Keto vs. Paleo: What Is The Difference?

Shannon Slabaugh
Shannon Slabaugh

When it comes to diets, there seems to be a lot that follow a very similar structure. Are they the same thing under a different name? Or is there something you are missing behind these diets? A few years ago, you may remember when the paleo diet spread like wildfire and brought on a band of paleo enthusiasts. In the last year, the ketogenic diet has done the same thing, sweeping popular culture and creating enthusiasts who rave about the benefits. So what really is the difference between these two low-carb and seemingly "fad" diets? And is one actually better than the other for weight loss and/or better health? 

Keto vs Paleo

While both keto and paleo are low-carb diets that may seem structurally very similar, the big thing to remember is the end objective of both of these diets. The keto diet is a diet high in fats, moderate in protein, and really low in carbohydrates. The keto diet heavily focuses on hitting specific macronutrients in order to force the body to use fat as the main source of fuel instead of carbs. 

However, the paleo diet preaches a totally different mindset. Instead of thinking about what your specific macronutrients are and focusing on hitting a very specific number, the paleo diet focuses on a very straightforward principle. In the most simple way to describe the diet, you eat as your paleolithic (caveman) ancestors would.

Essentially, the paleo diet eliminates processed foods and is based completely around whole foods. This even means eliminating certain healthy carbohydrates such as quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice, because a caveman would not have access to those items. This means that within the paleo diet there are limited sources where carbohydrates can come from, so naturally it is defined as a low-carb diet. 

Click here to see what foods are allowed on a paleo meal plan and here to get a list of the best keto friendly foods. 


Which Diet Has Better Results? 

Of course, when it comes to diets the primary objective for most people is "What will help me lose the most weight?" However, the answer to that is not as clear as you may want it to be. People lose weight differently and there is no one size fits all diet that can lead to the same results for everyone. Here is what we can tell you about both of these diets. 

The paleo diet is based around the standard principles of healthy eating, as it takes on the approach that you simply eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and nuts. The paleo diet focuses on what types of foods you should be eating versus what your macro ratios should be. 

On the opposite side of that is the keto diet. The keto diet focuses on hitting specific and extreme macronutrients so that you can force your body to use fat as energy instead of carbohydrates. Many people believe that if you force your body to use fat as energy, naturally, you will lose more stored fat.

The thing is, extreme low-carb diets such as the keto diet, do not often lead to sustainable results. While you may lose a few pounds right off the bat from water weight, its not easy nor sustainable for everyone to nearly eliminate a food group. The best rule of thumb to follow when dieting is not "How can I lose the most weight as quickly as possible?" but rather "How can I change my lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off long term?" 

Which Diet Should I Follow?

If you are looking into either of these two diets, you should choose the diet you believe will be the most sustainable long term. Think of it as a lifestyle change. Would you prefer to eliminate carbs and focus more on satiating fats and proteins? Or would you prefer to simply get more whole foods in and follow a generally healthy diet? If you are ready to get started on either diet, but not sure where to start, check out a meal delivery service such as Trifecta, which offers all-organic ready to eat paleo and keto meals. 

Learn more about Trifecta meal plans here:  


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