The similarities between Keto and Paleo diets have left most people wondering whether both can provide the same benefits.
However, while it is true that both these diets share a common factor, that’s their low-carb content, they do differ in several other parameters.
This difference between keto and paleo diets has set them apart in terms of their effects and benefits.
If you have decided to start a healthy lifestyle with a Paleo or Keto diet, you must first understand the difference between the two before deciding to go ahead with one of these.
This article focuses on revealing the major and minor differences between keto and paleo diets to help you make the right decision based on your specific health goals and overall fitness.
Before we jump to learn the differences, let us first briefly look at the characteristics of the ketogenic and Paleo diets.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet is meant for people who want to experience drastic weight loss. However, it is also recommended to manage medical conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Keto diet accelerates weight loss more efficiently than other special diets. It tricks your body into burning fats by eliminating carbs and entering into a state called ketosis.
What is a Paleo diet?
Paleo diet is based on the premise of eliminating legumes and grains from your diet owing to their high phytic acid content. It is more of a lifestyle choice aimed at eating foods that support digestive health.
Milk and dairy products are also excluded from the Paleo diet as they contain lactose that is hard for some people to digest.
By removing the difficult foods to digest, a Paleo diet can be highly therapeutic for your gut health, blood sugar balance, and even weight management.
Keto and Paleo: How Are They Similar?
These 2 diets are usually grouped because they recommend similar food habits such as:
- Eating healthy fats like nuts, animal fats, seeds, and coconut oil
- Avoid legumes
- Avoid grains
- Encourage consumption of animal proteins
- Avoid refined sugar
- Eating plenty of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables
Making these healthy changes in your regular diet can help you lose considerable weight and improve your overall health.
However, before you decide to follow either the Ketogenic or Paleo diet, read further to learn the intricate details about the differences between them.
The Key Difference Between Keto and Paleo Diets Based on Their Content
1. What Are The Recommendations Related to The Carbohydrate Intake?
The major difference between the keto and Paleo diets is linked to their carbohydrate content. A keto diet is strictly low in carbohydrates and includes eating a high amount of healthy fats.
However, a Paleo diet isn’t particularly high-fat and low-carb. It restricts the intake of legumes, grains, and refined sugar.
However, there is no upper or lower limit to how much carbs you can consume for fruits and starchy veggies like squash, pumpkin, and sweet potato.
It also allows natural sweeteners such as coconut nectar, raw honey, and maple syrup that are higher in carbs.
This means, unlike a keto diet that severely restricts your carbohydrate consumption, a Paleo diet has no emphasis on the same.
Hence, if you opt for a Paleo diet and include a high amount of carbs from fruits, starchy vegetables, and natural sweeteners in your diet, your body will certainly continue utilizing glucose as a source of energy and prevent you from entering into ketosis.
Hence, a ketogenic diet allows you to burn fats more efficiently by tricking your body to use them in place of sugars, and a Paleo diet may not help you get rid of excess fats stored in your body as effectively.
2. How Much of Fats Can I Consume?
A Paleo diet encourages the consumption of healthy fats, just like the keto diet. However, the recommended fat content of a paleo diet is as low as 10% of the total calorie intake.
On the other hand, a ketogenic diet allows you to consume a very high amount of healthy fats to ensure you can get into ketosis faster and derive the multiple benefits of this state, such as rapid weight loss and controlled diabetes.
A paleo diet may deprive you of the benefits of getting into ketosis, and thus, its weight loss effect may take longer to be noticeable.
Other Differences Between Keto and Paleo Diets
1. What About Dairy Products?
Full-fat dairy products can be consumed when you are on a Keto diet. However, a Paleo diet does not recommend including milk and dairy products as they are hard to break down and digest.
These foods may hamper your gut health due to their high lactose content. Hence, unless you suffer from lactose intolerance or feeble digestion, there is no reason to deprive your body of the benefits of dairy products.
Full-fat milk and other dairy products can help you enter into ketosis faster and ensure drastic weight loss.
2. What About The Relative Amount of Macronutrients?
The keto diet recommends consuming 75% fats, 5% carbs, and 20% protein while you don’t have to abide by any macronutrient percentages while following a Paleo diet.
Being in control of how much of each of these macronutrients you are consuming in a keto diet provides you an advantage that is missing in the Paleo diet.
When you follow a Paleo diet, you may run into the risk of overconsuming certain macronutrients while under-consuming others.
3. Do I Need To Test for Ketosis?
Yes, if you are following a keto diet. Since the primary goal of a keto diet is to stimulate the production of ketone bodies, testing for ketosis is recommended to know whether you’ve achieved it. You can use urine or blood ketone strips to check for ketone levels at home.
Since a Paleo diet doesn’t have this metabolic goal, it does not require you to test for ketosis.
What’s The Bottom Line?
These two low-carb diets have been trendy given the great results both can offer. Due to the similarities, these diets are often lumped together into one single diet, which might be unfair to you.
While both these diets focus on the same basic principle of improving your health, they differ greatly in the outcome.
Keeping in mind these differences is the key to maximize the benefits.
As you now understand, the keto diet accelerates fat loss more efficiently than the Paleo diet. Additionally, it also allows you to enjoy the benefits of dairy products and control your macronutrient intake.
The difference between keto and paleo diets in terms of their fat and carbohydrate content has made it clear that the former is more effective in burning fats faster and achieving a drastic weight loss compared to the latter.