The Big Differences Between Keto And Atkins

You may have heard the terms "keto" and "Atkins diet" floating around. These popular diet fads are often confused for one another as they both emphasize minimizing total carbohydrate intake. However, there are some key differences between the two, according to Everyday Health. First, it's important to define each of these diets.

Everyday Health describes the Atkins diet as revolving around four distinct phases that vary in restrictiveness. The first phase allows between 20 and 25 grams of net carbohydrates per day. The second phase limits total carbs to between 25 and 50 grams, while the third phase has a carb goal between 50 and 80 grams. The final phase permits up to 100 grams of carbs per day. A person moves through each phase depending on how much weight they still have to lose. 

The keto diet is a bit simpler and involves restricting carbs indefinitely. Carbohydrates should make up no more than 5% of the day's total calories. The goal of the diet is to keep the body consistently in ketosis, which uses fat as a form of energy instead of glucose, according to Medical News Today.

The main difference between these two diets is that with Atkins, dieters do not stay in ketosis for the entirety of the diet. Instead, ketosis will likely only occur in phase one (via Everyday Health). Another big difference is that the keto diet restricts protein to 20% of the day's calories while Atkins has no restrictions.

Which diet is better?

Whether the keto or Atkins diet is better depends on various factors unique to each individual. Looking at the pros and cons of each diet may help you decide which one is better suited for your needs and lifestyle.

Women's Health suggests keto is a great option for anyone looking to lose weight and lower blood sugar. It also emphasizes the consumption of healthy fats, which can benefit the brain, skin, and heart. However, the diet may be hard to stick to for some as the number of carbohydrates permitted is very low. Since it counts the carbs found in fruits and vegetables, you may struggle with a lack of fiber and nutrients in your diet. 

Like the keto diet, Atkins often leads to weight loss and lower blood sugar, especially in the beginning phases (per Women's Health). Dieters can also enjoy more variety in their diet, especially as they progress through the phases. A few cons to this diet are that some people find it hard to sustain, end up eating too many unhealthy fats, and experience nutritional deficiencies. 

If you're looking for a low-carb diet and have cleared this possibility with your doctor, choosing between keto and Atkins essentially boils down to personal preference and the ability to follow a restrictive diet (via Women's Health). Ultimately, anyone needing more flexibility in their diet should go with Atkins over keto.