keto vs paleo

Keto vs Paleo: Which is the better option for you?

Keto vs Paleo: How to choose the best option for you

Going on a diet means different things for many people. While some associate diets with weight loss for others, choosing a diet is one of the easiest ways to eat healthily.


However with so many options available how can you decide which diet is best for you. Take for example two of the most popular diets right now, keto and paleo.


How do you decide between going on keto vs paleo? They’re both considered low-carb yet with very different approaches.


Well, to make your decision, you need to first access your needs. Do you need to lose weight fast or do you want a diet that can help you eat better?


In this article, we are going to talk about both these diets. What foods you can eat, what foods aren’t allowed, we even consider their similarities and differences.


Lastly, we cover important considerations you must make when deciding between keto and paleo;



What is a ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat approach to eating.


The goal of the diet is to drastically reduce carbs in order to put your body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy rather than glucose.


But isn’t that happens?


Well, you might think so but not quite, you see in a normal metabolic state, your body breaks down carbs into glucose and uses it as an instant source of energy.


This is because of all food groups, carbs are easier to break down and hence the preferred source of energy.


However, with the ketogenic diet, you’re only allowed 20 – 50grams of carbs, with the majority of your calories coming from healthy fats.


This drastic reduction in carbs means that your body has to find another source of energy and the next best thing is fat.  This drastic reduction in carbs is what makes this diet one of the best ways to lose weight.


However, despite its weight loss popularity, this diet was first developed as a treatment option for epileptic children due to its health benefits.


In order to achieve this magical fat-burning state of ketosis, what you eat is very important. You will need to eat the right ketogenic foods and avoid foods not recommended on the diet.



what to eat on keto


The keto food list

The key to keto success is limiting your carbs daily. This means only eating the recommended 20 – 50grams of carbs and all the other macronutrients in the right amounts.


In order to achieve this, there are the foods you should eat and those you should avoid.



What to eat

1. Meats

Feel free to indulge in fatty cuts of meat chooses from red meats, turkey, chicken, bacon, bison. However be mindful of processed meats as they may be higher in carbs, always check your nutritional label first



2. Fish and seafood: 

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout are your best options. Choose wild-caught fish for the most health benefits



3. Healthy fats

Cook with healthy oils such as coconut, olive, butter, and ghee. Add healthy fats such as avocados to your daily meals.



4. Eggs



5. Low-carb veggies

Choose leafy or green vegetables. The best options include cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. As a general rule, you want to stick with vegetables growing above ground as they’re low-carb



6. High-fat dairy

Indulge in butter, ghee, heavy cream, and your favorite cheese. While you can use milk, use it sparingly as it high in carbs



7. Nuts 

Best options include pecan buts, brazil nuts, macadamia, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds. However, even as a healthy snack, eat them in moderation.



What to avoid

1. Sugar

Avoid Sweets, candy, cakes, chocolate bars, cookies, donuts, breakfast cereals.  Also, cut out any soft drinks, fruit juices, vitamin drinks,



2. Starch

Pasta, rice and wheat-based products. Also cut out potatoes, muesli, porridge



3. Fruit

Cut out all fruit except berries and consider them natural candy.


4. Beer

Avoid alcoholic beverages too such as beer as they’re very high in carbs


5. Legumes

Lentil, chickpeas, peas, beans



6. Root tubers and vegetables

Sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. If it grows underground, cut it off



7. Low-fat products

You wouldn’t think too but avoid all low-fat products as they’re often very high in added sugar to improve the taste.



what to eat on paleo diet


What is a paleo diet

Also known as the caveman or stone-age diet, the paleo diet is designed to eat what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. This includes eating only foods you can hunt or gather.


The basis of the Paleo diet is that human genetics is not fully adapted to modern diets and hence the prevalence of health issues such as lifestyle diseases.


This diet aims to cuts out dietary staples such as dairy and legumes that were introduced during the farming era.


The general idea of the paleo diet is that eating whole foods and leading an active lifestyle is the best way to boost and improve health just like our ancestors did.


Studies done on the benefits of the paleo diet have shown it’s a healthy way to lose weight in addition to improving health.


