The Keto lifestyle includes eating high-fat and low carb food and the meal recommendations usually include loads of animal products and red meat.
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies veganism. The vegan diet completely does away with meat and is typically low-fat where an individual only eats veggies and a variety of plant-based foods.
You might be wondering which is better for your health or which is better for weight loss. In this keto vs vegan article, we will look at the differences between the two diets, discuss which of the two is better for you and which one is better for weight loss.
Vegan vs Keto: What’s the Difference?
On a ketogenic diet, you subsist on foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The diet entails intaking a large amount of fats from food like coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, butter, cheese, wild fish, and red meat.
Those who subscribe to a vegan diet eat exclusively plant-based food. They typically consume veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and foods like sweet potatoes and squash that are high in starch.
Both diets have their benefits, and both can improve your health in some way; however, the diets are fundamentally different. Let’s take a look at how each works.
Ketogenic Diet Explained
When you are on a standard diet, your body burns carbohydrates to power itself. Your body breaks down the carbohydrates that you feed it, it then passes through your small intestine and then into your bloodstream. This sugar is then transported to hungry cells through your blood.
However, when you convert to a keto diet, your body will no longer thrive on carbohydrates. By reducing your intake of carbohydrates, your cells will discern that they can no longer subsist on sugar.
Your body will go through what is called the keto adaptation period and then your body will begin to use fat a sits primary source instead of carbohydrates.
When you achieve this state, you are in ketosis. Ketosis is what is responsible for most of the benefits that are associated with the keto diet.
Vegan Diet Explained
As established earlier, those who subscribe to a vegan diet only eat plant-based foods.
These plant-sourced foods are usually having a high level of nutrient density. While nutrient-dense, these foods are very low in calories.
You may be jumping to the conclusion that a vegan diet is always health. This is not necessarily the case. it is possible to eat badly while practicing veganism.
Foods like bread, cakes, sugary beverages, and other popular unhealthy foods are vegan as they often do not contain any animal products; however, they are not healthy.
This reveals the fact that veganism is not necessarily synonymous with healthy eating. While that is the case, most vegans consume high-quality whole foods that provide them with an excellent supply of nutrients.
Keto Diet vs Vegan Diet: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?
People ask this question all the time. The answer is simply that it depends. The impact that the diet has on your weight has to do with your consumption trends prior to embarking on the diet.
If you had a diet that was high in simple carbs before adopting the ketogenic diet, you will notice a significant drop in your weight in a short amount of time.
Since you will be immediately cutting out seriously problematic foods upon shifting to the keto diet that were filling you up with excess calories, you will shed weight.
However, the same can be said of the vegan diet. If you were previously eating loads of steak, burgers, and bacon before jumping to a totally plant-based diet, you will see a drop in your weight.
When the two diets are compared for their ability to help you lose weight fast, the ketogenic diet takes the trophy.
According to registered dietician Beth Warren, replacing carbohydrates with proteins often leads to dieters feeling more satiated compared to diets such as the vegan diet.
This means that you are far less likely to overeat and snack uncontrollably on a keto diet. While this is so, it does not mean that there aren’t amazing weight-loss benefits to going vegan.
As mentioned earlier, the vegan diet has already been proven to help people lose weight.
If you are seeking to lose weight on a vegan diet, it is important for you to focus on food options that are nutrient-dense. Ensure that you eat lots of produce, plant-based protein, and grains that are highly healthy.
If you a vegan decides to thrive on pizza and cookies, they will tap into the true weight loss benefits of the diet.
Keto vs Vegan: Their Health Benefits
Outside of weight loss, both diets offer a host of health benefits. Let us discuss a few of them.
Chronic Disease Protection/Treatment
If you decide to tap into a keto diet or a vegan diet and lose weight, you will significantly reduce your risk of experiencing chronic diseases.
It has been reported that the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and other prevalent diseases are all greatly reduced when you achieve a healthy weight.
The only challenge with the keto diet is that adherents to the diet usually subsist on large amounts of butter, cream, cheese, high-fat animal products and other rich sources of saturated fat. This greatly increases your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
To experience the most benefits from a keto diet, it is wise for you to eat plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and other plant-sourced fats as opposed to animal fats where it is possible.
Overall Health and Wellness
While there is much to be compared in the battle of keto diets vs vegan diets, both diets can have an impact on your overall health.
