Thanks to Robert Atkins, low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets such as Paleo and Keto have become very popular, but what’s best for health and weight loss?
The Paleo and Ketogenic Diets are similar in some ways, but the variations in principles make them unique from one another, often with different outcomes.
Paleo & Keto are two low-carb diets and two distinct ways of thinking about health.
The Keto Diet eventuated as a dietary intervention for conditions like epilepsy. More recently, it has been shown to have promising results in reversing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. There are also studies being conducted on Alzheimer’s Disease.
The objective of Keto is to force the body into a state of ketosis.
With a Ketogenic Diet plan, you reach ketosis by drastically limiting carbohydrate intake compared to modern high carb/sugar foods while significantly increasing fat intake.
The Keto Diet prescribes that dieters eat 70% of their calories in fat, 5% of their calories from carbohydrates, and 25% from protein (Be aware that too much protein is bad for Ketosis). That’s lots of fat. Paleo doesn’t do macros like that.
For example; A Keto meal may include a moderate portion of beef, some cruciferous vegetables, and a significant amount of fat, typically oil, cream, or butter. It’s a true Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet (LCHF Diet).
What is the Paleo Diet (Paleolithic Diet)?
The Paleo Diet concentrates more on eating meat because ancient cave dwellers had no access to grain and processed foods.
Thus they had no other option than to consume a diet primarily composed of protein and fat.
Practitioners of Paleo focus on getting nutrition from animal products that are low in carbs and high in protein. Paleo dieters avoid foods that are processed, such as dairy.
Paleo experts believe that eliminating modern day inventions such as processed food should eliminate or reduce many present day ailments.
In other words, they say that Paleo makes you healthier because we haven’t evolved to eat modern-day rubbish (sounds fair).
The Paleo Diet concentrates on manipulating the three macronutrients, protein, carbs, and fat, for optimal health.
The Paleo Diet is much more about the food options
On a Paleo Diet, you remove milk, grains, and processed foods, but you can balance the macronutrients any way you desire.
In comparison, Keto sticks to the calculated macronutrients to achieve ketosis. (that’s the simplest way I can put it without writing a novel on it).
You can use our Keto Calculator to check your macronutrients if you’re interested.
Keto vs. Paleo Diet
The most common reason many people begin either of these diets (or most diets) is more often than not for weight loss, which isn’t the original intention of either Paleo or Keto diets.
Besides, most experts in both Ketogenic Diets and Paleolithic Diets advise that diets are a new way of eating rather than a short term fix for summer bodies.
While differing in many ways, the similarities are:
- Both Keto and Paleo are a low-carb way of eating.
- Both Keto and Paleo encourage weight loss and make it much easier to sustain than the severe calorie-restricted food pyramid diets.
- Neither Keto nor Paleo should leave you hungry if you plan them properly.
There isn’t any point in getting into the argument of Keto vs. Paleo here. However, it’s easy to pick a fight with someone’s diet that doesn’t fit with what you believe. I suggest for your sanity and everyone else’s that you avoid doing that.
The majority of people who swear by Paleo won’t ever be convinced of the benefits of Keto, even if presented with scientific proof. Likewise, neither will Keto Diet die hards be swayed by any argument or evidence submitted by Paleo lovers.
What should you do, Paleo or Keto?
Obviously, I and everyone else at My Keto Kitchen do a Ketogenic Diet, but that is not to say that the Paleo Diet won’t suit you.
I personally choose to eat Keto because when my diet is optimised so that my body uses fat for fuel I:
- Eat less as I am not as hungry due to ghrelin suppression (hunger hormone)
- I’m a lot calmer and more focussed
- And I have a lot more sustained energy for longer periods of time rather than the peaks and troughs that higher carbs provide.
Educate yourself and read everything you can by the experts in both the Keto Diet and the Paleo Diet.
“Whatever you do (in anything, not just diet) find out from the most qualified and intelligent people in the field before taking advice from websites (yes even ours), forums, social media, or those at the gym.”
Two places to start reading:
For the Keto Diet, read The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. By Doctors Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney.
And for Paleo, read The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain.
If you’re still undecided after reading both of those books, you will at least be well-read on both diets.