Are you looking for information on the carnivore diet vs paleo? If so, you are not alone. These are two trendy diet choices (or lifestyle changes). These two diets are often compared because they have several similarities. However, they also have many key differences that you need to be aware of before choosing your diet.
So before you make a choice between the two, read this short guide to determine which diet is right for you. We’ll compare the diets head-to-head, pointing out the similarities between the paleo diet vs carnivore diet as well as the differences - helping you set out on this journey on the right foot with the right diet based on your unique goals.
First, let’s address a common misconception - is the carnivore diet the same as paleo?
Is the Carnivore Diet the Same as Paleo?
Although quite similar, these diets are not the same. Both diets have many restrictions, specifically excluding modern foods that are high in sugar and not substantive at all, like baked goods. They are both often referred to as ancestral diets, as the foods that are allowed are typically foods our ancestors would eat.
However, there are differences in what can be eaten outside of meat and fish. The reasons these diets were created are also a place where they differ. We will discuss each diet in detail later in this guide.
While you are making this determination, another diet you might want to consider is the keto diet. When many people search for carnivore diet vs paleo, they also search for carnivore diet vs keto. You might want to learn about keto before making your final decision - and we have a complete guide on that as well. For now, let’s get into the main reason you came here…
Carnivore Diet vs Paleo: Key Differences Explained
When looking at the paleo diet vs carnivore diet, a decision can be based on many factors. You may consider what you can eat (which influences the cost of the diet), how easy the diet is to maintain or follow, and the health benefits behind the diet.
The following sections will go into further detail on each diet to help make your decision of paleo diet vs carnivore diet easier.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
There are many carnivore diet benefits. It was initially developed as a low-carb diet with clear rules of what is and is not allowed to be consumed. Overall, the diet is easy to follow because the majority of what people eat are animals and animal products.
So, what is allowed on the carnivore diet? The main focus of this diet is animal meat. This would mean that most people on the carnivore diet eat fish, beef, chicken, and pork - with no real limits on the quantity you consume. Some people are concerned with the additional cost of eating more meat, but there are many ways to have a carnivore diet on a budget.
For someone getting into this diet for the first time, that might seem like you will be eating a lot more food, but this is not the case. Meat is high in protein, and it is filling. This means that although meat and fish are this diet's main staples, most people snack less than before because they are sated after each meal.
Besides meat, individuals on this diet can enjoy eggs and low-lactose animal products such as hard cheese, butter, sour cream, sherbet, and regular yogurt. It is specific to low lactose because high lactose items (such as Greek yogurt, ice cream, milk, and queso) have high levels of sugar, which are avoided on the carnivore diet.
Spices, seasonings, and condiments are also allowed - helping to add additional flavor to the meals. Many snacks, such as jerky, meat chips, and hard-boiled eggs, fit into this diet. Finally, one reason this is the preferred diet is the ease of following it.
In other diets, it is necessary to strictly track calories and the macronutrients each snack or meal provides. With the carnivore diet, you can certainly do that - but it’s not entirely necessary. You only need to stick to the food on the list, regardless of the fat, calorie, or protein breakdown of each meal. This means looking for the best healthy low carb snacks and carnivore diet ideas, which is way better than counting calories and fat grams.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet was designed to mimic what was eaten by early humans. The reasoning is that our diet has changed too rapidly for our bodies to keep up with, resulting in unhealthy eating. These unhealthy eating habits have led to weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.
If you go on the paleo diet, you will eat meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and seeds. This list of what can be consumed is based on what our ancestors had access to through hunting and gathering. This diet is based on a specific time period in history, the Paleolithic period, so all foods should mimic what our ancestors ate 10,000 – 2 million years ago.
Just like the carnivore diet, you cannot eat highly processed foods, grains, legumes, or products with refined or added sugar. You also will not be able to eat any dairy at all.
How They’re Similar
These two diets have a lot of similarities. They are regularly referred to as ancestral diets as they eliminate many of the more modern food choices on the market today. This includes highly processed foods with added sugar or refined sugar, energy drinks, and more.
Both of these diets also promote a healthier lifestyle. They were designed to help people make healthier choices which will, in turn, help them avoid issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These diseases are significant problems in society today and are directly related to the typical American diet.
Most of the protein for each diet will come from meat and fish. Legumes, beans, and peanuts are not allowed on either diet, and this is where people who do not eat meat typically get their protein content.
How They’re Different
So, what is different when comparing the paleo diet vs carnivore? Meat, fish, and eggs are the only similar foods these diets share. You can only consume meat, meat products, and seasonings on the carnivore diet. The paleo allows a wide range of root and leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. Paleo also does not allow any dairy products at all.
So the variety of the diet is very different. Paleo is based on a specific time period, reasoning that humans led a healthier existence back then, and we should try to emulate this.
