It’s important to educate yourself on proper health and nutrition. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, a staggering 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. If you’re looking into different ways to change your body for the better, dieting is sure to have crossed your mind more than a few times. However, with hundreds of variations and complex language it can be difficult knowing where to start.
Two of the most popular diets today, ketogenic and paleolithic, are beginner-friendly and have similar goals but offer different ways of getting there. So, which should you try? Keto or paleo?
The goal of the keto diet is to get the body in a state of ketosis — when carbohydrates are so low that your body starts using fat for energy instead, according to WebMD. The belief behind this high-fat, low-carb diet is that the body loses excess fat through burning it for energy. On the keto diet, you can't get carbs from grains or legumes, nor most fruits. Carbs primarily come from a keto-friendly vegetable, such as leafy greens, or a small group of fruits, mostly berries.
Taking its name from the Paleolithic age, which ended 12,000 years ago, this diet strives to eliminate products made from modern food processing and farming methods, according to the Mayo Clinic. The belief here is the human body is not well-suited for modern foods, so cutting them out and replacing them with healthier fats, animal meats and less carbs will lead to a healthier life. You cannot consume dairy on this diet.
Both of these diets have advantages, but they sharply restrict the foods you can eat.
“These plans are often tough to follow for a long period of time,” registered dietitian Toby Amidor says. “A sustainable diet is not only about the foods you choose to eat, but also how easily you can follow the plan.”
A diet, by definition, is just what you normally eat. It isn’t a temporary thing. Ultimately, your diet should be something you can continuously keep up, which means enjoying things in moderation. Eat foods that taste good, give you the proper nutrients and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and you will be just fine.