what is the keto diet

For the past few years, there has been an on-going debate on whether a keto or vegan diet is better for health in almost every food blog. We won’t go into that debate, instead, have a look at some real facts and studies to understand which is a better diet for you. However, before that, let’s find out what exactly keto and vegan diet is.

Vegan Diet

Typically, a vegan diet is a diet that excludes meat, eggs, and other animal-derived ingredients. Vegan Society defines the vegan diet as a plant-based diet that does not include any animal food. It includes grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy alternatives, beans, nuts, cheese, leafy greens or microgreens. With good planning, a balanced vegan diet can get all the nutrients vegans needs.

Nowadays, a lot of people moving toward a vegetarian diet – from models to celebrities to fitness enthusiasts. According to an article published in Forbes, the number of vegans in the United States increased from 1% to 6% between 2014 to 2017. Besides health, there are numerous other factors, more and more people opting to turn vegan. These include moral, ethical, and environmental.

How Does Plant-based Vegan Diet Work

A vegan diet is often low in fat, protein, and calories, therefore, people usually feel they can eat all day and still lose some weight. Research shows that vegans take a variety of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients than omnivores. Moreover, they have lower average calorie consumptions than non-vegans. Consequently, the diet helps in losing weight.

Keto Diet

Keto or Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that claims to provide numerous health benefits. The diet includes substantially diminish of carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat-rich food.

This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Some of the common foods added to the ketogenic diet include seafood, low-carb veggies, cheese, avocados, and more.

Types of Ketogenic Diets

  • SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet): This is a very low-carb, medium-protein, and high-fat diet that contains 75% of fat and 20% of fat protein and 5% carbs.
  • High-protein ketogenic diet: This is like a standard ketogenic diet, however, it includes more protein.
  • CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet): This diet includes rotating between a rigorous high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet plan.
  • TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet): This diet allows you to add carbs around workout.

How Does Keto Diet Work

The human body preserves carbs as glycogen, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Your body burns through carbs you eat and then turn to the glycogen for energy. When you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, your body starts using those reserved carbs. When glycogen is lost, your body loses the extra water glycogen holds. Thus instantly you drop some pounds without this water weight. In a few days, your body enters into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Keto Diet vs. Vegan Diet

Keto Diet: Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, the keto diet promises big results. A 2008 study revealed that those who followed a low-carb ketogenic diet for six months experienced considerable improvement in glycemic control. Though this low-glycemic diet wasn’t plant-based; instead, it included eggs, meat, dairy, participants lost 24 pounds in a few weeks.

Another study published in 2004 concluded that a keto diet rich in fat positively

affected BMI of 83 overweight patients. Patients started a keto diet at an average BMI of 38 and dropped to 32 in 24 weeks.

Taking look at these results, it would not be wrong to say that a keto diet helps reduce weight. However, to get the most out of this diet, you should limit your carb intake to 30 to 50 grams per day.

Vegan Diet: Weight Loss

Similarly, the vegan diet has also manifested positive outcomes for weight loss. A study published by the American Medical Association tested the high-carb plant-based diet and a low-carb plant-based diet on two groups. After 30 days, both groups lost an almost equal amount (8.8 Ibs) of weight.

The low-carb group consumed around 26% of carbohydrates, while the high-carb group 56%. The fat content was 43% (low-carb) and 25% (high-carb).

The result shows that even if the diet is high-fat or high-carb, taking nutrient-rich food seems to play a significant role in weight loss.

Keto Diet Effects: Biomarkers

Most experts talk about the benefits of the keto diet for weight loss, but what about health biomarkers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides? Let’s get to know about what effects the Keto diet put on them.

A study conducted in 2006 tested the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese people with high cholesterol. Throughout the 56 weeks of research, the participants experienced positive changes in their good cholesterol (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides. Notably, HDL increased, LDL and triglycerides dropped.

In other words, all great signs of health in overweight patients with high cholesterol. Another Keto study that tested type 2 diabetes patients showed substantial improvement in glycemia (a measure of glucose in the blood).

Vegan Diet Effects: Biomarkers

According to famous physician Dr. Neal Barnard, a vegan diet has the potential to lower cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose. He published a study that put type 2 diabetic on a vegan diet for 74 weeks. This controlled clinical trial showed some great results in diabetes patients.

Keto vs. Vegan Diet: Which is Better and What Experts Have to Say

Though both diets stand polar opposites in terms of food strategy, they are equally popular for getting pounds off. Most experts say you can expect positive results from either diet. However, they won’t last if you don’t support this new lifestyle for the long term.

If you ask which diet is more successful for weight loss, we would say both will lead to weight loss if you follow them strictly. So, after having a look at experts’ advice, and study results, it would be right to say that a successful diet is one that is followed to a long period.