Keto is often confused with the Paleo Diet. The two diets are very similar, including real-food, excluding refined carbohydrates and sugar. The paleo diet (drawn from the word Palaeolithic) is a diet that emulates our diet evolutionarily known as the caveman diet. From Loren Cordain to Robb Wolf, it has been reborn and rejuvenated over many sequels and with the rise of CrossFit and many of the athletes owing to their success to the diet/training synergy, it was sent soring.
The Paleo Diet
The paleolithic diet, or paleo diet, focuses on food quality, banishing inflammatory polyunsaturated fats, gluten, grains, and legumes. Based on meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and a little starch, the paleo diet is not a low-carbohydrate diet. It involves plenty of root vegetables, bananas, syrups, dates, and honey – this is one of the main differences between the paleo diet and the ketogenic diet. This flexibility in carbohydrate intake is what makes this diet popular for people carrying out high-intensity activity. Having the freedom to consume a higher proportion of your diet as carbohydrates can suit people that can tolerate them and those that need them to perform at their best in high-intensity situations can certainly benefit from this approach.
The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet focuses on entering nutritional ketosis as its primary aim. With different types of ketogenic diet existing, the general consensus is that to enter nutritional ketosis optimally, many of the same foods need to be banished as in the paleo diet. Hence, the ketogenic diet also tends to exclude, vegetable oils, gluten, dairy, grains, legumes, and more. As mentioned previously, the main difference is the focus upon limiting carbohydrates, another difference is likely to be the consumption of fat. The paleo diet does include plenty of healthy fats, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, butter etc… But due to the ketogenic diets’ restriction of carbohydrates, it is naturally much higher in fat. For this reason, it is necessary to consume 60-80% of calories as fat in order to ensure you are eating enough food throughout the day. Because of the flexibility in macronutrient intake in a paleo diet, it is not necessary to eat this much fat unless adopting a low-carb, moderate protein paleo diet.
Keto vs Paleo: The Verdict
With these diets and their close similarities, there is an element of trial and error that should be encouraged in your personal selection. Along with your carbohydrate tolerance, disease status, and the type of physical activity you carry out. Both the paleo diet and the ketogenic diet can benefit each of us equally – importantly, removing processed carbohydrates and processed foods containing lots of excess calories, fats, and sugars. The specificity comes in when you are looking to optimize. Whether that be for performance, health, or longevity, it is crucial that you approach this journey mindfully to ensure you remain dialed in on the things that matter most to you.