On the other hand carnivore advocates for only meat products as the main criteria on this diet are high protein, zero carbs, and low sugar. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can be high in all in carbohydrates and sugars. This is why they are not part of the carnivore diet as this diet is based on eating foods optimal for your health.
Carnivore Diet vs Paleo Diet: Which is Better for You?
It is easier to objectively answer the question of carnivore diet vs paleo after understanding exactly what the individual is looking for. Both diets will be vastly better than the current American diet. This is true just by eliminating refined sugars and highly processed foods.
Although both diets significantly change your health, most agree the carnivore diet has an edge.
There are a few reasons for this determination. Here is a short list of reasons to choose the carnivore diet:
- Plant Toxins: Plant toxins are chemicals used to defend themselves from predators, fungi, and insects. Typically, they are not harmful, but in some cases, they can be.
- Anti-nutrients: Plants have anti-nutrients. This is defined as it sounds: substances found in plants that can interfere with or completely block the absorption of nutrients into our bodies.
- Pesticides: Most plants are made with pesticides, even natural ones. The consumption of pesticides can cause dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, rashes, and even death.
- Modern Interpretation of Paleo: Finally, the paleo diet is not food from the Paleolithic period. Although this is what it is trying to do, not all of the leafy greens, root vegetables, and fruits we consume today were around then or remotely the same. Also, people on these diets eat the same fruits and vegetables all year. However, grocery stores did not exist during the Paleolithic age, and you could only gather food when in season.
- Decreased Inflammation: A major trigger for inflammation is sugar. So when you eat less sugar (including cutting out natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables(, you will suffer from inflammation less. Low-carb diets can also assist with this goal.
- Decreased Intestinal Discomfort: This diet helps you calm your gut by removing lectins and phytochemicals which can cause upset stomachs, gas, and bloating.
- Stronger Mental Acuity: When you eat a diet with high amounts of meat, you will have a clearer mind. Meat contains nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, all of which assist in brain function. Also, when you do not have processed foods and high levels of sugar in your diet, you will not face afternoon sugar crashes which cause sluggish energy and poor concentration.
- Lower Blood Sugar: By eating a low-carb, low-sugar diet, your baseline blood sugar level will be lower than before. This will help you feel stable throughout the entire day.
- Increased Testosterone and Libido: Finally, this diet could help your sex life. By eating more nutrients like protein, cholesterol, carnitine, carnosine, and Vitamins D and K, your testosterone levels will rise. This will lead to higher libido
If carnivore is the diet you choose to avoid pesticides, anti-nutrients, and plant toxins, you can always look for carnivore diet tips and tricks to make your transition easier. Or, keep reading below - we’ll provide some additional tips on your next move.
I’ve Chosen My Diet…Now What?
Congratulations! You have narrowed your choices from 2 great diets to the one that is right for you. Now that you have decided between the carnivore diet vs paleo diet, it is time to take the next steps to a healthier lifestyle.
Now, it is time to think about how you will implement this diet into your life seamlessly. First, realize that this is a great time to make other lifestyle changes as well. Besides eliminating sugars and processed foods, you can do other healthy things for yourself. This will include getting better sleep, exercising more, and drinking more water.
It is a good idea to find a way to track your progress and hold yourself accountable for your new diet. You can do this with a simple notebook or excel document where you track what you are eating and drinking, including when you falter from your diet and what other changes you have made in your life. This is also a great way to track changes in your weight or other health factors!
Finally, you should start by creating a list of meals and snacks you can eat. This will help you stick to your diet and make meal planning much more manageable. Don’t forget to stock up on meat chips when thinking of snacks. Meat chips will be a healthy high-protein snack to have on hand wherever you need something to snack on - whether you’re on carnivore OR paleo.
By having the right snacks on hand, you will not have to worry about cheating on your diet and returning to highly unhealthy snacks that offer no nutritional value. Those cravings won’t stand a chance when you’re prepared for them!
Final Thoughts on the Paleo Diet vs Carnivore Diet Debate
When you began reading this guide, you were looking for information on the paleo diet vs carnivore diet, so you could decide which one is right for you. Now that you know both diets focus on a healthier diet and lifestyle, you can make your choice and move forward. Once you choose the perfect diet for you, it is time to start implementing your changes as soon as possible.
Besides jerky, tuna, and hard-boiled eggs, another snack that would make both of these diet lists are carnivore chips. Carnivore chips are similar to jerky, made from meat and salt. However, this is a snack that melts in your mouth, unlike jerky. Once you try them, you will wonder where they have been all your life.
One of the best things about these snacks is the variety that they come in. If you love beef the most, you can enjoy brisket chips, beef chips, ribeye chips, or steak chips. You can also try our lamb chips, chicken chips, or pork chips.
Good luck on your new journey, and congratulations on moving in the right direction for a healthy and happy future. We can’t wait to help you along this journey to becoming a healthier, happier version of yourself!