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Comparing Keto vs Paleo Diets – What’s the Difference?

by Lucie
Comparing Keto vs Paleo Diets

Are you considering adopting a new diet to improve your health and perhaps lose some weight? If so, you may have come across the keto and paleo diets, two popular approaches to healthy eating. But how do you choose between them? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the specifics of each diet, compare their similarities and differences, and guide you towards making an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and personal preferences. Let’s get started with keto vs paleo!
Short Summary

  • Comparing Keto and Paleo diets – understanding key components, potential health benefits/risks, shared principles & contrasting approaches.
  • Choosing between the two depends on lifestyle preferences & goals. Adapting to social situations is essential for success.
  • Long term sustainability of paleo diet makes it a better choice than keto. Real life examples show potential benefits of these diets.

Understanding the Keto Diet

The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is an eating plan that emphasizes the consumption of healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and minimal carbohydrates. This high-fat, low-carb diet has been around for over a century, originally used medicinally to address pediatric epilepsy. The popularity of ketogenic diets has grown in recent years, as more people look for effective ways to lose weight and improve their overall health.

In recent years, the keto diet has gained popularity for weight loss and blood sugar management.

Key Components of Keto

In contrast to the Paleo diet, which is based on early human diets, a true ketogenic diet typically consists of high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate. This means that the keto diet excludes grains and most legumes due to their high carbohydrate content, which can prevent the body from achieving a state of ketosis. On the other hand, the keto diet supports the consumption of various dairy products, including full-fat milk, butter, and natural yogurts. Soy foods, such as tofu and tempeh, are also encouraged on the keto diet.

While the keto diet is quite restrictive, certain artificial sweeteners, like stevia and sucralose, are allowed as long as they don’t contain any sugar. Natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, however, are off-limits.

Potential Health Benefits and Risks

The keto diet has been linked to rapid weight loss and a decreased risk of diabetes. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming a high-fat diet that is high in saturated fat, such as an increased risk of developing heart disease. Maintaining a state of ketosis for extended periods can also lead to unpleasant side effects like nausea, headache, fatigue, and constipation.

Before making a drastic change to your eating pattern, especially if you have chronic health conditions, it’s recommended to check in with your healthcare provider. If you decide to follow the keto diet, work with a physician to measure markers of heart health, such as LDL-C, before and after starting the diet.

Understanding the Paleo Diet

The Caveman diet, also known as the Paleo diet or the paleolithic diet, is a dietary plan that focuses on consuming foods similar to those available to early humans, such as:

  • meats
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • roots and tubers

The underlying concept is that humans have not adapted sufficiently to process certain foods, like grains, beans, legumes, and starchy vegetables, that have been introduced since the advent of agriculture.

Developed by a gastroenterologist in the 1970s, the Paleo diet encourages a healthy lifestyle, including participation in high-intensity interval training, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

Key Components of Paleo

The Paleo diet is characterized by a high intake of protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding grains, legumes, and most dairy products. This means that carbohydrates are allowed in the paleo diet, provided they are obtained from whole food sources.

Honey and maple syrup are two “natural” sweeteners allowed on the paleo diet. These options provide a healthier alternative to refined sugars.

Potential Health Benefits and Risks

The paleo diet may lead to improved blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and potential micronutrient deficiencies. While there are no explicit health risks mentioned in the knowledge base, it’s important to ensure that you’re meeting your daily nutrient requirements when following a diet that eliminates food groups.

Before making any drastic changes to your diet to lose weight, consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have chronic health conditions.

Comparing Keto and Paleo Diets

While both the keto and paleo diets share some common elements, such as abstaining from processed foods, refined carbs, and high sugar intake, there are considerable differences between the two. The keto diet is more demanding and focuses on high-fat consumption, while the paleo diet is more accommodating and promotes an overall healthy lifestyle.

The keto diet requires a strict adherence to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

Shared Principles

The paleo and ketogenic diets both focus on whole foods, avoid highly processed foods, and eliminate added sugars. Fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and nuts are generally consumed in both keto and paleo diets.

The consumption of processed fats, oils, and sweeteners are excluded from both diets as well, as they can have a negative effect on cardiovascular health.

