When it comes to weight loss, there are different types of diets available. Besides helping you to lose weight, these diet forms could even provide benefits in terms of your body’s health.
There are different reasons for which you may choose a diet, be it aiming at improving your metabolism, achieving better overall health, or losing weight.
Two of the most popular diets available presently are the Paleo and the keto diets.
The major aim of these diets is to modify your lifestyle by helping you to focus on certain limited food items and be mindful of your food choices.
When you focus on any one of these diets, then your major aim will be to eliminate ingredients like refined sugar or whole grains and instead focus on the real whole foods that may have lower carbs.
However, though Paleo and keto diets may have certain common characteristics, each of these diets is unique in its form.
So if you are looking out to know the differences between these diets and learn which one is ideal for you, then this article may be the right place for you.
What Is The Paleo Diet?
With the major focus on foods that are high in fiber and protein, the Paleo diet may intensify the importance of quality foods that will support your digestive health.
Along with this, the Paleo diet could be beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels, helping with type 2 diabetes, and may also improve your cardiovascular health.
This diet may look simple as it could focus on two major things, plants and animals. Specifically, it would focus on different food groups such as meat products, leafy green vegetables, high-fat foods, etc.
What Is Keto Diet?
Also referred to as the ketogenic diet, the keto diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet. The major aim of this diet is to enable your body to go into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a process in which your body relies on fat for fuel as it is designed to reduce carbs intake. The primary target of this diet may be to help you lose weight.
However, at the same time, it could even be used for people who want to improve their overall health and cognitive functions.
The reason behind the efficacious nature of the keto diet in supporting weight loss might be that it may help your body to learn how to burn fat by entering the state of ketosis.
Once the fatty acids are burned by the body for energy, they will produce ketones. However, to help your body learn about the state of ketosis, you must restrict the cabs which you get from your diet.
At the same time, you will have to amplify the consumption of fat which could be used for energy.
If you wish to enter the state of ketosis then you will have to stick to certain macro requirements like getting 75% of the calories from fat, 5% from carbohydrates, and 20% from protein.
When you eliminate different high-carb foods and intensify the consumption of fat items, then your body will have no choice other than to resort to fat options for energy.
The different food items you may consider removing from your diet when you focus on a keto diet are starchy vegetables, natural sugars like white sugar, fruits like mangoes, etc.
Difference Between Paleo And Keto Diets
The Paleo Diet May Not Be Low Carb And High Fat Diet
The paleo diet does not have any demands on the number of carbs you may eat. So you could add fruits and starchy vegetables to your paleo diet, like pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash.
At the same time, you can even use the natural sweeteners in the paleo diet, like coconut nectar, pure Maple syrup, or honey all of which may have more carbs.
Since the Paleo diet does not restrict your carb consumption, your body may continue using glucose for energy unless you deliberately cut off your carb consumption to a low percentage.
Lesser Withdrawl Symptoms With The Paleo Diet
Generally, the paleo diet may not be related to withdrawal symptoms. This is because when you cut off sugar and greens from your diet, you may experience a few sugar cravings.
However, apart from that, there are very few short-term side effects when you switch to a paleo diet. On the other hand, when you follow the keto diet, there could be mild symptoms that may last for up to two weeks.
The symptoms which you face when you follow a keto diet are also referred to as the keto flu and they could include nausea, lethargy, headaches, and grogginess.
Specific Measuring Percentage In The Keto Diet
In case you want your keto diet to function efficiently, then you may have to adhere to a specific percentage of the macronutrients.
If you do not follow this macronutrient percentage, then your body might not be able to enter the ketosis process and hence, the major aim of the keto diet would lag.
These standard keto diet percentages include 75% fat, 5% carbs, and 20% proteins. On the other hand, you do not have to follow any specific macronutrient percentages in a paleo diet.
Testing Required In The Keto Diet
The major aim of the keto diet could be for helping your body enter into a state of ketosis. Moreover, you will have to substantiate whether your body has entered into the state of ketosis or not by testing for it.
Different testing methods can help to detect the ketone bodies in your blood. However, there is no such testing required in the paleo diet because your body may not enter into the state of ketosis in this diet.
Similarities In The Paleo And Keto Diets
Eliminating The Same Food Groups
There are certain food groups that both these diets eliminate, like legumes, grains, and refined sugar. However, the reasons behind eliminating these food groups are different for both these diets.
The keto diet eliminates these food groups as they are considered higher in carbs. However, the major reason behind eliminating these food groups in the paleo diet is because of the anti-nutrient content.
Numerous Health Benefits
Both the keto and the Paleo diet forms may provide several health benefits apart from losing weight.
These diets could maintain your blood pressure, improve your overall health, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and may also balance your blood sugar levels.
At the same time, both these diets could even help in treating different autoimmune conditions like ulcerated colitis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease.
Focusing On Real Foods
Both the Paleo and the Keto diets could be aiming at avoiding processed foods and focusing on real food items. Due to this, you would have to focus on quality foods while you consider one of these diets as per your health requirements.
By now you may know which diet might be ideal for you. A Paleo diet could be a better option in terms of your overall health.
Moreover, this diet is less restrictive and it includes lean protein, vegetables, and fruit options. However, if you are strictly thinking to lose weight then the keto diet might be beneficial for you.
The choice of diet varies from person to person. Moreover, the benefits these diets provide to people also differ under different circumstances.
So based on the food list, similarities, and differences of both these diets, you can know which one may be right for you.
However, before beginning to follow any particular diet it is best to consult your nutritionist who could guide you better as per your body type and requirements.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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- Abbi R. Hernandez, Caesar M. Hernandez, Keila Campos, et. al. A Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognition and Has Biochemical Effects in Prefrontal Cortex That Are Dissociable From Hippocampus. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018; 10: 391. Published online 2018 Dec 3. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00391.
- Hussein M Dashti, Thazhumpal C Mathew, Talib Hussein, et. al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004 Fall; 9(3): 200–205
- Eric W Manheimer, Esther J van Zuuren, Zbys Fedorowicz, et. al. Paleolithic nutrition for metabolic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis1,2. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct; 102(4): 922–932. Published online 2015 Aug 12. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.113613.
- Wajeed Masood; Pavan Annamaraju; and Kalyan R. Uppaluri. Ketogenic Diet. Date of Update: June 11, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
- Ju Young Kim. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 Mar 30; 30(1): 20–31. Published online 2020 Oct 27. doi: 10.7570/jomes20065.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.