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Modified Keto Diet: What Is It and How Does It Compare to Keto?

8 min read
modified keto diet, a bunch of foods, mostly healthy fat sources like fish, avocado, seeds, and other healthy foods
Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer
MS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified LEAP Therapist

What is modified keto, and how is it different from classic keto? Can it help you lose weight and achieve all the benefits of the regular keto diet? Find out the answers here.

Table of Contents

The ketogenic diet—or keto diet for short—is a regimen that severely restricts the number of carbohydrates in the diet and replaces them with high dietary fats and moderate protein. In essence, it’s a low-carb, high-fat diet, but it’s different from the classic low-carb diet, which incorporates a higher protein intake.

The keto diet is popular among people who are trying to lose weight. Some even try more extreme types, such as the liquid keto diet or keto pills, in the hopes of shedding pounds. 

The keto diet may offer a few additional health benefits apart from weight loss, such as improving brain function, reducing seizures in children suffering from epilepsy, and lowering blood sugar [1]. However, some people are concerned about the effect of the keto diet on heart health due to the increased consumption of saturated fats, which are known to contribute to elevating LDL “bad” cholesterol [2]. Some even find it too restrictive as it limits their intake of nutrient-dense carbs, such as fruits and veggies. 

If you’ve tried the keto diet in the past but found it to be too limited, or if you want to try it now but are worried about the possible health risks, rest assured, there is a more flexible approach known as modified keto. 

What Is the Modified Keto Diet?

The modified keto diet is a somewhat more flexible diet routine with a slightly different macronutrient ratio than the traditional keto plan. 

You will still limit carbs and take in a larger percentage of your calories from fats. However, unlike the original keto diet, you can incorporate many healthy foods, such as fruits and veggies, if you’re following the modified keto diet plan.

The following table shows the differences in macronutrient percentages between a typical standard diet vs. a mod keto diet.

a table with the comparison of modified keto diet vs original keto nutrient ratio

The allowance of higher carb content in this modified plan means you can eat more nutritious carbs and obtain adequate fiber, which will help promote satiety, regulate blood sugar, facilitate normal bowel movements, and decrease bad cholesterol levels [3].

Let’s look at an example to clarify the number of carbs permitted in the modified keto diet. In this example, the person requires 2,000 calories per day. 

  • If you’re following the original keto diet, you’re only allowed to eat 200 calories from carbs—which translates to a mere 50 g of carbs per day. (To give you an idea: a medium banana has 27 g of carbohydrates [4]). 
  • In the modified keto plan, you can eat up to 100 g of carbs per day if you’re aiming for a 2,000-calorie diet. 

Since there are no clear-cut guidelines in this modified version, you can adjust your carb-to-fat ratios to suit you as long as you get at least 50% of your calories from fat. 

Does the Modified Keto Diet Have the Benefits of Traditional Keto?

The health benefits of the keto diet mainly come from the state of ketosis, which occurs when the body is depleted of glucose to power the systems and instead uses fat as its main form of fuel [5]

The keto diet, with its very low carb-to-fat ratios, easily achieves ketosis. However, the general understanding is that ketosis does not happen if the carbohydrate percentage reaches around 20%. 

So, will you still get into ketosis if you’re following the modified keto diet?

Well, the answer is likely no.

We can’t give a solid no because there might be some rare cases where you can achieve ketosis with a higher carb consumption—for instance, if you’re combining it with intense workouts or intermittent fasting. [6] [7]

With that being said, the modified keto diet still offers various health benefits. We will be listing the benefits of the modified version in a later section of this post. But first, let’s unravel the answer to another popular question concerning modified keto.

Can You Lose Weight on the Modified Keto Diet?

So, the next big question you may be wondering is whether you can lose weight on the modified keto diet.

