Paleo and low carb diets are often considered to be the same thing because people who follow the Paleo eating plan don’t eat very many carbohydrates. The fact is that these diets are similar in some ways, but they are also very different.
Low Carb Diet Principles
Low-carb diets, such as Atkins, encourage followers to reduce the levels of refined sugars and refined carbs in the foods they eat. They are encouraged to eat high amounts of fruits, vegetables, fat and fiber. The Atkins diet recommends that followers get about half of the calories they eat from fats. This diet focuses heavily on weight loss and is considered by many people to be an effective diet for athletes.
The Paleo diet is based on the way our human ancestors ate during the Paleolithic period, which ended approximately 10,0000 years ago. Their diet consisted primarily of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and foods that are processed as little as possible. People who follow the Paleo way of eating usually end up eating few carbs because high-carb foods like legumes, potatoes and grains are not considered part of the Paleo diet. Some people who follow the Paleo diet do eat a significant number of carbs, as fruits and sweet potatoes are included in the diet.
Differences Between Low Carb and Paleo
One of the biggest differences is that the Paleo diet doesn’t specifically limit carbs, while low carb diets are specifically geared toward limiting carbs. Another difference is that Paleo encourages people to eat whole foods that have been minimally processed. There are no Paleo convenience foods on the market except the ones from nature, such as vegetables and fruits. Paleo also focuses on the quality of the food. The meats allowed on the Paleo diet are ideally organic and grass-fed. The fish and seafood should be wild-caught and all of the fruits and vegetables should be organically grown. Pesticides and additives didn’t exist during the Paleolithic period, so they are not part of the Paleo way of eating.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Eating Paleo
There are many benefits to the Paleo way of eating. It is often recommended by nutritionists because it contains foods that are considered healthy. Another benefit of the Paleo way of eating is that followers tend to have a smaller carbon footprint, as they tend to eat foods that are locally grown.
One of the biggest drawbacks of eating Paleo is that fresh and organic foods are expensive. Some dieters can find savings by shopping at farmers markets and buying their meats from local farmers rather than conventional supermarkets. Some people worry that eliminating legumes and grains from their diet will limit the amount of energy they have, especially if they are athletic.
Benefits Drawbacks of Low Carb Diets
The biggest benefit of following a low carbohydrate diet is rapid weight loss. This diet is also easy for most Americans to follow because we tend to eat a lot of meat anyway. There are many more foods that can be eaten by people who eat low carb than those who eat Paleo, especially for people who have a limited amount of money to spend on groceries.
Many people have found that they have unpleasant side effects when they first start eliminating carbs from their diet. These side effects include headache, fatigue, dizziness and weakness. Many foods that contain high levels of carbs also contain important nutrients, so people who eat a low carbohydrate diet should take vitamins to ensure that their nutritional needs are met.
Everyone should experiment with foods until they find an eating plan that works for their body. It may take up to a month for your body to rid itself of toxins from the foods you have eaten in the past, so don’t give up your new way of eating if you don’t start to feel better right away