Which Is Healthier Paleo or Keto?

 In this article, we'll determine between paleo and keto diets, which is better for meeting our health needs.  Let's have a clean fight. In a few lines, let's consider which diet is healthiest for you.

 Alright, let's get it on. You guys are way too amicable. What is the difference between these diets since they share some similarities?

 I put up this article to help you understand what's really good for you. A lot of friends and followers know I do a lot of Keto and health articles, but that doesn't mean that I'm totally hard-set on the ketogenic diet. 

I want to demystify the key differences between the two most popular diets we have in the world right now. Well, let's take a look at what each diet is.

Keto vs Paleo Diet? 

What is Paleo diet?

Keto diet vs paleo for weight loss

When we consider paleo we're talking about what our ancestors would have had years back, including meals that were eaten a thousand, two thousand years ago.

These include limited grains, and processed foods, devoid of sugars and artificial ingredients but when we think of a  wholesome diet, we are looking in line with ketosis. 

 This diet is based on the belief that humans should eat the same foods that were consumed during the ancient Paleolithic era, that is eating largely lean meat, veggies, and fruits while avoiding dairy, processed foods, and grains. 

There are a lot of benefits associated with it. For one, it can help you lose weight. This is because when you eat more unprocessed foods, you tend to consume fewer calories overall. 

Additionally, the diet can improve your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

What is Keto diet?

It is a complete metabolic shift, a totally different ballgame you're, getting your body from utilizing glucose over to utilizing fats as a source of fuel, so ketosis you're shifting your metabolism a whole different way. 

This diet is what big personalities like Kourtney Kardashian, Halle Berry, and Vanessa Hudgens eat. 

And if weight loss is part of your goal then this diet will do the job as It's scientifically proven to help people shed extra pounds fast and there's more to it than meets the eye which we’ll consider in detail. 

It basically replaces carbs with fat. A typical ketogenic diet plan looks like this. 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. 

It's a drastic change from the diet that the USDA recommends for most Americans, which is less than 30% fat, 20 to 35% protein, and at least 50% carbs. And it's a significant change in how your body's metabolism works. 

Normally, when we eat carbohydrates like a starchy containing potato; enzymes present in our mouth, stomach, and small bowels metabolize them into glucose, a form of sugar energy that our brain and body use for fuel. 

When you first remove carbs from your diet, the first days after you’ll likely experience strong sugar cravings from deprivation. Then your body adapts by switching gears. It starts converting fats to energy since there are no carbs to use. 

Once you start burning fat from utilizing them for energy, you'll notice those extra pounds melt away gradually. Depending on how large your weight is, you might notice reductions up to 3.5 pounds in your first week. 

By burning more fat, your body’s level of insulin, the hormone that metabolizes sugar and stores fat also drops significantly. 

This triggers your kidneys to release large amounts of sodium into the blood which can result in a common side effect known as the keto-flu. 

Many dieters at this stage report symptoms like nausea, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, and low energy levels. 

These symptoms will most likely occur within the first few weeks of starting the diet. 

After your first month, the weight changes will look better but the truth is some of the lost pounds isn't actually fat but just water. 

This is because some of the carbs you metabolized include glycogen which retains water and therefore helps keep you hydrated. 

paleo vs keto diets

This makes you pee more often and helps to lower your sodium levels which in turn causes dehydration, diarrhea or constipation, and even bad breath. 

The notorious keto-plateau usually sets in a few months into the diet. It's a common term in the community. This a period when people find it harder to continue losing more weight. 

A study, for instance, found an average of 15pounds weight loss in obese people in the first month and another 11 pounds during the next two months, but after that, they saw no change in body weight despite sticking to the diet. 

At this point, people will just quit the journey. This phenomenon is the reason researchers find it difficult to study the long-term effects of indulging in the diet. 

There's however one group that will typically stick to it for a long time. It's unclear why this happens. 

This diet plan also has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy but studies have shown that epileptic children who maintain a strict keto diet for a long time can come down with kidney stones, elevated cholesterol, and bone fractures which is yet another important consideration. 


Despite the distinct difference between these two diet habits, there are some similarities between them.   

