The Difference Between Paleo and Ketogenic Diets

Is today the day you’re going to get serious about dieting? Good for you!

There is a ton of buzz about Paleo diets and Keto diets. Anyone looking to lose weight and regain their health has seen articles about these two types of diet plans. Both of these diets work amazingly well for thousands of people. Either one can change your life for the better. But which one should you choose?

In this blog, we’ll look into the differences between Keto and Paleo diets so that you can determine which one suits you better.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

You’ve probably heard of the Atkins Diet. It is a low-carb, high-protein, and fat diet. The Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) or Keto diet is similar to Atkins because it’s high in fat and protein, but low in carbs.  Say goodbye to sugar, sodas, and bread. A typical Keto diet uses 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.

By combining fasting, avoiding carbohydrates, and adding dietary fat, the body enters a state of Ketosis. Ketosis is where the body burns calories from stored fat rather than food.  Medical professionals use this diet to help patients reduce weight quickly and manage other health problems. Consult a physician before beginning this diet to monitor insulin levels and whether your body is in a state of Ketosis.

Benefits of a Keto Diet

One study concluded that a Ketogenic diet reduced hunger and food intake “significantly more” than other diets with higher carbs. Motivated type 2 diabetes patients in the study were able to reduce or eliminate their medication using this diet along with exercise.

Other studies measured benefits that included:

  • Faster and greater weight loss
  • Stabilized blood glucose levels
  • Stabilized insulin levels
  • Lower blood LCD and glucose
  • Increased levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol)

Other health issues that reportedly improve while on a Keto diet include:

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Reynaud’s Phenomenon (blood vessel constriction)
  • Celiac disease
  • Hashimotos Thyroiditis
  • Stomach issues
  • Acne

You can lose weight quickly with a Keto diet, but it can be a drastic change to your body. It’s best to start this diet under medical supervision.

What Can You Eat?

Your goal for shopping is to buy whole, single-ingredient foods that are unprocessed. Whenever possible, look for descriptions like grass-fed, organic, and unbleached. Here the primary categories of foods you can eat on a Keto Diet:

  • Meat – Red or poultry
  • Fish – Rich in omega-3 oils like salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • Eggs – Free-range and omega-3
  • Butter and cream – Organic, grass-fed if possible
  • Cheese – Unprocessed
  • Nuts and seeds - Any kind
  • Non-Hydrogenated oils - Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Avocados – Fresh or frozen pulp
  • Low-carb vegetables – No potatoes, squash, pumpkins, peas or corn
  • Keto Desserts

It’s not a bland, tasteless diet. You can add salt, pepper, chilis, spices, and herbs to make delicious meals. For example, a typical meal plan for a Keto diet looks like this:

Breakfast - Two eggs fried in ghee or clarified butter served with sautéed greens.

Lunch - A beef burger (no bun) topped with cheese, mushrooms, and avocado. A side salad of greens an extra virgin olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Dinner – Two pork chops with green beans and onions sautéed in coconut oil with basil and chili flakes.

As you can see, lots of protein and fat without carbs. However, it can be hard for some people to ingest that much extra fat like butter, cream, oils, and other fats.

What is a Paleo Diet?

The term “Paleo” is a short form of Paleolithic. The Paleolithic era was when the cavemen lived, from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The Paleo diet is a modern view of what early man would have eaten as they began to farm around 10,000 years ago.

It doesn’t mean you’re going to scrounge around for acorns in your backyard, just avoid processed foods or artificial ingredients. The idea is to mimic the early hunter-gatherer diet, a more natural way to eat. Back then, there was no refined sugar, "hydrogenated" oils, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, processed foods, dairy, legumes like lentils, or grains. You avoid eating these things to keep your body healthier.

Benefits of a Paleo Diet

There have been multiple medical studies of people using this diet. Some of the benefits include:

  • A greater reduction in weight and waist circumference, compared to a Mediterranean-like diet.
  • Better glycemic control
  • Significant reductions in liver fat (up to 47% in a 5-week trial)
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • A slight drop in blood pressure

Reducing body fat has proven health benefits. The Paleo diet is a sustainable method to lose weight and keep it off.

What Can You Eat?

You can eat the same foods as listed on the Keto diet above. The good news is that you can also add:

  • Fruits - Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, and blueberries
  • Tubers - Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and turnips
  • Gourds – Pumpkins and squashes

However, you’ll want to avoid legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.

There are many ways to follow this diet. The key idea is to avoid processed foods. Instead, focus on healthy, whole foods.

The Difference Between These Two Healthy Diets

A Keto diet is more clinical, measuring macronutrients. It focuses on burning body fat instead of carbs. Because this is more of a medical approach, it requires testing for Ketosis to see if your body has achieved it.

A significant difference between the two is that you can eat fruits, starchy roots, and vegetables on the Paleo diet, but no dairy products. The Keto diet is just the opposite.

Help for Sticking with Your Diet

As with any diet program, it’s a change to your daily habits, and habits are hard to change. It’s tough to give up a lifestyle that you’ve lived for so long. And, backsliding on your diet only takes longer to see positive results. We know because we live the lifestyle too.

At PBH Foods, we’ve developed delicious treats without the added junk you find in store-bought food. They will help you squash those cravings for something sweet while on your journey to new healthy living. We bake fresh cookies, cinnamon rolls, and donuts, especially for these diets. Check out our selection of Paleo and Keto baked goods here.

Which diet is best for you? The one you can live with long-term is the best choice. You may need to try both to decide.

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