Low carb Vs Keto: Your ultimate guide

Feeling confused as what to chose between low carb vs keto? Then you are in the right place.

This confusion could be because of a number of doubts like, “Why I am not losing weight on keto?” OR “what is the difference between low carb vs keto ?”OR “What is the difference between keto and Atkins diet?”

However, all your doubts and worries should end here as I have compiled a comprehensive post about each of these diets types and choosing which is best for you in terms of weight loss and health.

Read on and don’t miss out to read what is best for you.

What is a Low carb diet?

A low carb diet is a simple low carb diet that restricts those carbs which are especially found in low carbs rich foods like sugary drinks, starchy vegetables, sugary bread, pasta and others alike and focuses more on healthy(non-starchy) vegetables, high protein, and fat-rich foods.

Calories breakdown in low carb diet

Since a low carb diet is a flexible diet in terms of quantity of carbs, so they, in different low carb diet categories, can range from 5-10% to 40-45%. So its calories breakdown from nutrients is as follows:

  • 20% -30% calories from proteins
  • 10%-20% of calories from carbs
  • 50%-60% of the calories from fat 

Foods to eat on a low carb diet

The following foods are permissible in a low carb diet.

Low carb food list

Basically any food which is minimally processed and organic falls into low low-carb foods list which is as follows.

  • Meat: in this case, grass-fed meat is best to eat. The best sources are chicken, beef, pork, lamb, etc.
  • Fish: in this case a hand caught wild is best to eat. The best sources are trout, salmon so many others.
  • Eggs: The best eggs are which are omega 3 rich or are properly pastured.
  • Vegetables: the best vegetables to eat on this low carb diet are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and spinach and many others like these.
  • Fruits: the best kind of fruit to eat on this kind of diet is oranges, pears, strawberries, and blueberries.
  • Nuts and seeds: their best sources are walnuts, sunflower seeds and of course almonds and others alike.
  • High-fat dairy: anything high in fat like butter, heavy cream, yogurt, and butter.
  • Fats and oils: the best kind of low carb fats and oils are coconut oil, lard, olive oil, butter, and fish oil and others alike.

Foods to avoid on a low carb diet

On a low carb diet, you need to avoid these different kinds of food groups so that you don’t come out of low carbs intake.

  • Sweetened Sugar: anything that has sweetened sugar added to like fruit juices, candies, ice cream, soft drinks, agave, and other alike products.
  • Refined grains: foods rich in refined grains are barley, rye, bread, cereal, pasta, wheat, and rice.
  • Trans fats: these are foods that are either hydrogenated oils and foods prepared from them.
  • Diet and low-fat products: a lot of dairy foods are rich in fats but they have quantities of added sugar too.
  • High processed foods: Anything that is coming straight out of the factory is surely a highly processed food and you have to avoid them at all costs.
  • Starchy vegetables: Although starchy vegetables are not that high in carbs but you can go out of limits if you overeat them.

Some low carb healthy snacks you may like to have

You don’t need to stick to the above-allowed list of foods to eat on a low carb diet rather you can have these snacks if you feel a little hungry during your regular meals.
They are not only easy to prepare but are ideal for low carb food without any problems too.

  • Some baby carrots piece
  • A little handful of nuts
  • A piece of cheese and meat
  • Few boiled eggs
  • A full-fat cup of yogurt
  • A vitamin-rich piece of fruit like blueberries.

Benefits of a low carb diet

Since a ketogenic diet is one of the types of low carb diets, so the benefits of a keto diet are the benefits of a low carb diet too. Anyway, just a refresher, the following are the amazing benefits of a low carb diet.

1. Weight loss

Low carb diets can result in more weight loss in their earlier periods which has been found in a few studies.

2. Suppresses your hunger

Low carb diets have the ability to suppress your hunger

3. Shed your visceral & body fat

Low carb diets can shed your visceral and body fat within weeks

4. Help your heart health

Low carb diets can address your heart risk factors and give good heart health overall like an increase of HDL and a decrease in harmful cholesterol levels.

5. Can help again diabetes

Low carb diets have been found to help diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients by reducing their blood sugar and insulin levels.

6. Can improve your blood pressure

Low carb diets have been found to lower your blood pressure levels.

7. Help against metabolic syndrome

Low carb diets are helpful against metabolic syndrome disease due to their usefulness against heart and diabetes diseases.

