Sometimes, the hardest part of getting started with a new diet is actually choosing a diet. There are so many different ways of eating out there. While of course I’m here to talk about the benefits of the ketogenic diet, I encourage you to do your own research before you make your choice. The one piece of advice I always give is to make sure that the diet you’re choosing is one that will provide more benefits than just weight loss. Changing your way of eating needs to be about becoming healthier, not just losing weight.
Two different ways of eating that can both bring you both a healthier body and weight loss are the keto diet and the paleo diet. Today I’m going to do a comparison of the two in order to help you decide which diet is best for you.
Keto vs. Paleo: The Basics
The ketogenic diet and the paleo diet are both low-carb diets. Both diets remove grains, refined sugar, potatoes, and starchy foods from the diet. However, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to put the body in a state of ketosis, which means you are using fat as fuel rather than glucose. The paleo diet subscribes to the principal that our bodies were, overall, healthier when we didn’t have certain foods available in our diet. Ketosis may happen on the paleo diet, but you are not consuming additional fat to help you achieve that goal.
When following the paleo diet, it’s important that any meats you consume be grass fed (except seafood, of course). You have to limit your intake of salt, and you can only consume avocado, olive and coconut oils. You can also have nuts on the paleo diet. You’ll be living without butter, salt, and coffee on the paleo diet.
On the keto diet, the focus is on more fats. While vegetable fats are looked down upon, there is a bit more freedom in the types of oil you consume. You should be cooking with olive oil, but you’re not going against the basis of the diet if you buy mayo that’s made with vegetable oil. Because fat intake is an important part of the keto diet, you’ll get better results if you stick to an MCT Oil (US |Canada). Unlike the paleo diet, you’re encouraged to eat butter, salt, and coffee in the ketogenic diet.
Grass Fed Foods
Paleo places a large emphasis on grass-fed foods. Back in the paleolithic era, animals weren’t bred and harvested for food with quite the zeal that they are today, so there were no commercial feeds, such as corn, designed to quicken the process. Any animals that paleolithic people were able to consume fed off the land, primarily eating grass. The paleo diet places an extremely high importance on that part of the diet. In fact, there is no leeway, even if you live in an area where grass-fed food is not available or is cost-prohibitive. Many people on the paleo diet who live rurally order their meats online, at huge increased cost.
Grass-fed foods are encouraged on the keto diet. However, they are not a central component of the diet. Grass-fed butter is higher in fatty components like CLA, also known as conjugated linoleic acid. CLA has fat loss abilities. Studies also show that people who eat high amounts of grass-fed butter have a lower risk of heart disease.
Keto vs. Paleo: Overall Health Benefits
There are health benefits to the paleo diet. You can expect to see better blood pressure control, less hunger in between meals, and weight loss. Much of this is because when you choose the paleo diet, you’ve eliminated many of the chief causes of high blood pressure and obesity. However, you may find it difficult to maintain the paleo diet; it’s almost impossible to travel on the paleo diet, and making lunches to take to work or school can be difficult, leading to cheat meals. Long term studies on the health benefits of the paleo diet have not been done. Low energy on the paleo diet is often attributed to an electrolyte imbalance, which is difficult to fix because salt is not allowed on the paleo diet.
The overall health benefits of keto are well known and documented because the keto diet was originally developed to help people with epilepsy. We know that the addition of MCT oil into the diet increases brain health. Most people who follow the ketogenic diet for an extended period of time find that they have increased energy, lower cholesterol levels, better sleep habits, and better control over their blood glucose. In the beginning, people on the keto diet may experience low energy and insomnia; these issues can usually be fixed with an increased salt intake to help balance the electrolytes.
No matter which diet you choose, you need to do your research. There are positives about both diets. I follow the ketogenic diet because I believe it’s easier to do for a number of reasons. First, it’s so much easier to travel with; I can walk into almost any restaurant and order something that can be modified to be keto, even if it’s not grass-fed butter or beef. If I’m concerned about getting my fat intake in, then taking MCT capsules is an option. For those who need to take lunches with them to work or school, a little bit of meal prep on the weekend means I have portable lunches ready to go. I can buy keto products at any grocery store without needing to look for specialty products that might not be available in my area.
I also believe there are significant health benefits to being in ketosis as well as utilizing so much fat, especially MCT Oil. I will do more blogs specifically on these topics, as they are huge… but do your research because the emerging science coming out with regard to neurological diseases are quite astounding.
Want more reasons why I think the ketogenic diet beats paleo, hands down? Stop by my Facebook group for more information, diet success tips, and my favorite ways to make keto taste great! I can’t wait to meet you there!
You got this!
Leta ~ Intentionally Bare
❗ Health information given here is based on public research and is not meant to take the place of your doctor's advice. Always do your own research before trying something new.