Keto Diet Vs Paleo Diet: Which Is Better?
There is no dearth of diet plans available on the internet right now.
In fact, there are so many choices available that you are going to be spending a lot of time just browsing through these options instead of starting your weight loss journey!
Out of all the diet plans posted online, very few actually work and are practical enough to continue for an extended period of time.
Two such options are the keto and paleo diets.
Many people confuse keto and paleo diets, and even use them interchangeably.
However, they are very different from one another in reality.
This article is going to help you pick the right diet for your food habits and lifestyle in a matter of minutes!
What is a paleo diet?
The paleo diet simply replicates the food habits of the cavemen.
The Paleolithic era is called the Old Stone Age and was the time when ancient men and women learned to use stones as tools.
Thanks to these newly found tools, the cavemen were able to hunt animals and fishes.
They were also able to reach fruits and nuts that grew on tall trees and dig out roots and tubers from deep underground.
During the 1970s, a gastroenterologist came up with the idea that the human body is designed to flourish on the foods that were available for the cavemen. And hence the paleo diet.
This was the starting point of the diet and people have been experimenting with the Paleolithic diet ever since.
The history of the keto diet
The keto diet is based on the fact that people’s bodies reacted better to more fat and lesser carbohydrates.
This is one of the several Low Carbohydrates High Fat (LCHF) diets that people follow extensively.
The diet became popular in the year 1923 as a cure for people with epilepsy.
It slowly disappeared post 1930s after epilepsy medication became popular and has surfaced back again now, thanks to the low-carb fad.
What are the similarities between these diets?
Here are some of the notable similarities between these diets.
- Both diets prevent consumption of direct sugar
- The diets eliminate all processed foods
- Both diets consider good fats healthy
- These diets do not include grains, pulses, and legumes
- Both diets aid weight loss
- These diets keep you active and energetic
The paleo diet is not completely carbohydrate-free. It only asks you to eliminate processed and refined carbohydrates from your diet like rice, wheat, and foods made with refined flour (maida).
The common carbohydrates you are allowed to eat on a paleo diet are potatoes, yam, beetroot, plantains, and almost all fruits and nuts.
In fact, there is no restriction on the amount of carbs you can consume while on a paleo diet.
You can eat your heart’s content except that you stay away from any carbohydrate that was processed in an industry or factory before reaching you.
The keto diet is based on the production of ketones in your body. Ketones burn the stored fat, helping with weight loss. It is, therefore, essential that you completely stay away from carbohydrates (both processed and unprocessed).
Your allowed carbohydrate intake for the day has to be <5% of your total caloric intake.
The keto diet only works as long as you deprive your body of the glucose you get from consuming carbohydrates.
In theory, the Paleolithic people did not rear animals for milk. Milk and all its byproducts like butter, cheese, yogurt, and cream were not heard of or used during this era.
This means that you also have to stay away from milk and all its derivatives.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the keto diet depends a lot on the amount of dairy you consume. Since 75% of your calorie intake has to be fats, you will be required to use generous amounts of dairy products in all that you cook.
Some of the most loved and allowed dairy products in a keto diet are:
- Unprocessed cheese
- Full-fat yogurt
- Full-fat cream
- Cottage cheese (paneer)
Artificial sweeteners/ natural sugar alternatives
Anything artificial or processed is an absolute no in the paleo diet.
Usually, the most difficult part of this diet for beginners would be this complete ‘sugar’ elimination.
Except for the sweetness derived from fruits, you cannot eat anything else to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Keto is a little more flexible here. You can choose artificial sweeteners to make your keto desserts tastier.
For people who want to stay away from chemically made sweeteners, natural alternatives like stevia and erythritol are also available.
These are safer and healthier alternatives that are equally sweet like sugar.
If you are a person who just cannot stay away from the temptations of sugary treats, keto may work for you better than paleo.
A very concerning problem with the paleo diet is that there are no set standards when it comes to meal plans. All the diet asks you to do is eliminate processed foods and stick to natural forms of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Some people end up gorging on excessive fats and deep-fried meat along with consuming starchy vegetables and fruits all through the day. This, if unmonitored, can actually induce weight gain!
It is very important for you to also track your calories consumed during the day and ensure you do not overeat.
With the right diet, paleo does induce weight loss, but it happens gradually.
Keto is perfect if you want to lose excess weight in a limited span of time. The minute you push your body into ketosis (the state of production of ketones), you will keep losing weight. You can enjoy the weight loss as long as you stay in this state.
It is impossible for you to gain weight with keto because you have eliminated carbohydrates completely.
What’s the verdict?
The diet plan that works for you depends on how much weight you want to lose and how dedicated you are to the diet.
For people who want a lifestyle change rather than a short-term diet, the paleo seems like a better option. It is more flexible and allows you to eat all vegetables and fruits, keeping you healthier.
Nutrition-wise, the paleo again is the winner as your body gets all macro and micronutrients from natural foods.
For people aiming majorly at weight loss, the keto can provide better results. Keto is also great for those looking to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Paleo does not help diabetics as well as the keto diet. Keto is also a diet chosen as a cure for various other lifestyle diseases.
Keto requires a little more planning and is more stringent in the food options allowed. However, paleo food choices can get very monotonous after a while.
Weigh the pros and cons of both the diets and pick the one that you are confident you can stick with comfortably. Both diets are very beneficial for the human body at the end of the day.