There is no denying that both the keto and Paleo diet are amongst the most popular diets around today. You may of had the same thought that I was having and that is which one is the best option because both diets share a few similarities.
From what I gather the main differences between the two are that different foods are allowed and band by each and both diets affect the body in different ways. So lets take a deep dive into both diets to see how they work
Lets start with the keto diet which helps you to lose weight by enetering into a state known as ketosis where your body switches from using carbs as a source of fuel to using fats instead which results in you losing weight. The Paleo diet on the other hand works by elimanting foods that would never of been around during the stone age so the food sources are based on more natural foods that come straight from nature and haven’t been through any sort of processing.
The ketogenic state of burning fat is reached by creating a balance of macronutrients, carbs, protein and fat and the balance of food looks something like this
As you can see there is large emphasis on fats more than anything else and the reason for this is that fats don’t raise Insulin levels as much as Carbs would and this matters because higher levels of Insulin prevent fat from being broken down and used for energy. The keto diet doesn’t put limits on portion sizes or make any use of calorie counting which is a relief in my opinion
The Paleo diet uses leaner protein(mainly animal protein) cuts out a lot of dairy products and makes use of fiber as its main source these food soures include meat, fruit and veg. Whole grains and Legumes are considered healthy but are band in the Paleo diet and just like the Keto diet low levels of carbs are focused on
So lets take a look at the similarities between the two. Both diets encourage the use of whole foods and strongly discourage eating processed foods, Both of them encourage a low to very low carb intake, Legumes and grains are band on both diets, Both of them encourge the use of animal sources for your protein intake and only certain types of fats and vegetables are recommended. Despite the fact that they are both diets their philosophies differ, the paleo is more of a back to basics type of eating lifestyle that focuses on whole foods that cavemen would of eaten where as the keto diet system is a system that is focused on getting your body to burn fat as a source of fuel instead of glucose
Here is a list of the foods that both diets recommend: Nuts, Seafood(fatty fish), eggs, meat (as long as its un processed), non starchy veg, healthy fats like nut oil and avocado oil.
Which diet has the most restrictions?
Well looking at the keto diet it resticts things like starchy fruit and vegtables because they are considered to be too high in carb content and a keto diet has to have a maximum of 50g of carbs a day to keep you in ketosis. The Paleo is not as strict when it comes to the carbs and gives you more variety than the keto diet does which makes it easier to adapt and stick to. The Paleo also allows more variety when it comes to vegtables so over all the Keto is more restrictive than the Paleo diet but there is a good reason for this.
If you’re diabetic the lower carb intake would be better suited to your lifestyle and the lower levels of carbs mean a lower prescence of Insulin in the bloodstream and as I mentioned before Insulin blocks fat loss. The ketogenic diet is also recommended by the Epilepsy foundation as a means to control seizures and has also been reported to help people who are sufferring with conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. One other thing I would like to point out is that the Keto diet has scientific backing where as there is almost none to back up the Paleo diet.
A case that can be made for the Paleo diet is that unlike the Keto diet there aren’t really any side effects with the Paleo diet where as with the keto its possible to have side effects like keto breath, keto flu, headaches, nausea and lethargy but these can be countered by using certain supplements
“Konstantinos Spaniolas, Associate Director of the Stony Brook Metabolic and Bariatric Weight Loss Center in New York, says that people successfully lose weight on keto because they tend to eat less.” — Quote
Eating a higher amount of fat gives you a sense of fullness and reduces hunger which is a good thing as you’ll gain the self discipline of eating less so you’ll have far fewer cravings which is also another benefit of the keto diet and yet another reason that backs up its effectiveness in helping you to lose weight
So now the real question is where does that leave you. Well my answer to that is you need to consider if you can live with a restrictive food intake like the keto and wheather or not you want to take the supplements to aid with the process. Adjusting to a low carb intake can be a challenge especially as western culture involves quite a large carb intake but if you can then the keto diet may well be for you
If on the other hand you want a bit more variety in your diet then the Paleo diet maybe the way for you to go as it allows more carbs and veg and doesn’t have any of the side effects that the keto diet has but in either case you should base your diet on your current health and any conditions you may have.