There is no specific diet that is good for everyone at all times, especially when your main goal is weight loss. When it comes to health, plant based diet and keto diet are frequently discussed
What is the difference between plant based and keto diet? A plant based diet is focused on plants as the main nutritional components, while a keto diet is focused on high-fat, low carbohydrate, and moderate protein intake.
Many people have found both diets extremely rewarding depending on their dietary and lifestyle goals, however the two diets do not have many similarities in what you eat.
Every individual has different goals and needs, and each person’s body is unique. You should always consider how your body reacts to to a diet, and how you feel while adhering to specific diet plans.
Taste preferences, time to shop and prepare, and ease of eating, whether at home or with friends and family, might all be factors in your diet choice. While it should not depend on what others think, setting up an easier path to staying on track with your diet might be the biggest factor for success.
This article discusses a few differences between ketogenic and plant based diet. Answered below are frequently asked questions about plant based and keto diets to give you a better understand of the subject.
If you are considering a plant base diet or a keto diet, you should speak with a dietician or physician to see if either one is right for you.
What is Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet focuses on getting most of your nutrition from plant foods including vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, grains, and seeds. It does not necessarily mean you cannot eat any animal products, but that if you do consume animal products it should be the smallest amount or portion of your total calorie consumption.
A specific type of plant based diet is the vegan diet. A “fully plant based” diet would have total overlap with the food items in a vegan diet, and would exclude things like chocolate chip cookies unless the chocolate chips and cookies are made without milk, eggs or butter.
A vegan diet excludes all animal products including eggs, dairy, and honey. Veganism has roots in certain beliefs about animal welfare as well as impacts on the environment.
People find themselves very satisfied and often healthier on plant based or vegan diets, but the nutrients must be in balance with wholesome ingredients that are not centered around vegan junk food.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is focused on high-fat content, low carbohydrates, and moderate protein intake. Over the past few years, it has become popular as a weight-loss diet with intermittent fasting that helps improve overall energy levels.
The main idea behind a keto dies is to get your body to start burning fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. When you significantly reduce the intake of carbohydrates, your body starts the process of ketosis, which simply requires burning stored fat for energy.
Difference Between Keto and Plant Based Diets
A keto diet can be healthy, but many people think it is very hard to achieve ketosis and maintain ketosis to continue to burn fat as fuel.
A plant-based diet focuses on plant based foods, whereas the keto diet tries to limits carbohydrates.
A plant based diet does not have any restriction on types of macronutrients, like carbohydrates, but rather tries to increase consumption of plant sources. The restrictive aspect of a keto diet could make it easier or harder for you to adhere to the guidelines.
Is plant-based diet better than keto?
It depends! There is not clear answer to the question since you need to factor in so many variables like your diet goals, your current medial and genetic history, and your ability to stick to the diet.
A plant based diet will have you consume fewer animal products in favor of vegetables, fruits, and other plant based items.
A keto diet will have you consume fewer carbohydrates in order to make your body burn stored fat for fuel.
Both diets can be very healthy and can assist in losing and maintaining weight.
Is plant-based diet healthier than keto?
We think so, but will admit it depends on how you are measuring. One of the main reasons we think it is healthier is because in our opinion a plant based diet is easier to stick to than a keto diet.
Many people find themselves starting and stopping a keto diet, which might result in minimal outcomes. Whereas a plant based diet is easier to maintain because it is not as restrictive.
You may experience rapid weight loss on a keto diet, however you will need to sustain the diet or risk gaining the weight back. Eating even slightly outside the guidelines of the diet can have your body end ketosis and return to carbohydrates as fuel.
On the other hand, if you follow a plant based diet you have more flexibility in types of food. You can also stray from a plant based diet and more easily return to eating plant based foods.
Before deciding on a diet, you should consider a few factors including your diet goals, the ease of sticking to the routine, and your taste preferences. Both diets can be very healthy for you, and the better diet is the one that you will be able to follow for longer.
Is plant-based diet high in carbs?
Yes, plant-based diets can be heavy in carbohydrates, but it is important to know that there are different types of carbs that you are in control.
Plant based foods like vegetables are mainly comprised of carbohydrates, though they are fibrous carbohydrates. These are complex carbohydrates that contain lots of fiber and are harder for your body to breakdown and convert to sugar.
