Paleo versus Keto Diet: Difference, Which Is Better and How To Choose

Paleo Vs. Keto Diet – Which Is Better and How to Choose?

Weight loss is sure to have found its place in almost all of our new year resolutions, and the ultra-popular diet plans paleo and keto top the list. Some might even have tried a few tips and tricks, but doubts certainly pertain to the ‘Whats,’ ‘Whys,’ and ‘Hows’ of going about the whole thing. Well, here is everything you need to help clear the haze of confusion and gain clarity about the rival diets. Wait no more and jump right into the diet dive!

What Is a Paleo Diet?

A paleo diet is one that primarily focuses on eating foods that humans ate during the Paleolithic era (roughly around 10,000 B.C.). Simply put, it is based on the belief that the human body cannot adapt well to modern-day processed foods, and therefore eliminating them from the daily diet can result in weight loss. It is also called the Caveman diet or Stone Age diet. Resembling the dietary plan of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it seeks to include only those food items that were readily available back then. Ardent supporters of the diet claim that to achieve optimal health, the idea is to stick to wholesome food and food products. Paleo has gained popularity in recent years mainly because of the reduced chances of inflammation, increase in energy, stabilized blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of chronic diseases apart from the weight loss it guarantees. The diet focuses on wellness practices and exercise.

Paleo Diet Foods To Eat

Now that you know what a paleo diet is, it is essential to know the food you can include in the diet. It focuses on foods that are rich in protein and high in fiber.  A few of them are :

  • Plant-based oils such as olive, flaxseed, coconut, macadamia, etc.
  • Butter
  • Avocados
  • Consumption of healthy fats such as those from grass-eating or wild animals
  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables (starchy and non-starchy)
  • Herbs and spices
  • Seeds
  • Unprocessed meat and seafood
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Eggs

Paleo Diet Foods to Avoid

Wondering what the things to avoid during a paleo diet? Well, we have it covered for you!

Refrain yourself from consuming:

  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Sugar-free sweeteners
  • White and brown sugar
  • Processed foods (chips, biscuits, instant noodles, etc.)
  • Grains such as bread, quinoa, pasta, and so on
  • Legumes (peanuts, lentils, tofu, and beans)
  • Alcohol (goes without saying!)

Now that you are aware of a paleo diet, let us take you through the basics of a keto diet plan.

What Is a Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and severely low carbohydrate diet. The primary goal of the keto diet is to put the body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process in the liver wherein the body runs low on carbohydrates and burns fat for energy. The concentration of ketones in the blood is high during this state.

A person following the keto diet must consume 70-80 % fat, 20-25 % protein, and 5-10 % carbohydrates. The human body tends to break down carbohydrates to fuel itself. However, when there is a strict curb on consuming it, it chooses to synthesize ketones until you consume carbs again. This results in loss of water weight and, thus, the results are felt immediately. Originally intended to treat seizures, it is, however, becoming popular in the present day.

Keto Diet Foods to Eat

Anything high in fat content and low on carbs is ideal, implying you can consume the following:

  • Animal proteins, like beef, pork, bacon, chicken, turkey, and fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy foods, like milk, cream, butter, and cheese
  • Plant-based meats like seitan, tofu, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low sugar berries and citrus fruits
  • Oils, including olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Soy foods provided they are within the mentioned carb range
  • Low-carb plant foods, like avocado, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs

Keto Diet Foods to Avoid

A ketogenic diet plan eschews carbs to guide the body towards a better and healthier version. This means:

  • No grains or starches of any (whole or processed)
  • Bye-bye legumes!
  • Strict no to sugar and sweet foods like chocolates, candies, ice cream, etc.
  • A blind eye to sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup
  • Adieu to hydrogenated and refined oils
  • Potatoes, carrots, tubers, and root vegetables are definitely out of the list

Pros of Paleo Vs. Keto

Pros of Paleo Vs. Keto

With fundamentals and do’s and don’ts of both the diet plans ticked off the list, let us now get to know the pros of paleo versus keto.


  • Swapping to whole foods implies that the body will be supplied with all the essential nutrients it needs for better functioning. This leads to weight loss, improvements in sleep, digestion, cardiovascular health, cognitive abilities, and energy levels. It also reduces the risks of chronic illnesses.
  • The diet plays a vital role in helping discover what is allergic and what is not.
  • It has benefits for metabolic syndrome and improving cholesterol levels.


  • In addition to weight loss, it is also beneficial in treating various neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric variations, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and more.
  • As it omits sugar in all forms and almost eliminates carbs, it can help curb sugar cravings.
  • Studies have revealed that it helps to reduce the progression of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Following a keto plan can slow down the growth rate of tumors in cancer patients.

Cons of Paleo Vs. Keto

Just as a coin has two sides, so does any diet plan. With a wide range of benefits are associated few cons as enlisted below:


  • The major checkmate to regularly following this diet comes in the form of expense. With 100 % organic produce, grass-fed meat, and fresh seafood, it might not be affordable to all.
  • Total exclusion of dairy products can lead to deficiency in calcium and cause low bone and tooth density.
  • It is likely to harm gut health in due course of time.


