You can't scroll through social media without hearing people rave about the Paleo Diet or Whole30—and for good reason. Both healthy eating philosophies have earned legions of fans because of their focus on eating clean—aka, sticking to lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats, and steering clear of processed junk. But how exactly are these two diets different—and how do you know which one you should follow?
While both diets have their benefits and drawbacks, the one that's right for you depends on your individual health goals. Here’s a look at how both diets work, plus tips for figuring out which one is worth trying.Amazon The Paleo Diet Cordain, Loren amazon.com $14.95 $8.59 (43% off) SHOP NOW
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet aims to mimic the eating patterns of our Paleolithic ancestors, who lived between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. The diet emphasizes eating only food groups that cave people could have obtained by hunting and gathering, which proponents of the diet say is more in sync with how humans should still eat today. That means avoiding fare obtained through modern agriculture—like dairy, grains, and beans—since these foods are thought to promote inflammation.
What you can’t eat: Dairy products, grains, beans and legumes, and highly processed foods, such as refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, are out, too.
Why people love it: The
Paleo Diet is low in carbs, which some people find helpful for weight loss. Studies also suggests that it might help promote healthier blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Moreover, the way of eating provides an easy framework for eating a wholesome diet overall and cuts out processed, packaged foods. Some Paleo Diet followers also say that it has helped them better manage food sensitivities to gluten and dairy, or problems related to inflammation, like gastrointestinal or autoimmune disorders.
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What is the Whole30 Diet?
Whole30 is an elimination-style diet that cuts out dairy, grains, beans and legumes, sweeteners, and alcohol for an entire 30 days. Creators of the diet claim these foods can trigger cravings, mess with your blood sugar, damage your gut, and cause inflammation.
As one of the most restrictive diets out there, Whole30 must be followed consistently (no cheat days), so if you slip up and eat food that's off limits—on purpose or by accident—you have to start the diet from day one again. By sticking to this way of eating for 30 days, proponents say you allow your body to eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods and let it fully reset and recover from inflammation.
What you can eat: Most Paleo foods are also fair game on Whole30. In fact, many people who follow Whole30 transition to the Paleo Diet after the 30 days. You can enjoy lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and nut and seed oils.
What you can’t eat: Like the Paleo Diet, dairy products, grains, beans and legumes, and processed foods aren’t allowed. But with Whole30, alcohol and natural sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup, are off limits, too.
Why people love it: Many Whole30 devotees say the diet helped them uncover food intolerances and manage their sugar cravings. Others see it as the food version of Dry January, with rigid rules forcing them into eating cleaner for a set period of time.
For some people, it's also satisfying to complete a diet that's really strict and tough to follow. "The idea of doing something very difficult for 30 days is often chosen because people want to see just how hard they can push themselves," says Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.
Paleo vs. Whole 30: Which low-carb diet is better?
Both the Paleo Diet and Whole30 will have you eating healthier and cleaner overall. "They both encourage the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, which most Americans are lacking in," says registered dietitian Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD. And devotees of both diets say they just plain feel better when they eat this way—which is all well and good, but if you're trying to achieve a specific goal, one diet might be better than the other. Here's which one to try if...
You want to make a healthy lifestyle change:
The Paleo Diet could be the better choice. Filling up on a variety of vegetables and fruits and lean proteins is a healthy way to eat well for the long haul. Plus, there's still room for occasional treats, so you won't end up feeling deprived or like you've wrecked your diet if you decide to have a piece of dark chocolate.
However, some experts say that more studies are needed to fully understand the Paleo Diet’s long-term health effects. "The black and white mindset and rigidity of Whole30 are definite weaknesses, and I feel it takes people further away from a lifelong healthy relationship with food," Fear says.
You’re looking to identify food intolerances or just need a reset:
Whole30 might be worth trying. Cutting out potential offenders for a full month before slowly reintroducing them one by one can help you pinpoint whether a specific food (like wheat or dairy) doesn’t work for you.
Going full steam ahead without grains, sweeteners, or alcohol for a month is also a way to press the restart button if you feel like more moderate measures—like cutting your portions or limiting dessert to once a week—wouldn't work. "People often choose this strategy if they feel out of control around sweets or processed foods, or they just want to take a break from these foods to break a cycle of overeating and feeling guilty," Fear says.
You’re trying to lose weight:
Both the Paleo Diet and Whole30 keep your carb intake low, and research shows that low-carb diets can be helpful for weight loss. But when it comes to keeping the weight off for good, the Paleo Diet is probably the better choice. "Since it allows for natural sweeteners and Paleo-style treats, it may feel less restrictive," Jones says. That can make it easier to follow and put you at less risk for binging on sweets.
That doesn’t mean you have to eat like a cave man in order to lose weight, though. Diets that cut out whole food groups just aren’t right for everyone, especially if you have a history of disordered eating, says Fear. “Either of these programs can trigger food anxiety, binges, food preoccupation, or low mood,” she explains. Moreover, eliminating whole food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
What are the downsides of the Paleo Diet and Whole30?
There are a few drawbacks to both diets. For starters, cutting out dairy, legumes, and whole grains could make you more likely to fall short on nutrients like calcium and fiber, say Fear and Jones. And again, the lack of flexibility could make both diets tough to stick to, even for only 30 days.
Just as important, experts don’t see either diet as the best way to pinpoint food intolerances. Trying to self-diagnose a food issue means you might cut out foods you don’t actually need to avoid, Jones says. For example, just because brown rice messes with your stomach, that doesn't mean you need to avoid all types of grains.
The diets might also not be ideal for managing autoimmune or GI issues either. "If someone suffers from digestive problems, it's important to work with a gastroenterologist and a dietitian who can walk you through a medically appropriate elimination diet," she explains.
The bottom line: Talk to your doctor or a dietitian before starting a new diet to see what eating plan best suits your nutritional needs and health goals. They can help you determine which diet, whether it's the Paleo Diet, Whole30, or another eating plan, could serve you best.
Source : https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/diets/a26787558/paleo-vs-whole30-diet/