One can do a keto-paleo combo. This is true and possible because there are paleo-Common paleo diet foods approved foods that are still keto supportive. These include meat, including but not limited to beef, unrefined oils, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish.
Read on to find out the perks of doing a paleo and keto diet combo.
WHAT DO THE PALEOLITHIC DIET AND KETOGENIC DIET HAVE IN COMMON?
First of all, we have to remind ourselves what each of these diets entails.
The paleo diet is sometimes referred to as the Carnivore diet. Why is this so? Just as the name suggests, Paleolithic/Carnivore, limits foods that were common or popular when people started farming about 10,000 years ago.
These include grains and cereals, legumes and pulses, and anything dairy. Instead, it incorporates foods such as fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, fish, and lean cuts of meat.
This is so as these were in the Paleolithic era, easily obtained through hunting and gathering. Other names are the Stone Age diet, caveman diet, and hunter-gatherer diet.
It is a diet type that essentially aims to replace processed foods and modern convenience in favor of natural and nutrient-loaded foods consumed in the Paleolithic era by our hunter and gatherer ancestors.
When it comes to keto or the ketogenic diet, it calls for the consumption of foods high in healthy fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs content. It is one of the many low-carb diets and it stands out because it works by putting your body into a metabolic state of nutritional ketosis.
This is where your body instead of burning up glucose for energy, burns body fat.
So, where do the parallels meet?
First, both diets are overall low-carb and low-sugar diets and are rich in nutrients when done in the right way. I know you are wondering why paleo is a type of low-carb diet yet it advocates for fruits and vegetables, some of which are high in fruit sugar- fructose.
Worry not as paleo is generally low-carb more so in comparison to the typical Western diets. Additionally, it eliminates a lot of processed foods that have grains, dairy, and added sugar as part of the ingredients. This makes most of the foods rich in carbs to be off the table, pun definitely intended.
However, in comparison to the keto diet, it is not nearly as low-carb as keto.
Second, in terms of health benefits, both offer the following perks: improved metabolism promotes good and healthy cardiovascular function, and encourages a high intake of essential nutrients including proteins and healthy fats.
Both diets call for the consumption of foods loaded with nutrients such as quality meat, fish, vegetables, and healthy oils. lastly, both support healthy weight management.
This is because they eliminate the empty calories from the diets and in addition, are high in healthy fats which aid towards increasing satiety, hence helping with weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight.
Moreover, there are foods that are included in the keto diet and which are similar to those that are allowed in the paleo diet. But first, let us have a look at the Paleo food list.
It emphasizes the following foods: seafood, poultry that is pasture-raised, fresh fruits and non-starchy veggies, meat from animals that were grass-fed such as lamb, beef, and venison, organic eggs that are from poultry that were kept cage-free, nuts and seeds, non-refined oils such as avocado, coconut, and olive oils and finally use of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and raw honey, and at ties raw stevia and even molasses.
However, the following are to be avoided at all costs while on Paleo: legumes (peanuts and beans are no exception), refined sugar, dairy, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, white potatoes though this varies with individuals, and beverages that are sweetened with sugars such as Coca Cola and all cereal grains and products made using grain flours, whole grains not excluded.
When it comes to keto, the food list includes these types of foods: seafood, poultry, eggs, nuts, and seeds but up to a quarter a cup daily, all non-starchy vegetables, natural sweeteners such as raw honey although in moderation, non-refined oils such as walnut oil, flaxseed and coconut oils, meats that are from animals fed purely on grass such as beef, venison, and lamb meat, and dairy products that are low in carbs and contain full fat such as butter, creams, and cheeses.
Even so, there are those foods that one is restricted from eating while on keto. These include starchy veggies like all types of potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, junk foods, low–fat dairy but which are sweetened such as most brands of yogurt and ice creams, legumes, sugar- whether refined or natural,
All cereals including whole grains and products that have grain flour as an ingredient and lastly, fruit, though some may have up to a quarter cupful of berries daily.
Looking at the above food lists, you will notice that seafood, nuts and seeds, unrefined oils, eggs, and meat are allowed in both diets. Overall, we can say that they encourage the consumption of healthy fat and protein sources and veggies. On the other hand, you will see that foods containing added sugar and grains are excluded from both diets.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PALEO DIET AND KETO?
One major difference that stands out is that while keto puts your body into a metabolic state of nutritional ketosis, the paleo diet does not. A recap won’t hurt. So while in ketosis, the body produces ketone bodies from fat and which acts as its primary fuel source, and at the same time promotes a healthy weight plus other health benefits.
Secondly, the keto diet is substantially lower in carbohydrates than Paleo because it does not include starchy veggies like beetroots and potatoes.
A lot of fruits in small portions are allowed and natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and raw honey are allowed but in moderation.
This is so because, in order to achieve a state of ketosis and actually maintain it, one has to drastically and strictly reduce their carb intake.
Also, while the keto diet is higher in fat, paleo is instead higher in protein. In as much as paleo includes a variety of healthy fats in its plan, keto is still very high-fat. This is because fats contribute most of the daily calories at a whopping 75%, which is vital to get into and maintain ketosis.
Lastly, paleo is not really meant to be a “diet” as we normally think of diets, but rather it is a lifestyle change. Keto, however, is mostly short-term. However, that is not to mean that it cannot be followed for the long-term, but only if one incorporates keto-cycling.
CAN THE KETO AND PALEO DIET WORK TOGETHER?
Yes. It is very much possible to be paleo on keto or keto on paleo. As stated above, there are foods that are both keto and paleo-approved, so it is like you eat paleo supportive foods on keto anyway.
Therefore, if you want to do a keto-paleo combo and reap the benefits of both diets, then you need to essentially do the following: limit carb intake to between 20 and 30 net grams daily, monitor your protein intake to ensure it is moderate, ensuring that about 75% or even more of your daily calories is from fat.
lastly, avoid all types of sugars, dairy, and all of its products, even the low carb cheese, all grains, all legumes, all processed foods, and fruit, though you may occasionally have small servings of low sugar berries.
WHICH IS A BETTER DIET BETWEEN KETO AND PALEO?
We cannot pit two popular and healthy diets against each other and say that one is better. This wholly depends on the individual. If you are looking for a diet that is long-term, paleo is solid and a sustainable way to eat- more so if you find keto to be too restrictive or after ending keto.
However, if you are looking to lose weight or just manage a healthy weight, keto is the way to go because of the ketosis aspect which helps with that and faster.
Also, if you want to eat carbs in moderation but are not looking to strictly watch out for the carb intake, then paleo might be a better choice.
This is because for paleo, the aim is to eat a healthy and balanced diet and it cuts out the fuss about counting macros, which is very important in keto.
If you are dieting for body or muscle building, both diets are okay as they will help you in promoting lean muscle mass, enhancing athletic performance, and supporting healthy weight management.
Lastly, if you have allergies or any food sensitivities, paleo is a perfect option as it excludes the most common allergens such as the lactose in dairy and gluten.
A fair piece of advice; before embarking on either of the two diets or thinking of trying a new lifestyle regimen or diet, be sure to run it first by your dietitian and/ or healthcare provider.
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HOW MANY CARBOHYDRATES A DAY ARE ALLOWED ON PALEO?
With paleo, one is not technically required to restrict their carbs as there is no macro counting. What is of importance is that you are able to cut down on the consumption of refined carbs and processed foods, as you are exempted from eating the common carb-laden meals such as grains.
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