Keto vs plant based diet - All you need to know
Before looking at the differences between these two diets, let’s replace them in the big context of all the major diets that are available and heavily talked about.
Today, the market is flooded with all sorts of diets, each more useless than the other. Worse, most of them are toxic and unsuitable for reaching optimal health.
Yet, millions of people are hurting their health daily with their forks and knives without realizing it. Worse, in a lot of cases, they are doing tremendous efforts to adopt these diets thinking they are doing something good for their health when in reality, it’s the opposite.
The icing on the cake is that human nutrition is certainly the most biased and manipulated health topic of all time, full of misinformation, fake news, and propaganda.
Flexitarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Dukan, Mediterranean, Plant based, Keto and all the others diets…
Putting keto and plant based diets back in the bigger picture of all the diets and their history allows us to realize that humans are still not capable of globally agreeing on what they are meant to eat.
Unlike any other species on earth, humans are divided about their food consumption and this has been going on for centuries.
Can you imagine one moment if the same thing would happen with other animal species? It would be total chaos, even if we have to admit that humans are pretty good at creating chaos on their own.
They are several reasons for that problem to persist for this long, and if you want to know more about that, we invite you to go check out our other articles on the topic or directly subscribe now to access our ebook: “Healthy Food: Your Fundamental Right” where you will find everything to know about healthy human food.
Coming back to the topic, let’s quickly look at the definition of the principal diets on the market.
These 8 diets are just examples out of many more:
- Whole30 diet
- DASH diet
- Low-FODMAP diet
- Gluten-free diet
- Atkins diet
- South Beach diet
- Zone diet
- Raw food diet
- Intermittent fasting
- Carnivore diet
- Weight Watchers
- Jenny Craig
- Ornish diet
The flexitarian diet is a way of eating that is primarily plant-based but includes occasional meat, fish, eggs or dairy products. The term “flexitarian” is a combination of “flexible” and “vegetarian.”
Flexitarians aim to eat a mainly vegetarian diet, but they also allow themselves the flexibility to occasionally consume animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, or dairy. The amount of animal products consumed can vary widely, from a few times a week to a few times a month.
A vegetarian diet is a way of eating that excludes animal products like meat, poultry, seafood, and fish but allows all other foods, including foods derived from animals like dairy products, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.
A vegan diet, also known as “vegetalian” diet, is a way of eating that excludes all animal products, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, and honey.
The Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet, is a way of eating that tries to mimic the diet of our ancestors who lived during the Paleolithic era.
The diet is based on the principle that the human body is genetically adapted to the foods that our ancestors ate and that modern processed and refined foods can lead to chronic diseases.
The Paleo diet includes whole, unprocessed foods that were available to our ancestors, such as:
It excludes foods that are commonly consumed in modern diets, such as dairy products, grains, legumes, refined sugars, and processed foods.
The Dukan diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was created by French physician Pierre Dukan in the 1970s. The diet is based on the principle that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can lead to rapid weight loss.
The Dukan diet is divided into four phases, each with a specific set of dietary guidelines:
Attack phase: This is the initial phase, which typically lasts 2-7 days, depending on your weight loss goals. During this phase, you eat only lean protein, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and non-fat dairy products.
Cruise phase: This phase allows you to introduce certain vegetables into your diet. You alternate between days of eating only protein and days of eating protein and non-starchy vegetables.
Consolidation phase: This phase is intended to help you maintain your weight loss. You can gradually reintroduce certain foods, such as fruits, whole grains, and cheese, into your diet.
Stabilization phase: This is the long-term maintenance phase, which involves eating a balanced diet that includes all food groups in moderation.
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional dietary patterns of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey.
The diet is characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil, and a moderate intake of fish, poultry, and dairy products. Red meat and sweets are consumed in small amounts.
Plant based diet
A plant-based diet is a way of eating that focuses primarily on whole, minimally processed plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
A plant-based diet typically includes a variety of these foods, and may or may not include animal products in small amounts.
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the “Keto diet,” is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is designed to encourage the body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Typically, a standard ketogenic diet consists of about 70-80% of calories from fat, 10-20% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. This means that carbohydrate intake is restricted to 20-50 grams per day, depending on the individual’s needs.
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Comparison between keto and plant based diet
Now, let’s look at both these diets in more detail and compare them.
Plant based diet
Anatomically and physiologically, we are meant to eat plant-based food. We have developed that point in great detail in our ebook: “Healthy Food: Your Fundamental Right”.
