What is the difference between a Paleo Diet and a Primal Diet?

What are the main differences between the Paleo Diet and Primal Diet as both limit carb intake (especially gluten grains), and both advocate that you eat meat and vegetables as your basic food. Dairy is a grey area, in general limited at first and then small amounts of high quality if well tolerated.

The fundamental difference between the two diets is in their take on saturated fats.

Paleo Diet

If you prefer to stick with the government’s food pyramid, are happy to listen to most nutritionist’s university trained opinions and to take most doctor’s advice that saturated fats raise cholesterol and cause heart disease, then you’ll want to go Paleo Diet.

As an added bonus the Paleo Diet allows diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. The Paleo Diet advocate only lean meats, so cut the fat off the pork and bacon and skin the chicken. They also ban butter, coconut oil and eggs.

Primal Diet

If you go along with the far fewer courageous mythbusting doctors who don’t dismiss Weston Price as a dangerous looney, and can bring yourself to accept the point of view that saturated fats and cholesterol are the source of nutrients for the brain and are critical for cognitive functioning, especially as we age, then you’ll want to go Primal Food Diet. Sorry but no sugar at all is it’s main downside.

The Primal Blueprint Diet has lean muscle meat but stops short of throwing out the richer organ meats, the bone marrow and fat deposits which makes eating meat so tasty and primal. Give a dog a bone and he’ll head straight for the one with marrow, and I remember eating liver and kidneys and it was a treat!

The Primal Blueprint is not just a list for foods for eating either, it is a lifestyle. Its suggestions include exercise, sleep, outdoor time, and an educated approach to vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Hmm… Which Diet to Choose?

If you choose either the Paleo diet or the Primal diet (or the GAPS or the Makers Diet) you will reduce the dominant percentage of grain foods you are probably eating now, so you can only benefit from this.You’ll lose a bit of that spare tyre and when you gain vitamins and minerals from the fresh produce, your digestive system will reward you with more energy.

Cutting back on pre packaged food means cutting back on gluten (which many people may be intolerant of but not know it), cutting back on sugar (backing off from diabetes) and all their attendant additives such as colours, preservatives and yeast etc (many of which send us crazy).

So don’t hesitate on to choose one of the above diets over the status quo. Increase your vegetables so they are 60 % of your diet. Swap out some of those wheat products for high protein cereal grains like quinoa, amaranth and almond meal. Even oats are better than the daily bread, pasta, pizza routine.

Start there and keep reading. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

So far as fats & cholesterol is concerned, my experience and my judgement harmonises with what Taubes and Lustig are saying.

I think the researchers and doctors got it wrong 30 years ago and now no-one can afford to admit it.

So my choice is Primal all the way.

But only you can make the choice for yourself.

I admit, when you have a doc in your ear telling you you’re going to have a heart attack or a stroke if you keep eating a high saturated fat diet, it’s a scary decision to have to make. But then again, better than being eaten by a tiger or a wolf, so lets get some perspective before we make radical changes.

Just keep reading and gradually make slow changes to your diet and see what happens.