Types of low carb diet

Since in a low carb diet, the extent or limit of low carbs is not defined, so there are numerous variations and each variation makes it a different type of low carb diet.

Some include extremely low levels of carbs(below 10%), some at the middle allowing to increase the number of carbs in phases(10-30%) and some can reach the ceiling of low carb diet up to 45% of total calories intake from them.

Moreover, little variation in other macronutrients like protein and fats results in the following different kinds and combinations of a typical low carb diet.

1. General low carb diet – any type of low carb diet which uses a low quantity of carbs is a typical low carb diet.

2. The ketogenic diet – Since ketogenic is essentially a very low carb consuming a diet, it falls under the category of a low carb diet as its competitor.

3. Whole 30 diet – This is another kind of low carb diet that was created by two nutritionists Dallaws Hartwig and melissa hartwig back in 2009. 

It requires its consumers to remove any kind of problematic foods like high carbs foods for at least the first 30 days and eating only healthy foods during the whole month instead of those.

4. The carnivore zero carb diet – This kind of diet holds the belief that plant foods are not important for us and instead a diet containing animal products is best for optimal health and fitness.

In other words, it is similar to the paleo diet which depends mainly on animals for their food too although plants are eaten too.

5. Low carb Mediterranean diet – The basic thinking behind this kind of low carb diet takes us back to select foods for us that were used in Mediterranean countries in earlier times of the 20th century.

The common food choices on this kind of diet are vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains, bread, spices, potatoes, seafood and certain oils like virgin olive oil.

Particularly, there is more emphasis on fatty meat instead of normal meat and plant-based fatty oils instead of animal fat products.

6. Scandinavian low carb high-fat diet (SLCHF) – As the name indicates, it was first introduced in Sweden.

Sweden discouraged fat and encouraged healthy carbs. Primarily it was introduced to help in weight loss and other health problems.

However, this kind of diet does not restrict carbs too low rather it has a relatively higher quantity of carbs than more strict low carb diets but does focus on such food which can aid fat loss and weight loss.

7. A low carb paleo diet – This is essentially a paleo diet that is naturally low in carbs and those included are only healthy carbs. 

The idea of the paleo diet goes back to eating such foods in the paleolithic era humans used to eat and eat avoid any such food which is processed or made-in factory.

A normal paleo diet is known for focusing completely on high-quality meat types like fish, beef, chicken, vegetables, fruits and naturally grown nuts and seeds.

8. The Atkins diet – The Atkins diet is probably the most popular type of low carb diet. It mainly involves eliminating all types of high carb foods and consume as much fat and protein as possible.

 However, the Atkins diet is not as simple as that instead it is further divided into 4 phases depending upon the different intake quantities of carbs

Keto diet

keto diet

Ketogenic diet and Ketosis

A ketogenic diet or a keto diet is a very low-carb but a high-fat diet. i.e it involves massively reducing your carbohydrates intake and substituting it with lots of fat. Your calories share from each of the nutrients is as follows.

  • 5% -10% calories from carbs
  • 15%-30% of calories from protein
  • 65%-75% of the calories from fat 

Keto diet shares a lot of characteristics with both ‘Atkins’ and ‘low-carb diets’. Then you might be wondering, what then? Yes, then this reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called “Ketosis”.

In this state, your body slowly becomes very efficient at melting fat for energy and turning fat into ketones in your liver, the energy produced thereby can be supplied to the brain and other body functions.

In short, your body replaces carbs or glycogen as its source of energy for ketones, hence reducing your body fat and helping you lose weight. 

Foods to eat on a keto diet

On keto, these foods. should form the bulk of your dieting to choose from in the form of a keto food pyramid.

  • Meat:  like sausage, bacon, mean, ham, steak and turkey.
  • Fatty fish: like trout, mackerel, and salmon.
  • Eggs: the best sources for eggs are omega 3 whole eggs.
  • Cream and butter:  the best sources for these two should be grass-fed
  • Cheese: especially type of Unprocessed cheese like cream, blue goat or mozzarella
  • Nuts and seeds: like walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, etc
  • Healthy oils:  like coconut oil, virgin oil, and avocado oil
  • Avocados:  the best sources are either freshly made or the Whole avocados
  • Low-carb veggies:  like onions, peppers, and a lot of green veggies.
  • Condiments: the best choices for these are pepper, healthy herbs, spices and salt

Foods to avoid on keto

On keto, any food that is a high carb is a red flag for you and it should be left as there. Here is a list that includes foods that either should be completely eliminated from your menu or taken in very minute quantities.

