Paleo Vs. Keto
Between these two hot diets on the market, there can only be one contender for your weight loss. So many factors in common, but so many differences at the same time. No matter who you choose they both have their limits, in calories per day that is. Who will it be?
In this corner, we have the paleo diet. He’s been around since the dawn of man. Thousands of years in the making. He’s here to stay even when you complete your diet and continue onto weight maintenance. Some call him Stone Age Diet or The Caveman Diet. Put your hands together for the man of the Paleolithic hour… I mean era, The Paleo Diet.
In the adjacent corner, we have the keto diet, the new guy in town, but he’s fast. Burns fat faster than a speeding bullet (okay maybe not that fast, but faster than any diet I know). Due to the keto flu, you might feel sick before you lose weight, but stick to it and you’ll burn the weight off. Keto’s got some history with diabetes and wins the battle every time. If you need to fight diabetes, consider keto. Let’s get ready to diet!
While each has their pros and cons, it’s important to choose the one you feel is right for you.
What does paleo mean?
Paleo refers to the Paleolithic era when the diet is based from.
What is the paleo diet?
The food on the paleo diet is anti-inflammatory. Paleo foods were easily accessible to our ancestors and easy to digest. Grains and dairy were not easily available to our ancestors and these foods only recently have become more popular in our diet. The age of processed foods is one-hundred years old and it is destroying our gut health. In the past one-hundred years, we’ve seen an increase in obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmunity, and neuron-degeneration. Destruction of the gut wall= disease in the body.
The paleo diet has changed over the years. Depending on what paleo podcast you follow, or paleo dieters, some dieters add a minute amount of dairy or gluten-free grains like rice. I personally cannot consume dairy. Dairy is inflammatory and the symptoms aren’t always easy to notice. Dairy throws off the pH in our body and makes our bodies highly acidic resulting in osteoporosis. Our bones are not dependent on calcium input to thrive, but the acid/base balance in our bodies. Inflammation symptoms:
- headaches and migraines
- tooth and gum health, bad breath, and gingivitis
- gut disease, including indigestion, IBS and leaky gut
- mood swings and anxiety
- sleep disorders and insomnia
- arthritis and stiff joints
Some easy guidelines – if it roams the land, swims, or grew in the ground you can eat it.
According to Healthline.com, this is the Paleo Diet:
- Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, and others.
- Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
- Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
- Healthy fats and oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and others.
- Salt and spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
- What is keto?
What to drink?
Stick to water, tea and/or coffee.
According to Healthline.com, avoid these foods and ingredients:
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream, and many others.
- Grains: Includes bread and pasta, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
- Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairies like butter and cheese).
- Some vegetable oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and others.
- Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
- Highly processed foods: Everything labeled “diet” or “low-fat” or that has many additives. Includes artificial meal replacements.
How to Make Restaurant Meals Paleo
It is fairly easy to make most restaurant meals paleo-friendly. Here are some simple guidelines:
- Order a meat- or fish-based main dish.
- Get extra vegetables instead of bread or rice.
- Ask them to cook your food in olive oil or coconut oil.
Keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, was born in the 1920s as a cure to epilepsy. As soon as pharmaceutical cures came into play, the keto diet was abandoned. The abrupt fat loss is why keto was re-purposed as just a diet plan. This diet is low-carb and high-fat; it’s simply replacing carbs with fat. Reducing the carbs in your diet puts your body in a state of ketosis where your body is more efficient at burning fat for energy. Expect some clarity after the detox, the fat turns into ketones in your liver transferring energy to the brain.
Not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is absolutely dangerous! The keto diet is safe as long as you commit to it for a short period of time i.e. three months. Our bodies were not meant to be subjected to such as strict diet for so long.
To see results, you have to fight your way through the Keto Flu, AKA Carb Flu. Your body goes through the keto flu because you are changing from using glucose for energy to ketones for energy. The human body was made to store fat for survival, in case food should become scarce. Symptoms of keto flu include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, headache, irritability, weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness, poor concentration, stomach pain, muscle soreness, difficulty sleeping, and sugar cravings.
Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet:
- Avoid sugary foods.
- No grains or starches! No Wheat! This diet is gluten-free!
- Majority of fruits are allowed, minus some berries like strawberries.
- No beans or legumes!
- No root vegetables – sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- No Low-fat or diet products
- Limited condiments and sauces because they contain sugars and unhealthy fats.
- There’s a limit on your intake of unhealthy fats. People get excited this is a fat diet. There’s no such thing as unlimited bacon on the keto diet. We are still counting calories!
- No alcohol! Alcohol is overloaded with carbs! Most importantly, alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
- Sugar-free diet- Avoid these foods, they can alter your results. They affect the ketones. Plus, they are overprocessed and high in sugar alcohols.
Unlike the paleo diet, the keto diet allows you to have dairy products, of course, in limited amounts.
Foods you can eat, sourced from Healthline.com
- Meat- Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish- Such as salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel.
- Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella)
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments: You can use salt, pepper, and various healthy herbs and spices.
Paleo or Keto, What’s the Verdict?
After reading a ton of research on this subject, I found you can actually choose to do both diets to create a healthy lifestyle. First, lose your goal weight with the keto diet and then eat the paleo diet the rest of your life.
If you’re unable to stomach dairy or grains like me, stick to the paleo diet. It may take longer to see results, but the weight loss is happening! After all, inflammation makes us feel fat when we look in the mirror. Sticking to strict paleo makes gaining weight difficult for me.
No matter which you choose, you need to plan your diet/lifestyle after the weight loss to maintain your goal weight. We can’t go back to our old ways and expect to stay healthy.