Paleo vs. Keto Diet: What’s The Difference?

The weight loss community has been divided into different groups due to the conflicting approaches to losing those extra fat. These groups include the paleo diet followers and those on ketogenic diet. 

This article explores the difference between the weight loss approach that was based on food consumed thousands of years ago and the diet plan that just started to gain attention from the modern society. 

The Paleo or the Caveman Diet

Paleo diet almost mimics the list of foods widely consumed during the Paleolithic era, which include lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds or the food obtained by hunting and gathering. Because of its links to older era, some experts call paleo as stone age diet, hunter-gatherer diet or caveman diet.

“The aim of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that's more like what early humans ate. The diet's reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices — an idea known as the discordance hypothesis,” according to the Mayo Clinic

Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat, said the paleo diet being used today focuses on managing protein, fat and carb percentages. The people following the approach are required to minimize or avoid grains, legumes and dairy. 

However, he noted due to paleo’s link to the older times, it may pose some risks to people today due to changes in health factors, such as allergens. Wolf suggested that people focus on food quality, particularly on nutrient dense foods while avoiding allergy-causing food and intolerances.

The Ketogenic or Modern Day Diet

Scientists first gained the idea of a keto diet in the 1900s during experiments with patients with severe epilepsy. They found that these people had fewer seizures when they were fasting.

Experts then created a type of diet that mimicked many of the features of fasting but with lower chances of starving during therapies. This approach is known as the keto diet. 

It works by dramatically reducing carbohydrates, increasing fat and keeping protein at moderate levels. Years after the discovery, a number of studies found that keto diet not only helps patients with epilepsy but also those battling type 2 diabetes and cancer.  

Many people also observed that the low carb, high fat diet were exceptionally effective for fat loss. This approach continues to gain attention with more studies still ongoing to see its benefits. 

“Over the past 20 years, I’ve explored variations of these two dietary approaches. I’ve found them to be remarkably effective for a variety of needs—ranging from fat loss to reducing inflammation to improving athletic performance,” Wolf noted.