The Mediterranean and paleo diets are popular eating regimens, believed to promote weight loss and improve overall health. These two diets offer distinct ways of eating but share certain similarities, too. If confronted with the dilemma: the Mediterranean vs. paleo diet, in order to choose one, we learn the following.
The paleo diet doesn't promote eating grains, legumes and dairy, while the Mediterranean diet does. Both, however, ban processed foods and include fruits and nuts, as well as poultry and seafood. In addition, the Mediterranean diet limits the consumption of red meat, while the paleo doesn't.
This article looks into the Mediterranean and paleo diets, their similarities, their differences, and the best option between the two.
On a short-term basis, the paleo diet may result in faster weight loss because it’s more restrictive than the Mediterranean diet.
In addition, a diet lower in carbs and higher in proteins – like the paleo diet – may result in faster weight loss and decreased food appetite.
In the long term, the Mediterranean diet is more comfortable to sustain because it’s more of a lifestyle, making weight loss easier.
Some advantages of the Mediterranean diet include:
Some advantages of the Paleo diet include:
Let’s compare the three diet plans:
The Mediterranean diet focuses on general feeding guidelines, not calorie counting. On the other hand, the paleo and keto diets are incredibly restrictive, involving lots of counting calories.
A keto diet focuses on consuming a diet high in fat for an extended period, which isn’t suitable in the long run. It may lead to negative outcomes like high cholesterol. Also, stopping the keto diet can cause your kilos to pile up.
Unlike the keto diet, Mediterranean and paleo meal plans focus more on using fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the Mediterranean meal plan emphasizes fresh, plant-based food, making it a more sustainable option.
The Mediterranean diet includes healthy fats like olive oil, whole grains, avocados, leafy greens, and legumes. In contrast, keto focuses on high-fat foods like butter, bacon, and cheese, low-carb foods, and moderate proteins.
Paleo and keto diet plans encourage eating multiple whole foods while excluding processed foods. They encompass a low carbohydrate intake and don’t allow you to eat legumes and grains.
Furthermore, the diets focus on meat for protein while recommending healthy fats like olive, avocado, nut oils, and non-starchy vegetables.
Paleo and keto diets remove certain foods. The keto diet prohibits foods that are high in sugar and most fruits. In contrast, the Paleo diet allows specific natural sweeteners and more fruits. Paleo focuses on natural, non-processed meat, while keto lets you eat any meat without added sugar or carbs.
Processed meat: Paleo diet doesn’t include processed meats like ham, bacon, or salami. The Keto diet, on the other hand, allows these meats on condition that they don’t contain sugar or carbs.
Sugar and sweeteners: Keto diet allows specific artificial sweeteners on the condition that they don’t contain sugar. Natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey are acceptable in the paleo diet.
Starchy vegetables: The keto diet doesn’t allow starchy vegetables. The paleo diet, however, embraces most nutritious vegetables but should be taken in moderation.
Dairy: Keto diet allows dairy products without sugar, ideally the higher protein and fat types. The paleo diet doesn’t allow any dairy products.
Fruit: Paleo allows all fruits, although you should take the high-sugar options in moderation. The keto diet only allows low-sugar fruits.
Here are the key differences between the paleo diet and the Mediterranean diet:
|Both advocate the consumption of whole foods.||The Mediterranean diet includes most foods.|
|The two diet plans discourage processed foods, but include seeds, nuts, fruits, fish, poultry.||Paleo bans foods like grains, dairy and legumes & is low on carbs.|
To sum up, both diets fall under the NOVA spectrum, encouraging more unprocessed and minimally-processed foods. Neither requires you to track or calculate portion sizes.
While the paleo diet removes legumes, dairy, and grains, the Mediterranean diet allows them. The Mediterranean focuses on olive oil, while the paleo diet promotes the consumption of coconut oil, lard, and butter.
The Mediterranean diet encourages foods like seeds, nuts, poultry, fish, and tubers. You’ll likely miss out on some micronutrients and vitamins like zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, iron, and calcium, if on the paleo diet, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Are you on a special diet, be it the paleo or the Mediterranean diet? Then, don’t hesitate to take advantage of Cook Unity’s paleo meal delivery or Mediterranean meal delivery service anytime! Enrich your daily menu with a range of amazing dishes that suit your dietary regimen!
The Mediterranean diet has the following eating patterns:
Paleo eating patterns contain the following:
Many would try a combination of the two dietery plans in the hope to get the best of both. So, if you decide on the Paleo-Mediterranean diet, avoid the following in the listed food/drink groups below:
A Mediterranean-paleo diet is rich in poultry, lean meats, fish and seafood, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. It also includes olive oil, limitted whole grains, and very little red meat and dairy.
Tips for following the diet include:
See a sample one-day meal plan for a Mediterranean-paleo diet below:
|Breakfast||Tea/coffee & a boiled egg|
|Snack||An apple & nuts|
|Lunch||Chicken breast & greens|
|Snack||Carrots, dipped in humus|
|Dinner||Grilled fish & vegetables|
Image by Everyday Health
The paleo-Mediterranean diet plan focuses on eating whole foods while excluding processed foods. It’s more inclusive than the paleo diet.
Examples of recipes to try for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that fit into a Mediterranean-paleo diet include the following:
A: The Mediterranean diet is better for weight loss than keto because it supports long-term, sustainable weight loss.
A: The Mediterranean diet is healthier than the paleo diet because its design is more of a lifestyle than an actual diet. A restrictive paleo diet may be more challenging to stick to over time.
A: The disadvantages of the Mediterranean diet include: You’re likely to gain weight from eating more than the recommended fat amount You might experience low iron levels from minimal meat consumption Loss of calcium from consuming fewer dairy products
A: The Mediterranean diet is the healthiest because it emphasizes whole, minimally-processed foods. It focuses on filling your plate with mostly plants that enhance your health.
While studies show that both the Mediterranean and paleo diets have reported health benefits, key differences remain.
The paleo diet has more restrictions than the Mediterranean diet. Thus, this makes it harder to keep up in the long run. Its strict limits on carbohydrates may lead to cravings, causing you to veer off from your goal.
The Mediterranean diet, however, can easily become your lifestyle because it offers a wider variety of foods. Even better, the Mediterranean diet focuses on human connection and appreciating food.
So, which of the two is right for you? This is ultimately a matter of your unique situation, needs and preferences. Generally speaking, the Mediterranean diet shows more evidence of long term health-promoting benefits. The paleo diet is too restrictive, which could be tricky to follow, of course.