Lately the word “Keto” keeps popping up in my email box, in my social media steam and in the podcasts I listen to. So I thought it would be beneficial to provide a few facts on the differences of a few popular "diet trends".
The one point I want to stress here: What is most important for your success is not what the newest diet fad is, but rather what the long term success is for your body.
Here are my (simplified breakdowns):
This has been a popular weight loss strategy in the media lately but is not a new concept. This diet has been around since 1924 when it was cited as a way to control epilepsy.
Normally your body burn carbohydrates for fuel, thus reserving our fat stores. By reducing your carbohydrate intake, the body doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy. Alternately it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. This is what the body uses to produce energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates.
This diet is based on: 70% Fat, 20% Protein, 10% Carbohydrate
Ketoacidosis is what happens when ketosis goes too far. Ketones build up in your blood, and it becomes acidic. Ketoacidosis can cause a coma or death.
We are all most likely familiar with Atkins. There are a few stages in the Atkins diet, the first being a version of Ketosis. However, Atkins promotes unlimited fatty fuel and protein sources where Ketosis has percentage guidelines. Later on in Atkins, there is an introduction of a very small amount of carbohydrates.
Phase 1 (Induction): Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
Phase 2 (Balancing): Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back to your diet.
Phase 3 (Fine-Tuning): When you are very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
Phase 4 (Maintenance): Here you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without regaining weight.
The similarity to Ketosis Diet is that you may enter ketosis early on in Atkins but it is not for the long run.
High risk of rebound weight gain if introducing carbohydrates back into diet
Low carbohydrate diet may be difficult to follow long term
low fibre can cause constipation and bowel inflammation
low antioxident levels
Eating Paleo is a lifestyle choice that incorporates quality foods to support immunity and digestion health. It is less about dramatic weight loss and more about eating well for a lifetime.
That said, there are similarities to Keto and Atkins in terms of the avoidance of refined starches and processed sugars.
Paleo does include however, natural sugars such as maple syrup and honey (because it doesn’t cause the same chaos that white sugar does in your body). It also promotes the use of nutrient dense carbohydrates such as squash and sweet potato (which would be a no-no on Keto and Atkins).
You will not likely enter Ketosis eating Paleo because fruits, complex carbs and natural sugar is ok to eat. This is a long term overall health and wellbeing eating plan.There are no drastic measures involved, which means a consistent healthy fat loss over time.
Effective in reversing several chronic diseases
Promotes whole unrefined foods that are high quality
We become educated in what processed foods are doing to our bodies long term!
Beneficial in study done on obese postmenopausal women.
There are arguments against the disuse of legumes and grains
You will have to adapt this diet to suit your body type
Any sense of restriction can be a cause for binging, therefore slowly incorporation this over time would be beneficial
In the end, you can pick what is best for you. Do you want a quick fix? Keep in mind that when that quick fix is through, it’s about maintaining your healthy every day.This is a job that is 24/7.
I hope this is helpful for those that may find diet information overwhelming.
Remember: It’s the long game that matters. If you eat real foods every day and skip frozen dinners and fast food, you are leaps and bounds ahead my friend.
Yours in health and happiness,