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Atkins Vs. Keto, Here’s what You Never Thought Was True About These Super Famous Diets

Though most of us may regard eliminating carbohydrates from our meal plans as a mammoth ask, low-carb diets have been around for some time, gradually increasing in popularity.

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Such feeding plans include the keto diet, Paleo, and an almost forgotten classic, the Atkins. The fact that it’s been ages since you last heard of it cements that point.

All the same, this last diet has been tried and tested and is actually one of the best low-carb diets in existence.

The Atkins and keto meal plans are somewhat similar seeing as they are both big on macronutrient sources, but subtle yet distinct differences do exist.

The Superiority Question

This, therefore, brings forth the debate as to which of the two diets is superior to its counterpart, and nutritionists tend to favor the Atkins diet. Among them include NYC-based RD Natalie Rizzoand and fellow RDN Susan Piergeorge.

Piergeorge explains that the keto diet was developed as a high-fat, low-carb, low-protein diet, originally used for the treatment of epilepsy. It was designed to reduce patient blood sugar levels, although it is currently popular among individuals trying to lose weight. According to the RDN, it is also used to treat adult-onset diabetes (type 2).

By consuming <50 grams of carbohydrates per day and more fats, you force your body to revert to using fat as an energy source. The process is known as ketosis, and the more fat you burn, Piergeorge says, the more weight you lose.

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Among the foods, one is allowed to take while on keto include lower sugar fruits such as dark berries, green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, lean meat, seafood, and eggs. Naturally, there are foods to avoid, including processed sugars, starchy vegetables, potatoes, pasta, and bread.

In addition to losing weight, some of the other advantages of being on keto include lowering your blood sugar, and having a healthy heart, brain, and skin. As for the disadvantages, you may feel sluggish due to lack of glucose, you could experience constipation, and the keto breath and keto flu are known side effects of the diet.

Eponymously Named

Moving on to the Atkins diet, it is eponymously named after Dr. Robert Atkins who developed it in 1972. However, it wouldn’t be until the 1990’s that the diet would gain popularity. The doctor designed the low-carb diet to fight hypertension, and thus far, it has been shown to be effective in this regard.

It is also a weight-loss diet and depending on how much weight you want to lose, you can choose either the Atkins 20 or the Atkins 40. RD Rizzo explains that the former is for individuals wishing to lose over 40 pounds, while the latter is for those wishing to lose less than 40.

Foods allowed include seafood, lean meats, nuts, eggs, cheese, unsweetened beverages, and non-starchy vegetables. Those to shun include whole grains, starchy vegetables, processed foods, refined grains, and fruits. For fruits though, you can re-introduce them later.

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The benefits of this diet are similar to those of the keto diet, but some of the disadvantages differ. The most obvious one is that although you may lower your blood sugar and lose weight initially, RD Rizzo says that both are not sustainable while on the Atkins diet.

The dietitian also says that for people not consuming dairy, they may experience nutritional deficiencies such as lack of the B vitamins, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

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