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It seems like the keto diet is absolutely everywhere these days, and the hype often outpaces the real information. Below, we explain what the keto diet actually entails and break down how keto vs. low FODMAP differ from each other.
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet (often shortened to just “keto diet”) is a high fat, low carb diet that is designed to put your body in a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it turns to burning fat instead.
The keto diet has been around for almost 100 years. It was developed in the 1920s and ’30s and intended as a way to manage children's epilepsy. However, in the past few years, it has become a weight loss fad diet, as many people claim that ketosis is perfect for losing those extra pounds. While it’s very hard to achieve a true state of full ketosis, many diets that require you to cut out significant food groups do result in weight loss due to overall calorie reduction.
What foods do you eat on the keto diet?
The keto diet combines high fat foods with small to moderate amounts of proteins and low carbohydrate vegetables. Eggs and avocados are popular foods on the keto diet, as are dairy items such as cheese and plain yogurt. Moderate portions of red meat, fish, seafood and poultry are all acceptable. Low carb vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and spinach, are also permissible.
Under the keto diet, you cannot eat grains of any kind or high sugar, starchy fruits and vegetables. You should avoid honey, sugar, syrup and products that contain these sweeteners while on the keto diet. On the flipside, many cooking techniques that are forbidden in other diets, such as slathering items in butter and frying food in oil, are encouraged during the keto diet.
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What’s the difference between keto vs. low FODMAP?
The keto diet and low FODMAP diets do eliminate some of the same foods, but they were not designed with the same purpose in mind. The low FODMAP diet plan is a temporary elimination diet designed to help identify potential trigger foods that could be causing symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal problems. Meanwhile, the keto diet was designed to reduce epilepsy seizures and has now been used by some people for weight loss.
Many of the foods that are allowed on the keto diet can and do make IBS symptoms worse, including dairy products and cauliflower. Likewise, keto also gets rid of many foods that are generally fine on an IBS diet plan, including gluten free grains and certain fruits. These dietary plans are not equivalent and should not be used interchangeably.
Which diet should I do?
If you are hoping to lose weight, then a keto diet might be able to help you with that. Keep in mind that there are many different diets that have been shown to help people lose weight, and that keto is only one option if that is your main goal. Cutting carbohydrates significantly and suddenly can cause your body to crash, so the keto diet may be difficult for many people to sustain over the longer period of time necessary for weight loss.
The low FODMAP approach is more appropriate if you are experiencing gastrointestinal problems related to eating and want an IBS diet plan to help you pinpoint the exact causes. If you know or suspect that you have IBS, eliminating and then slowly reintroducing foods via a low FODMAP diet can help you reduce many of your symptoms over the long-term.
Planning out meals for any diet that eliminates a lot of foods, either low FODMAP or keto, can be a real pain. That’s why we created an IBS meal plan that will deliver low FODMAP friendly dishes right to your door. ModifyHealth will ship you FODMAP friendly meals that won’t aggravate your IBS symptoms. Choose the numbers of meals you want per week, or opt into our Low FODMAP diet programs, which will help you eliminate and then reintroduce common trigger foods.