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Paleo vs Keto – Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss?

by Laurice Wardini October 11, 2019

Paleo vs Keto – Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss?

With so many popular diets for weight loss, it can be confusing when you begin the journey and search for the best diet to follow. You will discover paleo, keto, vegan, weight watchers, the Mediterannean diet, atkins, zone, raw food, and even more. With all of these options to choose from, where do you start? 

Although we won’t be discussing all of these diets in today’s article, we will be comparing paleo vs keto since they’re fairly similar. However, they still have monumental differences.  

What’s the Difference?

While you will find many of the same foods allowed with the two diets, the biggest difference is the values behind the diets and rules to follow – keto is much stricter. You need to plan meals and track macronutrients to ensure you’re following the ideal nutrient splits. Additionally, some people experience negative side effects while their body is adapting to keto. 

On the other hand, there are no “rules” to follow for paleo other than the foods you should avoid.

Defining Keto

Keto focuses on inducing ketosis through particular calculations of carbs, protein, and fat. Ketosis is the metabolic state when your body uses calories from fat as a source of energy (rather than carbs). It consists of a high percentage of calories from fat, some from protein, and very minimal amount from carbs. This split puts your body into ketosis and burns stored fat quickly – people see incredible fat loss results when they follow keto diets. 

This is the typical macronutrient setup on a keto diet:

  • Fat: 60–80%
  • Protein: 20–30%
  • Carbohydrates: 5–10%


Defining Paleo 

On the contrary, paleo is based on the idea that eating foods that were only available to early humans will promote best health. Paleo avoids grains, legumes, processed sugars, and most sources of dairy. It believes that the processing methods of modern foods have negative results on human health. 

It’s sometimes referred to as the “caveman diet” because of its emphasis on foods that were available to early humans. While keto is focused on losing weight, paleo is based on eating healthy. With paleo, you don’t need to overload on fat and you can eat as many carbs as you’d like (as long as they remain within the food restrictions). 

Foods for Keto vs Paleo Diets

The confusion between the two diets arises because the foods you can and can’t eat are pretty similar. They end up avoiding many of the same foods such as grains, beans, and rice. However, there are some things you can eat on keto diets that you wouldn’t be eating on a paleo diet (and vice versa). Keto doesn’t have a strict rule against processed foods, which opens up plenty of unhealthy options to indulge in. 

Approved Foods for Keto Diets

  • Meat, Fish, Seafood 
  • Dairy (including cheese, milk, butter, yogurt)
  • Non-starchy Vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Coconut
  • Nuts (except for peanuts)
  • Seeds
  • Oils
  • Eggs


Approved Foods for Paleo Diets

Any of the below foods that are whole and unprocessed:

  • Healthy Oils (Avocado, Coconut, Olive, Walnut, Flaxseed, and Macadamia)
  • Grass-Fed Meats 
  • Fish, and Seafood 
  • Fresh Fruits 
  • Fresh Vegetables 
  • Spices 
  • Herbs
  • Plant Milks
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Health Risks: Why We Recommend Plant-Based Keto 

Because it’s possible to eat very unhealthy on an animal-based keto diet, we recommend plant-based keto as a way to lose weight quickly while remaining healthy. Why? Eating large amounts of processed meats and high-fat dairy products every day is terrible for your health. It clogs your arteries and leads to cardiovascular issues later in life, among other problems.  

Plant-based keto is a great way to combine both values behind paleo and keto diets – you reap the excellent weight loss benefits, while feeding your body with healthy foods. There are plenty of delicious, healthy foods that you can eat on a plant-based keto diet.

Plant-Based Keto Foods

  • Coconut-Based Fats (milk, butter, oil, yogurt, kefir)
  • Vegetables (grown above ground – asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, etc.)
  • Low-Glycemic Fruits (avocado, berries) 
  • Fermented Foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables) 
  • Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, arame, and so on)
  • Stevia & Monk Fruit Sweeteners
  • Plant-Based Cheese
  • Shirataki Noodles
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Leafy Greens
  • Raw Cacao
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Avocado Oil
  • Mushrooms
  • Seitan
  • Plant-Based Keto Protein Powder

Bottom Line

Overall, it’s not too difficult to distinguish between paleo vs keto after learning a bit about each diet. To put it simply, paleo is more focused on promoting health and avoiding processed foods. If you’re looking to lose weight as quickly as possible, keto will be the way to go. 

As mentioned earlier, we recommend a plant-based keto diet to ensure you remain healthy on your weight loss journey.

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Laurice Wardini
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