Ketogenic vs. Low Carb Diet

Ketogenic Diet vs. Low Carb Diet Food, Spices and Results

The two popular ways to have a healthy life routine with a diet are the keto diet and the low-carb diet.

Both have one thing in common; the low intake of carbs, the question is, what sets them apart?

In this article, you will learn about the differences between the low carb and keto-friendly diet in terms of food, herbs, and spices.

What is a Ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is the diet in which your body becomes so deprived of carbohydrates that it starts running on the body fats for fuel. When you are deprived of carbs, your body starts using the already stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen present in the liver and muscles.

It almost takes 2 – 5 days to burn through all the stored carbohydrates and then automatically shift to ketosis.

Now when you completely deprived yourself of carbs, the liver starts converting the fats into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies develop into a good and healthy body when the body is in a starving state. But by using the keto diet food and eating the right kind of food at the right time you can get the healthy body that you can have in starvation mode by not cutting the food for hours and muscle loss.

low-carb diet for weight loss

What is the best low-carb diet for weight loss?

The first thing to answer the question: Which is better? When the body runs on glucose, or the body runs on fats? It depends on your activity level, but one of the reasons is that if you are consuming carbohydrates, you are consuming food that has approximately 4 calories per gram which is a great source of energy. But if you consume fatty food, you will consume 9 calories per gram which are way too many calories per meal. But if you focus on energy rather than fats then you are getting more energy by consuming fats per gram. You can lessen your food a little but taking fats can help you with more energy.

Our brain is doing everything for us by controlling our bodies and making decisions. It plays an important role in diet consumption. In a ketogenic diet, something very interesting happens to the body. Ordinarily, our brain likes to run on glucose but when you go onto the ketogenic diet, you drop into ketosis and your liver is now producing the ketone bodies. There is one ketone among others called beta-hydroxybutyrate that has an interesting effect on the brain. This one ketone provides more energy per unit of oxygen to the brain than glucose. So, when your body is thriving on ketosis, the beta-hydroxybutyrate can boost your brainpower and this gives a good feeling to the people having a low carb ketogenic diet.

It also affects mitochondria in the brain. In a 2004 study, two groups were tested, one group was on the regular diet and the other on the ketogenic diet. It was found that people with a ketogenic diet show positive success in terms of how the ketosis affected the gene expression in the mitochondria and other portions of the brain, particularly the memory and focus portion. This tells us that in ketosis, we can get more energy, more blood flow, and more effectiveness on the memory and focus portions of the brain.

Who does ketosis work for?

If you are a high-intensity athlete or someone running a lot of sprints or doing a lot of heavy resistance training, then ketosis may not be the best for you. It may help you in burning fat and losing weight but in high-intensity work, you start feeling a little weaker because it requires the high energy that is produced from ATP. ATP production is predominantly run-on glucose. However, if you are not working that requires a lot of energy then the low carb diet is good for you because you are running on beta-oxidation where your body stores fats and oxidizes them for energy.

How much weight do you lose on a ketogenic diet?

When people start using a ketogenic diet, they start using a weight at first and then it slows down. The reason is for every gram of carbohydrate there are 3.7 grams of water, and the water weight is what you are losing at the start. When we start reducing the carbs from our diet, we no longer have the stored glycogen and then our start becomes smaller. So, you lose more weight at the start, and then you must hang in there as the process becomes slower. This diet has more health benefits as compared to other fat diets because of the formation of ketones.

not to eat

What should you not eat on a low-carb diet?

The food you need to avoid on a low carb diet include:

  • Bread and grains – Bread is full of carbs, and you must strictly avoid them in the low-carb diet.
  • Some fruit – High intake of low-carb fruits is efficient to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Starchy vegetables – Some vegetables contain a high amount of starch that has more digestible carbs which should not be a part of a low-carb diet.
  • Sweetened yogurt – Sweetened yogurt has sometimes the same amount of carbs that you find in any dessert.
  • Cereal – Sugary breakfast cereals are used in diets but unfortunately, they contain a lot of carbs and must be avoided.
  • Beer – In a low-carb diet, alcohol can be used in moderate amounts as dry wine contains a very low amount of carbs. However, beer contains a high share of carbs.
  • Pasta – Pasta is very high in carbs; one cup of cooked pasta contains 43 grams of carbs.

Is spicy keto-friendly?

Yes, spices are a good addition to the keto diet food list as they are incredibly healthy and delicious. You do not have to bear too much heat. There is a range of spices you can pick according to your taste and then you can build tolerance over time.


  • Spicy foods help you to achieve your weight loss goals faster.
  • A spice, capsaicin, can prevent cancer.
  • Spicy food is a good source to elevate mood.

What spices to avoid on keto?

The following lists have spices with under 6 grams of spices per tablespoon. You may use these spices as we are not supposed to add a lot of spices to our food. However, if you are adding more of the spices, you must take the “under 6 grams” list into consideration and avoid those spices.

These spices have carbs less than a gram per tablespoon. You can use these spices in keto.

  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Chinese 5-spice
  • Garam masala

These spices have carbs less than 6 grams per tablespoon.

  • Ground cumin (2.75 grams)
  • Cayenne (3 grams)
  • Oregano (3.3 grams)
  • Curry powder (3.7 grams)
  • Paprika (3.8 grams)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (3.9 grams)
  • Chili powder (4.1 grams)
  • Turmeric powder (4.4 grams)
  • Onion powder (5.4 grams)
  • Garlic powder (6 grams)

What is better, a keto or a low-carb diet?

A ketogenic diet is better than a low-carb diet as it is not making you weak, rather it makes the blood flow better and helps with more energy while in a low-carb diet, you start feeling dizzy and weak.