Similar, but not entirely, keto and paleo diets are among the most popular diets today. We will agree that they share some similarities, but they also have significant differences in the foods that should be consumed, their impact on the body and the overall health effects.
The ketogenic (keto) diet focuses on balancing micronutrients in order to enter ketosis and burn fat.
While the Paleolithic (paleo) diet emphasizes foods that people consumed during the Stone Age. The aim is to exclude processed foods.
Today we will look at the differences between the two diets, as well as their benefits and possible side effects.
What are the keto and paleo diets?
The keto diet aims to induce ketosis through a certain amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, namely:
- Fat: 65-90%
- Protein: 10-30%
- Carbohydrates: less than 5%
Compared to the “standard” diet, the distribution of macronutrients in the keto diet changes significantly in favor of fat, with a moderate intake of protein and very few carbohydrates.
The goal of achieving ketosis is to cause, in the first place, metabolic breakdown of body fat. This helps to lose weight and promote overall health.
The Paleo diet, also called the “cave” diet, is based on the principle that eating foods that were available to our early predecessors can promote optimal health.
Paleo eliminates cereals, legumes, processed sugar and most sources of dairy products.
Differences between keto and paleo diet
For starters, keto and paleo diets exclude different types of foods from the menu. The keto diet excludes foods high in sugar, while the paleo diet allows some natural sweeteners. They also have different restrictions on meat, vegetables and dairy products.
In the following lines, we will look at the key differences between the keto and paleo diets separately.
- Keto and paleo diet in terms of processed meat
The paleo diet excludes processed meats (bacon, salami, ham), as they are the result of modern food processing techniques. According to some people, minimally processed bacon without preservatives is acceptable in the paleo diet, while for others it is not suitable.
The keto diet allows these types of meat only if they do not contain sugar and carbohydrates. This would prevent the body from reaching ketosis.
- Sugar and sweeteners
The paleo diet allows some “natural” sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup. But exclude artificial ones, as they are the result of modern technology.
The keto diet allows some artificial sweeteners, as long as they do not contain sugar. People on this regimen most often rely on stevia and sucralose. However, exclude honey, maple syrup or other products that contain natural sugar or fructose.
- Keto and paleo diet: Starchy vegetables
Some nutrient-rich vegetables are actually high in starch or carbohydrates. They are not compatible with the keto diet because they can interrupt ketosis.
The paleo diet allows moderate consumption of such vegetables. A person who follows the paleo diet can safely eat sweet potatoes, beets and carrots, for example.
- The fruits
A person who follows a paleo diet can eat all kinds of fruits
The keto diet is stricter with fruits because they contain sugar. To keep the body in a state of ketosis, one should eat only fruits with lower sugar levels and in small quantities. Such are the berries.
- Keto and paleo diet compared to dairy products
If you are on a paleo diet, you cannot eat cheese, milk, cream or other dairy products because Paleolithic people did not consume them. Unsweetened nut milks that do not contain artificial additives are allowed.
The keto diet allows dairy products high in fat and protein. One can also consume products that contain artificial sweeteners, but in moderation.
Similarities between the keto and paleo diet
Not to mention that there are things that the keto and paleo diets are similar. Both regimens encourage the consumption of many nutritious foods and exclude highly processed foods.
Both include low carbohydrate intake and exclude the consumption of cereals and legumes. They emphasize meat and recommend similar types of fats and vegetables. At the same time, the keto and paleo diets exclude many unhealthy foods.
Perhaps the most important similarity, however, is that the keto and paleo diets promote lower carbohydrate intake than traditional weight loss regimens. They usually emphasize low calorie or fat.
Keto and paleo diet – which is better for weight loss?
Every diet emphasizes foods that are good for weight loss, such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, but you will still need to eat fewer calories to lose a few pounds. So, if you focus on a lot of nuts and fruits, you could actually gain weight on a paleo diet.
Ketosis is also not a magic recipe for weight loss.
These results can be short-lived, because when people get out of ketosis, the appetite returns and so do the pounds.
That is why we advise you, whether you rely on the keto or paleo diet, to stick to balance and still limit portions as much as possible. Of course, you need to find out which mode works for you personally.
You may not be able to lose weight with the keto diet, but this can be done with the paleo diet or vice versa. It’s all a matter of the body.
Possible side effects of the keto and paleo diet
People who follow a keto diet may experience side effects associated with entering a state of ketosis. These include bad breath, skin rash and keto flu. Symptoms of keto flu include headache, lethargy, nausea, insomnia, reduced ability to work, constipation and low libido.
With a paleo diet, you will not experience these symptoms, as it does not lead to a state of ketosis. Some supplements can help deal with side effects.
When following a paleo diet, there is a risk of calcium deficiency, as it excludes dairy products.
Keep in mind that whatever diet that eliminates certain food groups you follow, you need to make sure that it meets your daily needs to avoid deficiencies.
Anyone considering making a new and drastic change in their diet should first consult a specialist. This is especially important for people who have chronic diseases! These conditions are also valid if you have decided to join the supporters of the keto and paleo diet.