Have you been thinking that low carb diet and keto diet are the same? Many people often think that they mean the same thing. Though these diets are very similar because they consist of foods that contain zero to low amount of carbohydrates, they are not exactly the same. Both have been linked with weight loss but work differently to achieve it. Read through to know their major difference!
Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet is one that reduces the amount of carbohydrates in a diet with more protein, vegetables and some fat to balance it. This meal or diet allows for up to 100g of carbs daily depending on body tolerance. The human body naturally converts carbs to glucose and energy for the functioning of the brain, body systems and day to day activities. However, high consumption of carbohydrates have been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart related problems. This has led some researchers to come up with recommendations for a decrease in the intake of carbohydrates especially for people already suffering from these diseases to manage it and also as a preventive measure for adults.
There are some people who switched to a low carb diet and recorded considerable weight loss. Low carb diets consist of small quantity of low carb foods like oats, brown rice, wild rice, barley and a good amount of protein rich foods like eggs, lean meat, chicken, chicken breast, fish especially salmon. Vegetables that contain low carbs like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cucumber, kale, leafy green vegetables like spinach, parsley and celery among others. Fruits like apples, avocados, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peach and grape fruit. Seeds that are rich in fiber and unsaturated fats like flax seed and chia seeds. Nuts like almond, Brazil, walnut and pecan nuts. Because dairy milk is high in carbs, it is substituted with almond milk.
The idea of a low carb diet is to considerably reduce the amount of carbs intake so that the body gets the right amount required to produce energy without excess sugar to store in the blood or body. This is a diet that can be adopted by not just those with high sugar or obesity but anyone looking to improve their diets or health by consuming less of unhealthy foods that are high in sugar like juices, white or refined grains, soda or fruits that are very high in fructose. Some refer to low carb diet Paleo diet or Atkins diet.
A keto diet is one that totally restricts the intake of carbohydrates to 20-50g per day. It consists of zero to extremely low carb foods, some amount protein and very high fats especially saturated fats. The aim of a keto diet is to compel your body which normally converts carbohydrates to energy to use fats as a source of energy in the absence of carbs. The liver is required to convert this fat to ketones. This process takes a few days which is when your body reaches ketosis. Although many have associated the keto diet with weight loss, it was primarily used to help lessen the frequency of seizures among epileptic children according to research. Many people have recorded significant weight loss using the keto diet but it is not very clear if it can be continued for a long time.
Risks Associated with Keto Diet
Though unsaturated fats from nuts and seeds are part of a keto diet, they consist of high intake of saturated fats from butter, palm oil, coconut oil, lard and cocoa butter which increases LDL or bad cholesterol and cause heart related problems. The high quantity of eggs in a daily keto diet can also result to an increase in LDL. Studies show that a normal adult can safely consume up to 3 eggs a day but some keto diets contain more.
Another risk associated with keto diet is that it puts pressure on the liver to metabolize the high amount of fat to ketones which is not good for people with liver issues or can eventually lead to liver issues. It’s restriction also takes away some nutrients and antioxidants from whole grains.
Other foods that are part of a keto diet are also part of a low carb diet which makes them look very similar. These include lean meat, fish, fruits like berries and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, cucumber and leafy greens. Nuts like almond, pecan, Brazil and walnut. Seeds like flaxseeds ad chia seeds.
While low carb diet recommend canola oil, olive oil and sunflower oils, keto diet recommends sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil and walnut oil.
Weight loss can be a very challenging journey for many especially when it is a need for improved health. However, it is important to consult your physician before making significant diet change that aims at a long term healthy weight loss that is very sustainable and will not jeopardize your health. Do not be quick to jump at a diet plan but research about it to help you make informed decisions!