What’s the Difference Between Low-carb Diet vs. Keto Diet?

Low carb and Keto are the most popular diet styles for many people, especially women who want to get a slim body and eliminate excess fat.

However, not everyone understands what these two concepts really mean.

The fact is, the more you know, the more you can decide what is suitable for your body and your target.

In this article, I’m gonna write down the main difference between low carb and keto, as well as help you to figure out which one is better.

First of all, let’s go with the definitions.

A low-carb diet will restrict carbohydrates in your daily meals, mainly from grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and bread, and at the same time increase the intake of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. Meanwhile, a ketogenic – or keto is also a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The two seem to be similar, but they are very different.

The main difference is carbohydrate intake. A low-carb diet just limits the number of carbs down to 50–150 grams.

However, on the keto diet, daily carb intake will be restricted to fewer than 50 grams. Besides, protein intake in Keto is also a bit lower while the fat is much higher. In general, we can say keto is a variation of low carb.

Actually, both of these ways of eating can help you lose weight, but “low carb vs keto – which is better?” is still a hard question for many people.

In fact, there would be no exact answer to this question, as each person has their own goals, lifestyle, preferences, unique biology, or special health condition.

You must think about what you really need, which results from what you want to happen to your body, then look at the main effects of each type to decide.

Comparison table about Difference Between Low-carb Diet vs. Keto Diet

Protein Carbohydrate Fat
Low-carb 40% 20% – 30% 30% – 40%
Old Atkin Diet 40% 10% 50%
Standard Ketogenic 25% 5% 70%


#1. Non-endurance athletes:

If you are an athlete or you have to get a lot of heavy exercise every day, perhaps low carb would be better to provide more energy.

Although some people can still work out when being on keto, many others just feel exhausted and reduce the quality of their performance. In this case, they need more carbs and maybe, more protein intake.

#2. Stable energy and blood sugar:

Going on a low-carb diet will help to balance your blood sugar, especially if you eat complex carbs (like vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, and squashes) instead of simple carbs (contained in white bread, white rice, and pasta).

#3. People who want to be relaxed with their diet:

When comparing a low-carb diet vs. keto, you will also need to consider your daily lifestyle. If you don’t want your diet to be too strict, it’s better to choose low-carb.

Or, in case you just suddenly wanna go on a diet without any former experience, you can try low carb first.

It’s safer and more relaxing. Keto requires you to diligently avoid carbs. If you fail to follow, you will need to start again, because just a small amount of carb can damage every effort you’ve made.

That’s why on the way to find out “low carb vs. keto – which is better”, some people will choose low carb without further consideration. It’s more relaxing, so it should work out better for you in the long term.


#1. Weight loss:

Both keto vs low carb results lead to weight loss. However, if you are too overweight and want to have a sexy body as soon as possible, keto seems to be a wise choice.

In keto, you’ll burn the fat you eat first and store body fat after that. At this point, maybe you think it is possible to overeat and gain weight on this diet.

That’s true, but hard to happen since eating keto can make you feel full on fewer calories, meaning you’ll gradually burn through body fat without being hungry all the time.

The other benefit of keto is a faster metabolism. Some study even shows that those who are on a Keto diet burned about 300 more calories a day than those who aren’t.

#2. Stable energy and blood sugar:

Cutting carbs can help you keep your blood sugar balanced, giving you steady energy levels throughout the day. You can even get protection against type 2 diabetes.

Although on the first several days of the keto diet, you may have some symptoms of “keto flu” (including headaches, fatigue, confusion, and nausea) due to a sudden switch from burning glucose for energy to burning fat, you will find you have much more energy and greater endurance after your body gets used to the fat-burning phase.

#3. Decreasing inflammation:

Keto is also proved to lower inflammation, possibly thanks to a ketone metabolite called beta-hydroxybutyrate.

Research has pointed out that the keto diet is especially good for liver inflammation, and it can even cure some kinds of cancer.

#4. Endurance athletes:

Athletes or people having to work out every day are usually wavering between low carb diet vs keto.

Actually, it depends on your inner strength. If you feel okay and can still perform well enough in your daily exercises, it would be good to follow keto. But if not, maybe you would need to add more carbs.

That’s all

If you spend some free time searching articles about keto vs low carb results in your body, you may see a lot of other benefits that they bring about for us.

Above I just mentioned the very basic difference between low carb and keto, you can discover more by yourself to find out which diet is more suitable.

But remember, the most important rule is: know what you want!

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