Keto vs Paleo: Are these Two Diets Good for You?

You must have heard about the popular keto and paleo diets, especially when you hit the gym or when you want to lose weight.

You may be curious to know their differences and similarities and whether they are considered healthy lifestyle choices.

Have you ever wondered why the keto diet is well known as the high-fat diet and why some people claim that the paleo diet belongs to the Paleolithic era and focuses on the early human diets?

Keep reading to find out. Don’t miss a piece, and things will fall into place!

This post aims at helping you form foundational knowledge about keto and paleo diets and make informed food choices.

It’s time to avoid processed foods and consume whole foods. Stay healthy!

keto vs paleo

Keto Diet

A ketogenic diet emphasizes eating a lot of protein, healthy fats, and few carbohydrates.

Carbs are commonly used by the body as an energy source. A lack of carbs causes the body to start utilizing its fat and some protein reserves, thus entering a state called “ketosis.” A person in true ketosis will have their liver produce ketones from stored fat, which the body uses as fuel.

Some people think that entering a state of ketosis can help them shed excess body fat, lower their risk of developing diabetes, and optimize their cardiovascular health.

The keto diet aims to induce ketosis through the calculated adjustment of dietary macronutrients, as detailed.

  • 70-80%               Fat
  • 20-25%               Protein
  • 5-10%                 Carbs

The keto diet eliminates high carb foods, grains and legumes, starches, starchy vegetables, root vegetables, highly processed foods, and unhealthy fats. The diet also incorporates high fat foods: fatty fish, meats, unprocessed cheese, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils (e.g., avocado oil and coconut oil), as well as low-carb vegetables.

Paleo Diet

The paleolithic diet, also known as “the caveman diet,” is founded on the idea that consuming foods that were available to early humans will promote optimal health.

The idea that modern ways of food production and processing are detrimental to human health is one of the foundational principles of the paleo diet.

Therefore, by altering your dietary habits to resemble those of Paleolithic hunters, you will better support your body’s biological processes, which will enhance digestion and health.

The paleo diet excludes grains and legumes, processed sugar, and most sources of dairy. The paleo diet encourages consuming meats, fish and seafood; eggs; vegetables; fruits; tubers; nuts and seeds; healthy fats and oils (e.g., olive oil).

Similarities between Keto and Paleo

The paleo and keto diets have many similarities despite their differences. The key similarities shared by these regimens are listed below.

keto-vs-paleo lose weight
  • Both encourage the consumption of whole foods and exclude highly processed foods.
  • Both entail eating low carb foods—less than the conventional low-calorie or low-fat diets that have been advised by experts for years.
  • Both emphasize meat for protein and recommend certain types of fats and vegetables.
  • Both emphasize healthy fats.
  • Both eliminate added sugar. However, paleo is a bit more flexible; it allows natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Keto, on the other hand, does not allow any type of sugar due to its high carb content.
  • Both exclude healthful foods: whole grains (quinoa, rice, bread, and oats) and legumes (beans, peanuts, peas, and lentils).

Key Differences between Keto and Paleo

Paleo is more Concerned with Ideology, while Keto Concentrates on Macronutrients

The paleo diet stresses lifestyle decisions. it promotes particular types of exercise and mindfulness in everyday activities.

One of the pillars of the paleo diet is to include short, intense exercises in your daily routine. The stress that may come with longer workouts is believed to be lessened by this kind of physical activity.

The paleo diet also promotes yoga and meditation as ways to reduce tension.

keto-vs-paleo starchy vegetables

Although the paleo diet is very specific, it has no regard for macronutrients. You are allowed to eat as much as you want of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as long as they belong to permitted food categories.

Keto, on the other hand, lacks a matching philosophy or lifestyle component. Although choosing healthy food sources is encouraged, the ratio of macronutrients is the primary focus. The keto diet does not mandate any extra lifestyle modifications; instead, it leaves that up to the individual.

