Difference Between Banting And Keto

Author Image

Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Difference Between Banting And Keto



Although it might seem that low-carb diets are all the same, there are several differences between them. Still, they do have the common ground of being low-carb approaches for weight loss. So, which one is the best for you?

In this article, you will learn all about keto and Banting, two popular diets. We will examine definitions, similarities and differences between them, what benefits can you obtain, and side effects you might experience. On the practical side, you’ll learn which foods to eat and to avoid for each one, which one costs more, and which is the healthiest to follow.


What is the Banting diet?

William Banting created this diet in 1862 as a personal weight-loss strategy. He tried a new eating approach to lose weight as an overweight person. When he saw the results obtained, he created a pamphlet. The diet was so popular it was later named after the creator's surname.

The Banting diet that we know nowadays is not the original version. Tim Noakes, a South African scientist, brought back this method with some slight alterations.

Banting is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. It sounds like a keto diet, right? However, it is divided into 4 stages, and 4 different lists of permitted foods: green, orange, light red, or red lists.

The stages in the Banting diet are as follows:

  1. Observation: for 1 week, you don't make any changes to your diet. You observe your habits and intake. You can track everything using a food journal.
  2. Restoration: the main focus is to restore your gut health. This stage can last between 2-12 weeks, where you eliminate all the foods from the red groups and consume only those in the orange and green categories.
  3. Transformation: here is where you follow the original Banting diet. You follow a ketogenic-type approach and only consume the foods in the green category.
  4. Preservation: once you reach your goal, you reintroduce the previous groups (orange in moderation and red occasionally).


Similarities between Banting and keto

There are several similarities between Banting and keto. So, what are they?


When it comes to the macronutrient composition, they have a very similar approach. Both use 5-10% of carbs, 15-20% of protein, and 70-80% of fats.

They are both a very low-carb approach, with moderate protein and high fat content.

Weight loss

The primary purpose of each diet is weight loss. You can shed a similar number of pounds, but it is likely to happen faster with a ketogenic diet since you go into ketosis sooner.

Chronic disease

Both can be great options for those that want to reduce inflammation. They focus on whole foods and limit highly processed products.

Thanks to a reduction in inflammation, both diets seem to be beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.


What is the difference between keto and Banting?

Although they are very similar, they also have several differences between them. Here are a few of them:

Banting is divided into phases

Banting is a gradual process, divided into separate stages, as explained above. On the other hand, keto doesn't have any clearly defined phases. You may ease into it at the beginning to avoid too much of an abrupt change, but once you start using your macro limits, you stick with them.

Foods permitted

The other big difference between the two diets is what you are allowed to eat. In Banting, you have different groups to determine which foods you can include in each phase.

There is a green group of foods that you can include regularly, an orange group of items that you include sometimes, a light red group to eat only on rare occasions, and a red list of foods to completely avoid. There is also a gray list, which are foods that you can choose whether or not to eat.

On the other hand, you can have any food on keto as long as you keep the carb intake within the daily limits. In practice, this usually means cutting out high-carb foods, since the serving size would have to be very small to stay within your macro amounts.


Benefits of Banting and keto diets

Since both follow a low-carb approach, you can find the same benefits. Here is a list of the most common positive effects you may get from eating low-carb:

  • Reduced cravings. You might experience increased cravings initially, but after a couple of days, the cravings are significantly reduced.
  • Possible reduction in chronic illness
  • Possible improved glucose levels
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Weight loss
  • May improve symptoms of PCOS
  • Promotes healthy whole foods and thus can have a beneficial effect on gut health


Side effects of Banting and a ketogenic diet

Like with the benefits, you can find similar side effects from following any one of these diets.

  • Keto flu. In the first week of following a low-carb diet, you might experience fatigue, headache, foggy brain, and nausea. As you ease into Banting, these symptoms may not be as severe.
  • Constipation. By reducing the number of carbs, you can significantly reduce the fiber intake, leading to constipation.
  • Decreased performance. During the first couple of days, you might not experience the same energy as you did, which means your performance might decrease.
  • Restrictive. Both diets are not very sustainable for certain people. This means that they end up giving upon them.


Keto vs. Banting foods list

When it comes to keto, you only find one food list type. Those foods are permitted, and which ones you need to consume in moderation as long as you don’t go over your carb limit.

When it comes to Banting, you can find foods placed in green, yellow, and red groups. You can often consume green groups, yellow sometimes, and red on occasions. Those foods in the grey group you can drink, but they might slow down your progress.

Beans and legumes In moderation Orange
Condiments and sauces Allowed
Dairy Allowed
Sugar-free drinks Allowed Green
Sugar-sweetened beverages Not allowed Really red
Alcoholic drinks Allowed
Light red
Eggs Allowed Green
Fish and seafood Allowed Green
Fruits In moderation Orange
Grains and starches In moderation Light red / Really red
Herbs and spices Allowed Green
Meat and poultry Allowed Green
Nuts and seeds Allowed Orange (nuts)
Green (seeds)
Oils and fats Allowed Green (seed oils Red)
Processed foods Not allowed Really red
Sugar-free sweeteners Allowed Gray
Natural sweeteners Allowed
Light red
White and brown sugars Not allowed Really red
Starchy vegetables In moderation Orange
Non-starchy vegetables Allowed Green


As you can see, there are similarities when it comes to both diets, but Banting eliminates more categories. On keto, you can add any as long as you maintain your carb intake.

If you are having trouble determining if a food is a keto or not, here you can find a list of those foods that are keto-friendly.


Cost of the Banting diet vs. Keto

Prices depend on where you shop and what type of products you will have. For example, if you buy organic produce or grass-fed proteins, your bill will be higher. However, both diets have very similar costs.

On the other hand, if you buy locally, then the shopping bill will be usually lower.


Which one is healthier?

Both are excellent options for those looking to try a low-carb approach. Both of these diets focus on natural and whole foods instead of processed, making them a healthy choice for those looking to lose some weight.

Remember that variety is key when it comes to a healthy diet. Don’t consume the same ingredients all the time. You need to have different food sources since each food has distinct nutrients and characteristics.

To prevent constipation, remember to have a large intake of non-starchy veggies and have an adequate intake of water.



Both ways of eating can be great options for you to consider when it comes to weight loss. If you want to control the number of carbs to have a little more freedom in your food choices, then the ketogenic diet is for you.

On the other hand, if you prefer to have clear lists of foods that are permitted and which ones are not, then the Banting diet is probably the best.

Whichever you choose, you are going to have great benefits.

Rate this article
4.4/5 8 Votes