Paleo vs. Keto: What’s the Difference?
From Kathleen: This is a guest post by Louise Hendon, co-host of The Keto Summit and author of The Essential Keto Cookbook. If you’ve heard of the Keto diet and wondered what it’s all about, today’s post will clear it up for you! Read on to learn about the difference between Paleo vs. Keto…
Paleo is popular for a reason, and so is Keto – but there’s a way to boost the health benefits of both diets even further.
By combining the Paleo and Keto diets, you’ll get the rewards of the real food Paleo approach as well as the fat-burning benefits of Keto. And in fact, it’s easy to combine the two diets, although they are different.
In this post, I’ll cover what the keto diet is, which foods you can eat on keto, the 2 big differences between paleo and keto , the health benefits of following a keto diet, and a few tips to help you get started.
What is the Keto diet?
The keto diet is specially designed to switch your body’s metabolism so that it burns more fat.
- Our bodies usually rely on glucose (from the carbohydrates we consume) as our main source of energy.
- But when your body is in a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis, it relies mainly on fat as its source of energy.
How does the keto diet work?
- When you’re following the keto diet, you consume very few carbohydrates (although you still consume a moderate amount of protein and plenty of healthy fats).
- This means there’s less glucose available for your cells to use as fuel, and so your body is forced to start burning fat to get enough energy.
If you’re curious about the details, we have an in-depth article you can read to learn more.
Which Foods Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?
On keto, your diet will contain under 25 g of carbohydrates per day, a moderate amount of protein and plenty of healthy fats.
Foods to eat:
- Olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, avocados and other sources of healthy fats
- Low carb vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini
- Meat, organ meat, poultry, game and seafood
- Spinach, kale and other leafy green vegetables
Foods to eat in moderation:
- Seeds and nuts (they’re easy to overeat and can be high in carbs)
- Berries (be careful not to consume too many, as they contain fructose which is a kind of sugar)
Food to avoid:
- Potatoes, squashes, sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables
- Processed foods – energy bars, pre-packaged snacks, cookies and candy
- Beans, lentils, garbanzos and all other legumes
- Grains like wheat, oats, corn and millet
- Sweeteners, even natural ones like honey and agave
Paleo vs. Keto: The 2 Big Differences
As you might have gathered from the food list, Paleo and Keto are fairly similar but not quite the same.
1 – Paleo and Keto have different aims:
- Keto’s goal is to get your body into the fat-burning metabolic state of nutritional ketosis, by altering what you eat.
- Paleo’s goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle (which is similar to the one our ancestors followed) and part of that means consuming more nutrient rich whole foods.
2- Keto and Paleo recommend different quantities of carbohydrates:
- Keto recommends under 25 g of carbs per day so that your body will go into nutritional ketosis. It’s typically lower carb than Paleo.
- Paleo doesn’t focus on carb/protein/fat ratios, viewing the quality of the food you consume as more important. It might be higher carb than Keto, but it’s still usually lower than the Standard American Diet.
But you can combine both: by following the principles laid out by Paleo, while simultaneously reducing your carbohydrate intake to keto-approved levels.
4 Ways the Keto Diet Could Benefit Your Health
There are some health benefits commonly reported by keto dieters (you can check out success stories online as proof of these) and other health benefits which have been proven by science.
1 – It could help with your weight loss efforts.
One potential reason for why Keto is so good at helping people lose weight is because it naturally suppresses your appetite and so you’ll eat less without even trying!
2 – It’s reported to increase mental clarity, stabilize your mood and boost your energy levels.
That’s according to countless keto dieters who’ve tried the diet for themselves. A possible explanation for where these benefits come from? The keto diet stabilizes your blood sugar levels – and unstable blood sugar is often the culprit behind things like brain fog, mood swings and tiredness.
3 – It can help you beat your sugar addiction and kick your cravings…
…because it cuts out all sugars (even the Paleo-approved ones). This gives you a chance to beat your sweet tooth once and for all by going cold turkey.
4 – It could be used to help treat illnesses…
…like cancer, PCOS, Alzheimer’s, severe acne and cardiovascular problems. Nothing’s been proven yet, but studies are currently being carried out to test this possibility.
3 Tips For Getting Started on the Keto Diet
If you’re feeling eager to start a keto diet, here are some tips to help you on your way:
1 – At first, eat unlimited amounts of protein and fat…
…and just focus on keeping your daily carb intake below 25 g. If you’re currently following a Paleo diet and you’re used to enjoying sweet potatoes, fruit and sweet Paleo desserts, this might take a couple of weeks to get used to . Wait until you’re comfortable eating fewer carbs per day to adjust your protein/fat intake.
2 – Pick one meal each day to skip.
You’ll reduce the amount of meals you have to plan from three per day to just two. But you don’t have to skip your meal completely, if you don’t want to. You can swap your regular breakfast for a big green smoothie with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil instead.
3 – Clear out your kitchen, stock up with fresh ingredients and plan your meals.
This means you can’t be tempted by foods which aren’t keto approved, as they won’t be in the house. And taking the time to restock your kitchen and look for new recipes will make meal planning a lot easier! Plus, you may find that some of your Paleo favorites are keto-friendly after all – like Kathleen’s Crockpot Chili.
If you’d like a little help finding tasty Keto diet recipes which won’t break your budget, we’ve put together a Keto cookbook collection to give you a hand.
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