Minimising sugars in the diet is always a positive and your body will thank you for it, but how-low-you-go depends on what you are hoping to achieve. The internet is full of confusing, conflicting and unreliable advice so here's our simple what's what on low carb vs keto.
Low Carb - What's & Why's?
A general low carb diet consists of a carb level of less than 120g daily. Though this may sound quite high, the average UK diet based around the Eat Well Plate can easily be upwards of 250g carbs daily so for beginners it can be quite a big change to their eating habits. This type of diet is good for improvement in general health, reducing your intake of sugar and processed foods, losing a few lbs and can even help improve your skin, hair & nails, and sleep quality. Not as strict as keto, this diet allows you to include a more varied selection of fruit, vegetables and a small amount of grain free produce. Unlike the keto diet it can also be done using lower levels of fat, so perfect for those who haven't quite managed to get their heads around the fat revolution yet and still prefer their semi-skimmed to double cream!
An example of a Low Carb diet consisting of 88g carbs, 66g fat, 61g protein:
Breakfast: Seed & Berry Granola, 30ml semi-skimmed milk, 100g blueberries.
Lunch: Pea & Pancetta Soup , 2 x Ryvita Dark Rye Crispbread with butter.
Meal: Pork Milanese, 150g broccoli, 50g leeks, 100g quinoa.
Snacks: A square of dark chocolate, 1 medium pear, 1 x Raspberry & Seed FattBar.
Low Carb Keto - What's & Why's?
On a keto diet you should be consuming less than 50g carbs daily through a low sugar, moderate protein and higher fat diet to put your body into a state of dietary ketosis, at which point your body will be utilising fats for energy rather than sugar. If followed correctly a keto diet can help you lose excess body fat, increase your energy levels, reduce hunger and sugar cravings, and even aid in the management and reduction of symptoms in health conditions such as PCOS and diabetes. Most people find once they become familiar with this way of eating that they get the best results from lowering their daily carbs to less than 20g and increasing their fat intake to over 70% of their overall diet. A keto diet takes dedication, but if you persevere you can reap the rewards and become properly keto-adapted within only 3-4 weeks.
An example of a Low Carb Keto diet consisting of 18g carbs, 129g fat, 59g protein:
Breakfast: Seed & Nut Granola, 30ml double cream, 50g raspberries.
Lunch: Thai Chicken Soup, 40g cheddar cheese.
Meal: Chicken Breton, 100g buttered mushrooms, 150g buttered wilted spinach.
Snacks: Caramel & Sea Salt FattBar.
Medical Keto - What's & Why's?
More and more people are realizing that the keto diet is not just about weight loss. Recently this way of eating has become popular for people looking to manage more serious neurological conditions such as epilepsy and alzheimer's, and there are even on going studies in the effects of keto diets on cancer. However, as you can see not every keto diet is equal, and so it's vital that you receive the correct information if you are looking to follow a keto diet for serious medical conditions as the macros will need to be personalised and adhered to strictly for maximum benefit. Therefore, always speak to your dietician or an expert to ensure they provide you with the information and support you need.