A number of studies from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of internal medicine, Journal of endocrinology metabolism, and New England Journal of Medicine found that the ketogenic and paleolithic diet both results in lower blood pressure, triglyceride levels, lower blood sugar, and lower levels of insulin, this means in terms of health benefits, they're both great and have something great to offer. 


Where do they really start to differ and what should we pay attention to regarding these diets? 

1. Energy source

The answer is simple, the major difference to look out for between paleo and keto is that the former utilizes carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel while the latter is low on carbs. 

It doesn't matter the number of carbs involved say 50 g, 100 g, or 200 g; it still uses glucose uptake to feel your mouth and fuel your mind to work.
In the former, you're utilizing ketones like beta-hydroxybutyrate which is a whole different ballgame, 
As earlier mentioned, although some of these foods are similar, big differences exist in how the body generates fuel.

2. Consumption of Diary

Dairy is one big one, paleo doesn't consume dairy because it is believed to massively disrupt gut health. 

There's also a fair level of processing that goes into most dairy which makes them a problem for the gut. A typical paleo person usually avoids dairy like a plague, they don't like to consume it as opposed to their counterparts that massively consume dairy products.
Personally, I don't accept heavy use of dairy. I'm not a fan of it as it can keep you uncomfortable but that doesn't change the fact that Western civilization and predominantly the American culture is really keen on dairy.

This may be because dairy it's very easy to lean on, you can have some heavy cream or some half-and-half, but still, I don't recommend it.

Regardless, most people are going to indulge in it because it's an easy crutch and an easy way to get through ketosis. 

3. Artificial sweeteners inclusion:

The other thing we want to consider is the presence of artificial and processed sweeteners. 

Paleo don’t consume these things again because they live close to the earth. They live the same way as thousands of years ago when that stuff was absent. And these things don't just exist in their mind.

Although let me be honest, I've seen some people that still add Splenda in their coffee and pride themselves as paleo, but the fact is a true devotee won’t unlike a ketogenic dieter that leans on this stuff.
I see this second group of people all the time loading up with stevia and Splenda, but honestly, when it comes to stevia I am guilty as well. 

Stevia is just easy, and natural; it's still processed to a large extent and this disqualifies it as a paleolithic diet but doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. 

 Uses and Benefits

The big question begging for an answer is: who is the Stone Age diet really for and who is the low-carb diet meant for? The answers you:

1. Weight loss

If you desperately desire to lose weight then ketogenic is good for you, it being the winner here can’t be contested if you remember what we talked about in the early part of this article.

Now again, it may not be the healthiest approach if you're not doing it right again. In all the articles that I do on this subject, I talk about doing it right and doing it in a sustainable way, but regardless you're going to shed weight.

Even if you're doing the dairy thing and doing the artificial sweetener thing which may not be the healthiest way, you're going to lose weight fast. 

You wouldn't go paleolithic, because you are still utilizing those carbohydrates which will ruin your chances.

2. Dealing with cravings

How about those seeking to control cravings, if you fall into this category again keto is the winner. Maybe you're someone that needs to stay off sugar habit then you definitely need to go this way. 

It has to do with the fact that your body's going to start utilizing, beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and Other ketone bodies that dramatically curb your cravings and lower your insulin response. So therefore you're just not going to crave them.

3. Seeking flexible diet

Okay, but what if you're looking for a flexible diet? What if you're not really focused on your body composition, so much and you're more focused on just having a well-rounded wholesome life. Well then, paleo might be for you simply because it's going to allow you to have a little bit more flexibility and can allow you to get a wider range of nutrients.

Ideally, you should be getting a wide spectrum of nutrients for your body's needs, but I know that most people on keto won’t, because I talk with them day in and day out, they're not making the extra effort seen in other diets plans.

Getting necessary nutrients is a lot easier through a natural diet and you need a wholesome and well-rounded dietary approach.

4. Best for athletes

Okay, then we have to look at the athlete. This is a big one. If you're an athlete you either want to stand on one end that most likely meets your body requirements.

The problem with the caveman diet and here's the big problem is that the carbs that you are consuming are either the wrong kind of carb, meaning they are mostly fructose or you sit in that constant gray area that is low in carbs.

