What is the Difference Between Keto and Atkins

The main difference between keto and Atkins diet is that keto diet is a type of ultra low-carb diet with a very low carbohydrate intake whereas Atkins diet is a type of a low-carb diet with moderate carbohydrate intake. Furthermore, the keto diet switches the metabolism of the body to ketosis while Atkins diet does not lead to a considerable change in the regular metabolism. 

Keto and Atkins diets are two types of most popular low-carb diet plans which help to maintain a healthy body. Moreover, the primary role of the keto diet is to lose weight while the Atkins diet helps to maintain the overall health of the body. 

Key Areas Covered 

1. What is Keto Diet
     – Definition, Facts, Importance
2. What is Atkins Diet
     – Definition, Facts, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Keto and Atkins Diet
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Keto and Atkins Diet
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms 

Atkins Diet, Ketosis, Keto Diet, Low Carb Diet, Ultra Low Carb Diet, Weight Loss 

Difference Between Keto and Atkins Diet - Comparison Summary

What is Keto Diet 

A keto diet or ketogenic diet is a type of high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet. Also, this diet is based on the ability to induce nutritional ketosis by reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. Therefore, a keto diet is used in treating unmanageable epilepsy in children. Moreover, in a keto diet, the ketones that form as a result of the fat metabolism in the body serve as the energy molecules, replacing glucose. However, since keto diet is a type of a high-fat diet, the fat from the diet first participate in the metabolism, producing ketones. Then, fat deposits in the body are used as the primary energy source due to the lack of carbohydrates to use as the primary energy source.

Ultimately, the main health benefit of a keto diet is the weight loss. Also, it is important in preventing obesity-related diseases.  

What is the Difference Between Keto and Atkins

Figure 1: Keto Diet

Significantly, the main principle of the keto diet is to consume less than 50 g of carbohydrates per day. The percentages of macronutrients in a keto diet are 5-10% of carbohydrates, 20-30% proteins, and 65-80% of fats. Moreover, a keto diet permits fatty cuts of meat, fatty fish, full-fat dairy, low-carb vegetables, berries, and healthy fats. 

What is Atkins Diet 

Atkins diet is the most popular, commercial form of a low carb diet formally called Atkins Nutritional Approach. Dr. Robert Coleman Atkins, who is a cardiologist and a nutritionist, developed this diet in the late 1960s. Atkins diet permits meats, fish, vegetables, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and healthy fat while it prevents all types of sugars, refined oils, and high-carb fruits and vegetables.

Difference Between Keto and Atkins

Figure 2: Atkins Diet  

The three types of Atkins diet are Atkins 20, Atkins 40, and the modified Atkins. However, Atkins 20 is the original form of the Atkins diet, which has four distinct phases as described below. 

  • Induction phase – last for the first 1-2 weeks. One can consume only 20 g carbohydrates per day (10% of daily calories) during this phase. Here, the low-carb vegetables to be used are cucumbers, broccoli, celery, and green beans. The proteins should come from fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy while there is no restriction for fat. 
  • Balancing phase – lasts until one reduces 10 pounds from the body weight at the beginning. This phase introduces moderate-carb foods including nuts, seeds, and berries. However, high-carb vegetables are to be avoided. 
  • Pre-maintenance phase – lasts until one can reduce weight up to the goal. Some may introduce whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit during this phase. 
  • Lifetime maintenance – lasts a lifetime. One can consume carbohydrates up to the amount the body can handle without gaining weight. However, the realistic amount for most people is less than 100 g per day. 

Similarities Between Keto and Atkins Diet 

  • Keto and Atkins diet are two types of low-carb diet, which help to maintain a healthy body. 
  • Both diets allow eating meat, fish, dairy, healthy fat, nuts, and seeds.  
  • However, they do not permit high-carbohydrate fruits, vegetables and refined sugars and oils, and processed food. 
  • Besides, both diets can help to lose weight while maintaining a healthy life.

Difference Between Keto and Atkins Diet 


Keto diet refers to a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets while Atkins diet refers to a weight loss program that emphasizes a diet low in carbohydrates along with a little restriction on protein, fat, or total caloric. Hence, this is the fundamental difference between keto and Atkins diet.

Macronutrient Intake 

Keto diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, ultra low-carbohydrate diet while Atkins diet is a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.  

Type of Metabolism 

The effects of these diets on the metabolism is another major difference between keto and Atkins diet. Keto diet induces the metabolism of fat through ketosis while Atkins diet does not alter the regular glucose metabolism. 


The four different types of keto diet are the standard keto diet, cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD), targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), and high-protein ketogenic diet while the three main types of Atkins diet are the Atkins 20, Atkins 40, and the modified Atkins. 


Another difference between keto and Atkins diet is that keto diet is important for weight loss while the Atkins diet is important for the overall health of the body. 

Easiness to Follow 

Moreover, Keto diet is difficult to follow while the Atkins diet is somewhat easy to follow. Hence, this is another difference between keto and Atkins diet.


Keto diet is a type of ultra low-carb diet with high-fat. It induces ketosis in the body, allowing weight loss. However, it is difficult to follow since it deals with very low amounts of carbohydrates. In comparison, Atkins diet is a type of low-carb diet that mainly helps to maintain better health. Since Atkins diet consists of a moderate amount of carbohydrates, it does not induce ketosis under normal conditions. Therefore, the main difference between keto and Atkins diet is the amount of macronutrients involved and the final outcome.


1. Hamzic, Hana. “Keto vs Atkins: Which One Is Better?” Kiss My Keto, Kiss My Keto, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “food-egg-eggs-toast-toasted-bread-2673724” (Pixabay License) via Pixabay
2. “Atkins meal” By Amontillado (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia  

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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