Therefore, what could be more logical than eating according to the needs of our body? Nothing.
It’s important to precise here that what we mean by plant based diet, is a diet composed ONLY of food that are coming from plants. Some twisted definitions of a plant based diet are suggesting that it is a diet composed mostly of plants but also in small quantities of animal products, which is absurd.
A plant based diet answer all our needs. Moreover, the incredible diversity of fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes, nuts, and seaweeds allows everyone to find happiness and balance.
They are thousand different ways to eat plant based and that’s what makes this diet so rich.
Some eat 100% raw, others only 50%. Some people eat no cereals or very few legumes, others eat more fruit than vegetables. Some prefer to favor local plant species, smoothies and superfoods.
In short, the plant based diet can be adapted to any individual, to all ages, to all health conditions, and to all physical or mental activities.
Excluding almost all healthy carbohydrate intake from your diet is an absurdity in itself. Our cells have an imperative need for glucose to produce energy.
In the event of a glucose deficiency and in order not to die, our cells can use ketone bodies produced by the liver to replace glucose. However, the cell will produce less ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that stores the energy needed for all our functions).
The problem is that our brain needs glucose for most other functions like:
- Sensation of satiety
- Synthesis of neurotransmitters
- Production of our hormones
A keto diet can, therefore, considerably modify the psychic balance of the individual.
The keto diet had its time of glory when some epileptics used it successfully. Why? Because the brain needs a lot of glucose to function and does not respond well to abnormal ups and downs in blood sugar levels.
But why those abnormal ups and downs in blood sugar levels? Because people consume refined industrial foods filled with white sugar!
Therefore, in this case, the success of the keto diet is only a temporary solution by replacing these abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar levels with ketone bodies to a problem that is created by an unhealthy diet in the first place.
On the positive side, we have been able to demonstrate certain neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of ketone bodies at the cerebral level, which doesn’t prove the benefits of the keto diet but demonstrates the beauty of the protective mechanism that our body triggers when depleted from his primordial food.
Obviously, keto diet has a cost. It will generate problems like:
- Micronutrient deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients due to the lack of fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes.
- Dysbiosis (disturbance of the intestinal flora) by the lack of fibers
- Digestive disorders because of the excess of fats that are difficult to digest for our liver, pancreas and intestine.
Therefore, there is no point in following a ketogenic diet.
Are these diets good for reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer?
For keto diet, absolutely not, quite the contrary.
For a plant based diet, yes, for 2 reasons:
- Removing animal products consumption (linked to an increased rate of diseases)
- Increasing the intake plants rich in micronutrients
Numerous studies have demonstrated the protective effect of the richness in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, and other micronutrients of plant food.
What diet to adopt to achieve optimal health?
The optimal healthy diet, without a doubt.
As we explained in our article “How to achieve optimal health with natural medicine”, reaching optimal health is more a never-ending quest than an achievable state, linked to very complex variables that we can not all control.
Nevertheless, the optimal healthy diet is undoubtedly the fundamental pillar for optimal health and the best way to start your journey toward optimal health.
Thus, the question remains: what is the optimal healthy diet?
If you want the long and detailed answer, we invite you to subscribe now and get access to our ebook “Healthy Food: Your Fundamental Right” where you will find everything you need to know about the subject.
For the short version, we can say that the optimal healthy diet is firstly a healthy diet. A healthy diet is necessarily plant based but goes far beyond that on many points.
The most important point is that a healthy diet is composed only of organic foods. If you look at all the above diets mentioned, none of them are including this essential point. Therefore, none of them is a healthy diet, including the plant based diet.
Indeed you can perfectly have a plant based diet while eating industrial-GMO cereals, fruits, legumes, etc., and that’s not healthy.
A healthy diet protects our health by:
- Richness of fiber in both quantity and diversity
- Thousands of phytonutrients present in plants
- Good fats, the absence of cholesterol and trans fats
- Enzymes present in raw plants
- Growth of good bacteria
- Maintenance of healthy tissue and bone mass
- The optimal functioning of our immune system
- Nourishment of our brain and endocrine glands
For all these reasons, a healthy diet is associated with a very low risk of cancer, cardiovascular or degenerative diseases.
However, a healthy diet cannot be improvised. Bad habits do not disappear by magic, and transitioning to a healthy diet requires good understanding based on complete and reliable information.
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