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Is Keto or Paleo Right for You?

Last updated: Nov 21, 2022 Post in Internal Medicine in Brooklyn by Century Medical & Dental Clinic.

If you are looking forward to shedding those extra pounds and getting yourself in shape, a healthy diet is the first step to achieving your goal. Keto and Paleo diets have become very popular in recent times as they both focus on limiting what you are eating and being more careful of your food choices. Consult your primary care doctor at the Century Medical and Dental Center to learn what benefits these diets offer and how to choose the right one based on your body needs and health benefits. The internal medicine physicians NY help you focus on the main reasons for trying a new diet to make positive changes to your lifestyle, keeping in mind your health and medical conditions.

Experts and medical professionals recommend focusing on what you eat to enjoy better outcomes in the long run. There are several benefits for keto and paleo diets, but it is up to you to choose the right one based on your body needs and health benefits.

What Is a Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is based on what humans ate during the Paleolithic era, about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The main focus of this practice is eating meals like the hunters and gatherers of that era. A typical paleo diet is whole-food based. It means that all the food consumed should be whole and unprocessed.

This diet includes:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

It cuts down on high content sugar products and grains, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, legumes, vegetable oils, and trans-fats. This type of diet is considered beneficial for people suffering from cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes as it regularizes blood sugar significantly.
Is keto or paleo right for you

What Is a Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet, most often referred to as just keto, focuses on high fats foods, enough protein, and limiting your carbohydrate intake. A keto diet plan includes 60% fat, 30% protein, and 10% carbohydrates, based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

It includes:

  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Butter
  • Oils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low carb vegetables

The keto diet was first used for treating seizures and pediatric epilepsy. It was designed as a therapy for patients, but it grew in popularity for its quick weight loss benefits. Now it is considered an alternative to the standard everyday diet that consists of high-fat, low-carb meals with moderate protein. To adjust the levels of carbohydrates in the bloodstream, the body begins to break down stored fats which lead to weight loss. Keto is usually proposed for treating patients with obesity, and even celiac disease, as it centers on the low-gluten meal plans.

Keto has 4 subcategories. They include:

  • The standard keto diet (SKD) – it is characterized by a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet with a ratio of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs
  • The cyclical keto diet (CKD) – it involves alternating between high and low carb consumption
  • The target keto diet (TKD) – it is similar to SKD, with carb intake during workout times
  • The high-protein keto diet – focuses on more protein intake with a ratio of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Differences Between Keto and Paleo

Keta and paleo are both great substitutes to the standard diet. Each of them offers numerous health and lifestyle benefits when used consistently. Keto supports high fat and low carb diet, while paleo focuses on meal plans based on whole and unprocessed foods.

Keto diet eliminates or reduces intake of high-sugar content products, grains, starches, fruits, beans, root vegetables, highly processed foods, and unhealthy fats. A majority of meals prepared under the keto diet should essentially contain meats, fatty fish, eggs, unprocessed cheese, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, and low-carb vegetables.

Paleo can be customized and does not require a strict ratio like keto. Some diet plans may opt for low-carb meals that consist mainly of protein, while others may follow a high-carb intake based on plants. It is important to remember that all consumed products must be unprocessed. Foods included in this diet are meats, fish and seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, tubers, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and oils, as well as salt and spices.

Although both diets avoid grains, beans, and sugars, there are marked restrictions that each diet religiously follows that the other does not. Paleo integrates high sugar fruits and starchy vegetables, but keto, on the other hand, offers dairy options.

Which One to Choose – Keto or Paleo

Choosing from the keto or paleo diet can be challenging as both have their advantages and even some side effects. Carefully examine the benefits of each diet and select one based on your body needs and long-term health goals. Discussing with your primary care doctor can help you make the right choice as the healthcare provider will explain in detail what foods are included or excluded from each diet and how they can make a difference for you.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

If you are looking forward to adopting a diet that helps you stay away from processed food and eat healthily, the paleo diet is the right choice.

  • Less intake of processed food – the best thing about the paleo diet is that it cuts out processed food as they have several harmful health effects.
  • It helps with weight loss – the paleo diet is good for losing weight without causing any deficiencies in the body. Health experts believe that switching to a paleo diet can result in lower body mass index and reduced waist size.
  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease – paleo diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease as it helps to lose weight and decrease BMI, which leads to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels for a healthy heart.
  • It regularizes blood sugar – getting rid of dairy products, refined sugars, and carbohydrates from your diet can regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What to Watch Out For

If you are switching to the paleo diet, there are certain things you should watch out for. They include:

  • High costs – buying whole or organic foods is much more expensive as compared to the processed ones that are frozen or canned.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – eliminating all grains and legumes can leave you with B vitamins deficiency like thiamine, folate, niacin, and riboflavin. You may also end up with calcium or vitamin D deficiency by cutting out all dairy products.
  • Increased risk of various diseases – paleo diet requires you to eat more meat. Eating too much red meat is not good for health and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even death.

Benefits of the Keto Diet

If you want to eat right and lose weight without cutting down on essential nutrients, keto is the right diet option for you.

  • It is good for weight loss – you will be eating foods high in fat. These types of foods make you feel full for longer. There are weight loss effects when you are in ketosis, the state in which the body uses stored fats for energy instead of blood sugar.
  • Works on medical conditions – the keto diet is recommended by doctors for people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. It can reduce seizures and also help with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What to Watch Out For

When you are shifting to the keto diet, you must watch out for the following:

  • It limits the intake of nutrients by eliminating grains and most fruits from the diet. It may result in a deficiency of selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C. ‌
  • Metabolizing the fat in this diet can affect your liver. The high amounts of protein could become tough for the kidneys to process, and if you already suffer from liver or kidney issues, this diet can worsen them.
  • Our brain requires healthy carbohydrates to function normally. If it fails to get sufficient amounts of carbohydrates to work well, you may end up feeling confused or irritated.

People with the following medical conditions should avoid the keto diet:

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Eating disorders or previous eating disorders
  • Gallbladder disease or in case of removed gallbladder

The paleo diet can be healthy as it helps to keep tabs on the processed foods you are eating, but it is a starting point. Eating too much fat can have the opposite effect and land you with other health troubles. If you are more interested in the keto diet, make sure to consult your doctor to prevent nutritional deficiencies and liver and kidney issues in the long run.

If you cannot decide which diet is best for you, think about what is sustainable and how it would benefit you. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician at the Century Medical and Dental Center to discuss your health and fitness goals. The experienced and board-certified internal medicine doctor NY can guide you in the right direction and monitor your progress as you make changes to your diet. Focusing on a healthy balance of foods available to you is the best option, and knowing your nutritional needs will help you enjoy mental and physical wellbeing in the long run.

SHARE THIS POST Page Updated on Nov 21, 2022 by Dr. Dvorkina (Primary Care Doctor) of Century Medical & Dental Center
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