To get started on the paleo diet is pretty simple and straight forward as you need to start by cutting out processed foods of all types. Here’s a simple paleo food list to guide you



Paleo food list

For the paleo diet, one major consideration is to cut out all foods that have been processed and only eat whole foods. Eat these foods instead



What to eat

1. Meats

Beef, pork, lamb, turkey, and. chicken. In addition consider wild games such as bison, quail, venison and

Choose lean cuts of meats if not always trim off excess fats



2. Fish and seafood

Choose wild-caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, trout and shellfish, etc



3. Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, spinach, carrots, asparagus tomatoes, peppers, etc



4. Healthy fats and oils

Use healthy oils such as coconut, avocado, and olive oil in cooking.



5. Fruits

Eat your favorites. Fruits such as mangoes, cantaloupes, apples, bananas, oranges strawberries, etc



6. Nuts and seeds

Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts  pumpkin seeds etc



What to avoid

1. Dairy and all it’s products

Avoid milk and other dairy products such as cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt, etc.



2. Cereal grains

Wheat and wheat-based products, rice, oats, rye, barley. In addition, avoid pasta and all types of bread



3. Legumes

Avoid high-fiber legumes such as chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils, etc.



4. Sugar

Cut out soft drinks,  fruit juices, vitamin drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks. Also, cut out cakes, pastries, cookies, etc.



5. Artificial sweeteners



6. Processed meats

Avoid any processed meats such as sausages, hams, beef jerky, cold cuts, etc. This also includes all types of cured meats



7. Processed foods


What are the similarities: Keto vs Paleo

Even though keto and paleo might seem like very different diets due to their approaches. They actually have a few similarities in common. These include;



1. Both focus on eating whole foods

Whole foods are foods that have undergone minimal processing and hence retain much of their nutrition and health benefits.


And this is one of the major similarities between paleo and keto diet is that they focus on whole foods. They both include lots of vegetables, healthy fats, high-protein foods such as salmon and tuna



2. Both eliminate legumes and grains

While the paleo diet eliminates legumes and grains as they were introduced during the farming era, the keto diet eliminates these foods due to their high carb content.


And this similarity has often been a point of controversy for both diets as high-fiber legumes and grains have been shown to be an important part of any healthy diet.


This is because research has shown that countries with more fiber intake tend to have lower rates of some cancers such as colon cancer.


This is in addition to other health benefits of eating foods rich in fiber.



3. Both avoid added sugar

Added sugar is one of the most prevalent risks of modern diets and both of these diets have chosen to eliminate it.


While for keto, this is because added sugar will throw you out of ketosis. While for the paleo diet, it’s one of the many processed things that you should avoid on the diet.



4. Both include Healthy fats

Healthy fats are one of the macronutrients that many people tend to ignore but not these two diets.


While on keto, healthy fats are the major macronutrient required to achieve and sustain ketosis. For the paleo diet, healthy fats are included as part of a healthy diet.


Both diets recommend cooking with healthy fats such as coconut oil, and olive oil. In addition, both diets discourage the use of highly processed fats such as trans fat that have been shown to be harmful to your health.



diets for weight loss


5. Both help with weight loss

One of the major reasons people want to learn more about keto vs paleo is that both these diets have been shown to be very effective as weight-loss diets.


Weight loss on the keto diet is primarily due to the reduction in carbs leading to ketosis. And with the body in a fat-burning state, you get almost instant weight loss results in as fast as 1-week.


Not to forget on the keto diet, consumption of healthy fats keeps you full and also a great way to suppress appetite.


While on the paleo diet, you’re also able to lose weight due to the reduction in calories. This is mostly because of the elimination of processed foods and low-carb intake


In addition, the paleo diet is very rich in servings of protein-foods that boost metabolism and also keep you full for longer.



What are the differences: Keto vs Paleo

Even with all these similarities, these diets are not all same. Here are some of the major differences you should know when deciding between keto and paleo;



1. Sugars and sweeteners

The paleo diet allows for natural sweeteners such as raw honey and maple syrup. While the keto diet doesn’t allow for use of these natural sugars on the diet.


However, the keto diet allows for the use of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or stevia. The idea here is that these artificial sweeteners do not contain any sugars and hence will not throw you out of ketosis.


The paleo diet doesn’t allow the use of artificial sweeteners because of the heavy processing that they undergo.



