Cutting Out Or Just Reducing Carbohydrates – Keto vs Low Carb Diet, What’s Best For You?
Low carb and ketogenic diets are among the most popular diets because they promise rapid weight loss. Where exactly are the differences and for whom is which diet better suited? Keto vs low carb diet, which one will win this healthier, more effective and better diet competition?
Low carb diets are great for endomorphs (this body type stores more fat than others do) and mesomorphs (somatotype/greater than usual muscle development).
The classic low carb diet requires that you consume no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day. The body’s own glycogen stores empty completely after about 48 hours.
Still, at the same time, there’s hardly any new carbohydrates supply in the form of glucose, fructose, etc. Therefore, the body has to resort to an alternative energy source.
There is an abundance of protein and a moderate to a high amount of healthy fats on your menu. A classic low carb diet is ideal for beginners, but also for advanced athletes, as it can be implemented quickly and easily.
With low carb, the dieter moderately reduces the intake of carbohydrates.
Low carb means that someone consumes fewer carbohydrates in order to lose weight. This results in keeping the blood sugar level as constant as possible. When the blood sugar level rises, the pancreas releases insulin.
This hormone facilitates the absorption of sugar into the body cells. In addition, insulin prevents fat burning. Thus, people who eat a lot of carbohydrates, do not decrease their body weight or, if they do, then only very slowly.
After the release of insulin, the blood sugar level drops drastically. This leads to food cravings, bloating and tachycardia.
The low carb diet consists of meals which contain 25 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 50 percent fat.
Carbohydrates and insulin
Carbohydrates lead to an increase in blood sugar. Basically, carbohydrates are different forms of broken-down sugar that will end up in the bloodstream sooner or later.
Since too much blood sugar is harmful to us, the body releases the hormone insulin, which tells all cells to use sugar and stop fat release (“burning”) until the sugar rate drops back to normal.
In this state, our body does not access the fat reserves and uses the sugar in the blood as a source of energy, instead.
If the body releases a little too much insulin, the blood sugar also plummets. As a result, we usually feel hungry again two hours after the last meal.
If we feed the body three times a day carbohydrate-rich foods, and in between perhaps even small snacks, then an effective fat mobilization is almost impossible.
The body, thus, simply never gets the opportunity to access the fat reserves and there is no weight loss.
The low carb diet allows access to body fat
A meal that contains a lot of fat and little carbohydrates has little effect on insulin release. This means, that the blood sugar remains stable.
Furthermore, it ensures a steady energy supply through dietary fats and the fact that your stored body fat gets moved around.
Inappropriate foods on a low carb diet
1. Fruit and juices, because of the high content of fructose (exception: Green Smoothies)
2. Cereal products such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, rice
3. Sweets, fast food, soft drinks
The ketogenic diet, consists of even fewer carbohydrates, as the proportion of the carbohydrate intake minimizes to 5 percent. At the same time, the fat content is 80 percent and the protein amount 15 percent.
Here the main focus is no longer a constant blood sugar level, although, of course, this is also important. However, more essential is the body’s production of so-called ketones.
The body relies on carbohydrate intake to function well. Since this is so vital, the body has the opportunity to provide for itself if necessary. However, he doesn’t use carbohydrates, but the so-called ketone bodies. These are acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
The ketones origin from the mitochondrial matrix of the liver cells. There, acetyl-CoA produces them from broken down fatty acids.
This happens because of the scarcity of the carbohydrates. Since fuel is vital for human health, the body must obtain energy through ketonic bodies, instead.
The absorption of protein also plays a role in the ketogenic diet. If you eat too much protein, you usually do not get into the desired state of ketosis.
This is because some amino acids (the smallest building blocks of protein) also convert into carbohydrates. For this reason, the proportion of protein must not rise above 25 percent.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic condition
An innate process and completely harmless. Ketones play a vital role, especially in the first weeks of our lives. Ketones have great importance on the brain of the newborn.
