Understanding the Paleo and Keto Diets
While there are a plethora of diets to try, with new ones coming out nearly every month, the paleo and keto diets seem to remain among the most popular. As with many diets, the two share some characteristics, but the effects on the body and core health effects and principles diverge.
A Brief Overview of Each Diet
The Paleolithic or Paleo diet uses a primitive dietary structure, focusing on the foods eaten by ancient human ancestors, specifically those alive in the stone age. Primarily, the paleo diet removes the modern-day conveniences and health risks of processed foods in favor of whole foods and lean proteins, supporting health and weight loss.
The ketogenic or keto diet is a more scientific approach to weight loss, focusing on the consumption of a specific balance of macronutrients. The goal of the diet is to help the body achieve a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat because it lacks access to enough carbohydrates. During the burning of fat, the body creates ketones which it can use as fuel.
The Basic Menu of the Paleo and Keto Diets
The paleo diet is often referred to as the caveman diet or the stone age diet because it focuses on consuming foods that do not undergo modern farming and food processing methods. Followers of the diet commonly cut out legumes, dairy products, and grains, among other highly processed foods. Dieters are encouraged to eat healthy fats from grass-fed or wild animals, avocados, olive oil, butter, nut oils, etc. Initial reports suggest that people on a balanced paleo diet may experience some metabolic and cholesterol benefits.
The keto diet has a simplistic approach to eating. Dieters are encouraged to eat healthy fats, some protein, and minimal carbohydrates. The typical breakdown for a dieter is as follows:
Carbohydrates are a significant restriction with the keto plan, which likely is because of the goal of achieving ketosis. Dieters cannot get their carb quota from grains or legumes. When consuming carbohydrates, they must get them from vegetables or fruits, primarily leafy greens and berries.
Are These Diets Healthy?
Both diets eliminate foods and severely restrict food groups that are often revered for being healthy. While neither diet eliminates all sources of essential vitamins and minerals, the restrictive nature of each makes the consumption of a balanced diet challenging. The paleo diet often comes with stark warnings about a lack of calcium and other essential nutrients.
While either diet can help a knowledgeable dieter lose weight, those without adequate awareness of macro and micronutrients might fare better with a more simplistic diet or one with ample information, like the Mediterranian diet. In any case, dieters should be cautious when attempting the paleo or keto diets. As with any diet, you will need to ensure you get the appropriate amount of calories and nutritional intake daily.
How do you feel about the paleo and keto diets? Have you tried either of them? Leave a comment below detailing your experience.