2. Processed meats

The ketogenic diet allows for high-protein processed foods such as sausages, salami, and bacon. This is one of the many reasons this diet is has become very popular.


The only concern with processed meats on keto is added sugar but otherwise, dieters are allowed to eat within the diet guidelines. On the other hand, paleo doesn’t allow for processed meats at all.


Recent research has shown that processed meats can increase the risk of certain cancers. So even for those on keto, they should consider a reduction in the amount of processed meat.


sweet potatoes- paleo foods


3. Starchy vegetables

Starchy vegetables typically grown below ground such as sweet potatoes, carrots and potatoes are allowed on the paleo diet but not on the keto diet.


Even though these vegetables are considered nutritious, on a keto diet, their high-carb content can throw you out of ketosis. This is why they’re not allowed on the diet.



4. Fruit

Fruits are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. They’re full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that boost our health in various ways.


However, some fruits are very high in natural sugars and carbs. It’s for this reason that the keto diet doesn’t allow all fruits and only allows for small servings of berries.


But on the paleo diet, all fruits are allowed. You can enjoy sweet fruits such as mangoes, cantaloupes, and bananas just as much as low-sugar fruits such as strawberries.



Which diet has the worst side effects

As with any change in diet, you can expect some side effects as your body adapts to your new style of eating. However, you can expect more side effects with a ketogenic diet.


As your body adjusts to being a state of ketosis expect side effects such as bad breath, keto headaches, weakness, fatigue, dry mouth, and digestive issues.


However, these symptoms should clear within the first weeks as your body is fully adjusted to burning fat for energy. You will even experience some positive effects such as improved attention and focus once your body is fully adapted.


In comparison, on the paleo diet, you can expect a few digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation as your body adjusts. This also should resolve as your body becomes better adapted.



best diet for weight loss


Which diet will help you lose weight faster?

For many people, the main goal when adopting a diet is to lose weight. Both these diets can help you lose weight. But which diet can help you lose weight faster?


A ketogenic diet should be your first choice.


This is mostly because the keto diet focuses on macronutrients. You know exactly how much you’re supposed to eat which is very important when you’re trying to lose weight.


The drastic reduction in carbs on the keto diet almost guarantees weight loss. In addition, the diet also focuses on high-fat and high protein foods both macronutrients that keep you full for longer and help reduce appetite.


However on the paleo diet, how much is too much? Even though it’s a healthy eating plan, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee weight loss especially for those who want to lose more weight.


In addition, the paleo diet provides no guidelines on macronutrient servings. So if you’re goal is to lose weight and you need to choose between keto vs paleo, choose keto



Keto vs Paleo: Which is better?

If losing weight is not your goal and you just want to adopt a healthy eating plan, then choose a paleo diet.


When you’re comparing keto vs paleo, one thing that stands out the most is sustainability. While the keto diet will help you lose weight fast and even boost your health, it is very hard to manage long-term.


With a ketogenic diet, 75% of your daily calories should come from fats, with 20% from protein foods and only 5% from carbs. While this guideline is very helpful, it’s also very restrictive for most people.


Not to mention, maintaining ketosis requires careful planning that can make life very difficult especially in social events and for those with big families.


Eating this way for life is not very manageable when compared to a paleo diet that does not have macronutrient restrictions.


Also when you compare the keto vs paleo food list, the paleo diet offers more food options It is for these reasons that we recommend the paleo diet as a better option for as a healthy eating plan.



keto vs paleo: which is better?


Final thoughts on Keto vs Paleo

The keto diet is a low-carb high fat and moderate protein diet that emphasizes cutting carbs forcing your body to burn fats for energy. This change in metabolism is known as ketosis.


The diet was created as a treatment option for epileptic children and has quickly risen in popularity as a great option for those who want to lose weight fast.


On the other hand, The paleo diet is a healthy eating approach that focuses on eating only whole foods that you can hunt or gather.


It cuts out all dairy, legumes, and grains introduced during the farming era as advocates of the diet claim the human genetics are not fully adapted to these foods.


A paleo diet is a great option for anyone looking to adopt a healthy eating plan long-term. While the ketogenic diet is a great option if you want to lose weight fast



Keto vs Paleo: Which is the better option for you?