Keto VS Atkins? What’s the Difference?

July 31, 2019   |   4 Comments   |   1

Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve most likely heard about the keto diet. We’ve certainly talked about the benefits of keto on this blog. But you may have also remembered hearing about the benefits of the Atkins diet some years ago.

Both keto and Atkins promote a low carb diet. And I’m not simply talking about cutting out “bad” carbs like donuts, cupcakes and French fries. I mean both diets promote cutting back on all carbs including fruits and veggies.

But beyond restricting carbs, do these diets have anything else in common? If not, what’s different and is one way of eating ultimately better than the other? Let’s take a deeper dive.


The Atkins Diet was developed in 1972 by a cardiologist named Robert Atkins and has four distinct phases. The introductory phase is by far the most restrictive because your carb intake is limited to between 20 and 25 grams of net carbs (meaning total carbs minus finer). Carbs that are allowed during this first phase come from nuts, seeds, veggies and cheese. As far as fat and protein go, you may eat anything you want and in whatever ratio you want.

After typically 2-3 weeks in phase one, phase two begins and you are allowed between 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrates. During this phase you may add foods like blueberries, cottage cheese and yogurt.

During the third phase, you may increase your net carbs to between 50 and 80 grams. You are advised to up your carbs slowly to see where you will find the balance of carbs and weight loss. If weight loss stalls, you are advised to drop your carbs back down until you find that magic number.

Phase four is the maintenance phase. If you were able to continue to lose weight even consuming 80 grams of carbs per day, then in this last phase you may go up to as high as 100 grams of carbs per day. The whole idea of this last maintenance phase is to keep very good track of how many carbs you can eat while still losing weight.

Benefits of the Atkins Diet

This diet was developed to help people lose weight and keep it off. By restricting carbohydrates, you force your body to burn stored fat. While many people have success in losing weight, many still have reported a hard time keeping it off.


One difference of the keto diet is there aren’t as many moving parts. There are no phases to move through, you simply adopt a new way of eating.

The keto diet promotes cutting your carb intake down to roughly 5% of your daily calorie intake. 75% of the remaining calories will come from fat and 20% from protein. By eating this way, even just for a few days, your body will naturally enter ketosis, which is where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs for fuel. You can keep track of your level of ketosis by using keto urine strips.

The Keto Diet has actually been around longer than the Atkins Diet, having been developed in the 1920s as a way to treat children with epilepsy. Since then, many studies have been done on the Keto Diet and its potential benefits for other diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

What do people generally eat on the Keto Diet? Full fat cream, butter, fatty cuts of meat, avocados, cheese and low glycemic fruits and veggies like greens and berries.

Benefits of the Keto Diet

Thanks to a focus on eating high amounts of healthy fats, the Keto Diet helps put you in a state of ketosis. You will not only burn stored fat in this state (and lose weight), but the ketones your body actually suppresses hunger. And, with more studies pointing to the health benefits of putting your body in ketosis, time will tell what other diseases could be naturally treated by this way of eating.

Similarities and Differences of Keto and Atkins

As you can see, there is one very big similarity between Atkins and Keto and that is they both require you to cut your carbohydrate intake. People on Atkins typically bring their carb intake up more than people on Keto. And that is simply because many people find they cannot stay in ketosis going over 50 grams of carbs.

But the similarities really end there.

Many people view Atkins as a diet, a way to lose weight; while most people view the keto diet as a major lifestyle change. On Atkins, you are allowed to eat Atkins bars and shakes and other processed foods, while true Keto lovers stick to eating whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, cheese and dairy and tend to avoid processed foods.

Atkins Vs Keto – Which Diet is Better?

Everyone will have their own opinion, but it is our opinion here at Primal Health that the Keto Diet is a superior way of eating that offers more overall health benefits.

The EASIEST Way to Start Eating Keto

If you’ve been thinking about starting the Keto way of eating but didn’t quite know how to begin, we have great news.

The Perfect Meal Plan is a monthly eating plan that was developed by a doctor who has used the Keto Diet to reverse chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes in her own patients.

She has partnered with Primal Health to create Perfect Meal Plan to help you change how you eat so you can change your health.

Each month you’ll receive delicious Keto recipes created just for the program. With new recipes arriving each month, you’ll never get bored with the foods you eat.

Plus, you’ll also get a handy shopping list that will get you in and out of the grocery store in record time.

Shopping, cooking and eating healthy has NEVER been easier.

And as a bonus, you get all of this help for cheaper than the price of a single movie ticket.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for the Perfect Meal Plan and start eating well, losing well and healing yourself from chronic diseases.



  1. Pat Mack

    August 30, 2019 Reply

    I expected the two popular diets I just read about to be explained and then recommended or disrecommended, but this wasn't the case. No problem for me however, I don't diet, don't even consider it. I am neither overweight nor obese. I have been reading for hours - so much to learn and embrace. It's a little scary, but reassuring that we can make changes to live more comfortably and longer. I can't wait to dive into the book. I'm 84 and reasonably healthy for an American. Soon, perhaps I can say I am "healthy." I grew up on a farm doing field labor since childhood, eating a lot of beef, pork, chicken, home-grown vegetables and tree fruit and nuts. Some good, some bad, a lifestyle that has disappeared in America. A treat for me to eat was a cooked beet speared on a fork, or corn-on-the-cob, or berries or tomatoes that I just picked. How times have changed! A treat for my great-grands is a donut or ice cream or both. What a change! I'll keep you posted on my progress with my new knowledge.


    July 31, 2019 Reply

    thank you

  3. Barbara Beckford

    July 31, 2019 Reply

    I'm ready to start with the keto diet

  4. Barbara Beckford

    July 31, 2019 Reply

    Very excited to get started on the keto

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