The keto diet and paleo diet are two popular diets that have gained significant attention in recent years.
Both are low-carb diets that prioritize high amounts of fat and protein, but they have some key differences.
The keto diet, short for the ketogenic diet, aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
It involves severely limiting carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day, which can be achieved by avoiding grains, sugar, and starchy vegetables.
Instead, the diet emphasizes high-fat foods like meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil.
The paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet, seeks to mimic the eating patterns of our ancient ancestors.
It involves eliminating processed foods and grains, and instead, eating a variety of whole foods like meat, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
The paleo diet emphasizes protein and healthy fats but limits carbohydrates from sources like bread, pasta, and rice.
While both diets have been touted for their potential health benefits, there are concerns about their overall nutritional quality and environmental impact.
A new study from Tulane University comparing popular diets has found that the keto and paleo diets have some of the lowest nutritional quality and highest carbon footprints.
The keto diet, which involves high amounts of fat and low carbs, was estimated to generate nearly 3 kg of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories consumed.
The paleo diet, which avoids grains and beans, was the second-lowest scoring diet for nutrition and had a high carbon footprint.
In the study, researchers assigned point values to individual diets based on the federal Healthy Eating Index and averaged scores for each type of diet.
The vegan diet had the least impact on climate, generating 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide per 1,000 calories consumed, and the pescatarian diet scored the highest on nutritional quality.
The omnivorous diet was in the middle of the pack on both quality and sustainability, but scores improved with the Mediterranean or DASH diet versions.
A third of omnivorous diet consumers shifting to a vegetarian diet for any given day would be equivalent to eliminating 340 million passenger vehicle miles.
The study suggests that plant-based diets can reduce carbon footprints and improve health.
The 2021 United Nations-backed study found that food systems are responsible for 34% of greenhouse gas emissions, and beef production is responsible for 8-10 times more emissions than chicken and over 20 times more than nut and legume production.
While the keto and paleo diets may have some potential health benefits, they are not without their drawbacks.
The diets can be difficult to sustain long-term and may increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies if not properly planned.
Additionally, the high amounts of animal products in these diets have been linked to negative environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.
Whether or not to follow a keto diet ultimately depends on an individual’s health goals, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
It is important to note that while the keto diet has been shown to have potential benefits for certain health conditions, such as epilepsy and type 2 diabetes, it may not be appropriate for everyone.
For individuals considering the keto diet, it is important to keep in mind that the diet is very low in carbohydrates, which can be a challenge for those who enjoy carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Additionally, the high-fat content of the diet can increase the risk of heart disease in some people.
If you care about health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
The study was conducted by Diego Rose et al and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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