Keto VS. Paleo

Keto VS. Paleo: The Similarities & Differences You Need to Know About

As we are officially into 2020, you may be starting to think about switching up your current dietary habits, and diving into a new approach to eating this year.

And, just like last year, the keto and the paleo diets are both big, and not going anywhere anytime soon. Plus, with the boom in popularity, it’s easier than ever to follow either dietary approach.

However, while these two diets are both wildly popular and do have some similarities, they also have quite a few differences.

So, if you’re interested in either one of these diets, read on. We’re breaking down the similarities and differences you need to know about, and a handful of recipes to help get you started.

The Keto Diet

Let’s talk keto—it’s hard not to hear about the keto diet, especially since it’s boom in popularity over the last couple of years. This extremely low-carb, high-fat diet has come a long way, and with more keto options available than ever before (like Lazy keto, and ketotarian), you may find a keto approach that would work well for you.

The point of the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis, where you are burning fat for fuel. Fat starts to become your primary fuel source, as opposed to glucose found in carbs.
Keto Diet Basics
Let’s take a look at some of the basics of the standard keto diet:

● Carbs are extremely restricted, and would not exceed 50 grams per day.
● Generally, macros on the keto diet look like this: 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, 5-10% carbs.
● Carbs are replaced with lots of healthy fats & moderate amounts of protein.
● Some keto-friendly food options include poultry, wild-caught fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, and cauliflower), and full-fat dairy.
● Foods to avoid on a keto diet include sugar, natural sweeteners (like maple syrup and honey), bread, pasta, rice, grains, most fruit, sweetened beverages, sweetened condiments like salad dressing, BBQ sauce.

  • Keto Diet Pros
  • Keto Diet Cons

If done right, the keto diet can come with quite a few benefits. For example, in order to reap the health benefits going keto can offer, you want to make sure that you are eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Just because this diet is super fat heavy, doesn’t mean you’ll want to consume all fats. Staying away from trans and hydrogenated fats, and choosing healthy options like avocados, nuts, seeds, and wild fish is going to be what provides you with the benefits this diet can come with.

Here are some of the pros of a ketogenic diet.

  • It can be a great way to eliminate added sugars from your diet.
  • If done right, a keto diet can help you focus on consuming real and whole foods, while getting rid of the processed and artificial junk commonly found in the Standard American Diet.
  • The keto diet may help support weight loss.
  • Some research has shown that a keto diet may help improve cognitive function.

No diet is perfect, so as with anything, there are some cons that can come with following a keto diet, including:

  • The keto diet is restrictive, especially if you are new to cutting carbs out of your diet. This can make it difficult to follow, especially in the beginning.
  • When you first start the keto diet, the “keto flu” is quite common. This causes symptoms similar to the actual flu as your body adjusts to using fat for fuel.
  • While you’ll be removing some not so healthy carbohydrates from your diet, you’ll also be cutting out some healthy foods too like starchy vegetables.
  • The keto diet may lead to constipation.
  • If you aren’t nourishing your body with enough healthy fats and staying hydrated, you may feel fatigued or even experience brain fog.

3 Keto Recipes
Whether you currently follow a keto diet or are looking for a diet to help reduce your carb intake, here are three healthy keto recipes to get you started.

Breakfast Chocolate Avocado Shake
Serves: 1

● 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
● ½ avocado
● 1 Tbsp. raw unsweetened cacao powder
● 1 Tbsp. almond butter

1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy!

Coconut Cream Bowl
Serves: 2

● 1 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut cream
● ½ cup blueberries
● 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds

1. Add the coconut cream to a bowl and top with the blueberries.
2. Sprinkle with flaxseeds and enjoy!

Chocolate Fat Bombs
Serves: 12

● 1 cup cashews
● ½ cup almond butter
● ¼ cup raw unsweetened cacao powder
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● Shredded unsweetened coconut for coating

1. Start by adding the cashews, almond butter, cacao powder, and vanilla to a high-speed blender and blend until the mixture comes together.
2. Place the batter into a bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
3. Once chilled, roll into12 bite-sized rounds, and then roll into the shredded coconut and store in the fridge.
4. Enjoy as a healthy snack!

The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet has also been around for quite some time and was developed by Dr. Walter Voegtlin back in the 1970s. The paleo diet focuses on foods that our ancestors ate back in the hunter and gatherer days thousands of years ago.

Since then, it’s become a staple diet for many people looking to lose weight or to get back to the basics and consume foods our bodies we meant to consume. The paleo diet is also commonly followed to help reduce inflammation, a key part of supporting overall health.
Paleo Diet Basics
Here are some key things to keep in mind about the paleo diet.
● You’ll avoid processed and artificial sugars, dairy, soy, grains, legumes, and trans fats.
● A paleo diet focuses on whole and nutrient-dense food options like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil), meat, wild-caught fish, eggs, herbs, and spices.

  • Paleo Diet Pros
  • Paleo Diet Cons

● Many people find that the paleo diet helps support digestive health and lowers inflammation.
● Helps us get back to whole food eating while staying away from processed foods.
● With the evolution of the paleo diet, there have been some modified paleo approaches that have popped up, making it easier to follow. If you like the principles of the paleo diet, but want a little more flexibility, like having the option to consume rice or raw dairy, a modified paleo diet may work for you.

  • The diet can be fairly expensive, especially if you are consuming organic and grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish.
  • It can be hard for vegetarians to follow since legumes are not paleo-friendly.

3 Paleo Recipes

Cinnamon Paleo Chia Pudding
Serves: 3

● 1 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
● ⅓ cup chia seeds
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
● Almond butter and pure maple syrup for serving

1. Start by adding the coconut milk and chia seeds to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
2. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and whisk.
3. Set in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day with a scoop of almond butter and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Guac
Serves: 2

● 2 sweet potatoes, baked
● 1 cup cooked shredded chicken (like rotisserie)
● ½ cup guacamole

1. Start by cutting the sweet potatoes in half and fill with the shredded chicken and guac.
2. Dig in and enjoy!

Guilt-Free Chocolate Shake
Serves: 1

● 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
● 1 frozen banana
● 1 Tbsp. raw unsweetened cacao powder
● 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
● 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds

1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy!

Keto VS. Paleo
Now that you know more about both the keto and paleo diet let’s take a look at how these two diets are different and how they are similar.

Keto & Paleo Diet Similarities
● Both diets don’t allow sugar.
● The keto and paleo diet don’t allow grains like rice, pasta, and bread.
● Both diets avoid highly processed foods.
● Healthy fats are included in both the keto and the paleo diet.

Keto & Paleo Diet Differences
● The paleo diet allows for natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup and raw honey, while the keto diet doesn’t allow for any sources of added sugar.
● A keto approach allows for dairy, where a standard paleo diet does not.
● The keto diet has a strong focus on carbohydrate restriction, where the paleo diet is a bit more flexible as the focus is more on food quality vs. quantity.
● A paleo diet allows for starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, where a keto diet is much more restrictive when it comes to the vegetables you can consume.

Which Diet is Best For You?
So, which one is best for you? The answer really comes down to what your health goals are. Are you trying to lose weight, and want to take a more drastic approach to carbohydrate intake? The keto diet may work better for you.

If you’re looking for a diet with a bit more flexibility, and where food quality is more important than stressing about macronutrients, then the paleo diet may be a better choice.

At the end of the day, no matter what diet you follow, the food choices you do make are going to be a huge part of any diet success.

So, whether you plan to go keto or try a paleo diet, keep your food choices as wholesome and real as possible. The cleaner you eat, the more success you may see, no matter what dietary approach you follow.