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Ever since the Paleo diet started making waves, it has been compared to a number of low-carb meal plans, one of which is the Ketosis diet. The similarities between the two suggest that they are based on the same premise. However, Paleo experts disagree and claim that their diet differs from the Ketosis in every way, from food choices to its effects on the body.
An Overview of the Ketosis Diet
The Ketosis diet is a meal plan based on the premise that reducing your carbohydrates can promote weight loss. It is a version of a low-carb diet in that it cuts down carbs drastically. What makes it different is that its goal is a state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the body chooses to use fats and protein as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. According to ketogenic experts, it is a fat-burning state conducive to weight loss.
What You Eat on the Ketosis Diet
Like the Paleo diet, the ketosis also has its list of preferred foods dieters are allowed to eat in order to see results. These include:
- Animal and plant-based protein
On the ketosis meal plan, dieters can get their protein from both animals and plants. Sources of protein can include all types of meat as well as seafood. You can also eat legumes and nuts provided they do not come in sauces containing carbohydrates.
- Fats from oils and dairy
Fats are a significant part of the ketogenic diet and can be sourced from a variety of cooking oils, dairy and fish. Permissible cooking oils include olive, flax seed, avocado, macadamia, coconut and vegetable oils. You can also fill up on healthy fats from butter, milk, cheese and other dairy products except those high in sugar like ice-cream.
The ketosis generally prefers vegetables that are green and leafy. Dieters are warned to steer clear of high-carb veggies like potatoes, squash, carrots, pumpkin, yams and squash. These vegetables are to be avoided because they contain a high amount of carbohydrates and sugar capable of sabotaging ketosis.
Whole grains like quinoa, couscous and brown rice can be eaten in some versions of the ketogenic diet, but in very limited amounts.
Although fruit juices are not allowed, dieters are permitted to drink coffee and teas. Drinking plenty of water is also encouraged as it hastens metabolic processes and prevents dehydration.
How the Paleo Diet Compares
The Paleo diet shares certain elements of the ketosis meal plan but also differs from it in several ways. Let’s look at how the Paleo’s food choices differ from ketogenic options.
The foods permitted on the Paleo diet include:
- Animal proteins
- Fats from nuts, seeds, fish and natural oils
- Fresh fruit
- Natural, unprocessed beverages like water and teas
Difference in Proteins
There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the source of proteins in both diets, but the Paleo diet is strictly against some plant-based protein. It particularly discourages protein from legumes like beans, lentils and peanuts. Apart from meat and eggs, the only other sources of protein allowed include vegetables, fish and nuts.
Difference in Fats
While the ketosis diet appears to be a high-fat diet, the Paleo meal plan contains moderate amounts of fats. The source and types of fats are also important distinctions. Ketosis advocates fats derived from a range of cooking oils and dairy, as long as they are not hydrogenated. This includes products like butter, ghee and vegetable oils.
The Paleo diet, on the other hand, only supports fats from certain oils and sometimes butter, provided it is made from grass-fed animals. Cooking oils need to be made from plants like coconuts, avocado and olives. Fats can also be derived from nuts and seafood. Fats from dairy products are strictly prohibited.
Difference in Grains
Although grains are discouraged from the ketosis diet, there are some versions of the meal plan that allow a cup or two of grains a day. Grains, however, need to be whole and not refined. They are used as a source of carbohydrates, especially for dieters who experience low energy levels. The Paleo diet forbids all kinds of grains, whether they are whole or refined.
Difference in Fruit
As you might have noticed, there is no fruit list for the ketosis diet, which is typical of low-carb diets. Dieters are discouraged from eating any form of sugar, even those from fresh fruit. The argument is that glucose and fructose, both of which are found in fruits, can promote insulin resistance and trigger weight gain and obesity.
Paleo supporters strongly disagree with this view. They argue that glucose and fructose lead to weight gain only when they are sourced from processed foods and are consumed in excessive amounts. In other words, the levels of glucose and fructose in fruits are low, provided you eat fruit low in sugars. In addition, fresh fruit contain nutrients that the body needs, which of course are good for health.
Difference in Beverages
One of the few elements the Paleo and ketosis diet have in common is water. Dieters are encouraged to drink plenty of water, ideally 8-10 glasses each day. However, the Paleo diet shies away from caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Although they are not strictly discouraged, they are not strictly banned from the meal plan.
Which Diet is Most Effective for Weight Loss?
The question of which diet is more effective for losing weight is a head-scratcher. Both diets require lifestyle dietary changes and both have equal potential for weight loss. With the ketogenic diet, you can lose weight rapidly once your body enters the state of ketosis, but long term results have not yet been scientifically confirmed.
The Paleo diet also has great potential for weight loss in the short and long term. Because it discourages all manner of processed foods, limits many fatty foods and reduces carbohydrates, it has all the makings of an effective lifelong weight loss plan. Read more about the Paleo diet and consult your doctor to make an informed decision.