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Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 11, 2023
Keto: Low-carb, high-fat diet. Paleo: Whole foods, no processed foods.

Key Differences

Keto focuses on high fat, low carbs. Paleo emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods.
Keto aims for ketosis. Paleo avoids grains and dairy.
Keto restricts carbs strictly. Paleo permits natural sugars.
Keto allows dairy. Paleo is grain and legume-free.
Keto tracks macros. Paleo focuses on food quality.

Comparison Chart

Primary Focus

Low carb, high fat
Whole, unprocessed foods

Carb Intake

Very low
Moderate, from natural sources


Not allowed

Grains and Legumes

Allowed in some forms
Strictly avoided


Macros (carbs, fats, proteins)
Not typically required

Keto and Paleo Definitions


Restricts carbs.
The keto diet limits carbohydrate intake.


Whole food diet.
He follows a paleo diet for health.


Induces ketosis.
Keto helps in achieving ketosis.


Avoids processed foods.
Paleo excludes processed items.


High-fat, low-carb diet.
She lost weight on the keto diet.


The paleo diet eliminates grains.


Tracks macros.
Keto involves careful macro tracking.


Dairy is not part of paleo.


Focuses on fats.
Fats are essential in the keto diet.


Natural eating.
Paleo emphasizes natural food sources.


(organic chemistry) The carbonyl group of a ketone.


(informal) paleodiet


(informal) ketogenic
A keto diet


Are grains allowed in paleo?

No, grains are excluded from the paleo diet.

What is a keto diet?

A diet high in fats, low in carbs.

Is ketosis a goal of paleo?

No, ketosis isn't a specific goal of paleo.

Can I eat dairy on keto?

Yes, dairy is generally allowed on keto.

Is dairy permitted in paleo?

No, paleo typically excludes dairy products.

Does keto restrict carbs?

Yes, keto significantly limits carb intake.

What is a paleo diet?

A diet based on whole, unprocessed foods.

Can keto include processed foods?

It can, as long as they're low in carbs.

How does keto achieve weight loss?

Through ketosis by limiting carb intake.

What’s the focus of paleo?

Consuming whole, unprocessed foods.

Are fruits allowed in paleo?

Yes, natural fruits are part of paleo.

Can I eat fruit on keto?

In moderation, focusing on low-carb fruits.

Is keto good for athletes?

It varies; some athletes may need more carbs.

Does paleo help with weight loss?

It can, particularly due to unprocessed food choices.

Does keto allow natural sugars?

Only in very limited amounts.

Is paleo or keto more restrictive?

Depends on individual perspective on food groups.

Do I need to track macros on paleo?

Not typically, focus is more on food quality.

Can paleo improve health?

Many find health benefits due to whole foods.

Is keto sustainable long-term?

It depends on individual adaptability and health.

Are legumes allowed in paleo?

No, paleo excludes legumes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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