What’s the difference between paleo and keto?

Contrary to what most people think, the paleo diet isn’t necessary low carb, and too often you can find paleo products in the specialized isles of supermarkets with even more than 50% of sugar. How is that possible? Well, one of the reason is that the paleo diet includes fruit in the list of recommended foods, and some smart manufacturers used this to produce snacks mostly based on dried dates and nuts, the paleo equivalent of a Grande Frappuccino in terms of sugar content.

Strictly speaking, the keto diet doesn’t eliminate any food, it only restricts the total amount of sugars to ingest per day. Eating half an apple, a square of Toblerone or half a kg of cauliflower is pretty much the same in terms of reaching the metabolic state called ketosis.

Usually we consider 25 grams of sugar per day the maximum amount to reach ketosis, but most followers of paleo diet eat even more than 100 grams per day.

But the amount of sugars isn’t the only difference. The exclusion of dairy is the other one, together with grains and processed food: no butter, no cheese, no cream. It could seem quite different from a keto diet (they always told you to put butter in everything!), but in reality a significant number of people following a keto diet do exclude dairy as well.

So you can follow a keto diet that is also a paleo diet, and you can follow a paleo diet that is also a keto diet. Confusing, isn’t it?

Short answer: keto restricts carbs to less than 25 g per day (it doesn’t matter if you are a 40 kg woman or a 120 kg man), while paleo allows fruit but doesn’t include dairy, grains or processed food.

The main issue here is that the definition of keto is quite wide. You can follow a keto diet eating just processed food, like bacon and industrial cheese or even low carb beer (which contains a lot of gluten), and that will make you lose weight exactly like a keto diet with only fresh organic meats and veggies.

Of course many aren’t interested in losing weight, but choose a keto diet for its health benefits, including resolving many autoimmune issues. In this case, the ideal keto diet is basically a paleo diet without fruit, with the exception of some berries that are very low carb.

And dairy? Well, it’s true that dairy can be very much inflammatory, exactly like gluten. And exactly like gluten, some people are more sensitive than others. But I’ll discuss this issue in another post, have a great night folks and stay warm, here on the coast of Victoria is cold and windy!

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