Keto Diet Vs Low Carb: What’s The Difference
They might seem like similar approaches, there are some key differences between the keto diet vs low carb. We asked the experts to unpack them
Keto diet vs low carb: whats the difference and which is better? Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.
Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel, says diet expert Heidi Normanton, founder of Heylo . Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesnt produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.
Its important to have an understanding of your body and the calories and nutrients required for it to function effectively before starting a new diet, adds elite coach Farren Morgan, who runs The Tactical Athlete . He advises speaking to a dietician or a health professional first.
In this article we look at the key differences between the keto diet vs low carb, so you can decide if either plan is right for you.
Is The Keto Diet Low Carb Or High Fat
A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. This can also be called a low-carb, high-fat diet or a keto diet. For decades weve been told that fat is detrimental to our health. Meanwhile low-fat diet products, often full of sugar, have flooded supermarket shelves.
Why It’s Possible You Don’t 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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How To Start A Low Carb Diet For Beginners
A low-carb diet for beginners 1 Scientific studies now prove that compared to other diets, low carb is generally more effective for weight loss and certain health markers: 2 Hundreds of medical doctors recommending a low-carb or ketogenic diet & larrhk 3 While calories count, you probably dont have to count them for good results.
What Foods Am I Allowed To Eat What Should I Buy At The Grocery Store
Strictly speaking, there are no forbidden foods on a low carb diet as long as something fits your macro goals then it is allowed. Your body will produce ketones when glucose availability is low, and doesnt discriminate if the glucose came from carrots or broccoli. However, there are definitely some foods that are more amenable to a low carb diet than others because they are naturally very low in carbs.
Here are some common low carb foods:
- Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts
- Leafy greens, like kale and spinach
- Any kind of protein, like seafood, pork, chicken, beef, and turkey
- Eggs and high fat dairy items, including heavy whipping cream , butter, and most kinds of cheeses
- Snacks like roasted flavored almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and olives
- Basic cooking and baking ingredients, including cooking oils, vinegars, mustard, mayonnaise, almond flour, coconut flour, and dried spices
Ive compiled a list of low carb grocery items, organized by section such as fresh produce, meat, and dairy. Bookmark that page so you can start buying healthier ingredients next time youre at the store.
Are you a home cook? If you enjoy making new dishes, visit my Recipes Homepage, which has categories of recipes organized by course. All of these recipes have nutrition facts labels. I also recommend subscribing to my free e-mail list to get notifications of recipes that you may enjoy.
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Typical Low Carb Diets
In some commercial low-carb diets, the dieter first goes through an initiation phase during which carbohydrates are restricted to an extremely low level. During this initiation phase, which usually lasts about two weeks, the carbohydrate intake is around 20 grams per day. After the initiation phase, a weight loss phase with a daily carbohydrate intake of 60 to 90 grams is typical. The carbohydrate intake may raise further during the maintenance phase, after the dieter has achieved her weight loss goals, but it typically doesn’t rise above 100 to 150 grams per day as long as she remains on the diet.
Can I Follow This Diet If I Have An Irregular Schedule What Is Intermittent Fasting
Absolutely. If your job has an odd schedule or demanding hours that prevent you from bringing and eating low carb foods at work, you can simply fast while you are at work and eat when you are at home.
This is called intermittent fasting, which means a cycle of fasting and non-fasting. Some people fast for 16 hours and only eat in an 8 hour window . Others only eat every other day. Note that the sweet spot is at least 18 hours of fasting thats when you see a substantial drop in insulin and increase in fat breakdown.
You can do whatever cycle that fits your current schedule and is convenient for you. Fasting has many benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, better mental acuity, and higher insulin sensitivity.
Breakfast is not necessary. You can certainly eat breakfast if youre hungry at that time, but you should not force yourself to eat breakfast if youre not hungry. People who eat breakfast tend to overeat every day by an extra 500 calories.
In summary, its better to eat meals during a shorter fraction of the day rather than spreading your meals throughout the day , to allow your body a significant period of time in which it is insulin deficient.
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How Many Carbs Can You Have On Keto
How Many Carbs Can You Have on Keto?
