Difference Between Keto And Low Carb Dieting
A keto diet is a low carb diet, however, the difference between keto and low carb dieting is that the goal of a keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body switches from using sugar for energy to using fat for energy. Therefore, on a keto diet, your body runs on fat (the body’s back up source of energy) instead of carbs (its primary source of energy). A build up of ketones can lead to dehydration and can alter the chemical balance of the blood.
So, there are different degrees of being on a low carb diet. The keto diet is the most extreme type of low carb diet. It is an extremely low carb diet in which people limit there carb intake to 20-30 grams per day. And this is usually with no regard to your starting weight or carb intake. Since fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, a keto diet restricts the amount of fiber you can get in your diet via fruits and vegetables.
On the other hand, the goal of a low carb diet is to (1) stop storing fat as a result of eating excess carbs and (2) use some of your stored fat for energy. In this way, your body continues to be fueled by carbs and ‘stored’ fat. Therefore, a low carb diet can be as simple as eating less carbs than you currently eat. For example, you can decide to stop eating sugars, pastas, rice, and grains in order to reduce your weight. Yet, you can continue eating low carb fruits and vegetables. A low carb diet considers your daily macronutrient calorie needs. Therefore, while you eat less carbs, you will continue to eat an appropriate amount of healthy proteins and fats.
A Closer Look
This section will take a closer look at the difference between keto and low carb dieting. As you can see from glancing at the chart above, the difference between keto and low carb is significant.
Keto: While the concept of starting a keto diet is straight forward, implementing and maintaining a keto diet requires a bit more effort than other diets. For example, you must measure and monitor your ketones using ketone test strips. When transitioning to a keto diet, most people experience frequent urination which can lead to a combination of other side effects that are often collectively called the “keto flu.”
Low Carb Diet: This diet requires a basic understanding of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. However, once the appropriate amount of macronutrients are implemented there are few complications related to being on a low carb diet.
Keto: Weight loss is extremely rapid because a keto diet starves the body of its primary source of energy – sugar (carbs). And as a result, all your fat energy stores are emptied. This results in putting the body into a state of ketosis. Another factor that contributes to the extremely rapid weight loss that is common with keto dieting is the fact that initially the body is using more calories and energy to build new machinery to accommodate your sudden switch to a high fat diet.
Low Carb Diet: Weight loss is fast when compared with more traditional diets because the body is not storing extra fat. Instead, your body will progressively use your stored fat for energy over a reasonable period of time. And as a result, weight loss is achieved and overall health improves.
Keto: Initially, frequent urination and electrolyte imbalance can occur without proper hydration and supplementation. Without adequate hydration, muscle cramping can occur. Then, things can progress into the “keto flu.” With time, all the aforementioned side effects will pass. However, with time, hair loss can occur if enough protein calories are not being consumed over the course of your weight loss journey. With such a significant reduction in your fiber intake, constipation can occur.
Low Carb Diet: When carbs are progressively lowered and daily calorie needs are met with a reasonable deficit, the only side effect is weight loss.
Keto: While weight loss is a definite feature of the keto diet, the real health benefits come from depriving bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and cancers of sugars they need to thrive. Blood sugar levels will definitely show signs of improvement.
Low Carb Diet: Weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of sugar-related diseases are some of the health benefits of a low carb diet.
Keto: Your daily carb intake is immediately lower to 20 – 30 grams (extremely low) per day on a keto diet.
Low Carb Diet: Your carb intake is progressively lowered over the course of several weeks or months to a certain point. In this way, your body has enough time to adjust to the reduction of carbs.
Keto: A moderate to low protein intake is recommended. However, keto collagen supplements are strongly recommended on the keto diet to better ensure that your protein intake is adequate.
Low Carb Diet: Moderate to high intake of protein is recommended. Although less crucial with a balanced low carb diet, collagen supplements can be used to improve protein absorption.
Keto: Requires a high fat diet (around 70 – 80 percent of your daily calories needs).
Low Carb Diet: Does not require a high fat diet. A low carb, low fat, and high protein diet is ideal.
Keto: With only about 20 grams of carbs allowed each day, it is almost impossible to get enough fiber in your diet. Dietary fiber can help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, and your food transit time.
Low Carb Diet: You can easily get enough fiber in a low carb diet. This is especially true when you follow a low carb, low fat, high protein diet.
Keto: When starting a keto diet, you will have frequent urination. The frequent urination is a result of your body getting rid of your stored sugar. Therefore, your water loss (urination) will be much higher.
Low Carb Diet: Water loss is at a normal rate on a low carb diet. If you drink more water, you may urinate more frequently. But otherwise, water loss essentially remains the same.
Keto: Electrolyte balance is significantly affected due to increased urination (water/electrolyte loss). Therefore, you can easily become dehydrated and experience muscle cramps and other related issues.
Low Carb Diet: Electrolytes are not affected when starting or while on a low carb diet.
Keto: Fat becomes your body’s primary source of energy. So, you must eat a comparatively large amount of fat on a keto diet.
Low Carb Diet: Carbs are still your primary source of energy. However, when carbs are lowered, fats will not be stored. Instead, stored fat will be burned for energy. And as a result, weight loss is achieved progressively but not suddenly.
Keto: High levels of ketones are present when on a keto diet.
Low Carb Diet: As with any effective diet, ketones will be present because you will be burning some fat for energy.
Keto: The keto diet forces the body to use primarily fat for energy. So, being in a state of ketosis is the indicator for a ketogenic diet.
Low Carb Diet: Ketosis is not the goal on a traditional low carb diet. Ketones will be present in your urine, but the body is not necessarily in a state of ketosis.
So, again, although a keto diet is a low carb diet, the difference between keto and low carb dieting is significant. If you would like to join our low carb diet group, please join us. Otherwise, you can subscribe below to get our keto-friendly low carb recipes and more. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the difference between keto and low carb dieting.