Paleo vs Atkins vs Ketogenic Diet

Paleo vs Atkins vs Ketogenic Diet


Hey guys it’s Anita Tee from FactsvsFitness.com. Today I’m going to be doing a really quick video on the basic differences between the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, and a Ketogenic diet, and I figured I’d do this video because I got this question earlier, and I realized it never really occurred to me as a nutritionist, but I realize now that that’s probably something that’s pretty confusing because the diets seem really similar at first glance. So I’ll give you guys a little bit of a brief background. Basically for a Ketogenic diet, in order to understand it, you guys probably have to know a bit about nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is a state in the body where your body has converted from burning glucose to burning ketone bodies, and utilizing ketone bodies for energy. Basically ketone bodies are produced from fat, so your body is essentially burning fat, converting it into ketone bodies and using those ketone bodies for energy. There’s a whole bunch of benefits to burning ketones, but I won’t get into so many of them during this video because honestly, I could make a whole video on nutritional ketosis. Honestly, there’s just so much to talk about and so many benefits; the diet was originally invented because it was noticed that these high fat intakes were really helping epilepsy, and they were helping to stop seizures. Basically just to highlight one of the things, that’s why many of these diets, like the bulletproof diet, and all these brain functioning diets rely pretty heavily on fat because a high consumption of fat and burning ketones are actually able to basically push their way into the brain for energy, and they really really energize the brain and give you guys a lot of brain power, which is awesome! Anyways, that is basically what happens you enter into nutritional ketosis, along with a whole bunch of other things that, like I said, I’ll do a video on later, if you guys want. So the Ketogenic diet obviously involves being in nutritional ketosis, constantly, and there are such things called cyclical diets, or cyclical ketogenic diets where you’re not in it so constantly, but with a basic ketogenic diet you are consistently utilizing ketones as your main energy source, NOT glucose. So the way that’s different from a Paleo diet and an Atkins diet is that a Paleo diet can be a ketogenic diet, you can actually make it into a ketogenic diet, but it really doesn’t have to be, and it’s the same with an Atkins diet. So essentially the difference lies in carbohydrate intake. That’s the big thing that I want to highlight to you guys here, because basically with a ketogenic diet you have only 5% percent of your calories as carbohydrate intake. That’s it. Sixty to eighty percent is fat, the remainder is protein, and then five percent is carbohydrates. And that’s what pushes your body into nutritional ketosis. Five percent, keep in mind that one gram of carbohydrates is equal to about four calories, so if you’re on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, that means you have 25 grams of carbs. That’s it. So essentially you’re on a really really low carb intake per day, and the reason for that is once your body burns up its glucose, when you’re first switching into a keto diet, your body will use whatever glucose it has left, it will go to its glycogen stores and burn all that, and then after that it really doesn’t have enough fuel from carbohydrates. So it kind of starts to learn and switch over to burning fat, and that’s when you start burning fat, that’s when you go into nutritional ketosis, and that’s what everything sort of accelerates. But when the process is happening that you’re switching, you do still have glycogen stores, your body is still running on glucose as a fuel, so a lot of people feel pretty crappy for a few days going into the keto diet, until their body sort of learns to start burning ketones. Once you’re in it for a while, if you come out of it and go back into it, then it’s a lot more simple and your body kind of knows what’s it’s doing, but at first you can definitely feel a little bit crappy, so don’t confuse that initial poor feelings with “Oh God, the ketogenic diet’s not working!” That’s sort of to be expected because your body is going through a pretty major shift. So, that’s the keto diet! Like I said, five percent of intake is carbohydrates, consistently like that, and the body’s burning ketones. So what about Atkins, what about Paleo?
Like I said, it all depends on carb intake. With Atkins, when you start off in Atkins, the first phase lets you take in 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. So you can actually start out, especially depending on how long you stay in the first phase, you can actually start out in ketosis and push your body into ketosis, but the issue with this is you don’t remain there. By the end of the Atkins diet, you can be consuming up to a hundred grams of carbs per day, of course you can stay in this really low carb state if you want to, but again, by the end, you are allowed about 100 grams of carbs a day, depending on your goals, and so you are at that point no longer in a state of ketosis. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of diets just because, if you’re not putting your body into ketosis and your body is still relying on glucose and your glycogen stores and you’re giving it really really low access to carbs, then you may end up feeling lethargic; some people have complained, on the Atkins diet, that they feel like their energy is pretty low, or they don’t feel so great. I just feel that when you’re in that state you are still getting some benefits of being on a low carb diet, of course there are again loads and loads of benefits. But if you’re going to push your body to be utilizing low carbohydrates, in my opinion as a scientist, a ketogenic diet is just unbeatable in that sense. So, thirdly is the Paleo diet, and the Paleo diet is actually the most generous with its carbohydrates, because the Paleo diet is a diet based around health, you can use it for weight loss, but you can also just use it for health purposes. And basically, you can have up to 150 grams of carbs if you want on the Paleo diet, it totally depends on what your goals are, whether it’s health, weight loss, maintenance, athletics. If you are an athlete you can actually increase your carb intake even more than that, which is great if you’re not in a keto state, and so the most generous carbohydrate intake will come from the Paleo diet. And really, by following the Paleo diet you can still eat certain fruits and vegetables that definitely, definitely, would not be allowed on the Atkins diet or on a Ketogenic diet, due to their high carbohydrate content, however they are still very very nutritious. So, like I said, that’s the basic difference: it’s the carbohydrate intake, it’s the carbohydrate difference. All of them can turn into a keto diet if you really want to turn all these into a Keto diet, and apply those rules of the Keto diet. But the Ketogenic diet is really really unbeatable when it comes to health benefits. That being said, I find that the one with the most carb intake, which is the Paleo diet, I find that to be sort of the most sustainable, the easiest for when you’re in social situations. A ketogenic diet, I did one for maybe a year and a half, it was great! I actually did it during my Master’s degree, and I did amazing, I would eat lunch and right after that I’d be writing my thesis, and I’d be so like brain-focused, there was no food coma or anything like that, I was just skyrocketing with the work, and I did really really really well, and it was just amazing, I experienced so many health benefits; I am a big fan of testing myself, because I am a scientist, so I do you want to see what’s going on the whole way through, and it actually improved a lot of health conditions I had, and that I wasn’t even trying to improve or aiming at. Which were things like, all my life I had very low iron, during the Keto diet my iron actually went up quite a bit and it’s continuing to increase, now it’s fantastic! But for a while when I started the Keto diet, when I was not feeling so great, and it really did a lot of benefits. But, it was super super super unsustainable for me. Some people find it very very easy and have no problem sustaining a Keto diet; I was actually watching a lecture by this doctor and he was just saying he goes out for sushi, for example, and he just gets sashimi, which is great, he’s not tempted by cake or chocolate, or anything like that. I have a major sweet tooth so that didn’t help, but I mean I stuck to it, I gave it a good go for a year and a half, it has huge benefits and if you guys can do one of the three diet, again, it will vary depending on the person and depending on your goals, but if you guys can do a Keto diet, it’s really really amazing, and the benefits are really really great. So like I said, it’s a balance between your personal goals, how sustainable you find the diet, and also how you’re feeling on a diet. Pay attention to how your body feels, because the same diet isn’t applicable for every single person, and you should listen to your body and go with how you feel. So that’s the basic difference, and I hope you guys enjoyed this video! If you guys want a scientist on your side to give you the facts about health and nutrition, then subscribe to my channel below and give this video a thumbs up! And hope you guys have a great day, love you all, see you next time.