You might have heard of Keto and Paleo, two popular diets these days.
On paper, they look pretty similar. Both are healthy alternatives to the modern, unhealthy Standard American Diet (SAD).
But there are important differences between the two diets. Let’s break down the Keto vs Paleo distinction and find out which diet is right for you.
The Keto diet is a modern invention. It was first used to treat epilepsy patients in the 1920’s, and is still used for that today.
The term “Keto” comes from the scientific term “Ketosis”, a state in which the body burns fat instead of carbs. Ketosis naturally occurs when you fast for a long time or literally starve yourself. Eventually, the body runs out of carbs to burn, and switches to burning fat.
But instead of actually starving yourself, you can reach Ketosis by simply eating no or very, very few carbs. Instead of carbs, you are supposed to eat lots of fat and protein in the Keto diet. If your body is in Ketosis, it will burn through the fat that you eat instead of making you fat.
Sugar, bread, rice, pasta, candy, and even sugary fruit are out in a pure Keto diet. Tuna, chicken, beef, and milk are all in.
The Paleo diet, contrary to popular belief, is also a modern invention. It was first described by the nutritionist Walter Voegtlin in his 1975 book, The Stone Age Diet.
The term “Paleo” comes from the word “Paleolithic”, meaning Stone Age. The Paleo diet is supposed to be the diet of our Stone Age, caveman ancestors.
Obviously, cave people did not eat ice cream, chicken McNuggets, Snicker’s bars, or hamburgers. But what did they eat?
According to Voegtlin, and people who adopt the Paleo diet, our ancient ancestors ate a lot of protein, fruit, and vegetables, but not a whole lot of grains and dairy, and definitely no processed foods.
The official Paleo diet, then, is pretty similar to the Keto diet. Both are high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diets.
However, the Paleo diet is not really what our ancient ancestors ate. It turns out they did not have one single diet. Some of them even ate lots of dairy and grains. So the Paleo diet is really a modern invention.
Keto Vs Paleo: The Key Difference
If you could sum up the difference between Keto and Paleo in one word, it would be “glucose”.
Our bodies need glucose, a kind of sugar, to function properly. Normally, we get glucose from carbs and sugary food.
Keto strictly limits glucose to make Ketosis happen.
Paleo does not ban glucose. It only bans modern, industrial sources of glucose, like donuts and ice cream. Honey, fruit, and other natural sources of sugar are still allowed.
Which is right for you?
The bottom line is this: Your diet is up to you, and you should only make big changes to your diet after talking to your doctor.
However, both Paleo and Keto are generally healthier than the Standard American Diet, because they both cut out all the junk.
Paleo might be a little easier to try at first, since a Paleo diet doesn’t have to induce Ketosis.
But it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of recipes will work with both a Keto diet and a Paleo diet. Take Kbosh pizza crusts for example! They are low-carb crusts made out of vegetables and contain no preservatives or added sugar. Kbosh pizza crusts would be welcome at the dinner table of an ancient caveman or a modern day Keto dieter.