Many people have started focussing on their health and lifestyle choices more than ever in the wake of the pandemic. While there are a lot of diets which people opt for, two of the very well-known ones are the ketogenic diet and the low carb diet.
“However, the keto diet is often confused with a low-carb diet as both of them are quite similar,” points out Mugdha Pradhan, Founder, ThriveFNC, adding, “therefore, it becomes extremely important to first understand the differences between the two diets and then decide what works for you best.”
What is a keto diet?
A Ketogenic or keto diet restricts your daily carb intake. “This diet plan aims to reduce the carb consumption to as low as 20 grams in a day. However, the protein intake is kept moderate, while the fat intake is increased drastically when following this diet,” says Pradhan. This diet, along with promoting weight-loss, has therapeutic benefits too.
While the diet seems promising, it has side effects such as electrolyte imbalances, constipation and the troublesome keto flu in some cases. Keto flu results in headaches, fatigue and irritability.
What is a low carb diet?
On a low carb diet, the carb intake is slightly higher than that in a keto diet. “This diet restricts the daily carbohydrates intake to 75 to 150 grams. At the same time, it focuses on increasing the intake of proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables,” says Pradhan. While this kind of diet promotes weight-loss and is easy to follow for a prolonged period, it might not give the same quick results as a ketogenic diet.
Which of the two diets is suitable for weight loss?
Remember that making a switch to any of these diets from your regular diet depends on several factors like your goal, lifestyle, preferences, and your unique body type.
“For someone interested in losing weight, the first step should always focus on finding the root cause for putting on excessive weight. Excess weight in an individual can be a result of various health concerns like insulin resistance, impaired thyroid function, inflammation, accumulation of toxins in the body, impaired detoxification pathways, and stress,” she points out.
Weight loss is not just about following a particular diet, “keep in mind that weight loss is a side effect of improved internal health,” she stresses.
If an individual is looking forward to quick weight-loss results, the keto diet can work wonders. “Nutritional ketosis is a metabolically superior state to be in as it offers many health benefits, including boosting mitochondrial performance. It reduces oxidative stress and increases antioxidant activity,” says Pradhan. However, a keto diet should only be followed under the strict supervision of a dietician.
While keto is great for faster results, it also brings with it a lack of consistency. “People find it tough to follow this diet regime for a long-term as it lacks in variety of tastes and textures. As a result, most of them end up craving for carbs,” she tells indianexpress.com.
While on the other hand, a low carb diet too can result in weight loss if the root cause of weight increase is addressed beforehand. “However, it is witnessed that there are more plateaus in a low carb diet than in keto. One should always remember that one diet does not fit all. There is a unique diet plan for every individual and thus, it is crucial to always take expert advice before switching to any new diet plan,” she adds.