KETO DIET VS PALEO DIET
By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training
There are many diets out there that people are “trying”. But are they effective for long term healthy lifestyle? Will these people who hop on on these popular fad diets see success long term or will they gain all their weight back? And are they even following the diets properly and how they were intended in the first place? There are many misconceptions about these popular diets and so I am going to give you the lowdown on these diets.
This diet has passionate followers and if you try to discredit the diet, the followers will be up in arms about it and defend it. They get downright huffy if you say anything against it. I personally never advocate any diet that is so low in carbohydrates that it forces your body into ketosis which is essentially starvation. This diet reminds me of the Atkins diet except with less protein. Ok so what is the Keto diet anyway? It’s a diet that is extremely low in carbs, low in protein and high in fat. Here is the exact definition..”a high-fat diet that dramatically restricts carbohydrates that has been used in the management of people with seizure disorders that have not responded to anti seizure medications”. The ketogenic diet produces a reaction in the body that is similar to the fasting state, known a Ketosis. With Ketosis, substances known as ketones or ketone bodies accumulate in the blood. These are the same substances that accumulate during ketoacidosis in people with type 1 diabetes. The ketogenic diet typically is not recommended for weight control, because it is not superior to other weight management plans and may be associated with health risks, including nutritional deficiencies.
HOW MUCH FAT, CARBS AND PROTEIN DO KETO DIETERS INTAKE EXACTLY?
These are the macros and they are downright scary to me and this kind of diet results in calories that are very low. How many carbs a day on a keto diet? Under 20 grams of Carbs. You heard that right. Carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel and that’s the idea of the Keto diet. To have carbs so low that your body is forced to turn to fat for fuel. For fat it runs about 170 grams plus and for protein it’s about 0.45 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight so quite low. There is a misconception that Keto diet is high in protein, it’s not. It’s very low actually. Optimum protein intake should be between 0.8 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and way higher if you lift weights. The reason protein is so low on a Keto diet is because too much protein will toss you out of ketosis. And the idea of this diet is to stay in Ketosis. Macros typically are: 70% Fat, 25% Protein and 5% Carbs. All of this probably sounds really complicated but it isn’t really. There are tons of calculators out there and websites giving detailed ways of following the diet.
Another diet that has passionate followers. It’s almost like these diets are a cult, like a religion in some ways. I find it strange to be so passionate about a diet but hey ok then! So what is Paleo? It’s called the caveman diet and that’s the theory behind this diet; that everyone should eat like they did in the caveman era. It is high in protein and high in fibre including lots of vegetables and fruits. It doesn’t sound that bad does it? Read on!
NO SALT, NO DAIRY, NO BREAD, NO VEGETARIAN SOURCES OF PROTEIN
There are many foods that are forbidden on this diet. Doesn’t sound like a very balanced diet, does it. It also sounds like you can’t maintain it, therefore this is not a lifestyle change but definitely more like a short term diet. The only benefit I can see is there is no processed foods which is a great thing. Here is the official definition of the Paleo diet…”The Paleolithic diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet requiring the sole or predominant consumption of foods presumed to have been the only foods available to or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era”.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet’s core premise. During the 2.6-million-year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.While there is wide variability in the way the paleo diet is interpreted, the diet typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and typically excludes foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol or coffee.The diet is based on avoiding not just processed foods, but rather the foods that humans began eating after the Neolithic Revolution when humans transitioned from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to settled agriculture.The ideas behind the diet can be traced to Walter Voegtlin, and were popularized in the best-selling books
CARBS, PROTEIN AND FATS
f you talk to anyone true Paleo follower they will tell you that the focus is not on macronutrients which is what carbs, Protein and Fats are. There is however a limit or a general guideline to follow in terms of these macros. Of course Carbs are low and protein and fat are high. The idea here is they are of the same mind as Keto in that they think Carbs will make you fat. The big difference here is the protein is much higher in Paleo than it is with Keto. So even though they don’t focus on counting Macros the split seems to be 40% Protein, 40% Fat and 20% Carbs but this is not definitive. There can be a range as long as you are not eating processed foods, grains, dairy, Potatoes, Squash, alcohol, and anything high in sodium.
So there you have it. This is a general idea of what these diets are all about. In my opinion neither of these diets are sustainable because eventually someone is going to want a bag of chips, Fries maybe or some other type of banned food that is on these diets. The problem with diets is there is always some kind of food that you can’t eat. The best approach is to not go on a diet at all but eat in moderation of all foods and workout regularly and consistently.
If any of you have been on these diets, what was your experience? Please comment below and also comment if I left some things out that you think are important for people to know.
Romanowski, A, MS, RD. Ketogenic Diet: Which Patients Benefit? Medscape. Updated: March 20, 2018.
Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss. Harvard School of Public Health.
Loren Reference: Cordain.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet