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Difference Between Keto and Paleo Diets

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The main difference between keto and paleo is that keto focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake, while the paleo diet emphasizes eliminating certain food categories. The Paleo diet does not impose any restrictions on the intake of macronutrients. Instead, it promotes physical activity and mindfulness in addition to following the diet itself (protein, carbohydrates, and fat).

What is Keto?

Keto is a way of eating to reduce body fat by making fat the primary source of nourishment in the diet. The process of forcing your body to use fat for energy in the form of ketones is known as "ketosis."  When insufficient carbohydrates are available for conversion into sugar, your body will enter a state of ketosis, producing ketones. These ketones will then be used for energy.

Keto has seen a surge in popularity throughout the last few years, especially in 2018, and this trend is still going strong to this day. The benefits of the keto diet include improved quality of sleep, decreased hunger, weight reduction, increased energy levels, improved cognitive skills, constant blood sugar levels, and improved organ function if the fat consumed during ketosis is greater.

What is Paleo?

The paleo diet aims to normalize blood sugar levels, improve and preserve the health of the digestive tract, and emphasize the consumption of natural, unprocessed foods that are also devoid of sugar and preservatives. The objective is to improve general health and energy levels while shifting the body's reliance on carbohydrates to fat as its primary fuel source, ultimately reducing body fat.

"Paleo" originates from the term "Paleolithic," which describes a historical period around 2.5 million years ago. This is not intended to be taken in a literal sense. Still, according to evolutionary theory, the primary aim of this diet is to adhere to foods that our bodies can digest and make good use of. This entails avoiding all dairy, legumes, grains, and substances manufactured in a lab.

Some people will even go so far as to suggest that the Paleo movement is responsible for fueling the movement, leading to more healthy food items being available in grocery stores and online today. A reduction in inflammation, greater energy, weight loss, lean muscle, improved sleep quality, higher intestinal health, maintained blood sugar levels, the ability to repair the body, improvements in cognitive function, and an overall improvement in health are some of the benefits of following the Paleo diet.

Differences between Keto and Paleo

Goals & Lifestyle

The keto diet is a strict eating regimen focusing on striking a balance between different macronutrients. Many individuals don't make the keto diet their permanent way of eating; rather, they use it as a tool to help them lose weight or improve their health now and again. The Paleo diet is more flexible and emphasizes eating foods that early people did to improve their general health.


The term "extremely minimum carbohydrates" is assumed when discussing a keto diet. The Paleo diet does not have to be a low-carb diet; fruits, vegetables that contain carbs, and Paleo sweeteners like honey are included. However, these eating plans exclude refined carbohydrates like bread, cereal, soda, and bakery goods. As a result of this restriction, the paleo diet often has a very low carbohydrate content.

Protein & Fat

The keto diet relies mostly on fat consumption for its caloric intake. When following a paleo diet, the focus is often on protein; however, there are no hard and fast rules regarding the sources of the calories that you consume. Cheese and whole milk are two dairy products permitted on the keto diet, even though dairy products are not permitted on the paleo diet.

Dairy Products

The intake of any food introduced after the beginning of agriculture and animal domestication in the chronicles of human history is strictly forbidden according to the guidelines of the paleolithic diet. This includes the use of dairy products. In contrast, a keto is a high-fat diet that permits the intake of dairy products with their full-fat versions, such as ghee, butter, heavy cream, and hard cheese.


Due to glucose and fructose, eating fruits is not recommended on a keto, which is a low-carbohydrate eating plan. On the other hand, eating fruits that have been picked and harvested is central to the paleo diet.

Comparison Chart: Paleo Vs Keto Diets

Food GroupsPaleoKeto
High Sugar FruitYesNo
Full-Fat DairyNoYes
Starchy VegetablesYesNo
Nuts and SeedsYesYes
Meat, Poultry, FishYesYes


Is Adhering To Both The Keto And Paleo Diets Even Possible?

While following the keto diet, it is not impossible to stick to a Paleo diet and consume nothing but fats. For instance, this could be grass-fed ghee, an alternative to butter. Ketosis can be achieved by using any source of fat, that is Paleo, at which point your fat will be of better quality and will technically be considered Paleo. Keep in mind that the Paleo diet emphasizes the nutritional value of the food.

How Long Does It Take To Enter Ketosis?

The amount of time it takes to enter ketosis might range from two to four days, depending on how drastically your carbohydrate intake has to be reduced. The lower your carbohydrate intake, the more severe the potential adverse effects may be; yet, the quicker you will enter ketosis.

Is The Keto Diet Bad For You?

Consuming fats of poor quality while following the keto diet might put your health at risk. People who are more concerned with their weight loss than their general health may benefit from the keto diet's ability to put their bodies into a state of ketosis, which makes it an effective tool for weight loss.


The keto and the paleo have precise restrictions that dictate which foods are allowed and which are prohibited in the diets. There are some parallels, but there is also a great deal of difference in the diets. Both may have health advantages connected to avoiding foods that have undergone extensive processing, which may aid in the reduction of excess weight.

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.

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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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