Contrasting Approaches

The differences between the keto diet and the paleo diet are as follows:

  • The keto diet limits all forms of carbohydrates, whereas the paleo diet permits some forms of carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables.
  • The paleo diet also limits dairy and soy products, whereas the keto diet allows for some dairy products.
  • Additionally, the keto diet places a high importance on fat as it is a major component of the diet, while paleo recommends fat for overall health but is not necessarily a high-fat diet.

The paleo and keto diets both advocate for the consumption of unrefined, healthy fats, as well as moderate-to-liberal amounts of selected refined oils, such as olive oil and avocado oils, nuts, seeds, and fish. However, there is a difference of opinion among adherents to the paleo diet as to whether minimally processed bacon without nitrates or preservatives is acceptable.

Choosing Between Keto and Paleo

When selecting between keto and paleo diets, it’s essential to consider factors like your lifestyle, personal preferences, and health goals. Both diets present their own benefits and drawbacks, and the choice ultimately depends on your individual objectives and how well you can adapt to the dietary restrictions and principles of each diet.

For example, the keto diet is very low in carbohydrates and emphasizes high-fat foods.

Adapting to Social Situations

Maintaining either diet in social situations can be challenging. To navigate these scenarios, it’s helpful to:

  • Be prepared with snacks and meals that comply with the diet guidelines
  • Be aware of possible food triggers
  • Be considerate of the social implications of following the diet

It’s also essential to contemplate the potential short-term implications for gut health when following these diets, as well as any long-term sustainability concerns.

Long-term Sustainability

The keto diet is not considered sustainable in the long term due to its restrictive nature and the potential for nutrient deficiencies. It can also be difficult to maintain due to its high fat content and the need to track macronutrient intake.

On the other hand, the paleo diet is considered more sustainable in the long term due to its emphasis on whole foods and its allowance of a wide range of foods. It is also thought to be easier to maintain due to its focus on nutrient-dense foods and its lack of restrictions on macronutrient intake.

Success Stories and Real-Life Examples

There are many inspiring success stories of people who have experienced positive results from following either the keto or paleo diet. For example:

  • Lisa achieved a healthy lifestyle through a low-carb and keto dietary plan and has been following it for 5 years.
  • Janice has successfully maintained her 50-pound weight loss with the keto diet.
  • Other individuals, like Dominique Mancini, Vivian Adorno, Jennifer Wurster, Celine Lascelle, and Angela Okafor, have documented their impressive transformations after following the keto diet.

These success stories serve as motivation and proof that both keto and paleo diets can lead to significant improvements in health and well-being when followed diligently and tailored to individual needs.


In conclusion, both keto and paleo diets offer unique approaches to healthy eating and potential health benefits. While they share some common principles, such as the emphasis on whole foods and avoidance of highly processed foods, the differences in macronutrient breakdown, food restrictions, and overall goals set them apart. Ultimately, the decision between the two diets depends on your individual lifestyle, preferences, and health objectives. By carefully considering all factors, you can make an informed choice that best suits your needs and paves the way toward a healthier, happier life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is keto or paleo healthier?

Paleo is generally the healthier option for most people, although if done right keto can be a healthy choice as well. Both diets are focused on whole foods and low-carb intake, but paleo emphasizes more nutrient-dense options while keto is more focused on macronutrient ratios.

Do you lose weight faster paleo or keto?

Keto may provide slightly faster weight loss results than paleo in the short-term, but the best diet is one that you can stick to long-term.

Sticking to a diet long-term is essential for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s important to find a diet that works for you and that you can stick to for the long haul. Consider your lifestyle, preferences, and health goals when considering your lifestyle, preferences, and health goals.

Is keto really the healthiest diet?

The keto diet may offer some short-term benefits like weight loss and managing acne, but it is high in saturated fat and restricts important sources of fiber and nutrients.

Furthermore, it is not a sustainable or realistic approach to long-term health and weight loss, so overall, it is not the healthiest diet.

What is the main difference between the keto and paleo diets?

The main difference between the keto and paleo diets is their approach to macronutrients, with the keto diet emphasizing high fat and very low carbohydrates, while the paleo diet emphasizes protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on getting most of its calories from fat, while the paleo diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed foods. Both diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss and improving overall health.

Are there any potential health risks associated with the keto diet?

The keto diet can potentially cause health risks, including nutrient deficiencies, heart disease, and kidney stones.

Paleo Health Benefits https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/paleo-diet-is-there-any-evidence-that-it-benefits-health

Keto Health Benefits https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8153354/

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