By: Lisa Payne
It’s hard to know which trendy diet will work best for you and your goals. There are so many to consider, from going low carb or high fat to hopping on the low-sugar or gluten-free train. Diet plans that claim to answer all your weight loss and healthy eating needs add to the confusion for the most part.
The keto diet (a.k.a. ketogenic diet) and the paleo diet are often associated with each other due to their similar, regimented plans. Both support a number of health and weight loss benefits, but many people still question how they measure up. Here’s what to know about them.
The Keto Diet
The keto diet seems to be today’s latest weight loss sensation. It reduces daily carbohydrate intake to less than 5%, replacing a diet rich in grains, fruit, sugar, and starchy vegetables with one that focuses on healthy fats. “Going keto” often refers to eating mostly meats, eggs, cheeses, fish, nuts, oils, and complex carbohydrates.
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With an absence of blood sugar as opposed to a diet full of carbohydrates, your body breaks down stored fat into ketones. This leads to the body reaching a state of ketosis in which energy is created. Many people experience weight loss as a result. The keto diet is recommended as a short-term option since there’s limited research on the effects of long-term use. Current studies are researching its effect on improving blood sugar stabilization, sleep and cognition, and more.
The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet focuses on eating like our hunter and gatherer ancestors by consuming lean meats, fish, eggs, spices, nuts, vegetables, fruit, and oils. Like the keto diet, the paleo diet also recommends eliminating grains, legumes, all dairy, and refined sugars. By consuming more lean protein and non-starchy fruits and vegetables, blood sugar may stabilize more efficiently. Because it helps to increase vitamins and minerals while reducing sodium, sugar, and trans fats intake, a paleo diet also has the potential to support heart health and weight loss. It’s because of these benefits that many people consider the paleo diet a lifestyle change – not a short-term solution.
The Bottom Line
There are notable differences between a keto and paleo diet. While the keto diet mostly focuses on energy-expenditure through ketosis, the paleo diet centers around blood sugar stabilization. Both seek to improve weight loss and health by restricting grains, processed foods, and sugars while also increasing the intake of lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Depending on your needs – whether long-term or short-term – check with your physician before starting any new diet plan.