As our society continues to fight a battle against obesity due to our highly-processed food supply, Americans are constantly on the lookout for healthier diet alternatives. Two of the most popular diets that have emerged over the years are veganism and the keto diet.
Veganism has become popular for a couple of reasons:
1) A love for animals and
2) The food industry’s process of providing meat to the population has become less than desirable. Poultry, beef, and pork are found to have more hormones and or antibiotics pumped into them than necessary and their effects on the human body have been devastating. It’s no wonder why most are seeking a change in the way they’re eating. While these diets have become the preferred fuel sources for many, they are not without their misconceptions.
The Ketogenic diet has become popular for a couple of reasons:
1) People love their meat. Bacon, Chicken, you name it. They don’t want to give it up.
2) People feel sluggish and are tired of the processed, packaged food and want a chance to be healthier and change their fuel source. Many feel fat as a fuel source is more efficient.
Many are interested in attempting at least one, both, or a combination of the two but the information provided for them can be daunting and some rely on word-of-mouth nutrition advice when choosing which route to take. This can be dangerous. Because of this, some get discouraged and don’t even attempt either one. I can understand this, but I would love to contribute to the myth-busting in hopes of encouraging those of you who may be seeking to try one or the other, or both.
One thing I cannot stand when it comes to the diet and nutrition industry is misinformation and there’s more than enough floating around out there, especially when it comes to vegan and keto diets, so let’s start there. I’m going to go over some of the biggest myths about these two diets and try to clear up any confusion so that you can be one step closer to making an informed decision if you decide to go down one of these roads.
Myth – Vegan and Keto diets automatically lead to weight loss–Right away, one of the common misconceptions about these two diets is that they both lead to automatic weight loss and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Truth – The keto diet is famous for weight loss however, some can overdo it on the fat. Because a high-fat intake is required to sustain energy, some think this means that you can consume as much fat as you want and this has the reverse effect.
Myth – As for a vegan diet, most people think that because you’re eliminating meat from your diet and consuming more vegetables than you’ll be pounds lighter in no time.
Truth – Unfortunately, this is another too good to be true myth. Let me just say it like this: Oreo cookies are also vegan but they are still processed, sugar-laden foods that vegans can and do consume. Just like with the keto diet, there are healthy fats like avocados and seeds, and then there are pork rinds. Both are acceptable, but one is highly discouraged if you are attempting to be healthy and or lose weight. To ensure proper fat loss on the keto diet, make sure you’re consuming the right amount of healthy fats, which is usually between 70-80% of your caloric intake. For the vegan diet, stick to whole foods and avoid processed foods that even though they pass the vegan tests, they’re still very unhealthy and loaded with sugar and calories.
Myth – You’ll lose muscle on the keto and vegan diets because you consume less protein on both diets, especially less animal protein on a vegan diet, it’s assumed that you’ll lose muscle mass and again, that’s not true.
Truth – For vegans, the bottom line is that protein will act as protein in your body, no matter the source. You just have to be a little more diverse in your protein sources and include things like quinoa, chia seeds, tempeh, and lentils to name a few. As for keto, the lack of carbs and the switch of your body from carbs to fat as a fuel source can make you extremely tired during workouts, which can lead to a decrease in your performance. However, if you can get past this slump, you will have just as much energy to fuel you through the workouts you need to build muscle. Please note however that short, high-intensity bursts of exercise are more suitable workouts for keto diets because carbohydrates power the longer workouts.
Myth – Vegan and keto diets are polar opposites
Truth – On the surface, these diets appear to be on opposite ends of the spectrum but the reality is, they’re not that much different at all. Both diets emphasize whole foods and encourage you to consume a diet full of top-notch ingredients. While you can still consume some of the bad stuff on both a vegan and a ketogenic diet, that would pretty much defeat the whole purpose so it’s highly discouraged.
Overall, whichever diet you choose should lead to an improvement in energy, mental clarity, and just an all-around better quality of life. Both keto and vegan diets have their benefits, but before you embark on either one, make sure you do the research for yourself and allow your body to help you make the most informed decision.