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These days, there’s a diet for every taste or preference: low-carb, no-carb, vegan. You name it. But many people are still confused about the differences between keto and paleo diets. Here we’ll go over what makes the two different—and why they’re both popular in their own right.

The ketogenic diet and the paleo diet are both extremely popular. As a result, it’s easy to confuse the two because they share many similarities. There are a few main differences between the ketogenic and paleo diets, both of which have exploded in popularity over recent years.

Both diets are very popular among people looking for a way to lose weight and improve their health. And while they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between them worth considering before making any decisions about what type of diet is right for you.

For example, while both keto and paleo focus on avoiding processed foods and eating more naturally, paleo tends to be less restrictive than keto because it doesn’t require you to strictly limit carbs.

Ketogenic diet:

Focuses on fats. The ketogenic diet focuses on reducing carbs while increasing fat intake. It also tends to be more restrictive than other methods of eating; you can’t eat foods that are high in carbs, such as bread or pasta. On the flip side, you’re required to consume certain kinds of foods—namely animal products like meat and eggs—and stay away from processed foods or sugary treats (which can trigger your body’s natural “energy saving” mechanism).

The ketogenic diet is based on high fat intake, moderate protein intake, and low carbohydrate intake. This means you’ll be eating more cheese than bread and more bacon than brown rice. The goal of this particular diet is to put your body into a state called ketosis—a natural metabolic process where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates like glucose from grains or sugars from fruit and vegetables.

Paleo diet:

Focuses on whole foods. The paleo diet focuses not only on eliminating processed foods but also refined sugar and grains from your diet altogether; it encourages eating unprocessed meats as well as vegetables without any additives added by manufacturers in order to preserve nutritional value (that said, some advocates do allow for occasional exceptions).  Paleo places less emphasis on restricting the types of food consumed while still encouraging people who follow this way of eating pattern to do so wholeheartedly by avoiding junk food entirely.

Although there is some overlap between the two diets, there are also some key distinctions. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that stresses consuming foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fats. Our bodies were designed to run on fat as fuel, so this type of eating plan makes sense from a biological perspective. The paleo diet is similar to keto in that it’s also low-carb and high-fat, but it allows for more flexibility when it comes to what you can eat: whole foods like meat, poultry, and seafood; eggs; raw dairy products like butter or heavy cream; nuts & seeds; vegetables; fruits (in limited quantities).

 

The key difference between these two diets is the way that they restrict food intake. Keto and Paleo both focus on eating whole foods, but Paleo takes it a step further by eliminating processed foods and focusing on natural ingredients. Keto is all about limiting carbs and focusing on fat, while Paleo emphasizes healthy foods in general as long as they’re unprocessed and natural.

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Andrea WilsonSous Chef

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