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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: July 19, 2023
In today’s health-conscious landscape, the quest for the perfect diet plan continues to be a top priority for many individuals aiming to manage their weight, improve their health, or boost their overall well-being.
Two dietary programs that have gained significant attention in recent years are the Ketogenic (Keto) and Golo diets. Both are weight loss strategies, but each follows a unique approach in achieving this common goal.
This article provides a comprehensive comparison between the Keto and Golo diets, touching on key differences, benefits, downsides, and pricing aspects to help you make a more informed decision about which could potentially be the best fit for your lifestyle and health goals.
Key Differences Between Keto and Golo
Table of Contents
To set the stage for our deeper exploration, here are the key differences between the two diets:
- Keto: This diet primarily focuses on high fat (around 70%-80% of total daily calories), moderate protein (around 20%), and extremely low carbohydrate intake (5-10% or less). The rationale is to push the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it burns fat instead of glucose for energy.
- Golo: The Golo diet promotes balanced nutrition, emphasizing a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in each meal. It encourages the consumption of whole foods and minimizes processed ones. Unlike Keto, there’s no extreme macronutrient restriction; the primary focus is on portion control and food balance.
- Keto: The goal of Keto is to achieve a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy rather than its usual fuel, glucose. This is achieved by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat consumption.
- Golo: Rather than inducing ketosis, the Golo diet targets insulin management as a key factor in weight loss. By controlling insulin levels, the Golo diet aims to optimize the body’s metabolic efficiency, helping it to more effectively burn stored fat.
- Keto: The Keto diet imposes stringent restrictions on carbohydrate intake, limiting foods such as grains, legumes, most fruits, sugar, and starchy vegetables. This leaves a diet rich in meats, dairy, eggs, low-carb vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Golo: The Golo diet is less restrictive. It allows a broader variety of foods, including carbohydrates, provided they’re portion-controlled and balanced with proteins and healthy fats. This plan encourages whole grains, fruits, lean meats, and non-starchy vegetables, emphasizing real, unprocessed foods.
- Keto: While there are supplements marketed to support the ketogenic lifestyle, they’re not inherent to the diet. Success on the Keto diet hinges on dietary changes, specifically macronutrient ratios.
- Golo: An integral part of the Golo diet is the “Release” supplement. This proprietary blend of plant extracts and minerals is claimed to help manage insulin levels, support metabolic efficiency, and aid in weight loss.
Approach to Weight Loss
- Keto: Weight loss on Keto is achieved primarily through the metabolic state of ketosis. The diet’s high fat content promotes satiety, which can naturally reduce calorie intake, further supporting weight loss.
- Golo: The Golo diet promotes weight loss through insulin control, balanced nutrition, and portion control. In addition to dietary changes, the program includes behavior and lifestyle guidelines to support long-term weight management and overall health.
- Keto: Due to its restrictive nature, some individuals may find the Keto diet difficult to adhere to long term. Many find it challenging to permanently give up or severely limit certain food groups, like grains or fruits.
- Golo: Given its balanced approach to nutrition and lack of severe food restrictions, the Golo diet may be easier for some to maintain as a long-term lifestyle. The program’s behavioral and lifestyle recommendations also aim to promote lasting, healthy habits.
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What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic, or ‘keto,’ diet is a nutritional approach where high fats, moderate proteins, and low carbohydrates are consumed to alter the body’s reliance on glucose for energy towards fats. In essence, the diet aims to push the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
History of the Keto Diet
Interestingly, the ketogenic diet isn’t a new trend. Its roots trace back to the 1920s, when it was introduced as a treatment for epilepsy. More recently, the Keto diet has been embraced as a weight loss and health optimization strategy.
Metabolic Principles of Keto
The primary goal of the Keto diet is to shift the body’s metabolism from glucose to fats and ketones. Under normal dietary conditions, the body primarily uses glucose from dietary carbohydrates for energy. However, by restricting carb intake to under 10% of total daily calories and increasing fat intake to about 70%-80% of total daily calories, the body is forced to use its fat stores for energy, a state known as ketosis. Proteins make up the remaining calories.
Food Choices on the Keto Diet
A typical Keto diet includes a variety of nutrient-dense, high-fat, and low-carb foods. Proteins like meat, fish, and eggs are staples, as are high-fat foods like avocados, oils, and full-fat dairy. To add fiber and a variety of micronutrients, low-carb vegetables are incorporated, and nuts and seeds can be included for added protein and fat.
On the flip side, high-carb foods like grains, sugar, most fruits, and starchy vegetables are avoided to maintain a state of ketosis.
The Role of Protein and Fat in Keto
Although the reduction of carbohydrates is the hallmark of the Keto diet, the roles of protein and fat are equally critical. Protein consumption should be adequate – enough to maintain muscle mass but not so much that it prevents ketosis. Fat, in contrast, is the cornerstone of the diet, as it becomes the primary source of energy, replacing carbs. Fat also plays a crucial role in keeping you satiated, which can naturally reduce overall calorie intake.
