Paleo vs Keto: Differences, Similarities, Foods List and Can I mix Keto and Paleo?

paleo vs keto
June 3, 2019 0 Comments

When it comes to supporting weight loss efforts ,fat reduction, improved metabolism and living an all-around better lifestyle, two diets have been on the radar of health enthusiasts: the Paleo diet and the Ketogenic diet. While both diets include many of the same foods and have overlapping similarities and benefits, each has a different purpose. Let’s take a look at how the Paleo vs Keto diets measure up against one another, which one may be right for you, and why?

Paleo vs Ketogenic Diet: Learn the Difference

Paleo vs Keto: Differences, Similarities, Foods List and Can I mix Keto and Paleo? 1

What is Paleo?

The Paleo diet is often referred to as a “caveman diet” because it mirrors the dietary habits of our ancestors from before the age of agriculture. Paleo eliminates grains, dairy, legumes, and processed and refined foods, along with hydrogenated and “vegetable” oils that don’t contain any vegetable-like nutrients.

Instead, the Paleo diet focuses on eating high-quality fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, eggs, and seafood. Because Paleo naturally avoids refined sugars and processed carbs, it is significantly lower in carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet (or SAD). And, because of the high intake of vegetables, fruits, and healthy omega-3 fats, eating Paleo can lead to reduced inflammation, weight loss, and a number of other benefits, including improved diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

What is Keto?

A ketogenic diet focuses on switching the body’s primary fuel source from glucose, which is broken down from carbohydrates and proteins to ketone bodies (ketones for short). Ketones are produced when there is a deficiency in enough carbohydrates to create glucose.

keto foods
keto foods

Glycolysis is the process in which the body converts glucose to energy for the cells. This can only happen when carbohydrates are available and carb stores do not last long, in most cases, needing replenishment within 12-24 hours. Ketogenesis is the body’s alternative way of providing cellular fuel in the absence of carbs; with body fat to break down and convert into usable energy. Dietary sources of fat and a highly limited intake of carbohydrates spurs the body to enter ketosis faster.

Ketones are formed when the body converts stored fat to energy sources, which is why it is often used as a way for people to lose a substantial amount of weight and body fat in a relatively quick manner. Read more below and find out Paleo vs Keto diet comparison.

Paleo vs Keto Diet: Similarities and Differences

While there are many differences between keto and Paleo diets, there are also some significant similarities.

Paleo Doesn’t Measure Ketones

The keto diet aims to switch the body’s fuel source from glucose to ketones, so paying attention to these levels is essential for ketogenic success. A Paleo diet does not focus on measuring ketones.

Keto Focuses on Macronutrients

A keto diet focuses strongly on the macronutrient ratio – the amount of fats, carbs, and proteins that are eaten each day. This is important to achieve ketosis, as the primary macro for keto is fat, with less protein and restricted carbs. Many keto eaters will consume 100 grams or less of carbs per day, and sometimes 50 grams or less. The macro ratios needed to achieve ketosis are different for everyone based on your hormones, activity level, fitness, genetics, weight, and other health conditions. On Paleo, there are no limitations from counting macronutrients.

Paleo or Keto: How do you know which Diet is Right for you?

paleo or keto - which one is betterWhether you’re going Paleo, keto, or a hybrid of the two, these diets can help to reduce weight, lower inflammation, and balance other body factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. So, if those factors are all common, how do you know which version is the best for your current needs? While nothing can replace one-on-one advice from your personal physician or practitioner.

Here are some of the following guidelines that can help you start the process of elimination.

For Becoming a Healthier Eater: Paleo
Paleo allows more  intake of vegetables and fruits in, which makes eating healthy much more sustainable.

For a Busy Lifestyle: Paleo
If you’re busy and especially if you travel a lot, counting macros can easily become complicated. Finding quality high-fat foods on the go is more difficult than seeking out Paleo foods, even in most restaurants.

For Balancing Blood Sugar: Keto or Paleo-keto
Diabetics respond well to the highly controlled carbohydrate intake of the keto diet.

For Boosting Brain Health: Keto or Paleo-keto
Mental clarity and focus improve on the keto diet because you’re fueling your body and brain from ketones instead of glucose.

For Beating Autoimmunity: Paleo
Autoimmune disorders need higher volumes of vegetables and fruits for antioxidants.

For Beating Hormone Imbalances: Keto, Paleo, or Paleo-keto
It depends on the specific hormone issue. PCOS responds well to keto or Paleo-keto, while thyroid disorders respond better to the higher carb intake of Paleo.

Paleo and Keto Foods List

Food GroupsPaleoKeto
Proteins Yes
(such as Meat,Poultry,Bacon,Turkey,Goat,Pork etc)
(such as Meat,Poultry,Eggs etc)
Healthy Fats & OilsYes
(such as Coconut oil,Olive oil,Avocado oil,Coconut butter
Butter,Ghee,Olive oil,Coconut oil,Avocado oil,Cocoa butter etc)
(such as Apple,Avocado,Mango,Blue berries etc)
Less than 5%
(such as Avocado)
Non-Starchy VegetablesYes
(such as Spinach,Celery,Watercress)
Starchy VegetablesYes
(such as Sweet potato,Beets,Butternut squash
Less than 5%
Beans & LegumesNoNo
(such as Crab,Lobster,Shrimp etc)
Nuts & SeedsYes
(such as Almonds,Cashews,Hazelnuts,Chia seeds etc)
(such as Sunflower seeds,Walnut6s,Brazils etc)
No-Calorie Sweetners

Artificial SweetnersNoYes
CoffeeYes(no cream or artificial sweetners allowed)Yes(Butter,no-calories sweetners allowed)
(Not Recommended)
Low carb dry wines,unflavored liquors
Organic sulfite-free,red wines,unsweetened liquors

Should we combine Paleo with Ketogenic Diet?

  •  Keto diet is considered to be higher in fat than paleo, as paleo is higher in carbs.
  • Paleo is great for whole digestive health and active body and is more sustainable than any other diet.
  • Keto diet plan is better for short term only, on the other hand paleo can be done for long run.
  • Keto should be practiced under a professional mentor to get its best results.
  • Paleo does not need a strict macronutrient breakdown.


Which is better Paleo Diet or Ketogenic Diet??

We have discussed paleo vs keto in this whole article. So, which one has the edge over other? As keto diet is more restrictive, it may be difficult (but not impossible) to incorporate into busy lifestyles. The Paleo diet is less restrictive. You can try both to see which diet helps you feel your best!

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