You’ve most likely heard about Paleo and Keto diets. Maybe you’ve even dabbled in one or both to see what they’re like. But we bet you still have some questions. To help demystify the what’s, why’s and how’s, here’s a deep diet dive from our coaches.
The Ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves drastically reducing carbs and replacing them with fat (including dairy). This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis–basically when your body burns fat because it doesn’t have enough glucose to use for energy. Over time, your body gets more efficient at burning fat for energy and turning fat into ketones (a byproduct of fat breakdown) in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. This can lead to significant weight loss. However, ketosis can be dangerous if ketone levels become too high. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of too much glucose and not enough insulin in the blood. (The body can’t use glucose without proper amounts of insulin; insulin is necessary to get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used for energy.)
Sometimes referred to as the “ancestral diet,” the Paleo diet is believed to align with the foods eaten by early humans, with an emphasis on whole foods, including organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed and naturally-raised meats, wild-caught fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. In addition to avoiding all processed foods and sugar, it also omits all grains, dairy products, beans and legumes (including peanuts). Proponents of the Paleo diet believe that because these foods were introduced to the human diet much later in our history, the human digestive system is not well-equipped to break down these foods, contributing to digestion issues, food allergies and sensitivities and inflammation.