Potential Health Benefits and Risks of Keto
The Keto diet has gained a lot of attention for its potential health benefits, particularly rapid weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and potential benefits to brain function. However, it’s important to recognize that the diet also comes with potential risks, such as nutrient deficiencies and potential long-term health effects, which must be considered and managed with the guidance of healthcare professionals.
What is the Golo Diet?
The Golo diet is a weight-loss program designed to optimize insulin levels, promote healthy eating habits, and support sustainable weight loss. The program is built on the premise that managing insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, is the key to effective weight loss and improved metabolic health.
History and Philosophy of the Golo Diet
The Golo diet was launched in 2016 by a team of doctors and pharmacists. The diet is based on the concept of “insulin optimization,” a term coined by its creators to describe the balanced regulation of insulin levels. The philosophy behind the Golo diet is that by maintaining optimal insulin levels, the body’s metabolism can function more efficiently, promoting more effective weight loss and health benefits.
Metabolic Principles of Golo
The Golo diet plan revolves around managing insulin levels to optimize metabolic efficiency. When you eat, especially foods high in carbohydrates, your body releases insulin to help process the incoming glucose. Too much insulin can lead to fat storage and make weight loss more difficult. By balancing meals to include an optimal blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, the Golo diet aims to stabilize insulin levels and minimize insulin spikes that can lead to weight gain.
The Golo Diet’s Food Plan: Metabolic Fuel Matrix
The food plan on the Golo diet, called the Metabolic Fuel Matrix, promotes consuming balanced meals that include a variety of macronutrients – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The diet encourages the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Portion control and the balance of macronutrients at each meal are crucial aspects of the Golo diet.
Release Supplement in Golo
A unique aspect of the Golo diet is the inclusion of a supplement called “Release.” This proprietary supplement, created by Golo’s team, contains a blend of plant extracts and minerals designed to support insulin management and metabolic efficiency.
Potential Health Benefits and Risks of Golo
The Golo diet offers a balanced and less restrictive approach to weight loss, which many people find more sustainable in the long term. It promotes the consumption of a wide variety of foods, allowing dieters to enjoy a broad nutrient profile. However, while the inclusion of the “Release” supplement may be beneficial for some, it’s crucial to discuss its use with a healthcare provider, especially for those on medication or with underlying health conditions.
Can You Do Keto While on Golo?
Combining the Golo and Keto diets is not generally recommended due to their differing metabolic focuses. While the Keto diet severely restricts carbohydrate intake to achieve ketosis, Golo advocates for balanced eating from all macronutrient groups, including carbohydrates. Therefore, these diets’ principles contradict, making them incompatible when applied together.
Key Benefits of Keto
The ketogenic diet offers several potential benefits, extending beyond weight loss:
- Weight Loss: The most well-known benefit of the ketogenic diet is its potential for rapid weight loss. By burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, and due to the satiating effect of high-fat foods, individuals may see significant weight loss, particularly in the early stages of the diet.
- Blood Sugar and Insulin Control: Due to its low-carb nature, the ketogenic diet can potentially lead to improved insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control, making it a diet of interest for individuals with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
- Enhanced Brain Function: Some research suggests that ketones, produced during ketosis, are an efficient fuel source for the brain and may contribute to improved mental clarity and cognitive function. The diet also has a long history in the treatment of epilepsy.
- Improved Lipid Profile: A ketogenic diet can lead to a significant reduction in levels of triglycerides, a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Some individuals may also experience an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol and a decrease in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
- Potential Therapeutic Benefits for Several Health Conditions: Preliminary research suggests that the ketogenic diet could have therapeutic benefits for various health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and some types of cancer.
Despite these potential benefits, it’s important to note that the ketogenic diet isn’t suitable for everyone, and individuals should consult with a healthcare provider before making significant dietary changes.
Key Benefits of Golo
The Golo diet’s balanced approach to weight loss and metabolic health offers several potential benefits:
- Balanced and Sustainable Weight Loss: The Golo diet encourages a balanced consumption of macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs), which is less restrictive and more sustainable for long-term adherence compared to very low-carb diets. This approach promotes gradual, healthy weight loss that’s easier to maintain.
- Improvement in Insulin Efficiency: The primary aim of the Golo diet is to optimize insulin performance. By balancing meals with the right mix of macronutrients, the diet can help minimize insulin spikes and crashes, promoting stable blood sugar levels, which could be beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
- Encourages Healthy Eating Habits: The Golo diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods. This focus not only contributes to weight loss but can also foster healthy eating habits, providing a diverse array of nutrients and promoting overall health.
- May Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases: By promoting balanced nutrition, weight loss, and improved metabolic health, the Golo diet could potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
- No Strict Food Restrictions: Unlike many diets, the Golo diet doesn’t completely restrict any food groups. Instead, it encourages portion control and balanced meals, allowing individuals to enjoy a wide variety of foods, making it more flexible and easy to follow.
