There are currently two popular diets – the ketogenic , or “keto” diet, and the paleo diet. What exactly are they and what are the differences between them?
A Summary of The Differences Between Paleo and Keto Diets:
- Focus on Ketone Levels: A ketogenic diet focuses on raising your body’s ketone levels by altering your food choices so you enter a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. A paleo diet doesn’t pay attention to ketone levels.
- Focus on Food Quality: A paleo diet focuses strongly on choosing whole foods that are nutrient-dense, high-quality, and free from toxins. A healthy ketogenic diet should also include high quality food, but this isn’t the emphasis.
- Amount of Carbs: A keto diet has a very low carbohydrate intake. While a paleo diet is certainly lower in carbs than many other diets out there, it typically still has a higher carb intake than a ketogenic diet.
- Amount of Fat: A keto diet puts far greater emphasis on increasing your fat intake than a paleo diet. Although paleo does encourage eating healthy fats, it’s not typically as high fat as a keto diet.
The first difference is a keto diet focuses on raising your ketone levels. The keto diet has one main aim: raising your ketone levels so you reach nutritional ketosis.
What is “nutritional ketosis”? The term was coined by Dr. Stephen Phinney, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Virta Health. He says, “Nutritional ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which your body is fueled mainly by fats and ketones, instead of carbohydrates (glucose).”
Some of the benefits of nutritional ketosis:
- lowering high blood pressure
- losing weight
- stabilizing blood sugar levels
- clearing brain fog and improving focus
- alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy
- improving your cholesterol levels
There’s also growing research and interest in the keto diet and ketosis because of its potential to cure cancer and heal neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The other differences between the keto and paleo diets will be covered in future posts.