Paleo and Keto Diet differences – A Closer Look

Paleo Diet and Keto Diet Differences and Similarities

Whenever someone gains weight, the first thing that comes to their mind is changing their lifestyle by including different exercises and diet plans in it. Overweight individuals have a high-risk factor of getting diseases like heart diseases and diabetes. The usual response to combating weight gain is to start eating less. The most popular diets followed by the world and recommended by doctors are the paleo and keto diets. So what is exactly are paleo and keto diet differences?

Both the diets revolve around the macronutrients like fat, protein and carbohydrates, which can reduce body fat pretty fast if the individual can keep up with the guidelines of the diet. Here we will look at the differences and similarities of both the paleo and keto diets.

We will try to make it easy for you to choose between them, but the final choice will be yours.

What is Paleo Diet?

paleo and keto diet differences

Paleo diet can be defined as the food collected or hunted like meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs etc. The Paleo diet eliminates modern foods like processed sugar, grains, and dairy products.

 It is also called as the “Caveman diet” or “Stone age diet” as it follows the steps of early people eating foods that were readily available in their time before farming emerged.  

When farming emerged, it changed the ideas of what people eat. It added grains, legumes and dairy items in our diet, which were mainly unsuitable for the human body.

The human body couldn’t adapt to these variations in diet, and this contradiction leads us to different kind of heart diseases, diabetes and obesity. The Paleo diet is a way back to that old diet that is healthy and beneficial.

In January 2016, an article published in Australian Family Physician studied the paleo diet’s effects by tracking the level of sugar, blood pressure, and weight loss on different individuals. They found that it can improve the terms mentioned above in the human body, but they also concluded that we should do further study and large-scale experiments to declare it a long-term diet. (Pitt, 2016)

What is Keto Diet?

paleo and keto diet differences

The ketogenic diet is much more scientific than the paleo diet. The Keto diet minimizes the intake of carbohydrates and increases the intake of fats. The Keto diet contains 60-80 percent fat, 20-30 percent proteins and 5-10 percent carbohydrates.

More fats will lead your body to the ketosis or fat-burning state because your body will use your fat and produce ketones from it, and your body will use ketones for energy.

More ketones will results in faster burning of the body fats because fats will be the only fuel source for your body. It is excellent if you are looking to lose weight because it reduces blood sugar and insulin level.

A study that included 34 adults concluded that people who followed the keto diet for eight weeks lost five times more fat than those who followed other methods. (PMC, 2020)

Similarities: Paleo and Keto Diets:

Paleo and Keto Chart

1.) Same Health and psychological benefits:

Both the diets have many same health benefits like weight loss, both lower risk factor of diseases and controls blood pressure and sugar level in the body.

They also have psychological effects on the body as they send a positive vibe across the body, which increases energy level and mental sharpness.

2.) Elimination of processed food:

Both of the diets have a rule in common that you will have to eliminate processed food immediately from your diet plans. Both the paleo and keto diets eliminate the artificial ingredients from your food.

These two diets will also eliminate the use of processed sugar. You will have to rely on the natural sugar from different vegetables and fruits. In paleo, you are allowed to intake unrefined sugar from honey and maple syrup. But that’s not the case in the keto diet, as you are not allowed to take simple sugar.

3.) Fat intake 

When giving you the ultimate goals of health benefits, both diets encourage the intake of high healthy and unrefined fats. For a healthy heart, both the paleo and keto diets allow a moderate amount of natural oils.

Keto almost depends on the fat intake, so it will encourage fat usage, while the paleo diet only recommends fats for overall health.

4.) Terminate the usage of grains and legumes:

For many reasons, both diets eliminate the usage of grains and legumes. And excuses are different in both cases.

The paleo diet discourages the use because they hinder mineral and nutrition’s absorption, which stresses the digestive system. While the keto diet prevents grains and legumes because they contain a high quantity of carbohydrates, and keto diet strongly discourages carbohydrates intake.

5.) Both help in weight loss:

We got to know from the short term research that both the paleo and keto diet helps a lot if you are looking to lose weight faster and effectively.

Researchers did researches on the short term periods. We need more examinations in both cases to get to know the long-term weight-loss effectiveness.

Differences in Paleo and Keto Diets:

1.) Processed meat:

The Paleo diet doesn’t allow meat that is made from food processing. The diet’s idea is to eat what our ancestors ate, so processed meat is eliminated from the paleo diet.

While Keto diets allow the processed meat until it contains low carbohydrates and low sugar, both hinder ketones formation.

2.) Artificial and Natural sweet:

Paleo diets allow natural sweeteners, e.g. honey and maple syrup, because these are natural sweeteners, and the paleo diet is based on raw food, while the keto diet allows followers to intake artificial sweeteners that do not contain any sugar and do not increase the body’s sugar level because the sugar will affect ketones production.

3.) Vegetables and fruits:

Paleo diet allows all the vegetables and fruits in the diet as they include natural sweetness and nutrition. A person following the paleo diet should focus on low carbohydrate vegetable and less sweet fruits.

While a person who is following the keto diet is not allowed to intake many fruits and vegetables because some fruits contain a lot of sugar which disturbs the ketone process, and some vegetables contain high carbohydrates, so they are not allowed in this diet.

4.) Dairy products:

Paleo diet strongly prohibits the usage of dairy products as they were not used by early age people. Cheese, cream and dairy products are not allowed in the paleo diet.

The Keto diet allows its followers to consume some dairy products which have high fats and proteins to get the required nutrients. But it should be noted that those dairy products must not contain any sugar.


Both the paleo and ketone diet have their own health benefits according to how and for what they are used for. But after comparing both, the paleo diet is a better option for many people. It has more variety of foods than the keto diet for a healthy lifestyle.

Also, when you consume a high quantity of fat in the keto diet, you increase the risk of getting heart disease. Although this diet can be used for treating some health diseases, it is difficult for most people to maintain because it requires a lot of planning. So it can be harmful to stay in a state of ketosis for long periods of time.

Keto diets also restrict several micronutrients due to the limitation of foods that contain carbohydrates. So, in short, the paleo diet is much more flexible and offers a wider variety of nutritions.

Works Cited



Pitt, C. E. (2016). Australian Family Physician. Retrieved from

PMC. (2020, 08 12). Retrieved from