People often ask me if I eat paleo and my response is usually “well kind-off.” I would categorize my diet more as a primal/paleo diet with emphasis on REAL clean food choices.
So what is PRIMAL vs. PALEO?
Primal eating is similar to paleo but has some minor differences. Both have a similar approach of limiting carb intake (grains), eating more protein, and including lots of veggies. But I would call primal a “flexible” paleo approach to eating. Primal includes eating in moderation RAW full fat dairy and starches specifically for athletes such as quinoa, oats, rice (soaked or sprouted) as well as healthy fats including saturated fats, plenty of vegetables, cultured foods, and fruit. The Paleo diet is more restricted in this area suggesting no grains, and avoidance of all dairy.
Another difference of the two is the role of sweeteners. The paleo diet avoids all SUGAR and allows artificial sweeteners to replace. The primal REAL food diet allows sugars in moderation from REAL food such as dates, raw honey, and 100% stevia.
One of the biggest differences of the two is the role of saturated fats. The paleo diet focuses on clean lean meats with fatty cuts in moderation. Saturated fat from butter and coconut oil is a big “no-no”.
With the primal diet the emphasis is eating the whole animal vs. just the lean muscle meat. Liver and bone broth are truly super food staples of a primal REAL food diet! Us primal peeps eat the skin and fattier cuts of meat with no guilt. Truly this is the way our ancient ancestors would have eaten meat and not just pulled out the lean parts. All the parts of the animal have different health benefits and should be eaten! Meat choices should come from humanely raised pastured organic meats and wild fish.
Pastured butter and coconut oil are important parts of the primal diet as well as other HEALTHY fats such as avocado, soaked or sprouted nuts and olive oil. Suspect processed oils like canola oil should be avoided. Healthy Fats are NOT feared in the primal diet rather praised as a staple food source!
The primal way of eating addresses the role of cultured foods in our diet. Cultured veggies keep our gut microbes in check and our immunity in tip-top shape. Cultured veggies, natto (fermented soy), kombucha tea, or raw kefir are a part of the everyday primal eating lifestyle!
REAL whole grains (not wheat) are optional and pretty much your own choice with the primal diet. The paleo diet say’s “NO” to grains. For me, I choose to include sprouted quinoa, gluten free soaked oats, organic potatoes, and rice in my primal eating lifestyle. I am an active athlete and these complex carbs are necessary as extra fuel for the long haul!
As you can see the primal and paleo diets are similar but do have key differences. I agree with the research and health benefits of both but I prefer the PRIMAL way!
|NO GRAIN’s||OPTIONAL GRAINS SUCH AS QUINOA, GF OATS, AND RICE|
|NO DAIRY||RAW DAIRY IN MODERATION|
|SATURATED FAT NOT GOOD||SATURATED FATS SUCH AS BUTTER AND COCONUT OIL ARE BENEFICIAL|
|NO SUGAR||REAL FOOD SOURCES OF SUGAR IN MODERATION SUCH AS DATES, RAW HONEY AND 100%STEVIA|
|NO EMPHASIS ON CULTURED VEGGIES||EMPHASIS ON CULTURED VEGGIES AND SPROUTS AS HEALTH STAPLES|
This is a great visual PRIMAL food pyramid from MARK SISSON the king of Primal eating and pretty much the way I prefer to eat most days for optimal health and Fitness.
If you want to learn more about the primal diet and overall primal lifestyle check out the book “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson