Keto and Paleo diets are among the most popular diets today. They have some similarities and differences in how they affect our body and consequently our health.
What is a keto diet?
It is a low-carb diet, high in fats and having moderate amounts of protein. In a ketogenic diet, meals are made up of 5% carbs, 25% proteins and 70% fats. A keto diet helps the body to start utilizing fat as a source of energy thus burning fat. As a result, our body starts producing ketones and gets into a state called Ketosis.
What is not allowed in a keto diet?
You need to skip all kinds of flour – maida, bread, pasta, rice, millets, other grains, corn, oats, cereals, quinoa as well as lentils. Eliminate sugar in any form- white, brown, honey, jaggery etc. Avoid starchy and root vegetables like potato, sweet potato, turnips, yam, beetroot, carrot, colocasia etc. processed and refined oils, margarine etc. Fruits such asberries like strawberries ,blueberries or cranberries are allowed on a keto diet.
What is allowed on a keto diet?
Any type of non – veg like pork, mutton , chicken, fish (mainly fatty fish like salmon, snapper, trout, tuna, halibut, mackerel), whole eggs, bacon, liver etc. Nutty butter like peanut or almond, heavy cream, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, cream cheese etc. One can consume coconut oil, olive oil, avocado or avocado oil, cocoa butter, butter and ghee. Consume a handful of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. Green leafy vegetables which grow above the ground-level like spinach, kale, lettuce, bokchoy, cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms and beans etc can also be consumed.
What is Paleo diet:
Paleo diet eliminates all processed foods; cutting down dairy, legumes and whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice etc. It allows all kinds of fruits and berries but eliminates all forms of dairy products like milk, cheese, cream or butter. It also eliminates artificial sweeteners.
What is not allowed on a Paleo diet:
When on a Paleo diet, besides the above, one needs to avoid all grain-based products, potatoes and corn. One also needs to eliminate white or brown sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
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Benefits of a Keto vs. Paleo diet:
Some studies, like the Virta study for cardiovascular disease, found that many individuals who adopt a low-carb or ketogenic diet see a rapid reduction in blood pressure. The markers found that diastolic blood pressure counts dropped significantly in participants and 11.5% of them were able to stop high blood pressure medication.Reducing sugar and carbohydrates in the diet is an effective way of lowering the blood pressure.
Keto diet has been used as a part of treatment for clinical conditions like epilepsy, seizures, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
It also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels, improves insulin resistance and improves energy levels. Keto has gained popularity for weight loss as it has a high satiety value and low insulin spike.
There are studies which also found reduceddiastolic blood pressure when on a Paleo diet as compared to traditional Diabetic treatment or saw no further reduction in salt intake. Paleo eliminates processed foods and reduces food toxins contributing to metabolic syndrome.
Therefore, both the diets contribute to better insulin control, weight loss.Potassium and magnesium rich and less processed foods help in improving overall health.
The downside of Keto and Paleo diet:
Following a diet which eliminates major food groups and which does not meetone’s daily nutrients can lead to deficiencies and further medical complications.
Both keto and paleo diets have specific guidelines that include or exclude certain types of foods. There are some similarities but plenty of differences too between two diets. Both have health benefits such as those that are related with elimination of highly processed foods, white sugar and refined carbohydrates and which may help in weight loss and improving other medical parameters.
Low carb and high-fat content diet can affect people with weak digestionand in the assimilation of unhealthy fats.
High fat consumption, not clubbing with the right amount of physical activity, could affect the lipid profile. Therefore, when on a keto diet, one needs to monitor blood reports on a regular basis.
Since a keto diet is nutritionally imbalanced, there are studies indicating risk of hormonal imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, menstrual irregularities or constipation, mainly due to lack of fibre.
In both Keto and Paleo diets, restrictions on a variety of vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes is likely to lead to deficiency of not only essential phytonutrients and antioxidants but also weakens one’s immune system.
For most people, these diets require a drastic shift from previous eating habits. Both diets are not sustainable diets and are nutritionally imbalanced.
A doctor’s / dietician’s advice is recommended before changing a diet plan, especially for those with any medical condition like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease or suffering from any other serious ailment.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.