  • Consistency is the key, and the rigid nature of the diet makes it hard to sustain.
  • Intake of high amounts of saturated fat can affect your heart health adversely.
  • Cutting down on a bulk of nutrients vital to the proper functioning of the body causes keto flu. Constipation, brain fog, muscle cramping, and lack of energy are the other common side effects.

How Similar are Paleo and Keto?

Anchored around the same weight loss objectives and a better lifestyle, the paleo and keto diets bear similarities on the following grounds.

1. Welcome home whole foods

Both eating regimes exclude processed foods and encourage nutritious whole foods.

2. Low profile for carbohydrates

The rival diets unite to low carb intake.

3. Grain-free and legume-free

Paleo and keto diets are known to steer clear of grains and legumes.

How Different are Paleo and Keto?

The key sections where the difference between keto and paleo arise are:

1. Processed meat

A paleo diet strictly avoids processed foods while the keto diet allows them as long as it does not contain added sugars or carbohydrates.

2. Yes dairy, no dairy

A ketogenic diet thrives on dairy products (milk excluded) owing to high fat and low carb content. On the other hand, paleo diets forbid dairy altogether.

3. Macro ratio

If you want to know how does paleo differs from keto exactly, then this is the answer. Macro ratios!  While paleo focuses on what to eat rather than what the macro ratio should be, the keto plan is driven towards hitting those specific macronutrients.

4. Added sugars

Keto is sugar-free, while paleo allows exceptions of raw honey, maple, and other natural sweeteners.

5. Allowed foods

Guidelines on allowed foods is stricter for paleo diets than keto. The Keto diet is well-done if keto macros are hit.

Which Is Healthier Paleo or Keto?

Inarguably the paleo diet is easier to follow because it imposes fewer restrictions. Moreover, it includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Striking the right balance is quintessential to consistency, and the paleo diet provides just that. People find it easy to maintain paleo diet plans in comparison to keto ones. Generally, in keto diet charts, people start obsessing over their carbohydrate intake and unknowingly develop an unhealthy relationship with food. The fact that keto diets are high maintenance makes it the tougher choice between the two. Both diets cut short on legumes that are rich in fiber content, thereby interfering with gut health.  It is also vital to understand these diets are often undertaken for short terms rather than long periods. Weight loss is the immediately visible effect. However, the impacts such diets are likely to have on health are yet to be deciphered. Although it is understood by now that keto diets are abundant in fat, the effect they can have on the metabolism is unknown. The better side to both diets is that they emphasize eating whole foods, seafood, and lean meat. However, it needs to be kept in mind that restrictive food habits are challenging to sustain.

Which One Helps to Lose Weight Paleo or Keto?

Any diet plan is initiated with the goal of weight loss and, in that regard, both the diets deem fit. However, it is a never-ending one when it comes to the paleo vs. keto weight loss debate. Both the plans help you lose weight quickly but messes with the enjoyment of eating. Eliminating almost all your favorite foods drains you of the energy to do pretty much anything. Eating becomes a dreadful chore rather than an enjoyable process. All of this can have long-term effects on your mood, mental and physical health. If you ever stop dieting, the probabilities are higher that you might end up gaining more weight than before. That said, if you had to choose one, Paleo is probably the better choice. The reason being that you get to explore more options than in a keto diet. A major share of calories is not constituted by fat rather leafy vegetables and lean meat, which is likely to be a notch higher than your present eating habits.

How to Choose Between Paleo and Keto?

Before deciding on a diet plan, be clear about what you want. Make sure you know what you want to sacrifice. Would you prefer eating whole foods and maintaining a healthy diet, or would you cut down carb intake and focus on fats and proteins instead? It is recommended you discuss this with your health trainer or dietician.  A clear-cut plan is a must for both diets, and, therefore, one with haphazard lifestyles cannot afford both. In case of any prior health conditions, a consultation with a doctor is crucial before bringing about major dietary changes.

In a nutshell, you need to have the right mindset to maintain a healthy routine rather than relying on processed foods and other junk. Any diet plan has its share of controversy, and the paleo keto plans are no different. Experts often recommend a balanced meal with an equal share of all the vital nutrients than completely ghosting one away. A healthier diet is known to overtake a fad diet in long-term benefits, consistency, and a fit body. Avoid intermediate snacking, eating outside regularly, mindlessly scrolling the phone, and sitting idle to prevent fat accumulation in the body. Intermittent fasting, a regular workout schedule, and an organized life can do wonders to both your mind and body. With clearly defined goals, sustained efforts, and a healthy fitness regime, you will undoubtedly achieve your goal.

Also Read:

1500 Calorie Diet Plan
Balance your Body With Yoga Diet
Pros and Cons of Alkaline Diet Plan

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.