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Difference Between Keto and South Beach

The rise in many lifestyle diseases has led people to adopt eating habits that will lead them to the right health and wellness goals. Although most people use crash diets to try and achieve this, other healthy eating plans are not only safe but effective. Among the most common healthy diets and lifestyles recommended by nutritionists include keto and south beach. Although both lean-to a similar goal, they vary in several ways.


What is Keto?

Also referred to as the ketogenic diet, this is a diet that initiates a process whereby the body uses its fats as fuel, a state referred to as ketosis. Developed for epileptic children, this lifestyle has been known to prevent lifestyle diseases such as heart diseases and high blood pressure, among others. This program works by restricting carbs intake and consuming more high protein and fatty foods as well as leafy greens. The lack of carbohydrates forces the body to use its fats and transforms them into ketones, which the body uses as a source of energy.

Benefits of the keto diet include:

  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Lowers cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure
  • Minimizes hunger pangs
  • Boosts energy hence improves cognitive functions and increases mental focus
  • Lowers the risk of cancer and health-related ailments

Disadvantages include:

  • It is difficult to maintain especially in the initial stages
  • It is quite restrictive hence may not work for most people
  • It is costly
  • It may not work for all people such as those who are actively involved in sports
  • It may lead to the reduction of insulin resistance in the body which can cause body inflammation

Keto has side effects including dizziness, heart palpitations, constipation or diarrhea, muscle cramps, and dehydration among others. Some side effects can be prevented by regular exercise, drinking enough water and eating foods rich in fiber. 


What is South Beach?

Developed to help lower the cholesterol level in people with heart complications, this is a low carb diet that leans more on choosing the right carbs and fats as per personal goals. The south beach diet is less restrictive on the type of foods that can be eaten but limits the amounts that can be consumed.

It has three phases:

  • The first phase involves a 7-day reboot whereby participants eat high-protein and low carb foods for a metabolic boost.
  • The steady weight loss phase follows whereby participants steadily lose weight. Other carbs such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can be included.
  • The final stage includes maintaining the achieved results by eating all types of foods in moderation.

Each meal in the south beach diet is comprised of three meals, two snacks, and a healthy dessert if need be. All these should, however, be high in protein. Many people hence do not see the need for a cheat day. Vitamins and mineral supplements are also encouraged.

Benefits of this lifestyle include:

  • Helps rid unhealthy cravings
  • A person adopts a healthy lifestyle
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps manage weight in the long run
  • Fast and healthy weight loss

Advantages include:

  • It is simple to start and maintain
  • It promotes a healthy lifestyle as opposed to just achieving weight loss
  • It helps curb cravings by allowing the consumption of small amounts of processed carbs
  • Encourages personal experimentation through the customization of meals

It, however, has various disadvantages

  • It can be restrictive especially in the first phase which, could discourage other people from the lifestyle change
  • Eating healthy is expensive, so is the south beach.


Similarities between Keto and South Beach

  • Both restrict certain foods


Differences between Keto and South Beach


Keto refers to a diet that initiates a process whereby the body uses its fats as fuel, a state referred to as ketosis. On the other hand, south beach refers to a low carb diet that leans more on choosing the right carbs and fats as per personal goals.

Fats allowed

Keto allows its users to incorporate all types of fats including fatty meats, butter, and lard. On the other hand, south beach only allows its users to incorporate healthy fats such as poly and mono-saturated fats from nuts, lean proteins, olive oil, and avocadoes.

Proteins & Carbohydrates allowed

While keto allows fewer proteins and carbohydrates, the south beach allows more proteins and carbohydrates.


Keto aims at ketosis. On the other hand, the south beach is successful even without ketosis as it focuses more on overall wellness and health.

Keto vs. South beach: Comparison Table


Summary of Keto vs. South Beach

Keto refers to a diet that initiates a process whereby the body uses its fats as fuel, a state referred to as ketosis. It is more restrictive and is ideal as a short term diet. On the other hand, south beach refers to a low carb diet that leans more on choosing the right carbs and fats as per personal goals.  Although both diets are successful depending on what a person aims to achieve, keto is more of a short term diet and is not healthy in the long term while the south beach can be used in the long term as it aims at overall wellness and health.


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1 Comment

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/7696/17148740172_6bc669afc3_z.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/4496/38133999212_3ee2d12b6e_b.jpg

[2]Leanne Vogel. The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet, with More Than 125 Delectable Recipes and 5 Meal Plans to Shed Weight, Heal Your Body, and Regain Confidence. Victory Belt Publishing, 2017. a https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=P7wzDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT49&dq=Difference+between+keto+and+south+beach&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg59b1mdvlAhXjolwKHeNhAzkQ6AEIRDAE#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20keto%20and%20south%20beach&f=false

[3]Arthur Agatston. The South Beach Diet Cookbook: More Than 200 Delicious Recipies That Fit the Nation's Top Diet. Rodale Publishers, 2004. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=yuPCSvPbMbwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+keto+and+south+beach&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg59b1mdvlAhXjolwKHeNhAzkQ6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q&f=false

[4]Nicole Downs. Keto For Foodies: The Ultimate Low-Carb Cookbook with over 125 Mouthwatering Recipes. Victory Belt Publishing, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=XReZDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+keto+and+south+beach&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg59b1mdvlAhXjolwKHeNhAzkQ6AEIPDAD#v=onepage&q&f=false

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