Paleo Encourages Whole-Food Carbohydrates

Even though some sources of carbs are eliminated on the paleo diet, it doesn’t restrict your carbohydrate intake the way the keto diet does.

Paleo does not place much emphasis on macronutrients, so depending on the foods you choose to consume within the established guidelines, your diet could potentially contain a lot of carbs.

The paleo diet’s carb sources are somewhat constrained but not entirely removed because refined sugars, grains and legumes are not allowed. Carbs from whole food categories like fruits, veggies, and natural sweeteners are still permitted on the paleo diet.

Keto Permits Dairy and some Soy Foods

Keto supports the consumption of some soy and high-fat dairy products, as long as they fall within the recommended macronutrient range. Paleo restricts dairy and soy, with the exception of some butter.

Keto Diet Side Effects

The high-fat, low-carb diet guarantees rapid weight loss, but medical professionals are concerned about some complications and side effects over the long run. I encourage you to read further about that, since the list of side effects is longer than you think.

Here some of the most common side effects:

The Keto Flu

The keto diet’s extremely low carbohydrate intake can result in the keto flu, which brings on headaches, nausea, cramping in the muscles, and exhaustion. These disagreeable side effects typically go away after a few weeks. A good night’s sleep and drinking lots of water should be helpful.


When someone drastically reduces their carb intake and neglects to replace it with other fiber-rich foods like vegetables, they will likely experience diarrhea. Similarly, switching to artificial sweeteners and consuming more dairy may cause diarrhea.


If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you shouldn’t start the keto diet unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead and is closely monitoring you.

When the body accumulates too many ketones, a dangerous condition known as ketoacidosis may occur. While burning fat, crowded ketones create a byproduct, acid, which causes the blood to become acidic. This damages the liver, kidneys, and brain and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

Paleo Diet Side Effects

Even though the paleo diet is supposed to offer many health benefits, it brings two major health concerns.

Higher Possibility of Heart Diseases and Osteoporosis

Due to the greater consumption of animal protein, the paleo diet has a high intake of saturated fats. Dieters may experience cholesterol increases over time, particularly the less healthy cholesterol. This might increase the chances of developing heart diseases.

The paleo diet excludes dairy products because they are thought to be inflammatory foods; however, over time, a deficiency in calcium and vitamin D raises the risk of osteoporosis, rickets, and bone injuries.

Keto and Paleo- Do they Really Help in Weight Loss?

paleo and blood sugar, when you eat foods

Eliminating unprocessed foods may have health advantages, including the potential to aid in weight loss in the short run.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much data on how successful these diets are at causing long-term, sustained weight loss. However, some short-term research is promising.

Keto vs Paleo- Which Diet is Better?

Both the keto and paleo diets have particular rules that list what is allowed and not allowed. There are some commonalities among the diets, but there are few major differences.

Most people’s prior eating patterns must be drastically altered in order to follow these diets. Excluding food groups, such as grains and legumes, and consuming high fat foods may be difficult for some individuals to maintain over the long run. People following either diet must make sure they take enough supplements to make up for the nutrients they lack in their diet.

The choice of which of these diets to follow should be based on the dieter’s present state of health, level of dietary rigor, and personal health objectives.

salmon for keto or paleo

Some paleo dieters will consume processed foods as long as they are low in sugar, don’t contain dairy or grains, and adhere to the dietary guidelines. Others following the paleo diet are allowed to consume only whole, unprocessed foods, excluding anything packaged.

Any meat is acceptable for some keto dieters, as long as it contains no carbohydrates. Others only emphasize grass-fed meat to reach optimal health results.

Before making dietary changes, people should consult their doctor, particularly if they have diabetes, heart disease, or other health issues.

Ahmed Matar

Not just food lover, I also like to write about foods and diets, especially keto! Finding low-carb food is fun for me regardless of how others find it difficult. Besides having an interest in foods & diets I also like exercising and walking long distance regularly :)

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