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Paleo, Banting & Ketogenic Diets: All You Need To Know

There has been much talk about the Paleo, Ketogenic and Banting Diets. At Nutriseed, one thing is for sure, we are fans of all them and the healthy lifestyle associated with each. We have been asked repeatedly about each of them, their differences and similarities, merits and drawbacks.

Here, once and for all, we’d like to debunk exactly what each of these involves, and which way may be right for you. We don’t see these as ‘fads diets’; some date back as far as the 1800’s! One thing for sure, if you are looking to make strong lifestyle changes, achieve your fitness and health goals these are 3 mindsets of eating that may help you get there.

The Paleo Diet

What is the Paleo Diet?

The basic premise of the Paleo Diet is to consume the foods that date back to the pre-agricultural hunter gatherers. Thus, it promotes foods that are predisposed to our genetics.

Studies have shown that modern-day diets of refined foods, trans fats, and sugars, are a major source of various degenerative diseases including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, (hardly surprising, right?). The Paleo Diet, unlike many others (but similar to the Banting and Ketogenic Diets), does not restrict calories or involve portion control. So in essence, you can eat as much as you like… of the correct foods.

The Paleo Diet is structured on the following precepts:

  • High protein intake

Protein typically represents 15% of the average western diet, which is far lower than the 20-35% found in hunter-gatherer diets. Lean meats, seafood and other animal products are staples of the modern Paleo diet, helping you to feel full and satisfied, grow strong muscles and healthy bones.

  • Low carbohydrate intake

Key carbohydrate intake comes from non-starchy fruit and vegetables, and represent around 35-45% of your daily calories. These foods typically have low glycemic indices, slowly releasing energy throughout the day, and also contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies love!

  • High fat intake

Not all fats are created equal. It is not the amount of fat in your diet that contributes to unhealthy diseases, but rather the type of fats. As would be expected, the fats found in the Western ‘fast food diet’ are those to avoid; artificial, highly processed, and industrial trans fats. The Paleo Diet, however, promotes healthy fats (monounsaturated) and omega-3, deriving them from nuts, seeds, avocados, some oils (coconut, flaxseed, macadamia) oily fish and grass-fed meat.


The Paleo Food List

Taking the above into consideration, here are the foods included in the Paleo Diet:

  • Lean meats (pork, lean beef, chicken, turkey)
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Fresh fruit
  • Non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, green beans)
  • Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds)
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios)
  • Plant-based oils (coconut, flaxseed, grapeseed, olive)
  • Eggs

And here are the foods that should be eliminated:

  • Grains and gluten (wheat, barley, rice, cereal, pasta, bread)
  • Processed foods or trans fats
  • Refined sugars (specifically fizzy drinks and confectionery)
  • Starchy veggies (potatoes, corn)
  • Dairy (dairy milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream)
  • High salt foods


What are the benefits of the Paleo Diet?

So why should you follow the Paleo Diet? Here are the key benefits:

  • A diet free of refined sugars and artificial additives has been proven to help reduce obesity and the likelihood of diseases such as diabetes
  • Improved concentration due to far fewer blood-sugar spikes
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables
  • A high-protein diet is likely to help you feel satiated, preventing snacking
  • You are likely to lose weight due to consuming very few carbohydrates

The Banting Diet

What is the Banting Diet?

Banting is a low-carbohydrate, but high-fat (also known as LCHF) diet that was coined by William Banting, who was the first person to popularise it in the late 1800’s. Today it is more popular than ever before, partly due to Professor Tim Noake’s bestselling book, The Real Meal Revolution.

Put simply, the Banting Diet limits carbs so that your body switches from burning them for energy, and into burning fat instead. Any foods that have a greater carb content of 5g per 100g should be avoided, and all sugary food should be avoided entirely.

If you do this to its fullest extent, you will achieve ketosis… Nope, this is not a disease, more like the Banter’s Nirvana! This is when the body is starved of carbs so much that it burns fat for energy, and in turn, creates ketones in the body.

The Real Meal Revolution puts forward 3 lists of foods:

  • Green - (an ‘all-you-can-eat list) with carb content of under 5g per 100g,
  • Orange - ingredients containing between 6g and 25g of carbs per 100g
  • Red - foods very high in carbs, and should be avoided entirely.

The Green List:

  • Animal protein (eggs, meats, poultry, seafood)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy (cream cottage, cheese, full-cream milk)
  • Vegetables (all green leafy vegetables, any vegetable above the ground)
  • Sweeteners (stevia powder, xylitol, erythritol) 

The Orange List

  • Fruits
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, and chestnuts)
  • Vegetables (butternut, carrots, sweet potatoes)

The Red List

  • All processed food
  • All food with added sugar (glucose, dextrose)
  • Baked goods
  • Fruit juices of any kind
  • Beer, cider and fizzy drinks (including any diet, lite or zero)
  • Seed oils
  • Sweeteners (agave, artificial sweeteners, cordials, sweets, and syrups)

Benefits of the Banting Diet

The key benefits of that Banting Diet include:

  • Weight loss (with very few carbs in this diet, weight loss is generally expected, and one reason that the diet has become so popular)
  • Improved digestion (with no artificial or refined ingredients, your digestive system will begin to heal)
  • Improved blood pressure (with no sugars, blood pressure is expected to improve)
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Heightened libido
  • Reduced hunger cravings

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet (also known as ‘Keto’ Diet) is very similar to The Banting Diet. Earlier we mentioned ketosis; when the body is deprived of carbohydrates and uses only fats for energy, and this is the key to this diet. As such, the foods consumed are extremely similar to the Banting Diet, high protein, and healthy fats, and very little to no, carbohydrates.

What is the difference the Banting Diet and The Ketogenic Diet?

This is down to more of a matter of opinion than anything else, as both diets are so similar. However, from what we believe that difference here is defined by the incentives of the diet. For many on the Banting Diet, ketosis is a by-product. However, on the Ketogenic Diet, this is the sole purpose of it. Both are known as LCHF (low carb high fat), but one could argue that if you are not in ketosis, you are not following a Ketogenic Diet.  How does this manifest in the diet? It means that there will be even less carbohydrates in the diet and so less fruit. The high protein and fat elements remain the same.

Which diet is best for you: Paleo, Banting or Ketogenic?

 As you can see these diets are very similar. All eliminate refined sugars, gluten, and nearly all carbohydrates. The Ketogenic Diet is followed mostly by professional athletes. However, between the Banting Diet and Paleo, this is down to personal preference; and will depend on your end goals, and what you are looking to achieve.

Whether you stick religiously to one of these, one thing for sure is that the concepts that these rely on teach us serious lessons about health, and the Western diet.

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