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Paleo vs Keto – What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake or increase your body’s natural ability to shed fat, you might have stumbled across two similar diets plans – Paleo, and the Ketogenic diet. Both diets share a lot in common, and have low carb, high-fat thresholds, but what are the differences, and which ones are the right one for you?

Keep reading to learn the three main differences between Paleo Vs Keto diets, and if one is better than the other for your nutritional needs.

Paleo Vs Keto – Low Carb

The biggest difference between Paleo and Ketogenic diets is that Paleo doesn’t have to be low carb. The idea behind Paleo is to eat how our ancestors did, and like the Ketogenic diet, rely on protein and fats for fuel. People who eat Paleo typically avoid processed sugars and snack foods, as these were not on the menu back in the caveman days, and therefore may consume low carb food.

However, unlike Ketogenic dieters, people who eat Paleo do not avoid sweet potatoes or carrots, and other root vegetables. These foods fit into the Paleo lifestyle (they are not Ketogenic), they just tend to eat them less often. Many times, you will hear of athletes who eat Paleo consume a limited source of carbs before a big race to consume fast-acting energy.

Paleo Vs Keto – High Fat

The next big difference between Paleo and the Ketogenic diet is that people who eat Paleo do not have to eat a lot of fat. In fact, some Paleo consumers are vegetarians and eat very little fat. In the Ketogenic diet, fat is a nutritional cornerstone. Fat is often eaten in high ratios to satisfy hunger and provide the main source of fuel.

As no one “owns” the Paleo diet, the goalposts of what is considered acceptable or “Paleo” is constantly changing, and people have differing opinions on what is the preferred Paleo fat intake; in Keto, healthy fats are considered indispensable, and no one refutes their importance. In the Paleo world, you might be ok to eat high fat one week and not the next.    

Paleo Vs Keto – Dairy

The third significant difference between Paleo and the Ketogenic diet is their respective views on dairy consumption. People who eat Paleo tend to fall into one of two camps. They either believe that our ancestors consumed dairy, and as such do not restrict their dairy intake, or as is sometimes more often heard, they believe that processing dairy is a modern invention, and as such will not eat dairy at all.

People on the Ketogenic diet seem to have a less black and white approach, and view dairy as a good source of fat and will eat cheese and butter. However, people on the Ketogenic diet will avoid dairy as it often contains a lot of Lactose (a disaccharide sugar composed of galactose and glucose). Cream is used instead, as this is a delicious high fat and low carb substitute.

Paleo Vs Keto – What Should I Pick?

When it comes to choosing the right diet for you – only you can make the right decision. Many people enjoy the flexibility of the Paleo diet, as it offers some traditional meal options (such as sweet potatoes), but feel limited by the lack of dairy and inability to eat foods that have been lightly processed. Paleo is considered a good way to induct a low carb diet or to maintain your goal weight.

Other people prefer the high-fat richness of the Ketogenic diet, and while it may be viewed as too stringent for some people, many people enjoy the simplicity of Ketogenic foods and cooking protein and fats with very little distractions. Many people turn to the Ketogenic diet when they want to shed fat and improve their muscle composition or improve their mood and blood sugar levels.

The choice is up to you, but one thing scientists agree on is that a low carb diet with less processed or artificial foods is always a good thing!

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