What is the Paleo vs Keto Diet?
Enjoying a healthy lifestyle means making the right food choice, but the right food for one individual may not be as good for another. This individualized approach has given birth to different food trends or diets. Among them, low-carb diets such as the Paleolithic and ketogenic diets have become the town's talk. These diets have similarities, but they are not identical with different approaches and guidelines.
The Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet, is an eating approach that mimics the eating patterns of our ancestors roaming the earth 200 million years ago. This diet has changed into one that resembles many low-carb diets.
The keto diet, also referred to as the ketogenic diet, is a moderate protein, high fat, and deficient carb diet that aims to activate ketosis or fat-burning metabolism in the body.
In this article, I plan to review the basics of paleo and keto diets, how they differ, how they are alike, and how to choose between them. Stick around and keep reading to learn all you need to know about the paleo and keto diets.
Paleo Diet Pros & Cons
The Paleo diet addresses modern illnesses by revisiting how humans ate during the paleolithic era. Its supporters believe that since human anatomy and genetics have faced minor alterations since the stone age, modern humans should also eat food like Paleolithic people did to promote good health. This "stone age" diet hit a peak in 2014 as it appealed to consumers' desire to eat mindfully and healthfully. The paleo diet focuses on consuming food obtained through fishing, gathering, and hunting. They include fruits, organic meat, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fish.
Foods to eat and avoid on a paleo diet
- The Paleo diet encourages limiting food staples obtained from agricultural practices. These food staples include dairy products, grains, and legumes. The Paleo diet also rejects modern-day refined foods loaded with sodium, leading to many chronic diseases.
- The Paleo diet only allows you to eat lean meat obtained from grass-fed livestock. Processed meat like hotdogs, bacon and canned meat are restricted.
- One of the most common misconceptions about this diet is that it is very low-carb because of the absence of grains. On the contrary, the paleo diet includes vegetables and fruit that quickly provide high or moderate doses of daily carbohydrates.
Benefits of the paleo diet
- Paleo diet relies on meats, so it may help promote a leaner physique and muscle growth.
- Unlike most diets that keep you hungry all the time, the paleo diet focuses on making you feel good and complete; this can lead to significant weight loss.
- Limiting inflammation-causing harmful food options such as refined and processed foods helps prevent certain health conditions.
- It offers you a lot of anti-inflammatory foods, so it helps manage inflammation and related issues.
Drawbacks of the paleo diet
- Because Paleo focuses on high-quality organic whole food from an appropriate natural source, this may make this diet expensive.
- Lack of essential dairy products that are a source of calcium for our body may lead to low tooth and bone density.
- When whole grains are not part of the diet, it decreases fiber intake and can negatively affect the gut microbiota and get health.
Keto Diet Pros & Cons
The keto diet is a special low-carb diet that promotes ketosis in the body. The body has two types of energy sources carbohydrates and fats. When carbohydrates are available, fats are stored and not used as a primary energy source, and carbohydrates become the primary energy source. Carbohydrates were not always available in ancient times, so how did people survive these situations? This philosophy is where the keto diet comes to the rescue. In the absence of carbohydrates, ketosis, a backup energy system, comes into action in which the body runs on ketones and fat for energy.
Ketosis is triggered when a diet contains deficient levels of carbohydrates and a significant drop in insulin and blood sugar levels are detected. As a result, fatty acids are released from fat tissues to produce ketones and energy. These molecules can also cross the blood-brain barrier to fuel or brain when carbs are unavailable.
Foods to eat and avoid on the keto diet
- The Keto diet restricts carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day. You can only eat pasta, baked goods, rice, and potatoes in restricted portions.
- The keto diet encourages people to eat moderate amounts of protein by incorporating nuts, seeds, yogurt, and lean meat. Proteins keep you feel full for a longer time which may help weight loss.
- The Keto diet is high in fat, and about 60 to 80% of daily calories come from fats. However, only Omega 3 fats and unsaturated fats are allowed, which are the healthiest options. Fats are part of the diet from eating seeds, nuts, avocado, olive oil, and seafood.
