If I had a hundred dollars for every type of diet being pushed these days, I could retire. It’s hard to say which diets are best, worse or are the most popular.
However, among the many more popular diets are the paleo and keto diets. What are they? What’s the difference and is one better than the other?
To begin with, the Paleo diet is based on the premise that over 10,000 years ago, primitive humans were hunters and gatherers and ate a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit and lean wild meat. They didn’t have pasta, pasture or stockyard raised animals that are marbled with fat, or processed food. They didn’t eat anything with preservatives, food coloring, hormones and other chemicals and additives.
The keto diet is more accurately referred to as the Ketogenic diet. It is a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet. It is often used to help treat some forms of childhood epilepsy that have been found difficult to control. The theory behind this diet is that carbs convert to glucose in the blood which is then used as the energy source for brain function. By reducing the amount of carbs and increasing the consumption of fat, the liver produces fatty acids and ketone bodies, which are transported to the brain and used as an alternate energy source. When the body experiences a higher level of ketones, it produces a condition known as ketosis. In some cases of childhood epilepsy, ketosis helps to reduce the frequency of seizures. Ketosis can increase the instances of constipation and kidney stones.
A simple comparison between the two diets is:
- The Paleo diet isn’t staunchly opposed to carb intake. That means fruits, as well as starchy veggies are all fair game with Paleo, whereas the Keto diet forbids carbs in almost all forms.
- The Paleo Diet also doesn’t require a huge uptick in fat intake. Your meals can primarily be fruits and vegetables with minimal added fats and you can still be properly adhering to Paleo.
- Dairy is cool on Keto. Again, it’s encouraged, as long as it’s high in fats. Paleo puts its foot down when it comes to anything in the realm of dairy.
- Keto has a specific goal. That goal is to change your body’s functioning processes. Paleo is less rigid in that its generally just meant to improve a person’s health.
- Keto also requires keeping closer track of what you’re eating. Whereas you can just eat caveman-y foods and know you’re adhering to the Paleo diet, Keto gives you the ~80% fat guideline.
Both diets have their draw backs. In the Keto diet, most of the weight anyone loses is water weight. Many nutritionists warn against the Keto diet since the body needs many of the nutrients found in various vegetables and fruit. The issue with the Paleo diet is that, first, man is not a product of evolution and two, if we were and you believe in evolution, then you have to realize that in the past 10,000 as they claim, man’s system has continued to evolve and thus a strict Paleo diet is not necessarily what our bodies need these days.
Personally, I would not recommend either diet for everyone. People need to realize that not everyone has the same system that reacts in the same to the same diet. What may be good for some is not good for others.