Ketogenic and low carb diets can promote weight loss, improve your health, and help you feel better. However, while the ketogenic and low carb diets share many similarities, there are some key differences between them. Knowing and understanding these differences can help you determine which is better for your lifestyle and preferences.
One thing is for sure: on either a low carb or keto diet, you can eat your fill of fresh produce, especially leafy greens. Choose our Create Your Own Fruit Box, which allows you to custom pick your produce that will arrive at your front door, depending on your individual diet needs.
What Is a Keto Diet?
To understand the differences between a low carb and a keto diet, you first need to compare the key goals of these diets. For the keto diet, the main goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use for energy. Instead, it starts to burn fat for fuel. The state of ketosis is very conducive for weight loss because it helps you burn fat and make you feel less hungry. It also helps you retain muscle as you lose weight.
To achieve ketosis, the keto diet strictly reduces carbs to about 30 to 40 grams a day. That means you’ll be consuming only about 5% of your calories from carbohydrates. Instead, you’ll eat lots of healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein. The key to the keto diet is that much of your daily calories will come from fat. Eating too many carbs can kick your body out of ketosis, so it’s important to monitor. Fat keeps you feeling full and satiated, and once you reach ketosis, it will be your primary source of fuel.
When eating a keto diet, most of your diet will consist of low carb options, such as non-starchy veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, kale, and other leafy greens, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, and berries. The macronutrient breakdown of your daily calories on a keto diet typically is as follows:
- 80% fat
- 25% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
What is a Low Carb Diet?
Alternatively, the goal of a low carb diet isn’t getting your body into a state of ketosis. Instead, a low carb diet simply limits the number of carbohydrates you take in. Although it varies from diet to diet, in a typical low carb diet, you can consume about 20% of your calories from carbohydrates. Of course, this is much more than the 5% allowed on keto. The rest of the diet is your choice, typically with protein and fat split equally. Therefore, you’ll likely be eating less fat and more protein than those on a keto diet.
On a low carb diet, you’ll have more leeway for fruits and veggies. All types of non-starchy veggies are allowed, including bell peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, and more, as well as a limited amount of starchy vegetables, such as carrots and peas. You can also eat a limited amount of nuts and seeds, fruits, including apples, oranges and berries, and beans, lentils and legumes. Low carb dieters can also eat meat, egg, and dairy products.
Typically, the macronutrient breakdown of your daily calories on a low-carb diet is as follows:
- 20% carbs
- 40% protein
- 40% fat
Benefits of Low Carb and Keto Diets
Both low carb and keto diets have a number of benefits, depending on what you want to achieve. Studies show that the keto diet can help you lose weight, improve your health, and may even provide some protection against diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s extremely efficient at lowering and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
A low carb diet achieves many of these same effects. However, because it allows up to 20% of your daily calories to come from carbs, some of the dramatic results of keto are lessened. A low carb diet is great for those who aren’t quite ready to give up nearly all of their carbs and want to retain some flexibility in their diet. Low carb diets are still effective for weight loss and are great for someone looking for a little more moderation than keto provides.
In the end, it’s your choice whether you follow a keto or a low carb diet. Or, you can try a low carb diet and slowly transition into a keto lifestyle. This can help your body get used to the carbohydrate restriction and help you stick to the diet long-term.
No matter which diet you choose, check out our Chocolate Fruit & Nuts Gift Box for an indulgent dessert. Depending on your diet of choice, you may have to portion out the sweeter treat, but, trust us, it’s worth it.