Pros of the keto diet
- Some recent studies also suggest that ketone produced during ketosis has neuroprotective benefits that protect and strengthen nerve and brain cells.
- Keto diet may also reduce acne symptoms linked to carbohydrates and blood sugar levels.
- Studies indicate that the keto diet may be an effective diet to lose weight quickly.
- Ketogenic diet may also benefit adults with epilepsy; it has been proven to reduce the frequency of seizures in adult patients following a keto diet.
- It allows the person to eat high-fat foods restricted by other diets.
- Following a keto diet may help manage certain diseases such as diabetes.
Drawbacks of the keto diet
- Keto diet has very rigid rules, making it difficult for people to comply. It becomes challenging to dine out with friends and family if you are on a keto diet. When the body is transitioning toward a low-fat diet, the person has to bear the body's protest during this time. The excellent news for keto diet followers is that you can follow a "lazy keto diet" if you cannot obey the strict eating rules. It limits your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day, allowing you to eat as much fat and protein as possible. This diet is suitable for people who want to follow a diet but find it hard to sustain it initially.
- Since the keto diet restricts the use of many fruits and vegetables, it may lead to nutrient deficiency. Some people also report "keto flu," a condition that includes constipation, lethargy, and brain fog.
- As the keto diet encourages high levels of saturated fat, it may have drastic effects on heart health.
Paleo vs. Keto Diet: the similarity
On a basic level, when comparing forbidden and allowed food options, keto and paleo diets look very similar. Let's take a look at how these two diets are identical.
Both the keto and paleo diets offer a chance to eat only clean food. The menus incorporate whole foods, which means avoiding highly processed sugar foods and different types of harmful oils.
Both diet plans include protein from an animal source. The Paleo diet is specific with the head, emphasizing wild-caught fish and meats. The keto plan is not clear about the start of the animal protein, but it prefers fatty cuts of fish and meat.
Avoid grains and legumes.
Both diets avoid grains and legumes and encourage carbohydrate consumption in moderation if you talk about carbohydrates. The Keto diet provides energy by burning fat which produces ketones in the body, while the paleo diet provides power by using fats and proteins. Consequently, both diets lead to a loss of weight.
We notice high-fat components in both diets, such as avocado, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds. The keto diet's high-fat ingredients are to ensure that ketosis gets triggered; paleo high-fat content maintains satiety.
Paleo vs. Keto Diet: differences
Variety of food
When it comes to Keto versus paleo, the most significant difference is the variety of food choices allowed for each. While the eating rules of the keto diet are pretty rigid, the paleo diet is flexible, concentrating on simplifying the types of food.
The Keto diet is concerned with limiting carbs, so the body remains in ketosis; you have to cut out large quantities of plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The Paleo diet plan encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables because its focus is on the wholeness and quality of the food rather than the number of carbohydrates consumed.
The keto diet emphasizes the volume of fat coming into the body and is not focused on the source of fats. Some oils and dairy are a big no-no on a paleo diet plan are allowed on the keto diet.
When comparing Keto versus paleo, the most crucial factor to consider is your fitness goals and whether these diets fit your lifestyle. Either diet could be a good choice if you look to reduce weight, decrease the risk of some disease or address some metabolic condition.
However, don't forget to consider your activity level, time to shop for food and prepare palatable meals, and pre-existing health concerns. These factors will eventually decide which health plans a good fit is for you.
It would be wise to consult a dietitian or doctor before starting significant dietary changes in your life, especially if you are suffering from some health issue.
Don't push yourself above your limits, whether you select a keto meal plan or paleo diet plan. Dieting is not for everyone, and it's okay to fail initially, and it will not be tough to comply once you get the hang of it.
Caution before starting any new diet program
We strongly recommend that people reading this article discuss their health condition with their dietitians or doctors to decide the kind of diet safe. If you follow any diet without professional consultation, it may result in unhealthy consequences. This article is not Intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health issues.