Keto Diet Vs Vegan Diet: Which One Should You Choose?
India is one country that started as a nation struggling with malnourishment and has now moved to the other end of the spectrum – obesity.
We, as a group, keep talking about the health hazards of excessive weight gain and yet keep gorging on deep-fried snacks, mouth watering sweets, and refined carbohydrates.
Thankfully now, an increasing percentage of people are conscious about the foods they choose and their BMI levels. If you belong to this category, then terms like the ‘vegan diet’ or the ‘keto diet’ will be familiar to you.
Both these plans facilitate weight loss but are complete contrasts to one another. Keep reading and you will understand why.
This article will also help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both and pick a healthier dieting option.
What is a keto diet?
A keto diet is based on the idea that excess carbohydrates are unhealthy for the body. The diet points to carbohydrates for all lifestyle diseases and health issues that people face.
Adequate consumption of fat is the basic idea behind keto.
For a Standard Ketogenic Diet, you end up consuming 75% of fats, 20-25% of proteins, and about 5% of carbohydrates.
Some of the foods that you can eat in plenty in this diet are:
- Dairy products
- Full-fat meat and poultry
- High-fat fruits like avocadoes
- Low carb vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds
The kinds of food you avoid while on a keto diet are:
- Tuberous and starchy vegetables
- Most fruits
- All grains, legumes, pulses, beans
- Refined oil
- All kinds of snacks and sugary drinks
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is also called a plant-based diet and this restricts you from consuming and using all kinds of animal produce. Vegans consider rejecting the commodity status of all animals and poultry.
A standard vegan diet will include these items.
- Grains, legumes, beans, and cereals
- Nut-based butter
- Plant-based milk
- Nutritional yeast
- All vegetables and fruits
If you are on a vegan diet, you will be avoiding these types of food.
- Traditional dairy products like milk, butter, cheese
- Meat, seafood, and poultry
What does a keto diet do to the body?
A keto diet starts by restricting carbohydrates to less than 5% of your total daily caloric intake. Before the diet, your body is used to converting the glucose found in carbs into energy. If you consume more carbs, the extra glucose is stored in the form of glycogen.
There are many theories that relate excess glucose in the body to decreased insulin sensitivity, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.
Because of the lack of carbs and the presence of excess fat in your system, your body now decides to use fat for energy.
To help with this, your liver produces a chemical called ketone. Ketones convert fat into energy that can be passed on to your cells and other body parts.
When your body produces ketones, it not only burns the fat you consume but also the stored fat in the body.
The natural result of a keto diet is weight loss. It also stabilizes your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Few other noted benefits of a keto diet to your body are:
- Lowered triglycerides levels
- Improved energy and strength
- Decreased hunger
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased LDL and increased HDL
What happens to your body on a vegan diet?
As you start cutting back on animal produce, your body will start accepting fresher and healthier plant nutrients. This will improve your gut health. Without animal products in your body, you will develop different strains of gut bacteria that also seem to be beneficial with time.
As your body gets used to plant-based food, you will also see your bowel function getting smoother and normalized. If you have been struggling with issues like constipation, you will find that disappearing.
With months of following a vegan diet, your BMI levels will go down and you will lose weight gradually. Because of consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, your skin starts glowing too. Acne and other skin problems get manageable.
Problems with the keto diet
The keto diet is quite stringent in its meal plans. You will have to compulsorily eat 70-75% of fats in a day to ensure your body keeps producing ketones. If you miss this, you will stop losing weight and will be kicked out of the diet.
A keto diet also restricts you from eating most fruits and many vegetables. Unless you choose your other food sources carefully, there is a high chance of nutritional deficiency in this diet.
Many people on a keto diet start on nutrient supplements for this very reason.
Problems with a vegan diet
Staying away from dairy products and meat can also result in nutritional deficiencies. You may specifically become deprived of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Iron deficiency (anemia) is also a commonly noticed problem in those on a vegan diet. Some plant compounds can prevent/control the inhibition of iron absorption in the body.
By not consuming a variety of vegan choices, you are also at risk of developing vitamin B-12 deficiency. If you do not take care to consume enough plant-based proteins, you may experience loss of muscle mass.
Another major problem with a vegan diet is your caloric intake. If you keep consuming carbohydrates and plant-based fat without counting your calories, you may start putting on weight instead of losing any.
The bottom line
Both diet plans have their own advantages and disadvantages. These disadvantages, however, can be turned around if you strategically design your meal plans.
The diet that would suit you depends on the end result you are looking for. If you want to lose weight or stabilize your blood sugar levels, opt for keto without a second thought.
If you are suffering from lifestyle conditions like PCOS, obesity, high cholesterol levels or hypertension, the keto again will definitely benefit you.
As a lifestyle change, a vegan diet may fare better. It is easier to follow a vegan diet for an extended period of time as you can still eat grains, legumes, and fruits.
It is important to remember that dairy and meat have their own nutritional value. Choosing plant-based products don’t automatically upgrade your meal to a healthier state. If you do not choose right, you can be consuming empty carbs all day long.
Whichever diet you pick, pick up fresher and healthier ingredients, stay away from refined and processed foods and you will find yourself getting healthier.