Yes, it is likely you can. Some studies have shown that this revised version of the keto diet can result in significant weight loss in obese patients [8]

Not many studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of the modified ketogenic diet for weight loss, but we can speculate that it may take a bit longer to shed pounds as compared to the classic keto diet. However, as the modified version of the diet offers a larger variety of food choices, we can expect it to be more sustainable in the long term.

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4 Benefits of the Modified Keto Diet

As promised, here are four benefits of the modified keto diet:

It Can Help You Lose Weight

We just discussed this in the previous section, but let us explain it in more detail. 

The modified keto diet is still a plan abundant in fat, followed by protein, so it can keep you feeling satiated. This means you may not feel hungry as often as you would on a regular diet. 

It also includes fiber-rich vegetables, which will help promote the feeling of fullness. Staying fuller for longer means you may snack less and take in fewer calories overall, which may support weight loss.

Of course, it can be helpful to keep tabs on your calorie intake by utilizing an all-in-one weight-loss app for that.

It Includes a Variety of Healthy Food Options

The traditional keto diet derives the majority of its calories from fat and drastically limits carbs, thereby giving you little wiggle room to include fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

The modified keto diet allows a higher carb limit, so you can include more of those food groups. This decreases the likelihood of developing nutritional deficiencies if you follow this diet plan for a long time.

It Helps You Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels in Check

Since the modified keto diet is a variation of a low-carb diet, it may aid in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels [9]

Although the carbohydrate percentage is slightly higher in the modified diet than in the traditional keto diet, it’s not high enough to raise your blood sugar levels. You can easily maintain healthy blood glucose levels on this diet without having to give up carbs entirely.

It Will Support Heart Health

Unlike the original keto diet, which promotes the consumption of foods high in saturated fats (such as butter, lard, and fatty cuts of red meat), the modified keto diet focuses on heart-healthy unsaturated fats. This may help prevent the development of various heart conditions.

What Can You Eat on the Modified Keto Diet?

This hybrid keto diet obviously has a more extensive list of foods you can include in your diet but there are also a few foods you need to limit. 

list of foods to eat and limit on the modified keto diet, what to eat on modified keto

Foods You Can Eat on the Modified Keto Diet

  • Eggs
  • Meat (such as lamb, beef, and pork)
  • Poultry (such as chicken and turkey)
  • Nuts (such as cashews, almonds, and pistachios)
  • Fish (such as salmon, tuna, and cod)
  • Most cooking oils (such as coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil)
  • Dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese)
  • Low-sugar fruits (such as berries, kiwis, and avocados)
  • Low-starch vegetables (such as leafy greens, bell peppers, and cruciferous vegetables)
  • Whole grains (up to a limit)

Foods to Limit on the Modified Keto Diet

  • Candies
  • Starchy vegetables (such as potatoes)
  • Sweeteners (such as sugar and honey)
  • Sugary beverages 
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Refined grains (such as white rice and wheat products)

Modified Keto vs. Keto: Which One Is for You?

Now that you have a good idea of what the modified keto diet plan is, it’s time to consider whether it’s right for you. If you’re thinking about which way to go, weigh the pros and cons of each diet and see what will work best for you. 

You might want to choose the modified keto diet If you’re more concerned about the long-term sustainability and health benefits of your diet. On the other hand, if you want to lose weight faster in the short term, the original keto diet is the way to go.

You can also mix and match. You can start with the traditional keto diet, and after you’ve reached a certain weight goal, you can gradually transition into the modified diet to keep the weight off sustainably. This also makes sense as the keto diet is not appropriate for the long term.

Note that medical professionals sometimes recommend the ketogenic diet to manage conditions like type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, endocrine disorders, etc., and they can help you determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks.  [10] [11] [12]


The modified version of keto adds a bit more flexibility to the classic keto diet but your weight-loss progress may end up being a bit slower. However, it’s easier to follow than the original version, and it’s also a healthier option. 

As usual, it’s a good idea to talk with your dietician or doctor before you make any changes to your diet plan.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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