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Keto Vs. Low-Carb. Which is the Better Option?

It seems as though everyone wants to cut carbs, doesn’t it? This conversation keeps mushrooming everywhere, be it online, at work, in social gatherings, or even at home.

And while there may be different schools of thought where diets favoring low carbohydrate intake is concerned, the benefits of such feeding plans cannot be ignored.

All the same, there’s something that most of us don’t understand. What’s the difference between a low-carb diet and a keto diet? Is there any difference to begin with? If yes, which is better?

Distinctly Different

According to registered dietician Brigitte Zeitlin, most people confuse a ketogenic diet for a low carbohydrate diet but in truth, these two are distinctly different meal plans.

We can put it like this – all ketogenic diets are low carbohydrate diets, but not all low-carb diets are ketogenic. Does it make sense?

All ketogenic diets are low carbohydrate diets, but not all low-carb diets are ketogenic

Breaking it down some more, Zeitlin says that for starters, keto diets are much more restrictive compared to their low-carb counterparts.

Sticking to a keto diet calls for strict discipline in your food choices. 70% of your daily calorie intake should be from fats, proteins should provide 20%, and the remaining 10% should come from carbohydrates.

For those who feel that 10% of carbs is too much, they tend to have a 25% protein-calorie intake and a 5% carb intake.

A low-carb diet, however, as Zeitlin puts it, is down to personal interpretation. If it means zero carbohydrates for you, then go for it. If you understand it as being a reduction of carbohydrate consumption then having a fruit to fill the deficit then why not?

The difference between these two is that in a keto diet, you are consuming lots of fat to force your body into using it as a fuel source, while in a low-carb diet, you’re only trying to reduce your consumption of carbohydrates.

By consuming lots of fats in a keto diet, you’re trying to force your body to use it as a fuel source

Low-Carb is Better

The question, however, still remains – which of the two is the better option? Our nutritionist admits that there isn’t really an out and out answer, but she feels that a low-carb diet is the way to go.

According to her, unlike a keto diet, the low carbohydrate option doesn’t force your body into ketosis, which she describes as being unnatural. The body is designed to use glucose as its primary source of energy, and that’s where her disconnect with the ketogenic plan comes in.

With a low-carb diet, she says, you are able to avoid starchy foods rich in excessive sugars, but still, consume enough carbohydrates to energize your body without having to turn to stored fat.

Also, with such a diet, you are more likely to lose weight and remain healthy. This is especially true because as you focus on consuming fewer carbohydrates, you tend to increase your protein intake. Zeitlin says that proteins help in weight loss.

With a low carb diet, you’ll lose weight and remain healthy

So, what if you’re still interested in keto even after reading this? The nutritionist has no issue with your decision, although she says that you must understand some of the side effects of said diet.

Soon as you’re started, you are more likely to experience keto breath, which smells similar to nail polish remover. You’re also likely to suffer from keto flu, flu-like symptoms that come with your body trying to get in sync with your new diet. Luckily, these two are short-term.

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