Successful weight loss can be difficult to achieve without taking action or making drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle. Most of us dread doing anything that is associated with the term diet because it implies that we will more than likely have to restrict foods or drinks from our daily intake.
There are two diets –the Paleo Diet and the Ketogenic Diet that promise to deliver results, but which one is better? Let’s take a closer at these two diets.
What is the Ketogenic Diet ?
Men and women who elect to follow the keto diet purposefully eat a diet that mainly consists of proteins, fats, and limited variety of fruits and vegetables. Unlike the average diet that usually includes upwards of 50 percent of carbohydrates, the keto diet typically contains fewer than 40 grams of carbs.
The keto diet triggers your body to deliver ketones into your bloodstream making them the core source of energy instead of sugar. Once we eliminate sugar from our daily diet, our body has no choice but to use stored fat in our body and use the process of ketosis to convert those fat cells into energy.
Once you successfully arrive in the land of ketosis, your body stays there until you decide to consume more than 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates.
Advantages of Ketogenic Diet
Followers of the keto diet report multiple benefits of complying with this lifestyle.
Keto Diet Helps You Lose Weight
Many followers of the keto diet do experience weight loss within as few as five to seven days. There are reports that some people lose as much as seven to ten pounds in their first week of implementing a keto diet. As time passes, the weight loss progress will slow to one to two pounds per week until you reach your weight loss goal.
Improves Your Mood
The keto diet can help to improve your mood according to one study. Eating a diet that is rich in healthy fats and low in sugar can help lower stress and anxiety levels and improve symptoms commonly seen with depression.
Helps You Feel Full Longer
The keto lifestyle is notorious for helping you to keep hunger pangs at bay while continuously burning fat. This beneficial side effect is mainly due to the amount of protein you are ingesting throughout the day which naturally delivers a feeling of satiety.
Improves Your Heart Functions
Healthy keto diet practices can also aid in improving your “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels and decreasing the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels.
Inflammation Problems Improve
If you are someone who has problems with pain or inflammation, the keto diet can help to decrease inflammatory symptoms significantly.
Improves Complex Health Conditions
Additionally, there is research to show that people with the following conditions may experience short and long-term improvements including:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sleep Disorders
- Brain Cancer
- Type II Diabetes
Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet
While there are numerous benefits of following the ketogenic diet, there are a few disadvantages or side effects that may accompany it which include:
- Bad breath
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Electrolyte imbalances
What Do Experts Say about the Keto Diet?
Reviews are mixed as it relates to the keto diet. Some physicians recommend this diet to their patients for a variety of reasons and stand by the potential results that the keto diet may deliver. However, the diet is not without its critics.
Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels labels this diet as a fad and urges the public to steer clear of adopting the keto lifestyle. According to Prevention Magazine, Jillian Michaels reportedly discouraged folks from indulging in this diet. Although the keto diet may help to lower insulin levels in people who have type II diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome or infertility problems, it is not appropriate for most people.
Experts do not share the same view about the impact of only eating foods with a low glycemic index has on weight loss. Next, there is a degree of concern that restricting your dietary intake of certain foods has a direct effect on whether or not you are consuming the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Finally, there is research that demonstrates that people who consume a diet that is high in protein for an extended period may increase their risk of kidney problems as they grow older versus those who do not choose to adopt this lifestyle.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet entails the consumption of those foods that were once a part of the normal daily diet during the Paleolithic era. The paleo diet consists of fish, fruits, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Close your eyes and envision all of the foods you either might have to hunt or gather.
Advantages of Paleo Diet
There are a few advantages of the paleo diet that might prove attractive to you.
The paleo diet does aid in weight loss endeavors. People lose as much as one to two pounds a week. Your lean protein intake on this diet helps to not only contribute to your body’s overall composition but also decreases the insulin response. These actions combined with a decrease in your intake of processed foods helps to regulate your blood sugar, improve metabolic function and improve weight loss.
Supports Heart Health
Studies show that short-term dietary changes such as a Paleo diet can improve your overall heart health (1). Also, it improves blood pressure levels, boosts kidney function and muscle function.
Helps to Control Your Appetite
As with the keto diet, the paleo diet is low in carbs and high in protein-rich foods that help to make you feel fuller for a more extended period.
Prevents Prediabetes and Type Two Diabetes
Adopting the Paleo diet can aid in preventing the emergence of prediabetes and type two diabetes.
Disadvantages of the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet can deliver a variety of positive outcomes with consistency. However, there are a few disadvantages including but not limited to:
- May contribute to inflammation problems
- Reduction of intake of essential vitamins and minerals
- Low calcium levels
- Difficult to follow
What Do Experts Say about the Paleo Diet?
Much like keto, the results are mixed with the paleo diet. Critics share similar concerns that restricting the types of food you consume may lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Additionally, if you eat or too many of the wrong kinds of proteins and fats, you may inadvertently raise your risk of developing heart disease or boosting your cholesterol levels.
However, other experts agree that the paleo diet can also have the same positive effects as the ketogenic diet including improving your insulin levels, lipid profiles, and weight loss.
Which Diet is Better?
Ultimately, the diet that works best for you may coincide with your personal preferences, pre-existing health conditions, and sustainability. However, many people find the paleo diet to be a better choice because you have more food options to choose from with this lifestyle which in turn boosts your likelihood of success.
New Paleo diet study suggests possible heart benefits. Journal of Business [serial online]. 2016;31:14.