Keto and Paleo DIet: Yes or Not?

Both keto and paleo are popular fad diets that have specific requirements involving the elimination of certain foods. The Keto diet focuses on eating a variety of micronutrients to achieve weight loss by burning fat. The paleo diet focuses on eliminating processed foods such as refined sugar and dairy products. It encourages a lifestyle of foods that were eaten during the stone age period. It is important to note that the two diets have similarities as well as differences.

The Paleo diet promotes eating what was available during stone age time. Also referred to as the “caveman diet,” it is made behind the theory that modern food production and processing methods are detrimental to human health. Therefore, adjusting eating habits to resemble those of paleolithic humans will promote natural biological functioning of the body by improving digestion and health (Module 7 Notes: Exploring Fad Diets). The diet provides a lifestyle component on wellness actions and exercise while emphasizing eating whole foods.

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The Paleo diet emphasizes the elimination of processed foods, dairy products, refined sugars, legumes, and grains. While this appears to cut down carbohydrates, paleo diet makes it difficult to consume high amounts of the same by restricting its common sources. An individual may be forced to look for other means of getting carbohydrates such as yam, white potato, sweet potatoes, cassava roots, bananas, and coconut. While the diet does not restrict eating carbohydrates practically, it encourages eating fruits and vegetables (Farrell, 2015). Paleo diet allows an individual to customize carbohydrates quantity as per energy requirement while remaining within the paleo diet protocols.

A ketogenic diet mimics the metabolic impact of fasting through induction of ketosis. In ketosis, the body utilizes ketone bodies to produce energy during metabolism due to inadequate intake of carbohydrates (Masood et al., 2020). The ketone bodies produced in the liver act as a source of energy by replacing glucose. While the ketogenic diet was created to control seizures, it was adapted due to its health advantages, such as weight loss and reduction of body cholesterol.

The major focus of ketogenic diets is a low quantity of carbohydrates, high fat amounts, and an appropriate quantity of proteins. The diet stipulates that one should obtain about 78% calories from fats, 13% from proteins, and 9% from carbohydrates (Masood et al., 2020). One of the reliable methods to achieve the requirements of the keto diet is to reduce carbohydrate intake to at most 30 grams per day, consumer high fat quantities, and about 0.5 grams of protein according to body weight (Ting et al., 2018). These conditions work to make the body enter into a ketosis state.

While Paleo focuses on ideology, keto is based on intake of macronutrients. Paleo promotes stress reduction through meditation and yoga as well as other lifestyle choices in addition to the diet. While paleo allows flexibility on whole food carbohydrates, keto restricts all rich carbohydrate sources such as starchy vegetables, grains, and sweeteners. In addition, Keto allows the use of soy foods and dairy products restricted in paleo (Masood et al., 2020). Both diets emphasize eliminating grains, legumes, and added sugar, and the intake of whole foods and healthy fats.

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A good recommendation for an individual with diabetes would be a low-carb paleo diet because of its ability to minimize the usage of diabetic drugs. Low carbohydrate intake minimizes insulin dose hence cutting down hypoglycemia episodes (Olivieri, 2019). Additionally, the paleo diet allows flexibility in reducing or increasing carbohydrates depending on individual needs without using processed foods. It recommends exercise, meditation, and foods that help in reducing insulin sensitivity and inflammation.

As popular fad diets, paleo and keto promise quick weight loss plans based on eliminating or reducing eating specific food types. While paleo restricts processed foods, it does limit the amount of carbohydrates. On the other hand, the keto diet restricts the percentage of calories obtained from carbohydrate and other food groups, making it a low-carb diet. In addition, both diets recommend healthy fats and whole foods.

References

Farrell, S. (2015). Should you eat like a caveman? The paleo diets.

Masood, W., Annamaraju, P., & Uppaluri, K. R. (2020). Ketogenic diet. Statpearls [internet]. Module 7 notes: Exploring fad diets. Web.

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Olivieri, C. (2019). Combating insulin resistance with the paleo diet. The Nurse Practitioner Journal, 44(2), 49-55. Web.

Ting, R., Dugré, N., Allan, G. M., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Ketogenic diet for weight loss. Canadian Family Physician, 64(12), 906. Web.

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