Posted 2 years ago
One of the core principles of the Ketogenic diet is keeping carbohydrate intake extremely low less than 50 grams per day.
The purpose of keeping carbs low is so that your body has to switch to using fat as the primary energy source instead of glucose from carbohydrates. Fat is a very energy-dense molecule, and some of that energy is converted into ketones. Ketones can be used by most of the cells in your body for energy instead of glucose. When your body switches to using fat and ketones as the primary energy source, youre in a state ofnutritional ketosis.
But that doesnt mean you have to completely remove all carbs from your diet. After all, Keto isn’t meant to be a zero carb diet.
In this Keto Beginners Series, were going to talk about the types of carbohydrate foods that fit best into the low carb, high fat Ketogenic diet.
How To Follow A Low Carb Diet
A healthy low carb diet should have the following features:
- Strong vegetable intake
- Modest increase in fat intake from natural sources
- Moderate protein intake
Natural sources of fat, such as the above, will provide a balance of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat.
Try to avoid processed foods and takeaways as the fat in these are generally either man made or highly processed.
When choosing protein, aim to have unprocessed cuts of meat as processed meats have been consistently linked with higher rates of heart disease and even insulin resistance
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How Do I Know If Im Low
One of the first signs that your bodys running low in the carb department is ravenous junk food cravings. When the body realizes that its not getting the fuel it needs to function properly, relentless hunger cues and cravings take over as your body literally starts to hunt for energy in the form of carbohydrates.
Why is low-carb bad?
Low-carbohydrate diets might be useful in the short-term to lose weight, lower blood pressure, and improve blood glucose control, but our study suggests that in the long-term they are linked with an increased risk of death from any cause, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer.
Is it OK to eat zero carbs?
A no-carb diet eliminates almost all carbs and encourages high intakes of fat and protein. It may boost weight loss, heart health, and blood sugar control. Yet, its unnecessary to cut all carbs to experience these benefits. Plus, this diet may reduce energy levels and increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies.
What will happen if you dont eat enough carbohydrates?
When you dont get enough carbohydrates, the level of sugar in your blood may drop to below the normal range , causing hypoglycemia. Your body then starts to burn fat for energy, leading to ketosis. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include: Hunger.
What does a low carb diet mean for You?
What does low carb mean on a food label?
How Does The Low
To start, theres no one low-carb diet. Different plans cut carbs down to different levels. The strictest diets aim to cut carbs down to zero. Others target 150 grams or less per day. As a comparison, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 225 to 325 grams per day as part of a healthy eating plan that doesnt focus on limiting carbs.
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How To Eat Well On A Low
Low-carbohydrate diets have a long history and tend to gain traction in the media every few years. Theyre popular for those who want to lose weight, but carbohydrates keep getting such a bad rap.
Lets go over a few frequently asked questions about low-carb diets. Well explain why not all carbohydrates are created equal. Then, well show you how to pick smarter carbohydrates if youre on a low-carb diet but dont want to give up carbohydrates completely.
How Do I Log And Track What Im Eating
You should track all of the food that you eat throughout the day so you know how many net carbs youve consumed. There are a variety of ways you can do this.
You can use an app like myfitnesspal, which has a large nutrition database and a food diary feature to log your meals. You can use their app to scan barcodes of products, which will be automatically added to your log without having to manually enter macros. My favorite one is Cronometer, which tracks over 70 nutrients and all of their nutrition facts are accurate, since they dont rely on user-submitted data. They have nice features like time stamps on when foods were eaten and custom graphs. If you prefer automatic meal planning features such as food suggestions that meet your macro targets, check out Eat This Much.
If you dont like the idea of using an app, you can use a simple text file or take a pen-and-paper approach. In the past, I have used a Google spreadsheet to log my food and track my carb totals as well as an Airtable database, which is synced across all of my devices.
I recommend starting a food log today so that you can start making it a habit as soon as possible. You dont need to wait until the day you plan to start a low carb diet. Remember to track everything, even creamers that you put in your coffee. Tip: add the food to your log before eating it, so you dont accidentally go over your daily carb limit.