  • Sugary foods: smoothies, cake, ice cream, cake, candy, etc.
  • Grains and starches: grains and starches like rice, pasta, cereal, and wheat-based products.
  • Fruits:  only allowed fruits are berries. Others are very advised to be taken in very low quantities.
  • Beans or legumes: kidney beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables: like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat diet products: they are very high carb
  • Some condiments: because they have unhealthy fats and sugars types.
  • All Unhealthy fats: like mayonnaise and all processed vegetable oils
  • Alcohol: they are full of empty carb calories harmful for ketosis.
  • All Sugar-free foods: since these are very processed, and contain a high level of sugar, they can harm your ketosis.

Keto diet benefits

The following are some of the most prominent benefits of a keto diet.

1. Weight Loss

A ketogenic diet can help you lose weight because of ketosis in which your fat stores are utilized as a source of energy by your body instead of carbs stores.

Research evidence

Many types of research have proven this fact. One study found that a ketogenic diet can help about 2.2 times more weight than calorie-restricted low carbs high-fat diets. Also, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol were seen to greatly improved.

Another study found that ketogenic people lost 3 times more weight than the diet recommended by the Diabetics UK

2. Keto helps diabetes and prediabetes people

Since ketogenic diet helps you lose excess amounts of fats on your body and since diabetes type 2 is closely linked with high-fat levels. Hence, the keto diet can help you fight with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and diabetes in general.

Research evidence

One study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a handsome 76%.

Another study found that a ketogenic group on keto diet not only lose double the amount of fat as compared to other low low-carb diets but about 95% of ketogenic participants were able to stop using the diabetes medication as compared to only 62% in a slightly higher-carb group.

3. It can improve heart health

The ketogenic diet can drastically increase your heart health by improving certain risk factors like HDL cholesterol levels, and other things like blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels.

Other known health and fitness benefits of the ketogenic diet according to medicalnewstoday.

  • Improved fat burning
  • Clear skin
  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Reduced risk of chronic disease
  • Abundant energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Cancer protection
  • Fighting Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Fighting epilepsy
  • Fighting Parkinson’s disease
  • Saving from brain injuries

Types of Ketogenic diets

1. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) – This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains:

  •  75% fat, 
  • 20% protein and 
  • only 5% carbs 

2. The high-protein ketogenic diet – This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. It typically contains:

  • 35% protein
  • 5% carbs
  • About 60% fat

3. The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) – As the name indicates, this diet cycle periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

4. The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) – This diet gives you the flexibility to add carbs around workouts as per your choice.

Keep in mind that targeted or cyclical keto diets are relatively more advanced and not adopted by most of the people rather they are only used by professional athletes and bodybuilders.

In this post, the information provided is applicable to an only standard ketogenic diet(SKD), though some principles can be applicable to other types of ketogenic diets.

Low carb vs Keto: the similarities

So we come to the point what are the similarities between the two of the low carb diet types.

Similarity no. 1 – Both have low carb diet weight loss benefits

Since both diets are essentially low carb diets, they are primarily a weight loss diet which has been proven by many research studies. However, low carb diet is a source of your weight loss only in your initial period when your carbs intake is very low

Both diets require cutting back unhealthy carbs like chips, sugary drinks, sweets and many other refined carbs which result in a drastic decrease in the number of calories we consume every day thereby making our bodies to use fat for energy production.

Normally this energy is produced by our body by making use of our carbs glycogen stores but once we cut back on our carbs, these glycogen stores can’t further be used as fuel and instead our fats stores are used.

Similarity no. 2 – Both offer other low carb diet health benefits

Since both of these are essentially types of low carb diets, so the benefits of both low carb diet and the keto diet are more or less the same with slight differences that will be discussed in a moment.

These common health and fitness benefits of both low-carb and keto diets are.

1. Prevention against diabetes and type 2 diabetes – Both are helpful against diabetes and type 2 diabetes diseases by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin resistance.

2. Better heart health – Both are helpful against certain heart risk factors like high blood pressure, high level of harmful cholesterol levels and help maintain good levels of HDL, a good type of cholesterol for our heart.

3. Appetite suppression – Both have been found to suppress your hunger which is helpful in suppressing your desire for eating more and hence lower calorie intake.

