Among the most popular diets out there are the Atkins and the Ketogenic diet. But some people get confused between them, so what’s the difference between Atkins and Keto?
How Are They Similar?
Both diets can look similar, but they aren’t actually the same. Both are, technically speaking, “ketogenic,” meaning that your carb intake throughout them is so low that it forces your body to go into what is called “ketosis.” In this state, your body is out of its carb sources (glycogen), so it burns off some of your fat reserves instead.
How Are They Different?
The Keto diet was designed much earlier, in 1924, by a Dr. Russell Wilder. It started off as a non-medicinal treatment for epilepsy. Atkins was developed in the 1960s as a weight loss plan.
The key differentiator between both diets is the protein intake. The keto diet allows a moderate intake of protein, whereas the Atkins diet emphasizes a high intake.
Another difference is the way both diets approach ketosis. On Atkins, you focus on an “introductory phase” where you strictly limit your carbohydrate intake in order to push your body into ketosis. After the introductory phase, you switch to an “ongoing weight loss” stage, then a pre-maintenance stage, and then a “lifetime maintenance” stage. Each phase had different requirements with regards to nutritional breakdowns, and not all of them involve inducing ketosis.
On the keto diet, your body stays in ketosis for as long as you’re on the diet. Because of this, some people think it’s easier to follow an Atkins diet. Its higher flexibility, as opposed to Keto’s closely monitored nature and can be more sustainable on the long run.
Are They Good For You?
Scientific studies have definitely shown benefits to both the keto and the atkins diet. A recent study on mice has found that a high fat, low carb diet generally increases their lifespan- although this is yet to be replicated on humans.
However, many experts warn against the dangers of being in a state of ketosis for too long. Although carbs are a demonized nutrient in mainstream health and fitness culture, it is still very important for optimal health.
For that reason, experts warn that although both diets can help you lose weight- a goal many people have- that doesn’t necessarily mean your body is now healthy.