Low Carb and Keto Diet are getting quite a buzz recently and more and more Hollywood celebrities are getting obsessed with this diet.
Yet, a lot of people are misinformed about keto and would often mistake it for a low carb diet. Sure, keto diet may be a type of low carb diet, but there is a difference between the two.
Read on as we shed some light on the difference between low carb and keto diet.
What Is Keto Diet?
In order to determine if keto diet is the right diet for you, it’s important that you understand what this diet is all about. Find out how it works and how effective it is in helping you to shed some pounds off.
So what is a keto diet? Also known as the ketogenic diet, it’s the process of tracking your body to using your own body fats as energy instead of the carbohydrates.
Thus, in order to put your body into the ketogenic state, you should eat foods that are high in fats, but less protein and absolutely no carb at all.
In order to be in the ketogenic state, 80% of the food that you eat should be fats, while the rest of the 20% would be protein.
If your body takes carbs, it will trigger an insulin spike and this means that your pancreas will release insulin. The insulin helps to store amino acids and glycogen and any excess calories are stored as fats.
Thus, if you totally eliminate carbs in your diet, the insulin will not be able to store any excess calories as fats.
Since your body does not have any carbs to convert to energy, it will look for another energy source – fats. The process of breaking down fats into energy instead of carbohydrates is known as ketosis.
If you want to follow the keto diet, this is the state that you should put your body in. Once your body is in the ketogenic state, you can introduce carbs but for a very minimal amount only, which is around 50 grams per day.
The main rule of the keto diet is to eat more fats and the biggest advantage of this is that you will not get hungry a lot of times.
Digestion of fat is often a slow process and this will greatly work to your advantage since it makes you feel full for a longer time and prevent any unnecessary cravings.
Low Carb vs. Keto Diet
Keto is basically the supercharged version of the low carb diet. As mentioned above, the diet requires totally eliminating carb at the first stage and after that, a minimal intake of 50 grams per day only.
Unfortunately, in most low carb diets, there’s no exact definition as to how much of carbs should someone consume. In a keto diet, the ideal ratio would be – 80% fats, 15% protein and 5% carbs.
This is basically the main difference between keto and low carb since this very limited amount of carbohydrate consumption will deplete the body of glucose or sugar.
One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to go on a keto diet is in going “low carb”, yet having a high intake of protein and moderate intake of fat. As stated above, restricting carbohydrate is essential for the keto diet and having high fat and moderate protein intake is equally important.If you consume too much protein and only less carb, your body will increase the production of glucose in a process known as gluconeogenesis.
Eventually, this will prevent your body from achieving the ketogenic state, which is very important in a keto diet.
Low carb diet in itself is a pretty vague description. After all, the term “low” is a relative term.
The main priority of a low carb diet is in being more selective on the type of food that you eat.
In most cases, you can still eat vegetables, fruits, and beans in a low carb diet, while cutting back on baked goods, grains, and processed sugars. But unlike the keto diet, a low carb diet does not have a specific definition of what “low” means, and thus, it often neglects fat and protein recommendations.
Why Keto Diet is better than Low Carb Diet
Although calorie balance is an important factor for weight loss, a low carb diet may have negative effects on one’s quality of life and diet outcome. Such effect is mainly due to the body’s inability to achieve the ketogenic state.
A keto diet is often protein sparing and this means that your body won’t burn amino acids to be used for energy, but instead, it will use the ketones as its main source of energy.
In a low carb diet, both protein and amino acids are used for energy because of the shortage of carbohydrates. As a result, the body will use gluconeogenesis in producing glucose for energy and this will mean more loss of lean mass during weight loss.
People who are on a low carb diet often experience discomfort, fuzzy headedness, headaches, fatigue, and diarrhea. If your body is in the ketogenic state, energy levels are often higher and more stable and there will be an improved focus and concentration.
These benefits are mainly due to the fact that the level of ketones is often elevated in a ketogenic diet, unlike the traditional low carb approach.
Low carb diets may be beneficial to some people, but the biggest benefit of keto diet over low carb is in the uniqueness of being in the ketogenic state.
The keto diet is a supercharged low carb diet that consists of a high level of fat and a moderate amount of protein.
This allows the body to shift its source of energy and will start to produce ketones. Low carb diets may restrict carb in the same way as the keto diet, but the latter can help to improve body composition to a great extent than low carb dieting alone.
Keto diet results in less body fat and more retention of lean mass and this makes perfect sense for those who are trying to lose fats while maintaining muscle mass.