What is the keto diet, aka, the ketogenic diet? I’m sure you have heard of it before, and you’ve probably had a good idea.
You’ve also heard of the Paleo diet that has some similarities to the Keto diet.
And you want to compare which is better for you.
Let’s go over these two diets in greater detail.
Keto diet vs. Paleo, round 1, DING! DING!
Keto diet vs Paleo – be safe
Before you start comparing which diet is good or bad for you, it’s crucial that you ask a dietician, nutritionist, or doctor for advice. You may have underlying conditions in which “diets” can do more harm than good.
The Ketogenic Diet
The process of burning fat, protein, and amino acids results in ketones formation called ketosis. And the diet which is low on the carb is called the Ketogenic diet. Its other constituents are high-fats and moderate-proteins.
The reduction in carbs intake changes the metabolic pathway, where fat reserves from your diet and fats from our body are extracted and metabolized for energy. Under normal circumstances, our body gets energy from glucose.
When a ketogenic diet is taken, fat and protein are degraded to ketone bodies, which ultimately supply energy to the brain in all such critical conditions. This shifting of metabolism helps in utilizing stored fat, thus helping in weight reduction.
During ketosis, our body burns fat more efficiently for energy production.
Ketogenic diet food list
The following are the examples of some food you will eat on the ketogenic diet:
- Red Meat
- Eggs – eggs contain more protein and fewer carbs. The hormones content of eggs gives the feeling of satiety and fullness.
- Seafood – these are nearly carb-free and rich in Vitamin B and essential minerals like potassium and selenium. e.g., fish, shellfish, and salmon
- Poultry – fresh meat contains many vital minerals, but it is deficient in carbs.
- Olive oil – It has antioxidant properties and decreases cardiovascular diseases such as; hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, valvular heart diseases, and ischemic heart diseases.
- Nuts and seeds – these nutrients help to reduce depression, cancers, and heart disease. e.g., almond, walnuts, cashews, etc
- Berries – generally, fruits have high carbohydrates content but not in the berries. Berries reduce inflammatory processes and protect against many infectious diseases.
- Butter and cream – butter and different kinds of cream are rich in fats and fat-related compounds. Because of their biochemical makeup, they are part of the ketogenic diet.
- Sugar-free coffee and tea – caffeine speeds up metabolic processes at all levels in the human body and gives physical strength, alertness, and elevates mood.
- Dark chocolate – it keeps arteries healthy and helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Cheese – cheese is a ketogenic diet as it is also rich in fat with a lesser amount of carbs.
- Vegetables having low-carbs – starch free vegetables have fewer carbs but are very rich in several minerals and nutrients. Vegetables possess a filling effect, so they give an early feeling of satiety. e.g., broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, etc
Hundreds of years ago, hunting, collecting, picking, and plucking was used to get food. And it was available mostly in the form of fresh meat, fish, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruits.
Historically foods consumed in those times were called the Paleo Diet. It is also called the Paleolithic diet, Stone age diet, and Caveman’s diet.
These foods mostly contain protein, fibers, fat, and many minerals. The idea is that the human body does not adopt modern-day foods resulting in obesity, cardiac diseases, and diabetes. By opting for the old way of eating, our body can get nutrients and minerals adequately – elements of a healthy diet.
The Paleo diet consists of what our ancestors used to eat thousands of years ago. Despite scientific advancement, it is not possible to know about their pattern of eating. But they used to consume a diet in the form of whole-food.
The paleo diet’s basic concept is to consume fewer carbs, the same as in the ketogenic diet. If an active lifestyle is adopted by using these useful concepts, many diseases can be prevented.
Paleo diet-friendly foods
- Leafy Vegetables
- Tubers and roots
- Fish and seafood
- Nuts and seeds
Paleo diet – foods to avoid
- Dairy products
- Sugar and fructose-rich edibles – soft drinks, candies, ice cream, etc
- Grains -bBread, pasta, wheat, rye barley, etc
- Vegetable oils – soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, etc
- Artificial sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc
- Processed foods – harmful additives.
- Trans fats – found in processed foods.
Modified Paleo diet
Studies and research have suggested some food items that are health-friendly hence making their place into a paleo diet plan called Modified Paleo diet. e.g., a gluten-free diet is preventive for celiac disease.
Mechanism of weight loss
When an average person’s body does not get enough supply of carbs for a continuous period of 3-4 days, it leads to a reduction in glucose supply to the brain. The brain naturally shifts to other cycles and alternatively uses the liver’s ketone bodies as its energy source.
[But Diabetic patients can undergo dangerous Diabetic ketoacidosis. Consult with your doctor first if you have diabetes type 1]
In this way, proteins and fats are broken down by the liver to provide energy, which helps burn extra fats and helps in total weight reduction. Ketosis reduces appetite. High fat and high protein diets also decrease hunger.
Paleo diet and weight loss
Unlike other diets, paleo diets contain whole food such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, and unprocessed meat. Paleo food helps weight reduction in the following ways:
- Filling Effect – Paleo diet has more filling effects on the stomach, and by doing this, it ultimately reduces hunger.
- Caloric reduction – due to the paleo diet’s filling effect, a person eats less, which results in decreased total caloric intake. Fewer calories lead to weight loss.
- Rich Sugar content – modern diets have a high level of processed food like added sugar, which is bad for health. Sugar adds more calories to the diet resulting in weight gain. Paleo diet allows whole foods that contain natural sugar and essential minerals & vitamins.
- Low-carbs – Paleo diet has foods that are low in carbohydrates hence contributing to the weight loss.
- Rich Protein content.
Protein is an essential nutrient in a weight reduction diet. And the paleo diet promotes having protein-rich diets, e.g., meat, eggs.
Keto diet and weight loss
The ketogenic diet allows carbohydrate intake less than 50gm/day. In this way, it cuts on calories to help in weight loss. Keto diet works by the following mechanisms:
- Alternating the energy fuel and reserves – usually, glucose is the primary energy source for the body, but when a carb-free diet is taken, the body shifts to other fuel reserves and makes ketones as energy fuel.
- Appetite suppression – the ketogenic diet gives an early feeling of satiety. So you eat less, and you gain less.
- Gluconeogenesis – in the absence of carbohydrates, glucose is produced by fats and proteins in the liver. This process is called gluconeogenesis.
- Decreased fat stores in the body – the body utilizes fat reserves to generate energy; therefore, weight reduction occurs.
- Improved metabolism – ketosis improves insulin resistance.
The ketogenic diet and the paleo diet have low carbs, moderate proteins, and high-fat content.
Both help in weight reduction by changing metabolic fuel.
The Keto diet and Paleo diet is easy to follow as it doesn’t involve calories calculation. Calorie counting is optional, you can choose to do so.
You should base your decision on your current health, food preference, and tolerance.