You’ll see the terms low carb and keto. What’s the difference?
Many people are familiar with Atkins’ low carb food plan. There’s an induction phase of 20 carbs which is followed by 50 carbs per day during weight loss. During maintenance, the plan calls for adding back carbs gradually until the individual finds their own carb limit for maintenance. And if that plan works, that’s great! Typically Atkins is a bit higher protein than keto. For those of us who are more insulin resistant, the stricter keto version of low carb may work better.
The keto way of eating is very low carb, high fat, and moderate protein.
- 20 carbs a day or 5% of food intake.
- High fat, meaning 70 to 80% of daily intake is of healthy fat. I know–this is a so different from everything we’ve been taught. But good fats are good for us. It’s not dietary fat that makes us fat, it’s the sugar, starches, and processed foods. Healthy dietary fat makes food taste good, fills us up, and keeps us full. Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon, full fat dairy, full fat salad dressings make our food tasty and filling.
- Moderate protein, usually 15 to 25 percent of daily intake.
So which plan to choose? Some people can lose well and experience the health benefits they want with an Atkins-type low carb plan. If that works for you, then that’s wonderful. Those of us with a lot of weight to lose or with diabetes may need to go lower with the carbs and protein so that we don’t spike our blood sugar/insulin response in order to lose the weight and experience the health benefits we want.
There are advantages to both serious all-in carb restriction and in a more gradual reduction for getting started. You decide what’s best for you.