What Is the Difference Between Low Carb and Ketogenic Diet?

When it comes to weight control and general body health, which strategy do you think is the most appropriate between exercise and diet? Can one of the options be really fit for one group of individuals than others? Do you think one of these two options is better in general? Well, people have different choices and preferences. Some cannot even think about the idea of exercise. However, there are those who see it as the most appropriate strategy. But what is interesting is the idea that whether we want or we don’t want, we exercise regularly.

I know you are surprised by this assertion. But did you know that leaving your bed to the kitchen constitutes as exercise? Even walking down to the shop is a form of exercise. However, we need to ask ourselves the contribution that such moves not only in weight loss but also in the overall body health of an individual. What about the diet option? How long can you spend without eating? We all eat regularly. The fact that certain types of food can effectively help to control body weight makes the diet option the best overall. One advantage with this option over exercise is that you really do not have to do so many things to be on the right track. A recent study shows the popularity of the diet in weight control is on increase. Today, we want to focus on the two major types of diet you may have heard of – Low Carb and Ketogenic Diet. What is the difference between these two diets? Well, let us see…

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The Difference between Low-Carbs and Ketogenic Diet Plans

You need to be careful in order to see the difference that exists between these two diet plans. I want you to know that a keto is a form of low-low carb plan. However, most of the low-carb diets are not ketogenic. Let us illustrate further.


A typical low-carb diet plan simply requires the intake of fewer carbs, high proteins, and the characteristically western diet. The diet is often based on the following:

  • Healthy Fats
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Meats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

On the other hand, the plan discourages the intake of such food like potatoes, grains, and other sugary foods including drinks. This is because they are high-carb foods. By adopting a low-carb diet, you will definitely lose weight and enhance your overall body health. In general, individuals in these diet plans lessen carbs with a view of facilitating weight loss. On the contrary, if the intention is to maintain weight, they increase the intake of carbs. As already established, the ketogenic diet is a form of a low-carb diet. Let us briefly discuss it and the difference will come clear.

Ketogenic Diet

Why do we say a keto is a form of a low-carb diet? Well, the difference is that the ketogenic diet advocate for the intake of low significantly low carbs, moderate proteins, and high fats. But you may still be wondering because there are thousands of people out there who have successfully lessen carbs from their diets but are not necessarily on keto. This exactly where the difference comes in. for you to be on a ketogenic diet, you must be in a state of ketosis. This is a process by which the body breaks down fatty acids for energy rather than glycogen and glucose. The breakdown of fats produces ketones which are used as fuels.

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The fact that you have significantly reduced the number of carbohydrates in your diet plan does not mean fats are now being oxidized for energy. In fact, it is possible that you may get better off of you take more carbs compared to what you are eating in case you have adopted keto. This is especially the case when you are shifting to low-carbs from high-carbs. Let us go back to the concept of weight loss.

The Difference in Weight Loss

What is the difference between low-carb and keto when it comes to weight loss? Which one is the most appropriate? Let us examine individual diet plans in this regard.


It is possible to lose weight using low-carbs. For instance, if you have been taking a number of servings daily, I mean high carbs, there will be a difference. Let us say you have now turned to a few servings in a day. You would have significantly reduced carbs, perhaps from 600 grams to as low as 150 grams. The fact you are consuming lesser carbohydrates makes the difference. The level of insulin will be spiked, leading to a huge fluctuation in blood sugar. However, there are challenges associated with this. Your body could still be using carbs for energy. If you are not particularly on ketosis, your fat-burning will still not be effective. In addition, if you are reducing carbohydrates without replacing calories with healthy fats, you are most likely to experience a run down.

Ketogenic Diet

As we mentioned earlier, keto involves the intake of significantly lower carbs compared to fats and proteins. When the body is deprived of carbohydrates, the alternative energy sources are the fatty acids. It is the high-fat burning that leads to effective weight loss. Keto even more effective when one uses the mct oil for weight loss.

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Which Option is the Best?

Using either of the alternatives results in result to weight loss. To emphasize is a diet plan involving low-carbs. In contrast, a low-carb diet may not induce ketosis. If you simply lessen the intake of carbs but you do not intend to be on ketosis, you will still cut weight, especially if your carbs intake mainly includes vegetables. But also have to exercise and ensure that you do not overwork the hormones.

From the foregoing, the distinction between the two includes other factors and not only the quantity of carbohydrates taken. Being in the state of ketosis is the best strategy for weight loss. If you remain in this state, the fats will always be oxidized for energy.

The Bottom Line

If we go back to the question we raised at the outset, what is the difference between low carb and ketogenic diet? We have seen that both involve a low intake of carbohydrates. However, you can be on a low-carb diet without being in a state of ketosis. For a ketogenic diet, you must be in ketosis. There are other types of low-carb diet plans. We discuss that next time. Thank you.

Dr Helen Okoye, MD, MBA, MS-Epi. 

Dr Helen Okoye, MD, MBA, MS-Epi.  She is an experienced professional with a Doctor of Medicine as seen on NBC News, Yahoo, Huff Post and Ausmed. She is a team member of SimpleKetoTest.com (SKT) the leading provider of personalized Keto advice in America.

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