Veganism and keto go together like—wait, scratch that. The two plans couldn’t be more different: One focuses on mainly plant-based foods and the other, well, it wants you to eat lots of fat and encourages bacon.
But, despite their differences, both diets have been linked to weight loss (though, for the record, many people decide to go vegan for ethical and environmental reasons that have nothing to do with a number on the scale). So…if you are trying to lose weight, is one diet a better way to drop pounds than the other?
First things first: What is keto and what is vegan?
The keto diet (which is short for “ketogenic diet”) is an eating plan that focuses on minimizing your carb intake and upping your fats. The idea is to put your body in a state called ketosis, which means it’s using fat as a form of energy.
Everyone’s body and needs are slightly different, but that usually means getting 60 to 75 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 30 percent of your calories from protein, and 5 to 10 percent of your calories from carbs. That also means fruit intake (and carb-heavy veggies like potatoes and squash) is scaled back too, since sugar (even when it’s naturally occurring sugar) = carbs.
A vegan diet, however, is pretty different—it basically eliminates all animal products from your diet, including meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. The diet focuses on plant-based foods and, frankly, doesn’t give a crap how many carbs you eat.
So, which diet is best for losing weight?
That depends. Whether you’re going to lose weight on either diet (and how much) has a lot to do with what you were eating before, says Jessica Cording, R.D.