Keto Diet

Difference Between Low-Carb and Keto Diet

For many newcomers, the concept of low-carb and keto diet can be confusing when they first hear about them. Simply understood, a low-carb diet is a broader range, while a keto diet is a more strict low-carb diet that additionally contains high levels of fat.

In today’s article, we will briefly explain what a low-carb diet is and what a keto diet is. So what exactly is the difference between low-carb and keto?

What is a Low-carb and Keto Diet?

Our food contains three primary nutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Most people, not only have a high carbohydrate diet but also have a high fat intake and in some cases, a high protein intake.

Because carbohydrates are most effective in affecting blood sugar and stimulating insulin, excessive long-term intake may lead to insulin resistance, which is a major cause of diabetes and various chronic diseases. And reducing carbohydrate intake can improve chronic disease and also lead to weight loss, so low-carbohydrate diets were born.

Current dietary guidelines recommend that more than 50% of energy comes from carbohydrates, which makes this diet very detrimental to weight loss and chronic disease management. Low-carb diets call for a carbohydrate intake that is less than 20% of total intake, with fat and protein intake varying from person to person and can be adjusted to suit your situation. Many traditional fitness enthusiasts, who follow a low-carbohydrate, low-fat, high-protein diet, are more afraid of fat and have high protein requirements.

The keto diet is much lower in carbohydrate intake, below 10%, usually right around 5%, an extremely low-carb diet, and high in fat intake, usually around 70%. However, this doesn’t mean you have to eat a lot of fat on a keto diet. For many people, your fat is already high, and after cutting out carbs, you need to add some healthy fats such as eating avocado, and salmon, drinking bulletproof coffee, and tossing salads with olive oil. Because, fat is very high in nutrient density, a slight increase in calories will do.

Therefore, the difference between the two is mainly in the intake of fat and carbohydrates. The keto diet has a higher fat intake and a lower carbohydrate intake, but low-carb and keto diets have some things in common.

  1. rejection of processed foods, refined rice, flour, sugar, and other high-carbohydrate foods
  2. moderate protein intake unless you are a professional fitness enthusiast

Difference Between Low-carb Diet and Keto diet

There are two main differences between a low-carb diet and a keto diet because the intake of carbohydrates and fats is different.

Differences in Energy Supply Patterns

Low-carb diets, for the most part, still have a sugar supply, and while sugars like roughage rise slowly, they do have some sugar content. A keto diet, on the other hand, will always be in a fat supply state due to the low carbohydrate intake, and the body’s main source of sugar is glycation, which is the conversion of protein and fat into sugar.

They Are Not in the Same State

People on a keto diet will enter a keto state (ketosis). This is a state in which the body runs out of glycogen and begins to metabolize fat, producing ketone bodies for energy. Entering a full keto state takes about 2 weeks of adaptation, which varies from person to person. When you enter a keto state, you will feel more focused, have better energy, less hunger, have more stable moods, and sleep better.

People on a low-carb diet may not enter a keto state. In general, people need to limit their carbohydrate intake to about 50 grams to fully enter a keto state. People on a keto diet are in this keto state essentially 24 hours a day.

Keto Requires More Fat

Ketogenesis requires increased fat and is very strict about the quality of that fat. Olive oil, coconut oil, and animal oils such as lard, avocado oil, etc. are generally recommended. Vegetable oils (peanut, soy, corn, sunflower, and other nut oils, etc.), as well as and some unhealthy margarine, trans fats will be avoided whenever possible.

Over the years, the fat background of the keto diet has slowly become common knowledge as more and more studies have proven that fat is not an issue. At the same time, saturated fats are not a problem either. What is a problem is that polyunsaturated fats, which are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, can cause inflammation in the body.

To maintain a keto state, eat more coconut oil, which is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCT oil) and is more easily metabolized. People with special needs for this state may need to maintain keto effects, such as special diseases, such as epilepsy.

Food Requirements for Keto are More Stringent

Fruits, for example, are also restricted in the keto process. Low-carbohydrate can eat some fruits in moderation, and keto effects can eat some low-sugar fruits, avocados, lemons, berries, etc. There are also special foods, such as beans and milk, where the keto effect is also restricted, and low-carbohydrate diets can be eaten in moderation.


Which is Better for Weight Loss? Low-carb or Keto diet?

First, both are great for weight loss because on a low-carb diet, your appetite will be greatly reduced and you will naturally eat less. In addition, with an increased intake of vegetables and meat, the dietary fiber and protein in both foods will greatly prolong satiety and reduce hunger. In addition, some studies have found that eating nutrient-dense foods will greatly reduce appetite and reduce the number of binge eating episodes.

All of these weight loss benefits occur on both low-carb and keto diets. However, a keto diet will have another additional effect in that the ketone bodies produced by burning fat will also suppress appetite, especially some fats that can be burned directly, such as the medium-chain fatty acid MCT oil.

In general, low-carb work well at first, but slows down, at which point you can reduce carbs and slowly increase fat to transition to keto bodies. However, keto is not necessarily good for weight loss at the end of the day, and many people maintain keto bodies, not necessarily for weight loss, but just to maintain that state.

I would argue that the best weight loss results should be from fasting, but it is difficult to do this for people who are generally high in carbohydrates. For keto people, fasting is much easier, as is a low-carb diet, but not as easy as keto. I think the best outcome is a keto diet coupled with fasting. However, low carb works well and is more suitable for beginners. For beginners, it is recommended to start low carb and just try to avoid bingeing on carbs.

Low-carb or Keto Diet, Which is Healthier?

This varies from person to person. I think the threshold for keto will be higher, and for some specific diseases, it is recommended to do it under the guidance of a doctor. Also, keto will run into more problems and you will need to learn to adjust yourself.

Low-carb may be more suitable for people who are not very demanding with their diet, no processed foods, no refined rice, no face sugar, and the average person is already healthy doing this. However, you may not be able to enter a keto state, there are gains and losses, right?

If you take just the health indicators, low-carb and keto will generally lower blood sugar, triglycerides, inflammatory indicators, etc. Keto people should also learn to interpret their lipid index. If they increase their saturated fat intake while on a keto diet, some people may show high LDL levels on their lipid index. With a keto diet, blood sugar may be lowered more quickly, inflammatory markers may fall more quickly, and improvements in Alzheimer’s disease may be better.


Which is better, low carb or keto, the jury is still out. I think it suits me very well. If you exercise regularly, it doesn’t matter if you’re in ketosis or not, as long as you stick to low carb. However, if you are a brain worker, I recommend you try the keto state and see if you like it and if it is good for you.

Of course, keto is not for everyone. For example, it is not suitable for people with eating disorders. There are also some patients with special diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, which have certain risks and need to be carried out under the guidance of doctors. For those who are new to the low-carbohydrate keto diet, it is recommended to start with low-carbohydrate, transition slowly, learn, monitor, and feel the changes in the body. I believe you will become more and more confident and try a stricter healthy diet.