Keto diet vs low carb: what’s the difference?


Keto diet vs low carb: what’s the difference and which is better? Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.

“Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel,” says diet expert Heidi Normanton, founder of Heylo (opens in new tab). “Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesn’t produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.”

It’s important to have an understanding of your body and the calories and nutrients required for it to function effectively before starting a new diet, adds elite coach Farren Morgan, who runs The Tactical Athlete (opens in new tab). He advises speaking to a dietician or a health professional first.

In this article we look at the key differences between the keto diet vs low carb, so you can decide if either plan is right for you.

What is a keto diet?

“A keto diet, also known as a ketogenic diet, is based on lowering your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of healthy fats,” says Morgan. 

It’s fairly restrictive, but while all keto diets are low carb, not all low carb diets are keto. The keto diet involves getting 70% of daily calories from fat, 20% from protein and 10% from carbohydrates.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

What is the low carb diet?

Like keto, low carb diets follow the same principle of cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats and vegetables. “Carbohydrates are easier to digest, but don’t provide the same essential nutrients that proteins and fats do for the growth and development of your physique,” explains Morgan.

(Image credit: Getty images)

Keto diet vs low carb: similarities

“Both diets have the same objective in mind – weight loss – but keto diets fall as a subcategory of a low carb diet, while low carb diets represent the…



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