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Two popular diets, the plant-based diet and keto diet, have been proven to help with weight loss. One focuses on high-fat and low-carb foods, while the other focuses on fresh fruits and veggies, making them seem like opposites.
Both are said to be effective weight-loss diets, but it can be confusing when choosing which one is right for you.
Learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet vs keto and whether one is healthier and more effective for weight loss. And can you do both? Find out more about how a plant-based keto diet works!
How the Keto Diet Works
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet plan. Your body usually uses stored carbohydrates as a source of energy, but this diet aims to utilize fat as your fuel.
Eliminating carbs from your diet will naturally deplete your glycogen reserves or your stored carbs, and it will also help you lose the excess water that glycogen holds. As a result, you can drop several pounds in the first weeks of switching to this diet.
Your body will switch to a natural metabolic state called ketosis where it starts using fat stores for energy as carbs are depleted. The high amount of fat consumed on this diet also helps minimize cravings. You may feel fuller longer, which cuts down how much you eat in a day.
How a Plant-Based Diet Works
A plant-based diet plan is often low in fat and protein and usually by default your overall calories are reduced. Plant-based dieters often believe that they can eat all day and still lose weight because the diet eliminates all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.
It focuses solely on plant-based food and is not usually focused on carb intake or other macronutrients.
It is important to note that you can easily put on weight no matter what types of food you eat if you too much.
Plant-Based Diet vs Keto Diet
So which diet is better? That depends on your goal and how you handle and maintain your diet. Here are two factors you may want to consider when choosing a diet plan: weight loss and your heart.
Which Diet is Healthier?
It should be noted that the keto diet is supposed to be a whole food diet, not a hotdog and cheese diet just because it is a high-fat meal plan. If you pick the right kind of fat sources, the diet can decrease risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
Carbohydrates can come from non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, some berries, or dairy, but not from grains, potatoes or sugar. If you don’t play your cards right, high levels of bad fats and processed foods can be harmful to your heart health.
That said, you need to know the difference between good fats and bad fats on the keto diet, as well as monitoring your protein intake.
On the other hand, plant-based diets, which primarily focus on fruit and veggies, can help decrease mortality and cardiovascular risk over time. We all know that the risk decreases more when you stop eating processed red meat, so the plant-based diet is effortlessly healthy.
But even if you’re not on a vegan diet, you can still dramatically decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease if you go from eating processed red meat to good quality grass-fed red meat. Red meat is a great protein source when on the keto diet, so you don’t need to be vegan to reap the same health benefits as a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet isn’t perfect as it can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency, a vitamin that’s readily found in animal products. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to reduced red blood cell counts or anemia. It’s also not going to work if, along with your veggies, you’re also eating plates of fried and processed food.
So while many may believe at first glance that plant-based is healthier, it really comes down to what you are eating. A whole-food keto diet with good quality fats and meats can be healthier than a plant-based diet that is full of processed foods and oils and packaged “fake” meats.
Which is Diet Better for Weight Loss?
Experts say that you can expect to see good results on both diets, although the keto diet is proven to show quicker results. On the keto diet, going from eating a ton of carbs to very little and shifting your body into ketosis can make a noticeable change in your weight.
The same also goes for the plant-based diet. When going from eating tons of meat to opting for lots of produce and plant-based protein, this huge shift can also help you lose weight.
But maintenance of the diet is often the main problem people have. Your weight loss may not last if you can’t sustain this new lifestyle in the long-term. Both diets can be too restricting and some can have a hard time maintaining either one.
To know which one is better for weight loss, you have to ask yourself which way of eating are you willing to take on board for a longer period? Also, consider the risks of restricting certain foods in your diet and whether you may need to supplement to ensure you are getting the right nutrients.
There are also other factors to consider that depend on what your beliefs and concerns are regarding animal products. Some believe that veganism is more sustainable and better for the planet and this may influence your decision.
Do you have enough meal options that contain good fats only when on keto? Can you stomach eating greens forever? Both diets require a lot of planning, meal prep, and thinking ahead.
Is maintaining your diet only going to worsen existing conditions like diabetes or anemia? The health risk is also one thing to consider when choosing which one is easier to maintain. People can also have gastrointestinal issues from both, which can be tough to deal with for the long-term.
The diet you choose will entirely depend on your individual circumstances, preferences, and needs. Both diets can work well to help you lose weight and both come with some great health benefits. If you can’t decide, maybe you should try both – at the same time!
Is a Plant-Based Keto Diet Possible?
As mentioned, the ketogenic diet is low in carbs, high in fat. Meanwhile, a plant-based diet relies on vegetables, fruits, grains, and avoids animal-based foods like meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
Although it is more restricting, you can hit two birds with one stone by opting for a plant-based keto diet, also known as the ketotarian diet. Several health benefits are associated with it, such as weight loss, lower risk of heart disease, and reduced risk of diabetes.
To follow a plant-based keto diet, first, you need to limit carbs which are a popular vegan protein source. You also need to steer clear of milk and low-fat dairy products, starchy vegetables, and fruits, other than perhaps a few berries. Some low-carb veggies include spinach, avocado, broccoli, and cauliflower.
You can also use good quality oils and salad dressings as your fat source. Olive oil and coconut oil are great options. Herbs and spices can also help increase the variety of your plant-based keto diet.
Which Diet will You Choose?
At first glance, the keto diet and plant-based diet couldn’t be more different. One focuses on fruits and vegetables, while the other focuses on good quality meats and fats. Despite their differences, both have been linked to weight loss and other great health benefits.
The keto diet might be quicker to show changes in your weight, but a plant-based diet is said to be easier to maintain. In our opinion, it’s easier to maintain a meal plan that fits your lifestyle and food preferences.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can always try a plant-based keto diet. Despite being more challenging, it will help you get in ketosis with healthy sources of fat and lots of veggies!
Which diet are you willing to try?