With fad diets running around in full swing, you’re bound to wonder what they are about. To give you a quick gist, Keto, Atkins and Paleo are all low carbohydrate diets that serve different purposes. To understand the difference between them, let’s delve into details first!
1. Ketogenic or Keto Diet
This diet was created in the 1920s as a mode of treating epilepsy. The classic Keto diet requires 90% of the calories coming from fat, 6% from proteins and 4% from carbohydrates. The purpose of this diet is to force the body to go into ketosis, which is a metabolic state that utilizes fat for energy instead of glucose (i.e. from Carbs).
Although the diet is low-carb, its main focus is to be high in fat with some protein. There are no restrictions on the type of fat to be consumed. So followers can have bacon, avocados, butter, etc.
- High-fat and high-protein foods keep you fuller for longer.
- You can eat up to four ounces of cheese (For some of us, that’s key).
- Protein is more limited than on Atkins, so your liver will not end up processing it.
- Your cholesterol is going to get better as the good cholesterol will go up and the bad triglycerides will go down.
- It can also help lower blood pressure.
- The keto diet has been shown, in some studies, to improve the health of women with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome), reduce cholesterol, decrease seizures in epileptic children, and improve acne.
- Have you heard of the Keto flu? When you start the diet, you may begin feeling grumpy and foggy while your body and brain adjust to using ketones instead of glucose for fuel. The Keto flu can last from 2 days to 2 weeks.
- You cannot eat any fruit.
- As the fiber content in the diet is low, it can cause issues such as constipation.
- You need to be careful about dehydration.
- You need to get ketone urine testing strips to confirm you’re in ketosis at regular intervals.
- If you are accustomed to a high-fiber diet, you might need a supplement.
- If you are on medication for hypertension, diabetes, or other conditions, you must talk to a doctor before starting the diet.
2. Atkins Diet
This diet is specifically labelled as a low-carb diet. There are 2 versions of Atkins diet: Atkin 20 which is the original diet and Atkin 40, which is a diet created for those looking to lose less than 40 pounds (approx. 18 kg).
The Classic Atkins diet has 4 phases: The 1st phase starts off with having 20-25gms of carbs per day and then slowly progresses to phase 4 in which people are allowed 80-100gms of carbs, which is still considered low-carb.
Atkins focuses on net carb intake. Instead of counting all carbs as the same, this diet takes fiber and sugars into account, whereas Paleo and Keto don’t. So if a food has 10gms of carbs, but 3gms of fiber, and 1gm of sugar, than your net carb intake would be 6gms.
- You won’t be hungry. You will feel satisfied.
- Weight comes off quickly, although some of it will be water weight.
- The four phases allow you to slowly add some carbs back in, making it somewhat easier to sustain.
- Atkins has a line of snack bars, shakes, and frozen meals, which make compliance convenient.
- There is evidence that the diet helps improve both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Your initial dramatic weight loss is a whole lot of water — you won’t keep losing at the same level and the minute you eat carbs again it will come back on.
- You eat too much protein, which can cause serious liver issues.
- This can also prevent you from going into ketosis, which means you won’t lose weight.
- Eating barely any carbs can, at first, make you feel cranky, lethargic, and even achy — mainly because your brain takes time to adjust from processing glucose to ketones.
- Being in a state of ketosis causes stinky breath — and since bad breath doesn’t come from your mouth, brushing isn’t going to help.
- The Atkins line of foods and snacks often contain artificial sweeteners and other processed ingredients.
3. Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet follows the eating pattern followed during the Paleolithic era, 2.6 million years ago, which is basically eating like a hunter- gatherer. It focuses mostly on a high-protein diet with lots of vegetables and fruit. Unlike Keto and Atkins, this diet doesn’t aim to be low-carb. It cuts down the intake of carbs from grains, dairy, legumes, refined and processed foods.
While keto diet doesn’t discriminate between the types of fats that needs to be included, the Paleo diet advises its followers to avoid certain types of oils and trans-fats. Although you can eat all the peanut butter you want to on a keto diet, the paleo diet cuts out the peanut butter because technically peanuts are classified under legumes.
- The focus of Paleo is on whole, nutrient-dense foods.
- You can have proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats (like those from avocado, nuts, and seeds).
- Low-glycemic diets have been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol and reduce visceral fat.
- You don’t have to give up sweets, as long as they are natural (honey, maple syrup, etc.).
- People with gut issues may find eliminating wheat, dairy, and processed foods also eliminates digestive discomfort.
- It is higher in fiber and other nutrients than Atkins and Keto.
- The diet is restrictive and difficult to implement.
- Be prepared to shop and cook for every meal, because it’s challenging to eat out on Paleo.
- This diet might burn a hole in your pockets as grass-fed meats, free-range poultry and organic produce are expensive.
- Without dairy, you may need to increase your efforts to consume enough calcium.
- Weight loss, if any, may be more gradual than on the other diets.
While GOQii does not advocate, promote or instruct its players to follow fad diets, if you’re still adamant on choosing any one of these, you may want to consult your GOQii Coach within the app, nutritionist or dietician before proceeding as the same diet doesn’t work for everyone. You might even want to check with your doctor in case you have food allergies.
We hope this article helps you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!