What is Keto and What is Low Carb?
Date Posted:17 February 2022
What is Low Carb? A standard Australian diet contains over 300g of carbohydrate. Some people choose to lower their carbohydrate intake as a way of maintaining their weight. Any carbohydrate reduction under 150g is considered a “low carb” eating plan and the sweet spot of carbohydrate intake is highly personalised. On a low carb diet, protein intake may be high.
150g of carbohydrate may include oats, berries and a banana for breakfast, a sandwich and salad for lunch, a piece of fruit as a snack and potato or sweet potato plus carrots and legumes with dinner.
What is Keto? A stricter form of a low carbohydrate diet is called “Keto”, where carbohydrates are reduced to 50g and under. Though highly fashionable in 2020, the Keto diet is not new. In fact, it’s been used successfully for managing drug resistant epilepsy for almost 100 years!
In place of carbohydrate, dietary fat is increased to provide the energy to get through the day, and protein intake is moderate. Increasing fat and reducing carbohydrates means the body must start using energy from fat in the form of “Ketone bodies” instead of glucose. This is known as dietary ketosis and needs to be monitored often through blood or urine to ensure you are burning fat as energy. The Keto diet often results in rapid weight loss, but it is not without sacrifice.
To get an idea of what 50g of carbohydrate may look like on your plate, one medium banana has approximately 25g of carbohydrates, and one small potato has approximately 30g of carbohydrates! With these 2 items alone, you’d be over your daily carbohydrate allowance on a Keto diet.
Those on a Keto diet may choose lower carbohydrate fruits and vegetables such as berries, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, capsicum, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and broccoli to provide them with fiber, vitamins, and minerals from fresh produce. Protein and fat in the form of meats, sausages, processed meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and oils make up a large portion of the keto diet.