Vegetarian vs. Keto: What’s the Difference?

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Did you know that 8.9% of surveyed Americans are vegetarians? The plant-based craze is growing, but is it right for you?

Some people who go vegetarian do it in an attempt to lose weight, while the majority do so for ethical reasons. If weight loss is your goal, however, you also have other options, like a keto diet.

But what’s the difference between vegetarian vs. keto? Is one better than the other?

Let’s talk about it. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet?

A vegetarian diet is one of several plant-based diets. Vegetarians are people who don’t consume anything that requires an animal to directly die for it. This includes meat, any products with gelatin, and any products with bone char (among other things, though some vegetarians are less strict than others).

Vegetarians usually follow this diet for ideological or ethical reasons. They don’t believe that humans should use animals for food (or at least at the rate that they currently are). 

Some people start vegetarian diets to lose weight, but this isn’t common. Vegetarian diets are often healthy and conducive to weight loss, but you can also be a “junk food vegetarian.”  

Vegetarians, unlike vegans, usually still consume eggs and dairy. Read more info about vegans in this vegetarian vs keto article.

What Is a Keto Diet? 

A keto diet is almost exclusively a weight loss diet. There’s no ethical or ideological reason to go keto, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not a good thing. 

Keto diets are low-carb. Most people on keto diets reduce their carbs to under 50 grams per day in order to send their bodies into ketosis. In theory, going into ketosis will promote weight loss.

Keto diets can be difficult to maintain long-term, but the health benefits are worthwhile. 

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Can Vegetarians Be Keto? 

Anyone who’s already a vegetarian may be disappointed to learn that it’s difficult to be both keto and a vegetarian at the same time.

A keto-friendly meal is going to be low-carb. For people who eat meat, this isn’t a huge problem. They’re still able to get more than enough protein in their diets without relying on carbs because meat has no carbs at all.

For vegetarians, protein sources have more carbs, making them inconvenient for ketosis. People need to consume enough protein if they want to effectively lose weight. 

Is One Healthier Than the Other?

When it comes to keto vs vegetarian diets, one isn’t necessarily going to be better than the other as far as health (or even weight loss) goes.

You can have an unhealthy keto diet. Remember, you can eat as much fat as you want as long as you stay low-carb. Fats and red meats can cause health problems, even if you’re still losing weight.

While many vegetarians lead healthy lifestyles and eat more fresh produce, others eat plenty of junk food. Remember, most chips, ice cream, cookies, and other “unhealthy” foods are also vegetarian-friendly.

In short, both diets are as healthy as you make them.

Vegetarian vs. Keto Diets: Is One Right for You?

When it comes to vegetarian vs. keto diets, one isn’t better than the other. If you’re a vegetarian, limiting carbohydrates is going to be tough, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t lose weight. You just won’t be able to go into ketosis. 

If you have no ideological opposition to eating meat, being keto might be better for your weight loss journey.

So which is right for you?

For more helpful articles about health and more, visit the rest of our site. 

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