Only a few know that breastfed newborns are naturally in ketosis. Breast milk contains many MCTs. Ketones are not only essential for the energy supply of the young brain but also provide important building blocks.
The difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis is vital!
While ketosis is natural and harmless, ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition. Importantly, no one that produces insulin can develop ketoacidosis!
A feedback loop. regulates ketogenesis. If the ketone levels rise up to a certain upper limit, the body releases insulin and ketone production becomes inhibited.
With the ketogenic diet, the beginning is especially difficult. Since the body needs the carbohydrates, those who want to get off to a good start do not feel very well at first.
Dieters feel sluggish and may be unable to focus. This, however, will soon pass. Once in the state of ketosis, hunger and food cravings disappear and you feel great. Now, losing weight is almost as if it were magic.
All facts at a glance
1. Vehemently reduction of glucose.
2. Consequently, the body is looking for alternative energy sources.
3. Production of larger quantities of ketones.
4. Stimulated energy metabolism.
Which diet is more suitable for muscle building?
The ketogenic diet is not suitable for muscle building. Strength athletes know that protein is necessary for gaining muscle mass. In the ketogenic diet, one reduces the intake of protein greatly. This, on the other hand, sets a limitation for muscle building.
The situation is different with the low carb diet. Here, it is not a problem if the protein content increases. The proportion of protein is about 1.1 g per pound of body weight.
Let me shortly explain what proteins are.
In order to build muscle, your body needs protein, that is certain. Muscles consist of about 20% proteins and about 80% of water. Protein is a basic nutrient and vital for the body.
It consists mostly of molecules composed of essential and non-essential amino acids. Our body doesn’t produce the essential amino acids, thus, you must supply them through food.
The non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, are synthesized within the body. Furthermore, proteins contain nitrogen and sulfur, which perform important functions in our body.
The body cannot store certain types of protein, such as carbohydrates and fat. That is why it needs regular stockpile.
Proteins have the advantage of accelerating muscle growth and promoting regeneration after physical exertion. In addition, the regular intake of proteins protects the breakdown of muscle mass.
When switching to the low carb diet, you may initially lose some muscle mass. Soon, however, the body becomes accustomed to getting fat primarily as a source of energy. From that time on, the muscle mass builds up again.
This requires a calorie surplus. Men should include up to 500 kcal in addition to their daily needs.
Regular strength training is essential for successful muscle building and visible results, which is accompanied by sufficient rest periods.
Low carb or ketogenic diet?
People who want to switch their diet to low carb will sooner or later ask themselves which diet to choose.
Basically, low carb is the gentler method. Accordingly, the weight loss is slow. The low carb diet is suitable for a long-term weight loss program. The small changes in your diet hardly cause any problems at all. Most people tolerate the low carb diet exceptionally well from the start.
The ketogenic diet is the right choice if the interested person wants to lose weight as quickly as possible. The diet also makes sense in people who suffer from certain diseases.
In epilepsy and migraine, ketogenic nutrition is effective. Studies show that seizures declined in patients with epilepsy who took part in a ketogenic diet evaluation.
The same applies to migraines. They, furthermore, often use this diet to aid people suffering from cancer.
Cancer cells generate their energy mainly from carbohydrates.
Energy formation via ketones does not work as well. In addition, ketones inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Nevertheless, for healthy people, the low carb diet is, however, usually the better choice.
Low carb simply means reducing the number of carbohydrates in meals. For many people, this is a good diet. If you want to lose weight quickly or suffer from certain diseases, you, furthermore, minimize the carbohydrates along with the daily protein intake.
This puts you in a state of ketosis. Now ketone bodies take over the job of the energy production within your body. This allows for more rapid weight loss.
So what about you? Have you tried the keto diet, or have you, perhaps, ever been on a low-fat diet? If so, please share your experience and story with us below. And wat’s your opinon on the keto vs low carb diet? We are always very excited to hear from you and happy about your contribution.
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