Primal! Paleo! Keto! Oh My!

Dear Reader,

You've most likely heard of at least one or maybe all three.

My first introduction to any of these diets was The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson . To this day I still revert back to the fantastic information I gleaned from this book. The Primal lifestyle is basically a hunter/gatherer diet. Some may call it a "caveman diet".  In short, if you can grow it, pick it, or kill it you can eat it. In other words, eat REAL food. Nothing in a bag or box.  It's as simple as that. Along with this concept, Primal eating advocates a low carbohydrate consumption.  I know, I know, LOW CARBS! This seems to be the mantra of this decade. But for good reason. The research and data are here to state (and, I believe, stay) the reality of how high carbohydrate diets (accompanied by processed foods, of course) are the culprits for much of our diseases today from heart disease to type 2 diabetes to auto-immune diseases.

From here, I began to read about the Paleo lifestyle (aka "the caveman" diet). It is similar to the Primal lifestyle with one caveat.  Paleo is pretty strict about no dairy.  I cried, "Foul on the play!" since I love cheese and real cream in my coffee.  So Paleo was not going to be my thing.  Primal it was . . .

. . . until a couple of years ago when I began reading about the Ketogenic lifestyle. It is a low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet. I found it to be intriguing. When Mark Sisson began to talk about it in his articles, my interest was piqued even more. Then...his new book "The Keto Reset Diet" came out.  Since he had not steered me wrong in the past, I thought I'd give this Keto thing a try. IF you're interested in Keto, this is a must read for you! You can also find a ton of good information on his website.

So, if Primal/Paleo and Keto are all low carb, what then are the differences between them?

I've explained already some of the aspects of the Primal and Paleo diets. These are mostly concerned with food choices. As I mentioned earlier. Paleo says "no" to dairy, while both nix legumes, grains, refined sugars and processed foods. Paleo doesn't concern itslef with the balance of macronutrients (fat, protein, & carbs). Mix them up anywany you like. Primal leans (pun, intended) more on the high protein while fat is at a moderate level, but it is still a low carb lifestyle.

The Ketogenic diet's emphasis is on macronutrient ratios. The basic rule of thumb is that your daily dietary intake consists of 60-80% fat, 20-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs. When done correctly, Keto puts our bodies into a state called, "Ketosis"; thus the name Ketogenic. At this point, I think I'll send you to the professional to elaborate. Here you go. AND for my friends who may confuse "Ketosis" (good for you) with "Ketoacidosis" (potentially deadly) here YOU go.

Primal/Paleo is a great option for you if you are a carnivore at heart. Also, I have talked with people who simply cannot tolerate the high fat content of the Keto diet. It upsets their tummies. These are my friends who prefer the Paleo/Primal approach. On the other hand, my not-so-carnivore friends enjoy the Keto lifestyle. They have no issues with the high fat, and they prefer it. Now I understand, of course, there are other ways to obtain protein besides eating meat and dairy, but Keto works the best for them, as it does for me.

At age 54, my hormones are not at their top performance. While doing some research I came across something called "carb-cycling" that is done in conjunction with Keto. When I read about this, I began to think it may be the ticket to help to me balance my hormones naturally through diet. For me it was definitely worth a try, and after doing this for a year or so now, I am totally on board. I plan to write another post soon regarding my success story using this method. In the meantime, I invite you to read Dr. Jocker's great article on this here.

There's one more thing, I'm going to throw out for you to consider. Along with carb-cycling Keto, I also fast intermittently. You say, "Seriously, ANOTHER diet?" Well, not really. It's more of a "practice".  There are several ways to intermittent fast.  Here is a great article to explain some of them.  For my lady readers, PLEASE NOTE that I have learned there is an ideal way for us to intermittent fast so as not to upset our delicate hormones. I invite you to read this article.

Thanks for reading! Ciao!

~ Barbie

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