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What is the difference between Keto and Low Glycemic?

October 5, 2022

If you are considering a low-carb diet, but aren't sure what that means for you, especially with different options and the added pressure of calculating everything you eat, we have gathered some information that may help! 

All carbs were not created equal. 

The first thing you should know is that carbohydrates are complex micronutrients. They don't all break down in your body the same way. On a keto diet, this information is not considered. Keto dieters subtract fiber and any sugar alcohols from the total number of carbs to calculate net carbs and then limit their total net carb intake to 15-30 grams per day. This forces the body into a metabolic state called ketosis where it burns fat for energy. Some people see extreme weight loss on a keto diet, but there are side effects and this diet can put stress on internal organs. 
A low-glycemic diet is based on the science behind complex carbohydrates. Doctors and scientists measure the impact of carbs in different foods on how much they raise blood sugar, and they rank them on a scale of 1-100 (low to high impact.) Processed foods like cakes and cookies rank high on this scale while whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits have a lower glycemic index (GI). People who follow a low-GI diet, use a list to see what foods are low (under 55) on the glycemic index.

An apple a day.

As a direct comparison of these two diets, let's take a look at an apple. Depending on the variety of the apple and its ripeness, a medium apple has, on average, 25 g of carbs. For keto, you would subtract fiber (4-5 g) to get a net carb count of about 20 g. Since people on keto diets restrict carbs to 15-30 a day, an apple is not something that keto dieters can eat. 
The same apple has an average GI rank of 39, which is considered low glycemic. This means that the carbs in an apple break down slowly in your body, not causing a spike in your blood sugar, but instead providing sustaining energy after being eaten. This is why we like to call a low-glycemic diet a "slow carb" diet. Many young people and athletes are learning more about these complex carbs and following a low-glycemic diet to control weight as well as energy throughout the day. 
There are many other examples of healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and complex carbs that you cannot eat on a keto diet, but you can on a low-GI diet including, legumes like lentils and black beans, dark chocolate, squash, oranges, and yogurt, just to name a few.

Learn more.

If you'd like to learn more about getting started on a low-GI diet, we have a resource guide for you. Fifty50 Foods also makes products with low-GI ingredients like cookies, peanut butter, pie crusts, syrup, candy, and more. Not only do these products make sticking to a low-GI diet a bit easier, but 50% of our profits goes to fund diabetes research. To date, we've donated over $14 million to help find a cure. 

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Posted: 10/5/2022 6:57:07 PM by Julie Frost | with 0 comments