Difference Between Keto Diet and Low Carb Diet (With Table)

A keto diet and low carb diet are two well known ways of dietary eating that limit an individual’s carb intake. Although the diets serve the same basic function, they are marked with several distinctions which set them apart. Such differences are necessary to understand to choose the right nutritional plan. 

Keto vs Low Carb Diet 

The difference between keto and low carb diet is the proportion of carbohydrate intake. While the keto diet restricts the carbohydrate intake to fewer than 50 grams per day, carb intake in a low carb diet ranges from 50-150 grams per day. The keto and low carb diet also differ on protein intake. Keto diet restricts protein consumption to 20% of the total calories whereas the protein consumption in a low carb diet is relatively higher. 

Keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that is usually targeted at weight loss. The main purpose of the keto diet is to reach nutritional ketosis, defined as the stage where the body produces ketones from fat in the liver and uses the fat as an energy substitute for carbs. Keto diet comprises a moderate protein intake, a very high fat intake and fewer than 50 grams of carb intake. 

Low carb diet, on the other hand, refers to a diet schedule that aims to restrict carbohydrate intake, primarily from grains and bread. It comprises a high protein intake, healthy fats, and vegetables that reduce carb intake. Low carb diet is usually opted for weight loss and provides various health benefits. 

Comparison Table Between Keto and Low Carb Diet

Parameters of ComparisonKetoLow Carb Diet
Definition Keto diet is defined as a high fat, low carb diet. Low carb diet refers to a diet schedule that aims to restrict carbohydrate intake, primarily from grains, sweets, and bread. 
Carbohydrate Intake Fewer than 50 grams per day.Ranges from 50 to 150 grams per day. 
Protein IntakeModerate protein intake. Very high protein intake. 
Fat IntakeVery high fat intake. Moderate fat intake. 
Nature of the diet Restrictive in nature.Moderately flexible in nature. 
Applicability in the long runUnsustainable in the long run due to its restrictive nature. Sustainable in the long run due to its moderately flexible nature.

What is a Keto Diet?

Keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that is usually targeted at weight loss. It aims to reach the goal of nutritional ketosis, which is defined as the stage where the body produces ketones from fat in the liver and uses the fat as the main energy source instead of the carbs. Keto diet restricts the carb consumption to fewer than 50 grams per day. Apart from that, it comprises a moderate protein intake and a very high fat intake.

Keto diet is known to have therapeutic benefits and may result in lower appetite. Its impact has been significant in patients dealing with obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It can also improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, keto diet is not a long term option. With possibilities of constipation, headache, fatigue, and brain fog, the long term application of keto diet is not a practical option.  

What is a Low Carb Diet?

Low carb diet refers to a diet schedule that aims to restrict carbohydrate intake, primarily from grains and bread. The carb intake ranges from 50 to 150 grams per day accompanied with a high protein intake. A low carb diet reduces the consumption of high calorie foods and thus, helps adopt a healthy lifestyle. In addition, a low carb diet is usually opted for weight loss and provides various health benefits.

A low carb diet focuses on low starchy vegetables. It provides room for the consumption of healthy fats and vegetables which limit carb intake, thereby allowing an individual to switch to a healthy routine while also ensuring sufficient energy levels for the brain and body to remain operational. Another significant advantage of the low carb diet is its sustainability i.e. it can be adopted as a part of an individual’s life for a long term period. 

Main Differences Between Keto and Low Carb Diet

  1. The carbohydrate intake in a keto diet is fewer than 50 grams per day whereas carb intake ranges from 50 to 150 grams per day in a low carb diet.  
  2.  Keto diet restricts protein consumption to 20% of the total calories whereas the protein consumption in a low carb diet is relatively higher. 
  3. The fat intake is significantly higher in a keto diet than in a low carb diet since it requires cutting down on a lot of carb intake. 
  4. Keto diet is restrictive in nature. If a person is required to consume a specific proportion of a food item, he/she cannot change it. To the contrary, a low carb diet has a flexible nature as it allows an individual to choose from a number of food items that are low on calories. 
  5. Keto diet is not sustainable in the long run due to its restrictive nature whereas low carb diet can be adopted as a part of a healthy routine for a long period of time. 

Conclusion

Although keto and low carb diets serve the purpose of restricting carb intakes to a significant extent, both are differentiable on several grounds. The most prominent of these differences is the variation in their respective carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake. While on one hand a keto diet yields results in a short span of time, it can cause problems like nausea, headache, brain fog and lack of concentration.

A low carb diet, on the other hand, transforms a person’s dietary requirements, but also provides enough energy for the brain and body to function normally. Conclusively, keto diet and low carb diet stand differentiated, offering a person with two options to choose from. 

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