It is commonly agreed upon that these are a type of healthy complex carbs.
Many people on plant based diets also increase their intake of simple carbs, or white breads, sugars, or starches. Simple carbs are often associated with weight gain as they tend to be nutrient deficient and your body can easily break them down for energy.
The combination of the two, easy to break down and nutrient deficient, means that you might eat more simple carbs and that your body might store the excess energy as fat. Experts don’t recommend increasing your intake of simple carbs on a plant based diet!
Here are some examples of complex carbs that we think a health plant based diet should be centered on:
- Root Vegetable
- Whole Grains
Can you do keto on plant-based diet?
Yes you can, though it might be much more difficult to achieve ketosis if you restrict the intake of animal fat.
A keto diet restricts the intake of carbs in favor of fats, and a moderate amount of protein. The hardest part of a plant based keto diet will be getting adequate amounts of fats while also maintaining a low amount of total carbohydrate. But it is possible!
A plant based keto diet will center around fibrous and non-starchy carbohydrates like vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It will still require you limit the total amount of carbohydrates you consume each day.
The fiber is thought to increase your metabolism which will be helpful to achieve ketosis.
You will also want to make sure you are getting enough fat from plant based foods like nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, or nut butters. The high fat content is necessary as your body will convert stored fat to fuel instead of using carbohydrates.
A plant based diet does not fully restrict your intake of animal products, but does reduce it. If you are opting for a fully plant based diet, you will want to focus on vegan protein sources like seitan, tofu, edamame, lentils, or chickpeas.
You should be careful not to eat too many grains as these will interfere with carbohydrate restrictions.
You can definitely achieve ketosis on a plant based diet, though it might require a bit more work in selecting healthy fats and proteins. Focus on healthy plant based fats and proteins like oils, and limit intake of starchy carbs.
Switching from keto to plant-based diet
If you have decided to ditch keto and counting macros, there is a simpler ways to maintain weight loss. A plant based diet could be an alternative diet that provides similar health benefits that many people find is easier to follow.
The main difference between the two diets is that you will eat fewer animal products and are allowed to eat more carbohydrates from plant sources.
Here are few things to think about if you are considering switching to a plant based diet from a keto diet:
Switch over slowly
Instead of consuming animal proteins, choose plant-based protein sources such as tofu, beans, edamame, and lentils. Experts advise switching over slowly as your body might not be used to large amounts of these types of foods.
It is possible to feel some discomfort if you switch too quickly as your stomach begins digesting new foods.
Start by adding one or two servings of food rich in fiber each day, such as oatmeal, chia seeds, whole-wheat pasta, and beans. You can keep adding if your stomach feels ok, and remember to drink a lot of water when increasing fiber in your diet.
Ensure to enjoy all foods in moderation
Allow yourself to eat all food in moderation, and this will assist you in avoiding cravings. Limit portion size and don’t each too much of any particular item or ingredient.
It is possible for a whole plant based diet you can satisfy your cravings if they come up, however moderation will prevent you from burning out on the food or over consuming and jeopardizing the weight loss goals.
Create a personalized plan
You have to develop a personalized approach to help maintain weight loss after switching from keto; there is no general approach that fits everyone.
In addition to crafting a new diet plan, consider activities to help you increase calorie expenditure. Walking, biking, hiking, or fitness classes can be a nice addition that will help your body expend calories.
As you come off a keto diet and start eating newer foods or simply eating more carbohydrates, it is typical for your body to face adjustments. Personalize your diet plan so that it fits your lifestyle and caloric output accordingly.
Keto and Plant Based Diets: Conclusion
A plant based diet and keto diet are different in that they measure different attributes of a diet. It is possible to do keto on a plant based diet, but it can be quite challenging.
A plant based diet focuses on plant based foods while a keto diet tries to restrict carbohydrates to achieve ketosis. It is possible to do both diets simultaneously, but we think that will be hard to maintain in the long run.
There are health benefits to both diets, but we favor a plant based diet because we have found it easier to maintain over time.
In the end, weight loss is about reducing caloric intake in regards to daily output. Whether it is plant based or ketogenic, you must tailor a diet to your personal needs and find what makes you feel healthy.