Paleo Diet Vs. Keto Diet

Ketogenic and paleo diets are two prevalent forms of diet that have proven to help in weight loss and maintain weight. The fundamental thought behind these diets is to boost health by avoiding processed food and advocating for micronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Both are rigid and very restrictive. Choosing either diet means you will have to give up on all your favorite foods for a very long time.

There is, however, an ongoing conversation now and then about which diet plan is better. While the paleo diet always seems to be on the winning side, this article will help you find the perfect diet plan for yourself after evaluating both their differences and side effects.

What’s The Difference?

Both the paleo and keto diets share a common aim. They endeavor to help individuals live healthier lives.

But they have their unique characteristics in terms of their origin, side effects, food, and diet practices. While the keto diet is all about fuelling your body with fats, the paleo diet focus on using protein. Here is an overview of their differences under the points already mentioned.

Paleo Diet Vs. Keto Diet

Their origin

The paleo diet idea can be traced back to the 1970s under a scientist named Walter Voegelin, who believed that modern men need to learn from their paleolithic ancestors about food and nutrition. His book, ‘The Stone Age Diet’ of 1975, emphasized that humans are meant to be exclusive flesh-eating homo sapiens.

His work was further popularised by a 21st-century scientist named Loren Cordain, who has written many best-selling books on the paleo diet.

On the other hand, the keto diet was an accidental discovery made by a funeral director name William Banting in the 1860s. He eliminated starch and sugar from his diet, causing him to lose around fifty-two pounds. Banting  went on to publish a pamphlet accounting the details of his diet.

The keto diet became more popular around the 1920s for its use in the medical field. The keto diet was believed to be an ideal diet for patients suffering from epilepsy amd seizures.


Food and Diet Practices

The paleo diet is a re-imagination of the caveman’s diet of the paleolithic era.

Therefore, this diet avoids all kinds of processed food, dairy products, sugar, legumes, grains, artificial flavors, and additives. Their staple diet comprises vegetables, fruits, and berries, nuts, meat, and roots.

This diet helps in improving health by cutting out food that has very little nutritional value. Its strategy is to reduce the body’s calorie intake. The basis of the diet is to give the body healthy minerals, iron, vitamins, and fiber that are more filling to the palate and provides the system with good digestion.

The paleo diet also encourages exercise for beginners to imitate ancestors who roamed the earth in search of food.

A keto diet is a form of diet that emphasizes a high-fat intake with moderate protein and low carbohydrates.

The diet consists of seafood such as shellfish and salmon, which have high vitamin B nutrients and are carb-free. Vegetables include non-starchy veggies, which are high in fiber. Potatoes, beets, and yams are discouraged.

Unlike the paleo diet, the Keto diet plan consists of low-carb cheese such as blue cheese, cheddar, feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, cottage cheese, etc. Fruits such as avocados, meat, eggs, and coconut oil, and olive oil form the basis of the keto diet.

Butter and cream are avoided in many diet plans due to their high level of saturated fat. However, contrary to the paleo diet, butter and cream are considered good fats in the keto diet.

Food and Diet Practices

Their Side Effects

The paleo diet has been criticized for its unrealistic health claims in many areas. Researchers claim that this form of diet can lead to vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, affecting bone health. Participants of the paleo diet also suffer from diarrhea, weakness, and headaches.

Many critics also claim that the paleo diet involves the consumption of red meat on a dangerous scale. Red meats are known to have high saturated fats, which can cause diabetes and heart diseases in participants in the long run.

Elizabeth Kolbert, a renowned journalist, and author also voiced her opinion towards the paleo diet, stating that their meat consumption can cause drastic environmental impact in the gradual future.

The side effects of a keto diet comprise the keto flu and damage to the kidney.  The keto flu is the direct result of an extremely high fat and low carb diet. Low carb in the body can cause the body to burn ketones to produce energy manually, in place of glucose. Keto flu symptoms are nausea and vomiting, constipation, and headaches.

Elimination of carbohydrates, which is supposed to be the powerhouse of energy, can also lead to poor judgment and loss of concentration, power, and focus.

The whole process of breaking down fat and ketone production leads to increased urination since the body has to remove the ketones one way or the other. Frequent urination causes the body to lose electrolytes with high potassium and magnesium contents, eventually leading to severe kidney injury.

Final Thoughts

Both the paleo and keto diets have come to be known as fad diets. Despite their differences, it is also interesting that they are almost similar in their advocation, practices, and popularity. For example, both the diet abstains from consuming grain and legumes. The paleo diet cannot add grain into its program because grain was not part of the paleolithic period. At the same time, the keto diet believes grains to have very high starch content.

Considering their side effects, clinical researchers still cannot identify if these two diets will affect the human body in the long run.

Most people believe that individuals may suffer from side effects for a short time, but when the body starts getting used to the diet plan, achieving excellent health and maintaining a standard weight is possible.

Amid all these varied opinions, listening to your body and choosing the right diet plan is the most important thing.

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