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Is 150 Carbs Per Day Still Considered Low Carb
Low-carb diets can be an effective way to lose weight, but the exact definition of low carb and the precise recommendations for carbohydrate intake depend on the particular diet you choose to follow. Restricting any type of food or food group can potentially lead to health problems, so discuss your plans with a doctor or dietician before starting any low-carb diet.
List Of Carbs You Can Consume On Keto
Now that you understand which foods should be avoided entirely, lets talk about the best Ketogenic-friendly carb sources you can still incorporate into your diet plan.
Some of the foods listed below still contain some carbohydrates, so its best to be sure to read labels and carefully track your intake so you dont overdo it, especially if youre a beginner.
#1. Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are great alternatives to eating sugary chocolate bars. Theyre a great source of antioxidants. Chocolate is even considered a superfood, because it contains essential nutrients to help you stay healthy.
Dark chocolate also has flavanols, which have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure.
Its important to only consume dark chocolate that contains 85% cocoa or more. Anything less usually contains other higher carbohydrate ingredients that could potentially interrupt ketosis.
Tip: A great low-carb snack you can make with cocoa powder or dark chocolate is a Keto Coconut-choc Fat Bombs. Simply add cocoa powder into a bowl with almond butter and coconut oil and put it in the microwave or heat on a stovetop and stir until it becomes a consistent liquid. Then place it in the freezer for half an hour and you’ll have a tasty, sweet low-carb snack! Add a little stevia if you need a little more sweetness. Read about more Keto snack ideas here.
#2. Low-Carb Vegetables
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Everything You Need To Know Before Going On A Low
No, butter is not a carb.
Much like Oprah, we LOVE bread. So naturally, the thought of cutting it out of our lives is terrifying. But then again, if everyone and their mom claim that quitting carbohydrates is the key to weight loss, there’s got to be something to it, right?
Whether it takes the form of Atkins or the Paleo Diet, the low-carb trend has been around for a long time. But chances are you might not fully understand where it came from, how it works, and why experts are torn on whether this eating plan is smart. Here, we break down all of that so you can decide if carb-cutting in the name of weight loss is worth it.
What Low Carb Actually MeansDepending on who you talk to, there are different definitions of a low-carb diet. Plans can range from 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to zero grams , says Susan Kleiner, Ph.D, R.D., author of Power Eating. To put that into perspective, a small piece of fruit has about 15 grams of carbs and a banana contains up to 30 grams.
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Before You Begin This Meal Plan
Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that’s right for you.
Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet.
This is especially important if you treat your condition with insulin and diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos . Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your insulin and diabetes medication needs to be adjusted.
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A Ketogenic Diet Highly Restricts Carbohydrate Intake And It’s Purposely High In Fat Explained While A Low
Pam Bede, MS, RD, Medical Manager at Abbott
Tips for Trying a Low-Carb or Keto Diet
Staying on track with a new diet can be challenging. Here are some tips that may help you adhere to a low-carb or keto diet.
1. Have a plan in place.“Our world of on-the-go and convenience foods offers a plethora of high carb options but isnt always supportive of either of these diets,” said Nisevich Bede. She recommends setting time aside for meal planning and prepping to ensure your plate stays within the recommended macros.
2. Be patient. It takes three to five weeks to transition to the ketogenic state, she explained, and you probably won’t feel great during this time. Give your body time to adjust, understanding that this new approach to eating will be difficult. Once you get used to the lower intake of carbs, your appetite will decrease.
3. Track your food. For at least the first two weeks of a new diet, use an app to track your food and macronutrient intake. “To do it right, you have to pay attention to what and how much goes into your body,” said Nisevich Bede.
4. Consider a supplement. With a low-carb or keto eating plan, you might miss out on fiber and certain micronutrients. Talk to your healthcare provider about adding a fiber supplement and multivitamin to your daily routine.
For People With Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1, the strongest evidence suggests that carb counting is the best way to manage your blood sugar levels. This means matching how much insulin you take to the amount of carbs in your meal, snack or drink.
There is no strong evidence that following a low-carb diet is safe or beneficial, which is why we dont recommend this diet for people with type 1 diabetes.
It is really important that you speak to your healthcare team for support to manage your insulin if youre considering a low-carb diet.
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