High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) Diet vs. Keto Diet -What’s The Difference
Most of us have heard of a High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) diet and its effects and benefits in losing weight, but less of us might have heard of the Keto Diet and how that can have great benefits to our bodies-and for several more reasons than just losing weight! It’s a pretty fascinating topic and we are going to explore it here.
What is a Keto Diet?
A Keto diet is very similar to a HFLC diet and some consider them the same. But there are differences; some very BIG differences, in fact. A HFLC diet allows for more carbohydrates on your plate each day (about 50-150 grams is still considered low carb), while a keto diet allows for only 5-8% (approx. 20-45 grams) of your daily intake to come from carbohydrates and the rest to come from healthy fats (75%) and protein (20%). The goal in dividing up your calories this way is of putting your body into “ketosis” for quicker weight loss.
How does this work?
What is the state of ketosis and why do you want your body to “go there”? Typically, for the average person, glucose is the fuel that keeps us going each day. Carbohydrates (generally our starchy foods like pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal, bread, and corn, etc.), while tasting great, turns directly into glucose in our bodies after consumption. Our bodies feed on that glucose for energy and we generally, if this is our habit of eating, will run great for a while until we have some more carbohydrates (glucose) to rev us up again. Your body will basically burn those carbs (which turned into sugar) for energy. BUT, if you limit your carbohydrates to around 5% and fill up the rest of your meals with healthy fats and high-quality proteins, your body will automatically go into ketosis deriving its energy from the fats in ketone bodies in your blood instead of glucose. This develops a new and efficient metabolic state where you become a fat burning machine rather than a sugar burning machine. You will be burning your own body fat while you sleep!!
Are there benefits other than weight loss?
Yes! There are several more:
More and more research is suggesting that having a ketogenic diet can help in fighting cancer in the body. Cancer cells thrive on sugar, but science has been discovering that when sugar is not available, cancer cells can not live on fat. To take away the sugar is, in essence, starving those cells and they will die.
Fighting Type 2 Diabetes is another big pro of going ketogenic. People that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes have an overproduction of insulin making them resistant to this sugar regulating hormone. That is why another name for this type of diabetes is Insulin Resistance. It is well documented that carbohydrate intake is the main culprit. Insulin tells the body whether to store calories as fat or burn fat as energy. Making this diet change has helped millions of type 2 diabetics.
Protection from the risks associated with heart disease and stroke is another benefit of the Keto Diet. By decreasing foods that are known to cause inflammation (ie. carbohydrates), you are also reducing your risk for heart disease. Some have worried that increasing healthy fats will increase cholesterol and clog arteries. In fact, there is much evidence that it does just the opposite.
Are there any drawbacks?
There are some. Some people find it very difficult to decrease carbohydrates drastically especially if it was the majority of calories in the diet previously. Any big change requires time to transition, but by focusing on all the health benefits should strengthen willpower and resolve in the adjustment phase.
The Ketogenic “flu” has been known to be a part of the adaptation process. If you experience it, it usually lasts between 1-2 weeks. Symptoms can be varied, but the main ones associated with it are fatigue, weakness, changes in bowel movements…basically flu-like symptoms. Remember, that your body is making a huge change in how it uses the food you eat. It is actually totally changing your metabolism!
As with all big changes, notifying and getting your doctor’s recommendations is highly encouraged by Meal Prep On Fleek. But other than that, if you are ready to give it a try, here are some meal ideas to get you started:
Check out these other 25 Keto Friendly Meal Prep Recipes for more inspiration!