Paleo keto is another version of the ketogenic diet that’s steadily becoming more popular, especially for those with autoimmune conditions and certain chronic diseases. What is this nutrition plan and what are the possible benefits? Why do people go paleo keto?
What is the Paleo Diet?
Paleo refers to the paleolithic diet or lifestyle that’s designed to resemble the diet of our human hunter-gatherer ancestors during the paleolithic era. The paleolithic era dates around 2.5 to 3 million up to 10,000 years ago. Paleolithic humans lived in simple huts or tepees or caves and used basic bone and stone tools.
The paleo diet might also be called the Stone Age diet, the caveman diet, or the hunter-gatherer diet. There’s no correct or single way to go about the paleo diet and our paleolithic ancestors ate varying diets depending on the season and their location.
Our ancestors would eat the food that was available. The paleo diet avoids foods that our ancestors wouldn’t have access to, such as grains and legumes. These agricultural foods became prevalent with the emergence of farming around 10,000 years ago.
Researchers believe hunter-gatherers consumed natural whole foods that they could hunt, fish, gather, or forage. Hunter-gatherers presumably had significantly lower rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Some advocates of the paleo diet believe the human body and human genetics haven’t fully evolved or adapted enough to deal with many of these agricultural foods and processes. As a result, the rate of chronic disease and obesity has increased. This idea is called the discordance hypothesis. Farming and the agricultural revolution drastically altered the human diet and, in many places, grains and legumes became the staples .
Many people think of the paleo diet as a template or guideline to base your diet on, rather than a strict set of rules to follow. Others that are following a paleo-style eating plan for medical reasons might want to adhere more closely to a traditional paleo diet for optimal results.
What Do I Eat on the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet consists of foods that are as close to nature as possible
On a paleo diet, you consume whole animal and plant foods like the following:
- Nuts and seeds
- Vegetables and tubers
- Fish and seafood
You can also eat herbs and spices and healthy fats and oils. Choose grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish, and organic foods whenever it’s available and affordable. Go for unprocessed or minimally processed and avoid heavily refined and packaged products with lots of ingredients.
Some versions of the paleo diet include dairy, as long as it’s higher quality and usually fully cultured dairy.
Many people on a paleo diet also have smaller amounts of higher quality coffee, teas, wine, and dark chocolate.
On a paleo diet you avoid the following:
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
- Processed foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Vegetable oils
What is Paleo Keto?
Paleo keto refers to a ketogenic version of the paleo diet. With paleo keto, you follow the principles of the paleo diet, but you’re in ketosis and you keep it low-carb and high fat. You can still be paleo and eat 7 bananas a day! If you’re keto, you have to make sure you lower your carbohydrates, consume a moderate amount of protein, and lots of healthy fats.
How Can Paleo Keto Improve Your Health?
Studies show the paleo diet can be beneficial for weight loss, diabetes, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and glucose tolerance. In some studies, the paleo diet was superior for weight loss and diabetes when compared to the Mediterranean diet. Research often shows that people on a paleo style diet unintentionally consume fewer calories [2,3,4,5,6].
Are You Trying the Paleo Keto Diet?
What are your thoughts on the paleolithic ketogenic diet? Has going paleo keto benefited your health?
1) Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and Healthy Eating Paleo Diet: What is it and Why is it So Popular? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182
2) Lindeberg, S., Jonsson, T., Granfelt, Y., Borgstrand, E., Soffman, J., Sjostrom, K., & Ahren, B. (2007). A paleolithic diet improved glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia, 50, 1795-1807. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-007-0716-y
3) Osterdahl, M., Kocturk, T., Koochek, A., & Wandell, P. E. (2007). Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62, 682-685. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602790
4) Jonsson, T., Granfeldt, Y., Ahren, B., Branell, U., Palsson, G., Hansson, A., Soderstrom, M., & Lindeberg, S. (2009). Beneficial effects of a paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 8(35), doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-8-35
5) Frassetto, L. A., Schloetter, M., Mietus-Synder, M., Morris Jr, R. C., & Sebastian, A. (2009). Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63(8), 947-955. DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.4
6) Ryberg, M., Sandberg, S., Mellberg, C., Stegle, O., Lindahl, B., Larsson, C., Hauksson, J., & Olsson, T. (2013). A paleolithic-type diet causes strong tissue-specific effects on ectopic fat deposition in obese postmenopausal women. Journal of Internal Medicine, 274(1), 67-76. DOI: 10.1111/joim.12048
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.