Though low carb diets have been around for years, they have reached a new level of popularity recently. There are many different types of low carbohydrate diets, but two of the post popular are the paleo and ketogenic diets. The paleo diet may have been the most popular diet for a while because of its fun “eat like a caveman” slogan, but many people are switching over to the keto diet because the results are better. Here’s what you need to know when deciding which diet works the best for you.
What Is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is a diet that is high in fat, is low in carbohydrates, and has a moderate amount of animal based protein. It is designed to mimic the diet supposedly eaten by our paleolithic ancestors, so grains, legumes, vegetable oils, processed sugar, and most dairy products are not allowed. Instead, participants are encouraged to eat large amounts of vegetables and a lot of animal protein, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Though hydrogenated vegetable oils are not a part of the paleo diet, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and avocado oil are all eaten in large portions. Small amounts of nuts, seeds, fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup are also included in the paleo diet. The paleo diet encourages its followers to avoid any processed foods and cook everything themselves.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is designed to bring the body into a state of ketosis by eating a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. When the body is in a state of ketosis, the liver produces ketones by breaking down fat for energy. With this diet, fat cells are used for energy instead of glucose, so it helps people to lose fat quickly. The keto diet works by strictly controlling the levels of three key macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Some carbohydrates are recommended on this diet, but only five percent of your daily intake, which is about 20 to 30 grams of net carbs, are included in the diet. Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates eaten minus the fiber eaten, so high fiber foods like broccoli have a very low amount of net carbs. Instead of eating starches, sugars, a lot of fruit, or grains, people on the paleo diet should eat healthy fats, meat, yogurt, vegetables, eggs, and nuts. The basic ratio used to create a ketogenic diet is a diet where 60 to 75 percent of your calories are from fat, 15 to 30 percent of your calories are from protein, and 5 to 10 percent of your calories are from net carbs.
How Are the Two Diets Different?
Like the paleo diet, the ketogenic diet is also high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, and they both encourage people to eat real foods instead of processed foods. However, there are many differences between the two diets, and some of these differences are causing people to switch from the paleo diet to the keto diet. The keto diet allows dairy while the paleo diet does not, and it also limits carbohydrates more strictly than the paleo diet does. The paleo diet places a strict focus on unprocessed foods, while the keto diet allows most things that fit into a person’s daily macronutrient levels.
What Does Science Have to Say About Both Diets?
Many studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of both the keto and the paleo diets. A 2014 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that obese women who ate the paleo diet for at least six months had a decreased waist circumference and lowered blood triglyceride levels. One 2004 study from the journal, Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, found that obese patients who remained on the ketogenic diet for 24 weeks significantly reduced their weight. The patients also had increased levels of beneficial cholesterol and decreased levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and blood glucose. Since both diets are scientifically effective, the real reason that most people are switching from the paleo diet to the keto diet is simply because it suits their individual needs more.
Which Diet Is Easier to Follow?
The main thing that people wonder about when considering the switch from the paleo diet to the keto diet is which diet is simpler to follow. The main difficulty with the keto diet is that you have to calculate how much you eat of each item to make sure that you stay within your daily allowance of protein, fat, and net carbs. However, even though the paleo diet does not require counting any portions or considering nutrients, some people think it is more difficult than the keto diet. Many people who switch to the keto diet do this because they are tired of having to ensure that every meal is unprocessed food filled with grass fed meats. The ketogenic diet also allows people to eat dairy, which makes it far simpler to get enough protein and fat, while the paleo diet only allows people to eat butter.
Which Diet Provides Faster Results?
Both diets provide fast weight loss results, but, because it is slightly more restrictive, the keto diet tends to provide faster results than the paleo diet, especially for dieters who are just starting out. Part of the reason for the faster weight loss is the state of ketosis, which burns more fat cells, that happens while you are on the keto diet. The other reason that people lose weight quicker on the keto diet is because there is far less sugar or carbohydrates consumed on the keto diet. The paleo diet may allow high-calorie foods like potatoes, which can ultimately harm weight loss when they are eaten in large amounts.