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Paleo vs Keto Diet: Which One Is Right For You?

Eating Food

Keto and paleo are among the most popular diet in recent times. Both are excellent choices for weight loss, but using one rather than another depends on our lifestyle.

These diets have several common points, but they are not identical and one may be harder than the other to follow.  In general they reduce the intake of carbohydrates and processed foods in favor of fats and proteins.

In this article we see an overview that compares paleo diet and keto diet to understand which of these is the most suitable for our lifestyle and health.


Paleo Vs Keto

The paleo diet is inspired by the Paleolithic lifestyle. At that time men went out to hunt to get meat or to gather fruits and vegetables to eat. The theory is based on the fact that our body is designed for this behavior and that every processed food is not suited to our body.

Following the paleo diet means improving the vital biological functions of our body and keeping it healthy. For the same reasons, the paleo diet should be combined with sport and exercise. The Paleolithic man in fact had a great energy expenditure compared to the calories consumed with the diet.

The Paleo diet eliminates many foods that come from agriculture such as cereals and legumes. It also eliminates foods deriving from sheep farming, such as milk and derivatives.

The main foods allowed in the paleo diet include:

  • Meat and fish
  • eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Unrefined fats and oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil
  • Sweeteners like raw honey, stevia or maple syrup

For most people, the paleo diet is much more than just a diet. In fact it is a lifestyle that deals with the environmental impact.


Paleo Diet

The keto diet aims to provide energy to the body using fats instead of carbohydrates. It is known that most of the tissues of the human body prefer to use glucose from carbohydrates to produce energy. So how do you do it?

The only time the body starts to metabolize fats instead of carbohydrates is when the carbohydrates are finished. This is called ketosis. The keto diet aims to induce ketosis, in this way you burn more fat and faster.

The keto diet is based on the distribution of macronutrients in this way:

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

In order to maintain the state of ketosis, a strictly controlled diet is necessary. The biggest benefits of the keto diet are weight loss and blood sugar control.


The points in common between the paleo diet and the keto diet are many, we see the most importants. 

Preference for whole foods

One of the key points of both diets is the use of whole and minimally processed foods.

It follows a ban on all industrial and processed foods such as cold cuts, cheeses, desserts, baked goods and so on. The allowed foods are meat, fish, fresh vegetables.

In general, the consumption of whole foods reduces the caloric intake due to sugars and salt. It also increases the sense of satiety by reducing or eliminating sugar craves altogether.

For the paleo diet eliminating processed foods is also a way to take care of the environment, as many resources and energy are wasted to produce them.

Elimination of cereals and legumes

For different reasons, paleo and keto diets discourage the consumption of cereals and legumes.

For the paleo, cereals and legumes cannot be consumed because they are the product of agriculture and were not part of the Palaeolithic man’s diet.

The keto diet instead eliminates them because they are a source of carbohydrates.

For both diets, cereals and legumes can lead to the problem of digestion. In fact they can weigh down, inflate the stomach and reduce the intake of other nutrients contained in foods.

Elimination of added sugar

Elimination of added sugar

Keto and Paleo diets completely eliminate added sugars.

The keto diet eliminates them because they are the source of carbohydrates par excellence. In fact the keto diet eliminates or limits all sugars including natural ones like fruit. This is the most important rule of keto diet.

The paleo diet eliminates them because they are processed and refined foods. We must say that in the paleo diet honey and maple syrup can be included, as they are minimally processed and considered natural sugars.

Preference for healthy fats

Both diets admit the consumption of unprocessed healthy fats. For this we can consume olive oil, seed oil, fish, coconut oil and avocado oil.

The keto diet admit this type of fat because it is a good source of energy for our body without causing the problems of processed fats.

Even the paleo diet admits them as natural fats, very simple to digest for humans.

From both diets, processed, long-cooked, spiced or salted fats are banned. For example, cold cuts and sausages.


To choose between the keto and paleo diet and to understand which is the most suitable for our lifestyle, we see some differences between the two.



We have seen that paleo diet limits some carbohydrate sources, but does not completely eliminate them as keto.

It is true that refined sugars and legumes are not allowed, but the paleo diet allows the consumption of whole foods such as fruit and vegetables and minimally processed foods like honey. Let us not forget that these foods contain vitamins and minerals in large quantities, which are essential for the functioning of our body and the protection of the immune system.

Moreover, if you are used to eating sweets, you will soon get used to the taste of ripe fruit and quickly replace refined sugars with natural sugars.

In contrast, the Keto diet limits all foods rich in carbohydrates, including cereals and legumes. Keto also eliminates most fruits and vegetables. Bananas, persimmons, pineapples, mangoes, apples are not allowed. Instead, you can eat wild berries, lemon, avocado and grapefruit in moderation.

Dairy products

Dairy products

The Keto diet allows dairy products. Whole milk, cream, yogurt and butter are allowed as a good source of fat. The butter should be minimally processed  and the yogurt should be natural and without added sugar.

In keto diet all industrial dairy products such as ice cream and desserts are prohibited, both because they are processed and because they contain a high level of sugar.

On the contrary, the  Paleo diet completely limits or excludes milk. Some admit butter if produced through natural pastures, but others do not allow it because it does not belong to the paleolithic man’s diet.

Paleo and keto diet to lose weight

Paleo and keto diet to lose weight

One of the main benefits of keto and paleo diets is weight loss.

First of all, foods and beverages rich in sugar and salt are eliminated  in both diets. This way the initial weight loss can be significant precisely because of these rules.

Anyway, eating unprocessed foods is healthy for our body. Even those who are not overweight will find many benefits from both diets, maintaining a healthy weight and leading a healthier life.

In general, taking more fat and decreasing carbohydrates leads to a decrease in weight also because fats do not cause the glycemic peak and tend to appease the appetite.

Initial weight loss is good to keep motivation, but what about keeping the diet in the long run?

Basically the Paleo diet is easier to follow. In fact it is less restrictive and offers a wide range of foods. For this it is the recommended diet for those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long run.

In fact, the Keto diet is not suitable for everyone because it is more restrictive. To be effective it requires very precise conduct and does not always adapt to social situations. However the keto diet can be very useful if done in a short period to lose a few extra pounds within a couple of months.

Paleo and keto diet to be healthy

Paleo and keto diet to be healthy

Aside from weight loss, let’s consider the two diets from a health standpoint. Many people do the paleo or keto diet to mantain a healthier lifestyle. Eliminating processed foods and added sugars is a big step towards rediscovering and natural foods and flavors.

Often many nutrients such as mineral salts and vitamins are not assimilated because they are excluded from the diet or combined with too prolonged processing. Artificial dyes and aromas are everywhere and create a distortion in the way we taste and evaluate foods.

Both diets can be a valuable aid in rediscovering natural foods, consuming more raw foods and cooking in a simple way.

In general, a low carbohydrate diet such as keto and paleo reduces the problems associated with blood sugar. In particular, keto diet could be a good choice to avoid diabetes.

However, we have to say that a high fat diet as keto, may not be suitable for everyone due to the  cholesterol level that fats could increase.


Both diets limit the consumption of processed carbohydrates in favor of healthy fats.

The ketogenic diet is based on a high fat content and a minimum carbohydrate content. It can be effective for short-term weight loss and blood glucose control.

The paleo diet is based on the consumption of whole foods that were available to man in the Paleolithic era. It also encourages physical exercise and attention to the environment.

We can say that, for most people, the paleo diet is the best choice because it is more flexible than the ketogenic diet and can be maintained in the long term.