Keto Diet Simplified: What It Does NOT Mean (Ketogenic vs Low Carb Explained)

Keto vs Low Carb: What’s The Difference?

There seem to be A LOT of misunderstandings of how “keto” is defined, causing serious arguments and unnecessary negativity in low carb communities…

Ketogenic Diet Simplified – Low Carb Q&A

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Like I mentioned in the video above, every time I eat the sausage & fried eggs from McDonald’s it causes a bit of a stir.

Like this comment I got on Instagram recently, for example:

Keto Criticism
The round fried eggs at McDonald’s are just real eggs, cracked on site.

Eggs are .4 or half a carb each (all eggs).

The sausage at McDonald’s is processed meat – just like all sausage, even what you buy at the grocery store. The sausage patties at McDonald’s are 1 carb each. You can see all of this on their website, of course.

People give me slack for eating the McDonald’s sausage, saying “that’s not keto” just because it’s from McDonald’s, or because of the ingredients.

My favorite sausage I buy at the grocery store is Tennessee Pride brand. Two of the ingredients include sugar and monosodium glutamate. Nobody ever says a word about the sausage and eggs I make at home. Which makes NO sense at all.

So just because it’s from McDonald’s doesn’t automatically make it NOT keto.

At 1 carb per patty, regardless of the ingredients or your personal preferences – it certainly DOES fit into a ketogenic low carb diet – by the standards of 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum.

This is my typical response to those types of comments, btw:

My Low Carb Lifestyle - Eating LCHF at McDonald's won't kill you, lol


Being a public figure, I catch a lot of slack and get tons of negative comments on my low carb food choices. Even though I eat a ketogenic low carb diet, and have had GREAT success with it. So like I said, there’s obviously a lot of confusion about what “keto” IS and what it isn’t…

Just because something has sugar in it for example, doesn’t mean it’s not a keto friendly (low carb) food.

Many low carb foods that are appropriate for a ketogenic low carb diet have sugar in them naturally – even broccoli has sugar in it, yet it certainly IS a keto friendly food – and you’ll even find it on the Atkins Phase One Acceptable Foods List.

While fruit is too high in carbs & sugar, berries are perfectly fine on a ketogenic low carb diet, or a keto diet – in moderation of course. Berries do have natural sugar in them, just like broccoli – more actually – which is why you eat them in moderation, because that natural sugar is part of the net carb count.

As for what type of butter, grassfed or not, even margarine or not – although real butter is ideal (not margarine) but still – that’s simply a matter of preference – it doesn’t define the keto diet at all.

The standard definition of a ketogenic low carb diet is: “very low carb, very high fat, moderate protein” – or: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum, 25% protein max.

If you just keep it super simple: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum, the protein pretty much takes care of itself. For a simple explanation & illustration of that, see:

Ketogenic Macros – Simple Explanation/Illustration

Nothing in a standard definition of the ketogenic diet has anything to do with: organic, clean eating, home cooked, gluten free, made from scratch, grass fed, etc.

Those things are simply preferences. Period.

People often ask the difference between low carb and keto. Low carb can have some variations – some people consider “under 100 carbs a day” to be low carb, and it IS lower carb than a typical diet.

Keto is VERY low carb and also HIGH fat (ideally healthy fats). It is the same as Phase One of the Atkins Diet pretty much, minus any restrictions Atkins recommends during that phase.

The high fat is key to a ketogenic low carb diet, by the way. Ideally you want 70% of your total daily calories in healthy fats. But even fats with no nutritional value – like butter, mayo, bacon grease even – count toward that.

But healthy fats are those that actually DO contribute nutritional value – foods like salmon, avocado and pecans that are very high fat – but also rich in other nutrients like potassium, magnesium, fiber, etc.

Also See:

Getting Started Checklist for a Ketogenic Low Carb Diet

I hope that clears things up a bit…

If you haven’t watched the video yet, scroll back up and watch that – because it includes even more information, and my suggestions for a HEALTHY low carb lifestyle.:)

If you have any questions about it… just ask!

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. If you need a motivational kick start, take the low carb classes this week.;)

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Author: Lynn Terry
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