Keto vs Paleo vs Whole30 – Who Are These For?

    Have you considered commencing a diet plan? Perhaps you are trying to get or stay healthy or lose weight. The options out there are plenty and it becomes a tad confusing. We will look at some popular options making the rounds, compare keto vs paleo vs Whole30, and tell you all you need to know about them. 

    Dieting is the conscious practice of eating certain types of foods. This is selectively for the purpose of either gaining weight, losing weight, or preventing or maintaining an illness. In this article, we will discuss three major dieting plans to find one that’s best for you.

    Ketogenic Diet Plan

    This is a diet that is very low in carbohydrate but high in fat.  The idea behind the keto diet is to literally starve the body. This puts it in a metabolic state, or ketosis. When this happens, the body starts to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This diet helps not just in burning fat, but also in reducing blood sugar and insulin level.

    There are different types of keto diets:

    • Targeted ketogenic diet: this is a lenient form of keto that allows for the addition of carbs when a workout is involved
    • Cyclical ketogenic diet: this approach makes provision for break periods of a carb diet followed by a return to the keto diet
    • High protein ketogenic diet: rather than including carbohydrates occasionally like the other subtypes, this diet makes room for the inclusion of protein
    • Standard ketogenic diet: this regular type of diet is where a low amount of carbohydrate is taken with a high fat content

    Paleo Diet

    The idea behind a paleo diet is to recreate the diet of early humans during the hunter-gatherer era. The hunter-gatherer diet was whole food based. Coupled with their physical and active lifestyle, they tended to have lower risks for obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. This diet plan is generally very effective in weight loss and health improvements.

    What Do Paleo Diets Consist Of? 

    The paleo diet permits the following foods:

    • Fish, meat, eggs, vegetable foods, nuts and fruits, seeds, herbs
    • Avoid all processed foods, sweeteners, soda, legumes, margarine etc

    The Whole30 Diet

    This is a 30-day diet plan that involves whole foods. It is a modified paleo diet plan. The basic difference between both plans is that the Whole30 plan follows a more restricted regimen. Asides not consuming processed sweeteners, followers of the Whole30 program, do not also eat natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. This program persists for 30 days, after which the participant may now reintroduce other meals that are outside the Whole30 plan.

    What Diet Plan Is Best For You?

    Choosing a keto vs paleo vs Whole30 diet will depend on several factors. Whether it is to gain or lose weight, to manage a health condition or to prevent one, it is necessary to consider the motivations.  Among these three, Whole 30 ranks lowest across different reviews.  Keto on the other hand has certain side effects especially when used for a long period of time. The side effects can be any of the following, but are not limited to:

    • Keto flu: Because of the way the body starts to adjust to its new source of energy, there may be some flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and constipation
    • Decrease in blood sugar levels: Initially, keto dieting may be beneficial in that it helps diabetic patients in lowering of the blood glucose level, however, this dynamics may change leading to a drastic fall in the blood glucose of individuals
    • Liver problems: Due to the increased metabolism of fat that the liver has to carry out in a person undergoing keto dieting, if any underlying pre-existing liver conditions are present, they could worsen by this increased metabolic stress
    • Kidney and heart disease: The high fat diet could lead to atherosclerosis, where the heart vessels clog, thereby reducing the flow of blood to different parts of the body or to the heart muscles as well


    Whether keto vs paleo vs Whole30, a compromise usually has to be reached where certain food types are left out. As a consequence, nutrition deprivation is one important result to all these diet plans. The problem is that these left out food sources may be sometimes vital in the nourishment of the individual and its prolonged absence may lead to deficiency in certain vitamins, micro-elements and macro elements.

    When embarking upon a dietary journey, it is also advisable to carry out a medical check up to ensure that there is no underlying condition that should be a cause for concern when the program commences. Find what works for you and continue your journey to healthy living.


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