- Support and Resources: The Golo diet comes with a range of resources, including meal plans, recipes, and even a health coach. These resources can provide guidance, motivation, and support, making it easier for individuals to stick to the program.
As with any diet, it’s important to consider personal health conditions, dietary needs, and lifestyle when evaluating the potential benefits. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Potential Downsides of Keto
- Adaptation Phase: Transitioning into ketosis can cause initial side effects, often referred to as the “keto flu,” including fatigue, nausea, and headaches.
- Nutrient Deficiencies: The strict food limitations can make it challenging to get all necessary nutrients, potentially leading to deficiencies.
- Potential Long-Term Health Risks: Extended periods on the Keto diet may have potential health risks, such as heart disease or liver damage, due to high saturated fat consumption.
Potential Downsides of Golo
- Supplement Dependency: Golo’s weight loss program heavily relies on the “Release” supplement, which may not appeal to everyone.
Pricing Compare: Is Golo or Keto Cheaper?
When comparing the costs of the Golo and Keto diets, there are several factors to consider.
Golo Diet Costs
The primary cost associated with the Golo diet is the cost of the Release supplement. At the time of publication, a one-month supply of Release costs about $50, a three-month supply costs around $100, and a six-month supply is approximately $180.
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In addition to the supplement, the Golo diet encourages the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods. The cost of these foods can vary widely depending on where you live, where you shop, and the specific foods you choose. However, generally speaking, fresh produce, lean meats, and whole grains can be more expensive than processed, packaged foods.
Also, while the Golo program offers access to various resources, such as meal plans and a health coach, these services come at an additional cost.
Keto Diet Costs
The Keto diet doesn’t require any specific supplements or products, which is a significant advantage in terms of cost. Like Golo, the cost of food on a Keto diet can vary widely. Keto-friendly foods like high-quality fats (avocado, olive oil), meats, fish, and low-carb vegetables can be more costly than carb-heavy processed foods. However, you also have the freedom to adjust your food choices based on your budget.
While there are Keto-specific products available in the market like MCT oil, exogenous ketones, or Keto-friendly snacks, these are not necessary for following a Keto diet.
In general, the Keto diet may be less expensive overall because it doesn’t require a specific supplement or program. However, both diets emphasize healthier, often more expensive food choices over cheaper, processed alternatives.
Your actual costs will depend on your specific food choices, where you live, where you shop, whether you choose to use supplements or other products, and other individual factors.
Always remember, while cost is an essential factor, it’s also vital to consider the nutritional quality, sustainability, and suitability to your lifestyle and health goals when choosing a diet.
Is the Keto Approach or Golo’s Better for You?
Determining whether the Keto or Golo diet is better for you depends on various factors, including your health status, dietary preferences, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Here are some key points to consider:
- Personal Preference and Lifestyle: If you enjoy eating a lot of fat and can handle a low-carb diet, Keto might be a good fit. Conversely, if you prefer a more balanced approach to macronutrients and enjoy a wider variety of foods, Golo could be more appealing.
- Health Status: Those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes might find the Keto diet beneficial due to its potential to improve blood sugar control. However, if you have a history of heart disease, a balanced diet like Golo might be safer. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new diet plan, especially if you have a chronic health condition.
- Weight Loss Goals: Both diets can support weight loss, but the approach differs. Keto often leads to rapid initial weight loss, which can be motivating, but it might be harder to sustain in the long term. Golo promotes slower, steadier weight loss, which might be easier to maintain.
- Adherence and Sustainability: Keto is quite restrictive, which some people find difficult to adhere to over the long term. Golo is less restrictive, which might make it easier to stick to, promoting long-term weight management.
- Nutrient Intake: The Keto diet can sometimes lead to nutrient deficiencies due to its restriction of certain food groups. Golo, being less restrictive, offers a wider nutrient profile, which might be beneficial for overall health.
- Cost: As mentioned earlier, Keto tends to be less expensive as it does not require a specific supplement or program. Golo has the added cost of the Release supplement and possibly program resources, which could be a deciding factor depending on your budget.
Remember, the best diet is the one that you can stick to, fits into your lifestyle, supports your health goals, and is nutritionally balanced. Always consult a healthcare or nutrition professional to ensure your chosen diet fits these criteria and is safe for you.
You Should Consider Keto if…
- You’re seeking rapid weight loss.
- You’re willing to drastically cut carbohydrates from your diet.
- You’re interested in potential cognitive and metabolic health benefits.
You Should Consider Golo if…
- You prefer a balanced dietary approach with fewer restrictions.
- You’re interested in managing your weight through insulin control.
- You’re aiming to change lifestyle behaviors for long-term health improvements.
Learn more and get the best deal at the Golo website.
In the end, the best diet is one that suits your personal needs, preferences, and health goals, and is sustainable for the long term. Before embarking on any dietary change, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare or nutrition professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history, current health status, and lifestyle. Whether you choose Keto, Golo, or another dietary strategy entirely, remember that maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise are key to overall health and well-being.