Primary Differences and Similarities Between Paleo and Keto Diet Trend

People choose to follow diet trends for various reasons including losing weight, improving overall health, building physique etc. Each diet trend follows a different principle making it tricky to narrow down the right choice for us. Paleo and Keto are two popular diets, both following a healthy meal plan.

Paleo diet has been around since millions of years ago. It was the diet followed during the Paleolithic Era while Keto is a fairly new diet which was initially developed as treatment for epilepsy in 1920s. Despite their fair share of similarities, both these diets have unique characteristics.

Introduction to paleo diet:

The paleo diet is based on the ideology that going back to the diet followed by our ancestors would help us stay healthy and reduce the risk of several diseases. According to the ideology, the modern diet and processed food used are detrimental to our health. The old diet style is believed to improve digestion and support our body’s natural biological function. 

Paleo-friendly foods:

The high-protein, low-carb diet includes only whole-processed foods that existed thousands of years ago that include:

  • Grass-fed meat
  • Seafood
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts 
  • Seeds

Introduction to keto diet:

The goal of keto diet is to make our body produce ketones. Generally, our body uses carbohydrates as fuel for energy. Ketosis state involves making the body use calories from fat instead of carbohydrates. This is achieved by following a specific diet plan – 65-90% fat, 10 – 30% protein and less than 5 % carbohydrates.

Keto-friendly foods:

  • Seafood
  • Low-carb vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Avocados
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

Commonalities between keto and paleo diet:

Emphasis on whole foods:

Whole foods refer to foods that don’t go through much processing and don’t contain additives. Both these foods considered processed foods to be unhealthy.

Grains and legumes are off limits:

Paleo diet doesn’t include grains and legumes because they weren’t available during the Paleolithic era and contain anti-nutrients that are responsible for some digestive issues. The keto diet doesn’t include both because of their carbohydrate content.

Elimination of added sugar:

Both diets don’t include heavily processed sugar. Paleo diet permits unrefined sugar sources like maple syrup and honey while keto meal plan doesn’t permit inclusion of any type of added sugar.

Inclusion of healthy fats:

Both diets permit inclusion of fairly liberal amounts of specific refined oils, seeds, nuts and fish. Keto in general directs more focus on fats.

Differences between keto and paleo diet:

  • Underlying reasoning: Keto diet follows a science-based approach while paleo follows more of a holistic ideology.
  • Composition of carbs: The composition of carbs in keto diet is low when compared to paleo. Keto restricts all carbohydrate-rich foods while paleo allows carbs from whole foods like fruits, vegetables etc.
  • Dairy: Paleo diet restricts almost dairy products while keto encourages consuming dairy products.


Both paleo and keto are beneficial for weight loss. Paleo works better for more people. It is also easier to follow because of the flexibility it offers in terms of food choices. Keto requires more careful planning for our body to enter ketosis mode. It is recommended to choose a diet that doesn’t drastically differ from your routine diet plan so that you’ll stick to the diet. 

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