4. Better Mental health – Both kinds of diets have been found to help in your mental health improvement and enhancing your intellectual capabilities by improving your memory.

5. Loss of visceral body fat – Since both kinds of diets limit their carbs intake, especially keto throughout its usage period and the Atkins diet in its initial phase, you definitely lose a good amount of visceral fat and tone your core to become skinny.

Low carb vs Keto:  the differences

Not everything is similar between the two dies types, rather there are clear differences that can’t be denied. These differences are:

Difference no. 1 – Both diet types can have different macronutrients intake levels

While a ketogenic diet is a fixed diet with a fixed quantity of each of the macronutrients, this is not the case with other low carb diet types. The reason is simple: the ketogenic diet has a fixed contribution from three main macronutrients as 

  • 60-70% calories from fats
  • 20-30% calories from proteins
  • 5-10% calories from carbs

On the other hand,  since there are up to 10 different types of low carb diets, which have variations in their macronutrient share of calories, making each of them different from a strict keto diet.

For instance, a low carb diet type like the Atkins diet varies its proteins and carbs levels throughout its four phases, not fixed, unlike keto which are set in stone from the very start for diet.

Difference no. 2 – Both diets maintain different levels of carbs

Another major difference between the two types of diets is the maintenance level of different quantities of carbs intake.

While in a keto diet, you keep your carbs intake very limited i.e between 20-25 g per day throughout the whole period of dieting to keep you in the “ketosis” state whereby due to very low availability of carbs, your body continues to burn fat for fuel and you continue to lose weight.

However, this is not the case with the other low carb diets like the Atkins diet, where your carbs intake climbs up from the first phase going from 20-25 g in the first period to 80-100 g of carbs in the fourth and last period until you are out of ketosis by third or fourth period.

So your carbs intake keeps varying under limits so that you don’t undo your weight-loss efforts but you don’t remain in ketosis forever.

Difference no. 3 – low carb diet has a lot of variations in itself unlike keto diet

Since there are about ten different types of low-carb diets given below, each diet type offers a wide variety of foods taste.

  • The Atkins diet
  • The eco Atkins diet
  • Scandanavian low carb high-fat diet
  • Mediterranean whole 30 diet
  • The carnivore zone diet
  • The low carb paleo diet

If you see in list these each of the low carb diets is quite different from each other in their choices of foods, their implementation period. Hence their tastes vary too.

For example, Given the nature of the Atkins diet which allows for a lot of flexibility in carb intake, it is able to offer a great variety of foods like vegetables, fruits, and other good quality carbs.

However, since keto is a very strict diet in terms of carbs intake, you don’t have the luxury of some of the most nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and other high-quality carbs.

For example, Given the nature of low carb paleo diet, while you are enjoying low carbs overall but you are also having a good variety of pre-modern human age foods like wild-caught fish which are purely organic and have tastes and enjoyment of its own which can’t be found in a strict diet like the keto diet.

Difference no. 4 – Keto is a strict diet while a low carbs diet is a moderate diet

Since in keto you have to remain in the state of ketosis for the whole period of time and monitoring your ketones, you are strictly bound by its limited number of food types which is not the case for most of the low carb diet types.

For example, while Atkins being less restrictive and a more moderate kind of diet, you are able to enjoy your favorite foods.

Low carbs vs keto: which is better?

So, you know the similarities and differences between low carb and the keto diet. Let’s help you choose what is best for you.

1. Choosing your favorite diet is personal depending on your lifestyle goals

Choosing between the two which is better is entirely personal since everybody has a different state of health, fitness, different dietary preferences, and different lifestyle goals. However, both keto and low carb diets do have their pros and cons.

2. The Keto diet is challenging to maintain as compared to the other low-carb diet

While the choice of your favorite diet is completely personal but as far as your ability to stick to a particular diet is concerned, keto is tougher to maintain because of its extreme strictness to certain food types.

The other major difficulty in it is monitoring its progress in terms of regular checking of your ketones level to allow you to keep living in the state of ketosis.

So, if you don’t keep a regular check on your ketosis activity thing, you are very likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies in a ketogenic diet.

On the other side, since low carb diets are flexible in their approach, they are easy to stick and easy to monitor their progress without missing some of your favorite carbs foods.

3. There is no enough research evidence to support long term health benefits of keto

This is another important factor to decide which is better of the two. Since the research evidence of the keto diet on long-term health benefits is limited, there is no point in sticking to a challenging lifestyle where you are unable to enjoy your favorite carbs delights.

4. Low carb diets benefits like weight loss benefits can be reaped without sticking to ‘ketosis’ too.

Most of the people think that ketosis is a kind of holy book thing which is a must to have other low carb benefits like weight loss, better heart health, better mental health, better skin health, and better disease control like diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, this is not true at all.

Rather the fact of the matter is you don’t necessarily have to be in ketosis to enjoy all the health and fitness benefits.

A moderate diet approach like the Atkins in a low carb diet is enough to bestow with all the above-mentioned benefits of a ketogenic diet without putting yourself in tough situations as a strict keto diet type does.

5. High fat – high carb whole foods diets are as safe as high fat – low carb diets in a keto diet

This is a very important point to make better choices for yourself in terms of diets.

Although low carb – high-fat foods like keto diet is healthier and safer for most people, but you have to keep this in mind that you can enjoy the same health and fitness benefits if you shift from low carb – high fat to high carbs(but are whole and unprocessed/organic) – high-fat foods.

6. Healthy, nutrient-rich and balanced foods matter more than these diet types choices overall.

Lastly, choosing healthy, nutrient-rich and well-balanced food diets is the most important thing for your overall health and fitness wellbeing than stuck in these choice making.

An array of food choices that satisfy all vital nutrients of your body is what you need to choose without taking into account their proteins, carbs, and fats percentages and their respective number of calories.

Which is better in terms of weight loss?

To determine which is better in terms of weight loss benefits, the keto diet has a little edge.

First things first: Both types of diets are good for weight loss benefits but the ketogenic diet is perfect for quick weight loss goals. However, since keto requires to strictly adhere to very minimal levels of carbs(20-25g throughout).

This kickstarts the “ketosis” which is the use of ketones produced in your liver to be used by your body as a source of fuel while you are running short on carbs sources throughout the dieting duration it can offer very quick weight loss benefits.

This is not the exact case with other low carb diet types who do result in weight loss in the end but it is not as quick as in the case with the keto diet. So the ketogenic diet has an edge over low carbs food for quick weight loss.

The bottom line: Ketogenic diet is better for quick weight loss than low carb diets.

Which is better in terms of ease of following?

To enjoy long term health and fitness benefits, consistently following a diet and training regime is the key to success. And those diets which help us staying consistent and are easy to follow are most likely to serve our cause for a long time.

If a diet is thought to follow, and you can’t stick long enough for long term lifestyle benefits, it should be avoided.

In this case, the Ketogenic diet fails in these criteria i.e it is unlikely to be followed for a long time because of its extreme food restriction. On the other hand, since low carbs diets are a lot flexible in their approaches, they are easy to follow and stick to.

The bottom line: Low carb diets are easier to follow than keto diet

Keto vs Atkins

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Both keto and Atkins are one of the most popular low carb diets since both require a drastic reduction in high carbs food types like bread, legumes, fruits, potatoes, and sugary drinks. So many people can mix up that both keto and Atkins are similar. 

The fact is that while both are indeed low carb diets but there are certain differences as well. Let’s discuss the similarities between the two first

Keto vs Atkins: Similarities

The following are some common similarities between the keto and the Atkins diet.

Similarity no. 1 – Both are same in 1st phase of Atkins

Since both of them are low-carb diets, but they are exactly like one other when the Atkins diet is in its first phase. In this strict diet phase, having carb intake as low as 20-25 g, both kinds of diets have a ketosis phase where your fat is burned for energy by your body.

Similarity no. 2 – Both have low carb diet weight loss benefits

Since both diets are essentially low carb diets, they are primarily a weight loss diet as has been proven by many research studies.

Both diets require cutting back unhealthy carbs like chips, sugary drinks, sweets and many other refined carbs which result in a drastic decrease in the number of calories we consume every day thereby making our bodies to use fat for energy production.

Normally this energy is produced by our body by making use of our carbs glycogen stores but once we cut back on our carbs, these glycogen stores can further be used as fuel and instead fats stores are used.

Similarity no. 3 – Both offer other low carb diet health benefits

Since both of these are essentially types of low carb diets, so the benefits of low carb diets are the benefits of these two types of diets being compared. So the following are the similar benefits of both Low carb and the Atkins diet.

