to make it more simple.
Low carb diet followers get their carbohydrates from slow-digesting carbohydrates sources or food options that do not quickly raise blood sugar levels.
- Non-starchy veggies or limited amount of starchy veggies
- Nuts and seeds
- Apple, berries
- A tiny amount of legumes and beans
How is a low-carb diet effective?
Depending upon the low carb plan, calories missed by carbohydrate deficiency are added to the amount of fat and protein. Generally, daily calorie breakdown on a low carbohydrate diet follows a ratio of 10 to 20% carbs, 30 to 40% proteins, and 30 to 40% fats.
Mostly low carbohydrate diets target insulin compounds in our body. It is a compound that is involved with energy storage and growth. If your body has high levels of insulin, it will increase the amount of fat, and at the same time, it also reduces the amount of fat burning. When these two processes are combined, it results in trouble losing weight or weight gain. Insulin also increases appetite and lowers the metabolic rate.
The amount of insulin in our body is significantly affected by the number of carbohydrates that supply glucose to be used as energy. Once glucose has entered the bloodstream pancreas starts releasing insulin. Insulin carries glucose to our cells, where it is immediately used or moved to the liver, stored in the form of fats.
So, if a person is following a low-carb diet, you can reduce blood sugar levels. As a result, insulin levels will also drop, and your body will start burning fat. Here, a low-carb diet is not only addressing weight problems but also helps in improving overall health. Insulin is linked with high levels of obesity, but it may also trigger other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Controlling levels of insulin through a low-carb diet l manage these health problems.
- Low carb diets have proven to be an effective weight management tool than low calorie or low-fat eating diets.
- Low carbohydrate consumption can effectively decrease insulin levels and blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, obesity, nerve issues, kidney problems, and heart disease.
- Patients following a low-carb diet have reported lower triglyceride levels, bad cholesterol, and high good cholesterol levels. It is believed that this happens due to the replacement of carbohydrates with increased consumption of healthy fats. When cholesterol levels are improved, they may also lower the risk of heart problems.
- Studies have also found that low carbohydrates can effectively reduce high blood pressure allowing patients to reduce their prescription medications.
It is essential to keep in mind that low carb diets have different types, from South Beach to Atkins diets and low carb the Mediterranean to paleo diets; there is so much to consider. Each has its other guidelines, so you need to do thorough research to decide which diet works.
Low Carb versus Keto Drawbacks
Low-carb diets can be difficult to sustain as they can result in nutrient deficiencies due to eliminating different food groups. They may person experience decreased performance during high-intensity exercise.
In contrast, the keto diet requires significant changes to your lifestyle, so it may be hard to comply. It would help if you had a high level of meal planning so that your body does not get nutrient deficient. It can also trigger keto flu every time you enter or exit the metabolic state of ketosis.
Differences: Low Carb Vs. Keto Diet
One of the main differences between a low-carb diet and a keto diet is macronutrient intake daily.
Low carbohydrate allows you to eat more protein than the keto diet. A low-carb diet enables the person to consume 40% fat and 40% protein, and only 20% carbs; this means that your body does not enter the state of ketosis.
On the other hand keto diet only allows 5% of your calories to come from carbs, and this means that 25% of calories come from protein and 70% from fatty foods making sure that ketosis is triggered.
The second difference is the different approaches to burning fat—a low-carb diet targets fat-burning by decreasing insulin levels in the body. At the same time, the keto diet focuses on deficient levels of carbohydrates to enter the fat-burning state.
Similarities: Keto Diet Vs. Low Carb Diet
Many people consider these two types of diets identical due to the following similarities:
One of the most common similarities is the number of health benefits both diets offer. A low-carb diet can effectively manage weight, cholesterol, triglyceride, blood pressure, diabetes, and heart issues.
The Keto diet has also shown promising results for people suffering from weight issues, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Apart from the number of health benefits, these diets also carry similar health risks.
For example, they may increase cancer risk, nutritional deficiency, kidney problems, constipation, folic acid deficiency, and liver issues.
Both these diets have shown positive results for weight loss. Both diets can lead to quick weight loss. However, neither of these are sustainable due to their restrictive eating patterns.
The Bottom Line on Keto Versus Low Carb Diet
In the battle of keto diet vs lowcarb, Both diets focus on limiting carbohydrates, but the traditional low-carb diet allows you to consume higher carbs than the keto diet. A low-carb diet may also let you eat more protein, while the keto diet only encourages a moderate protein concentration.
If you start a low-carb diet, you may never enter the state of ketosis, especially if you do not exercise and if it's not your goal. However, ketosis is the central principle on which the keto diet works.
When choosing between these two diets, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of each diet plan. If you have an underlying health condition, it would be best to avoid these diets. Don't forget to consult your health care provider before selecting either of these diets for healthy individuals.
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