On both diets, you will experience a boost in your energy level. Because of the benefits that come with losing weight on either of the diets, you will also enjoy an improvement in self-esteem.
When our body looks better, we tend to have a better image of ourselves. This testifies to the mental health benefits that come from pursuing either a keto or vegan diet.
Bear in mind that adopting a habit of eating a very low-carb diet such as a ketogenic diet may result in physical or mental fatigue.
This is especially experienced during workouts. As your body gets more accustomed to thriving on fats, it will end up managing energy levels much better.
When it comes to maintaining your overall health, you must be conscious of your intake of nutrients daily on either a ketogenic or vegan diet. If you do not ensure that you are covering a wide range of food items, you may run the risk of causing yourself to become nutrient deficient.
This does not mean that you must become nutrient deficient on either a ketogenic or vegan diet. As a matter of fact, all of what you need to survive can be consumed in either diet. Plant-based foods are so diverse and abundant that you can find all the nutrients that you need while avoiding animal products.
Vegan vs Keto: The Science Behind the Diets
A study was conducted on the weight loss benefits of both diets. The participants that adopted a vegan lifestyle during the study lost 9.3 pounds more than the others.
The study was done over a twelve-month period. The participants were not required to cut their calorie intake or do regular exercise.
On the other hand, animal studies have shown that the keto diet has a greater impact on weight loss than the vegan diet. These same animal studies also reveal that the ketogenic lifestyle has benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.
There is also research that suggests that people who adhere to a ketogenic diet lose a greater percentage of lean body mass than those who adhere to other diets such as a vegan diet.
This means that you are losing the muscles that burn calories and help to keep your metabolism up to par. This can have a long-term effect on your weight loss abilities.
Health is More Than What You Eat
Nutrition is only one of eight critical pillars to ensuring optimum health. When thinking about vegan vs keto, you must also consider the other seven pillars of holistic health. The other seven pillars are:
Exercise: eating well is important; however, you may not achieve the level of health you desire without spending at least 30 minutes exercising on at least three days of the week.
Water: you must ensure that you consume enough water daily to enjoy optimum health.
Sunlight: ensure that you are getting enough sunlight on a daily basis. The health benefits of this cannot be overstated. Seek to get at least 15 minutes of sunlight in the early morning daily.
Temperance/Self-Control: it is important that you do not overeat or overdo anything else. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Air/Oxygen: ensure that you always get proper ventilation when you are at home or away from home. A proper flow of oxygen is critical to your health.
Sleep: you must get enough sleep if you want your body to operate at the optimum level.
Trust the Process: patience is important to any health journey. If you believe in a higher power, be sure to commit your health journey to that power and be gentle with yourself in the process.
Vegan vs Keto: Which Diet Should You Choose?
There is no diet that can be categorically selected as the best diet. It all depends on the state of your health, your preferences, and your health goals. What works for your friend who achieved a killer body last summer may not work for you.
When looking at keto diets vs vegan diets, your choice ultimately boils down to your lifestyle, size, body composition, weight management objectives, and food preferences.
Whichever diet you select, ensure that you avoid unhealthy foods like sugary drinks, sweets, unnatural sweeteners, refined grains, fried foods, high-fat meats, and highly processed foods.
Choose a diet and a meal plan that will meet your nutritional needs, match your weight loss goals, and make you happy.
Vegan vs Keto: Final Thoughts
In choosing which diet is better than you, the right question might not necessarily be which provides greater weight loss benefits.
The question really is about which of the two diets can your lifestyle better accommodate.
While there is some research that is showing that a ketogenic diet can be better, in the short term, at helping you lose weight, it is your ability to stay committed to the diet that will give you the most benefits in the long run.
A vegan diet can also provide incredible weight management benefits; however, these will only be achieved with commitment and discipline.
Don’t be like others who jump on a diet because someone has negatively criticized their weight or like those diet just to fit into a particular outfit to impress others at a function.
Being healthy is a lifestyle. If you only adhere to either of the diets for a short time and then go back to unhealthy practices, you will not achieve as much as you want to.
We recommend that you assess your health goals and your lifestyle and choose whether veganism or keto is best for you.
Celebrities such as Vinny Guadagnino, Halle Berry, Lebron James, Tim Tebow, The Kardashians, Vanessa Hudgens and Adriana Lima all swear by the ketogenic diet.
Celebrities that have shared that they are vegans include Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Jenna Dewan, Beyonce, Thandie Newton and Venus Williams.