These common health and fitness benefits of both are:

  • Both are helpful against diabetes and type 2 diabetes diseases by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin resistance.
  • Both are helpful against certain heart risk factors like high blood pressure, high level of harmful cholesterol levels and help maintain good levels of HDL, a good type of cholesterol for our heart.
  • Both have been found to suppress your hunger which is helpful in suppressing your desire for eating more and hence lower calorie intake.

Keto vs Atkins: the differences

While there are many similarities between the two, there are some notable differences too like.

Difference no. 1: both have slightly different protein intake

While in a ketogenic diet, the quantity of protein is fixed around moderate quantities which are around 35%-40% of total calories from protein, this is not the case.e less than the ketogenic diet.

The Atkins diet allows up to 30% of total calorie intake based on the phase of the Atkins diet.

Difference no. 2: Both diets maintain different levels of carbs

Another major difference between the two types of diets is the maintenance level of different quantities of carbs intake.

While in a keto diet, you keep your carbs intake very limited i.e between 20-25 g per day throughout the whole period of dieting to keep you in the “ketosis” state whereby due to very low availability of carbs, your body continues to burn fat for fuel and you continue to lose weight.

However, this is not the case with the Atkins diet, where your carbs intake climbs up from the first phase going from 20-25 g in the first period to 80-100 g of carbs in the fourth and last period until you are out of ketosis by third or fourth period.

So your carbs intake keeps varying under limits so that you don’t undo your weight-loss efforts but you don’t remain in ketosis forever.

Difference no. 3 – Atkins diet offers more variety of foods than keto diet

Given the nature of the Atkins diet which allows for a lot of flexibility in carb intake, it is able to offer a great variety of foods like vegetables, fruits, and other good quality carbs.

However, since keto is a very strict diet in terms of carbs intake, you don’t have the luxury of some of the most nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and other high-quality carbs.

Difference no. 4 – Keto is a strict diet while the Atkins is a moderate diet

Since in keto you have to remain in the state of ketosis for the whole period of time and monitoring your ketones, you are strictly bound by its limited number of food types while Atkins being less restrictive and a more moderate kind of diet, you are able to enjoy your favorite foods.

Keto vs Atkins: Which is better?

1. Choosing your favorite diet is personal depending on your lifestyle goals

Choosing between the two which is better is entirely personal since everybody has a different state of health, fitness, different dietary preferences, and different lifestyle goals. However, both keto and Atkins do have their pros and cons.

2. The Keto diet is challenging to maintain as compared to the Atkins

While the choice of your favorite diet is completely personal but as far as your ability to stick to a particular diet is concerned, keto is tougher to maintain because of its extreme strictness to certain food types.

The other major difficulty in it is monitoring its progress in terms of regular checking of your ketones level to allow you to keep living in the state of ketosis. So, if you don’t keep a regular check on your ketosis activity thing, you are very likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies in a ketogenic diet.

On the other side, since the Atkins diet is flexible in its approach, it is easy to stick to and easy to monitor its progress without missing some of your favorite carbs foods.

3. No enough research evidence to support long term health benefits of keto

This is another important factor to decide which is better of the two. Since the research evidence of the keto diet on long-term health benefits is limited, there is no point in sticking to a challenging lifestyle where you are unable to enjoy your favorite carbs delights.

4. Low carb diets like weight loss benefits can be reaped without sticking to ‘ketosis’ too.

Most of the people think that ketosis is a kind of holy book thing which is a must to have other low carb benefits like weight loss, better heart health, better mental health, better skin health, and better disease control like diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

However, this is not true at all. Rather the fact of the matter is you don’t necessarily have to be in ketosis to enjoy all the health and fitness benefits.

Rather a moderate diet approach like the Atkins is enough to bestow with all the above-mentioned benefits of a low-carb diet without putting yourself in tough situations as a strict keto diet type does.

5. High fat – high carb whole foods diets are as safe as high fat – low carb diets

This is a very important point to make better choices for yourself in terms of diets.

Although low carb – high-fat foods diets are healthier and safer for most people, you have to keep this is the mind that you can enjoy the same health and fitness benefits if you shift from low carb – high fat to high carbs(whole and unprocessed/organic) – high-fat foods.

6. Healthy, nutrient-rich and balanced foods matter more than these diet types choices overall.

Lastly, choosing healthy, nutrient-rich and well-balanced food diets is the most important thing for your overall health and fitness wellbeing than stuck in these choice making.

