Vegan Vs Keto Dieting
With so many diet options out there such as vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic, Atkins, IIFYM, paleo, or even pescatarian, it can get very confusing knowing what suits you best. People also want to know what the healthiest diet is. Today, we will dive in to the vegan VS keto debate. Two very popular diets, but both extremely different.
The vegan diet consists of only plant based food. No animal bi-products or meat is allowed on this diet. This diet is typically carbohydrate plant based. A well balanced whole food vegan or plant-based diet is typically made up of 55-60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-25% of calories from protein and 15-25% of calories from fat. These are called macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat.)
The ketogenic diet is a fat based diet with moderate protein and very low carbohydrates. The basis of this diet removes carbohydrates which is the bodies fuel source when glucose (sugar) is present. The body will not absorb glucose into the blood stream because it is not available. In doing this, you deprive the brain, and the body in general, of it’s primary fuel source and it begins to breakdown fats (fatty acids) and produce ‘ketones’ in the liver for the body to use as an alternative fuel source. The ketogenic macro-nutrient ratio is typically 75% of total calories from fat, 20% of total calories from protein, and 5% of calories from carbohydrates. The carb sources are typically green vegetables for fiber and vitamins because any other carb sources will spike glucose levels too high. This will kick the person out of ketosis and glucose will be burned as fuel instead of fat.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet include blood sugar control, lower insulin levels, increased hormonal function, elevated growth hormone levels, possible fat burning benefits due to the fact that insulin is a fat storing hormone, and anti-cancer benefits from low glucose (sugar) levels. Cancer cells fuel and grow from sugar.
Benefits of the vegan diet include greater exercise recovery from more micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals.) Considering the fact that vegans do not eat meat, there is many natural benefits you receive through food because animals today are treated with synthetic hormones, feed that is not meant for their consumption, added antibiotics, and methods of practice that are not true to nature. This eliminates all chemicals that you can consume from meat.
So what is better for health and weight loss? Both! The truth is that you can lose weight on any diet as long as you are in a calorie deficit. This means that you are burning more calories than you are consuming. This will lead to weight loss.
The truth is that you can do both the keto diet and the vegan diet AT THE SAME TIME! Keto is just a macro-nutrient ratio. You can incorporate natural healthy fats as the backbone of your diet with the ketogenic macro nutrient ration while eating a vegan diet. The best diet is a blend incorporating both vegan food sources with ketogenic macro-nutrient ratios!