 This means you won’t get the full benefit of carbs which implies you’re running at the bottom of your tank but in ketosis, you eliminate the carbs altogether and shift body metabolism to another energy source which is fat.

Fructose coming from fruit is metabolized totally differently and it goes to the body in a different way. It actually stores body fat. It goes through de novo, lipid synthesis, so it's very easy.

In fact, 5 % of all the fructose that you consume immediately is stored as fat, believe it or not, just sometimes you burn it off really fast. 

That's the problem and it has to be said honestly here, looking at the CrossFit community most were big on the stone age diet till about a year ago. I'm not opposing CrossFit right here but I'm stating the obvious. 

A lot of times in a CrossFit box. You find that people don't look fit even when they're extremely athletic. They just don't always look the part, it's kind of dumbfounding well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that they're consuming high amounts of fat as if they're trying to get their bodies to utilize fats as a source of fuel, but then they're still having just enough carbohydrates to keep their body utilizing glucose, so all the extra fats they're consuming are just getting stored. They're also consuming a lot of fruit, which is not stored as glycogen. 

So it's not helping them recover from their workout at all. I've seen some drinking massive Smoothies after workouts hoping the carbs will go right into their muscles.
No, it's going to go right to your waistline, so it's just a common misunderstanding among that crowd. But that really proves my point that if you're someone that's very active, paleolithic is not really for you. 

You have better results cutting out carbs completely and shifting your metabolic state to fat oxidation but most people are yet to understand this. 

The other thing we pay attention to is the fact that when running an endurance race or doing any kind of long sustainable activity, the body utilizes ketone bodies much better than it does with carbohydrates. 

In the end, a caveman meal is good for everybody as it's about being aware of what you're consuming and ideal for someone that maybe isn't super active. 

6. Which is better for inflammation and inflammatory conditions?

To combat inflammatory processes and conditions, the paleo is most trusted to do the job. Also, people with an autoimmune disease which has chronic inflammation as one of its hallmarks will benefit greatly from a this diet.

If on the contrary, you are looking to combat metabolic diseases like PCOS, Diabetes then you should choose Keto.

Can you combine Paleo and Keto?

What about the Combination? Because those of you that are reading might be wondering, well can you do both? 

The honest answer is yes, paleo is very close to the keto diet and can be combined. You only need to eliminate the carbs in the equation.

You've got a really clean form of the ketogenic diet without dairy, artificial sweeteners, and processed meats. You stay in Ketosis which is a good, sustainable way. You will still be getting the healthy fats from Coconut oil and still getting the healthy fats from the other kinds of seeds and nuts and getting the right kind of proteins in a sustainable way. 

You're, not eating low-quality junk. So all I encourage you to do in this case is to think keto, but think that was done a thousand years ago and that's the main difference. 

Which is better? 

Is there a winner between them?  honestly,  there is no real winner but more like educating yourself and knowing what you might benefit from if you choose one diet plan, and why you may feel different using another diet, and how it can be blended all together.
So there's never a big dogfight or a true victor at the end of the day.

Side Effects


There are a few potential side effects, including constipation, diarrhea, and headaches. While these side effects are mild and temporary, they can be bothersome and uncomfortable to some people.

People with digestive issues may find that it exacerbates their symptoms. The high fiber content of fruits and vegetables can lead to gas and bloating, while the lack of whole grains can cause constipation.

Headaches are another common side effect. This is likely due to the elimination of caffeine and sugar from the diet. While headaches can be a nuisance, they typically go away after a few days on the diet.

Keto Diet?

One of the most common side effects is the “keto-flu,” which can occur when people start the diet and their bodies are adjusting to using ketones for energy. 

Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. The symptoms likely resolve in a few days or weeks on the diet.

Another potential side effect is constipation. This is often due to a lack of fiber in the diet and can be exacerbated by dehydration.

People on the diet should make sure to drink plenty of water and eat high-fiber foods like vegetables and nuts to help prevent constipation.


Either type of diet has its merits and demerits and it's worth trying. You can go ahead and grab that bread, but remember, the best diet is that which is balanced: made of fat, protein, and even carbs.

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