An array of food choices that satisfy all vital nutrients of your body is what you need to choose without taking into account their proteins, carbs, and fats percentages and their respective number of calories.

The 4 phases of a typical Atkins diet

1st phase: strict diet period – This phase is basically a strict ketogenic diet phase as it involves consuming very low quantities of carbs i.e less than 20g per day for continuous 2 weeks.

2nd phase: balancing out period – Once you have passed your first couple of strict diet period, this phase starts. 

In this phase, the very limited number of carbs is slowly increased by increasing some good quality of carbs like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The carb intake increases from 25g-50g per day.

3rd phase – the refilling period –  In this third phase, you are actually getting closer and closer to your goals like weight loss (it is induced when you start with very low quantities of carbs), you start refilling your carbs intake to normal levels.

So you keep adding more sources of good carbs by eating more fruits and vegetables until they are just near to completing your goal where it becomes irreversible. The carbs intake increases from 50-80 g per day.

4th phase – the maintenance period –  Finally, this is the last and final period of your Atkins diet.

In this phase, since you have reached your desired weight loss goal level and it is irreversible too even if you increase your carbs to about 40-45%. This equals almost 80-100 g of carbs intake in this final period.

So, You will continue to eat more healthy carbs but not enough to reverse your weight loss and you will maintain your achieved position of bodily fitness and health.

The Eco Atkins diet

As the name indicates, the eco Atkins diet is a vegan version of the Atkins diet for those who want to cut down their carbs but focuses more on their dietary needs like fats and proteins from plant-based sources e.g nuts, soy, seitan, and other plant-based oils.

Basically eco Atkins dieters don’t want so many of the animal’s products and as a result, their carbs quantity levels increase to a certain extent than Atkins but not enough to be damaging for their health and fitness goals like weight loss.

This was all about what is the best choice for you in terms of low-carb vs keto. Read more about vegan vs paleo here.

FAQs

Q: Is low carb as good as Keto?

Ans: yes, low carb is as good as keto like they both have the following similar benefits like

Similarity no. 1 – Both have low carb diet weight loss benefits

Similarity no. 2 – Both offer other low carb diet health benefits like prevention against diabetes, appetite, accumulation of visceral body fat, etc.

However, they are not entirely the same and offer similar benefits; there are important differences too like.

Difference no. 1: Both diet types can have slightly different proteins, carbs, fats intake levels

Difference no. 2: Both diets maintain different levels of carbs

Difference no. 3 – low carb diet has a lot of variations in itself unlike keto diet

Difference no. 4 – Keto is a strict diet while low carbs diet are a moderate diet

Q: How many carbs are allowed on a keto diet?

20-25 gm of carbs/day OR 5-10% of the total calorie intake from carbs.

Ans: On a keto diet, your carbs are very minimal i.e in the range of 5-10% of total calorie intake from carbs which translates into about 20-25 g of carbs per day.

Q: Why am I not losing weight on keto?

Ans: The reason you are not losing weight on keto could be because of the following 9 potential reasons.

  1. You are not reaching the desired ketosis level
  2. You are eating too much protein
  3. You are eating a lot of carbs
  4. You are not counting calories
  5. You are eating a lot of snacks
  6. You are drinking a lot of alcohol
  7. You are not exercising at all
  8. You are under a lot of stress
  9. You are suffering from a serious medical condition

Q: Is the keto diet the same as Atkins?

Ans: No, the keto diet is not exactly the same as Atkins, rather these are the differences between the two:

Difference no. 1: both have slightly different protein intake

Difference no. 2: Both diets maintain different levels of carbs

Difference no. 3 – Atkins diet offers more variety of foods than keto diet

Difference no. 4 – Keto is a strict diet while the Atkins is a moderate diet

 Q: Do you have to be in ketosis to lose weight on a low carb diet?

Ans: Well, not necessarily. You don’t have to be on ketosis to lose weight, rather all types of low carb diets offer weight loss benefits.

However, the rate of weight loss may differ. I.e ketosis can help lose weight more quickly than other low carb diets but you will certainly lose weight on either of the two diet types.

On ketosis, you would be using ketones ( a type of fatty acids produced in the liver when your body is running on very low carbs intake) for fuel for your body energy.  

On other low carb diets, you would be simply your fat stores for body fuel to produce energy, so you would lose fat and weight in that state as well.

The bottom line: you can lose weight without ketosis but it would take a little more time than it ketosis.

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