The start of a new year is always the perfect opportunity to make new lifestyle choices to improve your overall health. As new diet trends are constantly coming and going, it tends to create a whirlwind of confusion to the general public on what is most beneficial diet approach. Two diets, although we’d rather call them lifestyle choices, that have remained in the spotlight over the years are the plant-based and paleo diets.
Although both dietary lifestyles have some overlap, they are both widely different in their recommendations. In this blog, we’re going to explore both diet approaches in order to settle the debate on whether the plant-based vs. paleo diet is better for you!
Historically speaking, when we look at the paleolithic era, it wasn’t likely that cavemen had a major kill every day. Therefore, the hunter-gatherers during this time would likely have to supplement their diets with wild fruits and vegetables.
The underlying principal surrounding the paleo diet is, if a caveman couldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat it either. Based on this premise, most fruits, vegetables, and meats are on the menu. On the contrary, foods such as dairy, bread, beans, peanuts, and rice are completely off limits. In a nutshell, the Paleo diet is high in fat, moderate in animal proteins and low in carbs.
- Higher intakes of protein and fats from meat, allow you to feel fuller longer
- Eating more red meat increases your iron levels and healthy fats such as omega-3
- When followed correctly, the Paleo diet has been shown to greatly improve autoimmune illness and gastro-intestinal problems such as bloating
- Allows for more variety of meal options, including Beetnik’s paleo microwaveable meals
- Too much protein can turn into stored fat if not used by muscle. If protein consumption is not monitored and controlled, it can cause you to adversely gain weight
- Some research suggests that consuming too much red meat can have a strong link to cancer
- Most athletes required 3 to 4 grams of carbs per pound of their body weight per day, which can be hard to accomplish with the paleo diet restrictions
Plant-based diets promote a diet solely based on plant matter and proteins. As the name suggests, the plant-based diet primarily focuses on fruits and vegetables but also can include nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Although there are several variations of plant-based diets, most of them are low in fats, moderate in plant proteins, and high in carbohydrates.
- A raw plant diet alkalizes your body and improve your overall energy levels
- Considering gas emissions from beef are 20 times that of wheat, a plant-based diet is more environmentally friendly
- Provides more enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in your diet, especially when fruits and vegetables are eaten raw
- Research has shown a plant-based diet can lower your cholesterol levels and triglycerides, as well as your risk for heart disease and cancer
- Many people report feeling hungry more often on a plant-based diet, causing them to eat more
- Lack of meat products can cause a deficiency in beneficial nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and vitamin D
- Limited food options will make it harder to find dietary options in social settings such as restaurants
- Because a plant-based diet has such limited food options with foods that are primarily more difficult to feel satiated on, people find it more difficult to follow.
Similarities of Plant-based and Paleo
Since fruits and vegetables are a large component to both diets, when followed correctly, the plant-based diet and the paleo diet will allow your body to be rich in many essential nutrients. They also promote the practice of choosing organic foods when possible. Not only does this reduce the negative side effects to your body from eating foods with pesticides, but it also promotes sustainability of our lands.
Both the plant-based and paleo diet are the same in the idea of eliminating refined sugars, and processed foods from your diet. Studies have also shown significant weight loss resulting from each of these lifestyle choices. If you find yourself still having trouble deciding which diet is best for you, you could also try any of these popular diets similar to paleo.
When trying to determine the outcome of a plant-based diet vs. paleo diet and which is better, it will ultimately come down to your health goals, and what you prefer to eat. Since every human body is different, what might be best for one person’s needs may be completely different from your own needs. By breaking down each of these diets, we hope that you will have an easier time deciding a dietary lifestyle best suited for your own individual health requirements.