There are over 2 billion people worldwide overweight or obese. Naturally, many of these people will be looking to lose weight. There are many diets out there, with the Ketogenic Diet and Paleolithic Diet being two major diets worldwide used for weight loss. So, let’s have a look at the difference with these diets and what they entail.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic diet was designed in 1924 by Dr Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. The Ketogenic Diet was originally designed to treat epilepsy but fell out of fashion due to the surge in new anti-seizure medications in the 1940’s. The diet is high in fat, supplies adequate protein and is low in carbohydrates. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body. The body is forced to use the fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates as there is insufficient amounts of carbohydrates available. Fat is converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Another effect of the diet is that it lowers glucose levels and improves insulin resistance. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the occurrence of epileptic seizures. Ketosis is a beneficial process and helps the body survive during times when no food is available. The diet has since been taken on as a way to lose weight quickly by cutting out or severely down on carbohydrates.
What is a Paleolithic Diet?
The Paleolithic Diet is based on our ancestors, the hunter gatherers. It eliminates any foods which may be harder to digest. Grains and legumes are eliminated from the diet due to their phytic acid content. Most dairy is eliminated due to its lactose content. By removing these hard to digest foods, the theory is that gut health thrives, autoimmune conditions improve, blood sugars are balanced, and weight loss can occur. This diet contains few processed foods as these foods were not available to our Paleolithic friends and this is what the diet is based on.
Keto V Paleo: Key differences
The Paleo diet isn’t low-carb, high-fat. The paleo diet does restrict grains, legume, processed foods and dairy. However, it does not limit the amount of carbohydrates you can eat, just the type. The Keto diet limits carbohydrates to usually around 5-10% of total daily calories in order for the body to enter ketosis. Anything over this can kick the body out of ketosis, ruining the ability to use fats for fuel.
The Keto diet doesn’t restrict dairy. Fat has little to no effect on blood sugars and insulin levels. If large amounts of protein are consumed, it does not affect blood sugars and insulin levels. The Paleo diet restricts most dairy. Lactose is a protein commonly found in dairy and can be difficult for a number of people to digest.
The Keto diet measures macronutrients. Macronutrients must be specific for the Keto diet to work. Carbohydrates must remain around 5-10% to stay in ketosis. Fats usually fall around 70-75%, while proteins fall around 20-25% of total daily calories. The Paleo diet focuses on quality of food and eliminating certain foods, rather than macronutrient measurements.
The Keto diet is specific to weight loss. The Keto diet is very specific to weight loss and burning fats for fuel. The Paleo diet can also be used for weight loss, but many people use it to help improve their current diet.
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