A Vegan diet and a Paleo diet are alike in benefits, yet opposite of each other. How? Well, both share similar health benefits and are perfect weight loss programs. The Paleo diet, on the first hand, permits meat and animal products alongside healthy veggies. On the contrary, a vegan diet is an amalgamation of vegetables, nuts, and fruits, no animal products. That said, the biggest debate between food experts is what’s healthier – Vegan or Paleo? If you’ve been juggling with the issue, then this guide on Vegan vs Paleo is just what you need today.
Why The Debate?
Even before people can dive into scientific findings, they take sides. Vegans believe that they’re living a healthier life and the Paleo diet followers believe that Vegans miss out on abundant nutrients.
However, both the notions are exaggerated results of misinformation.
A vegan diet that’s also known as ‘The Plant-based Diet‘ does not lack nutrients, especially proteins. In perfect amounts, a Vegan diet is a healthy bundle of nutrients without the baggage of unhealthy fats. So, does it means that out of the two – vegan vs paleo – Veganism wins the race? Well, not so soon.
The Paleo diet that’s also known as the ‘Caveman Diet’ derives its concept from the food habits of early men who were hunters and counted on meat for survival. A balanced paleo diet, thus, consists of enough protein for building muscles and losing fat.
That said, both diets have some benefits and some disadvantages. But, before jumping straight to those pros and cons, it’s time to learn what science says about these diets.
Vegan Vs Paleo: Which is Healthier?
As surprising as it sounds, even experts have divided opinions on What’s Healthier: Vegan Or Paleo.
Dr. Micheal Gregar, the founder of NutritionFacts.org, believes that the Paleo diet is healthier for a few simple facts, like:
- Paleo diet, when derived from healthy parts of the animals, helps in building strong muscles.
- Paleo diet prevents obesity and the risk of diabetes since it is devoid of sugars.
However, Dr. Shivam Joshi, an MD and a regular contributor to the afternoonrounds.com food blog, believes that plant-based foods are much easier to digest. Besides, he puts forth a study that reveals, when unmonitored, the paleo diet can lead to insulin mismanagement.
Some other experts of divided opinions are Kriss Carris – a famous wellness coach – a Vegan supporter, and Lierre Keith – an environmentalist and the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability – a Paleo supporter.
Kriss Carris believes that animal protein is acidic in nature and the protein from plants is healthier. Lierre Keith, on the other hand, believes that animal organs are the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acid that is very essential when it comes to the reduction of bad cholesterol.
That said, both diets, Vegan and Paleo, have benefits and cons which we have individually discussed in the guide below.
Vegan Diet: The Guide To Truth
Despite criticism, a vegan diet is attracting many people because of the following benefits.
- Cancer Prevention – Whole-foods have a high amount of antioxidants. As a result, a properly planned vegan diet reduces the risk of cancers like Colorectal Cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
- Improves Heart Health – Vegan food, as long as it is not processed, contains only healthy fats. Those fats actually help in reducing bad cholesterol. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure.
- Reduces Inflammatory Bone Disorders – Plant-based Vegan diet contains high doses of probiotics. As a result, the stiffness and pain due to rheumatoid arthritis reduce substantially.
However, there are side-effects too. Those side-effects, though, are of an unplanned vegan diet only.
- Increased hunger craving.
- Weakness due to trouble in sleeping.
- Constipation due to too much or too little fiber consumption.
Paleo Diet: The Guide To Truth
Paleo diet is known for the following benefits it offers.
- Increased Energy – When you consume low GI foods whilst following a strict Paleo diet, there’s a constant flow of energy because the sugar levels do not fluctuate. And it is because of this reason that paleo diet wins the race of Vegan vs Paleo for athletes. In other words, a Paleo diet is considered good for athletes.
- Better For Heart – Paleo diet, just as a vegan diet, supports heart health. When taken from the right places, animal organs contain no bad fat. Besides, it is capable of increasing HDL (good cholesterol).
Despite the benefits, there are side-effects too. However, remember, a paleo diet has the following side-effects only if it is not planned properly.
- Low Carb Flu – Since paleo diet contains fewer carbs, it can actually lead to weakness. Therefore, you must switch to paleo diet under the guidance of a dietician who can make the ideal paleo diet chart for you depending upon your height, weight, and energy requirements.
A few other side-effects of consuming the wrong parts of the animal that are fatty include:
- Increased cholesterol
- Improper insulin management
Now, a comparative analysis leads to one conclusive result, despite the debate on what’s better, that is, both, a Vegan diet and a Paleo diet can be dangerous if not planned properly.
Lastly, before we can wrap up today’s guide on Vegan vs Paleo, the last segment of importance is, Vegan vs Paleo Diet for weight loss: what’s better?
To begin with, both diets work towards limiting bad fat and increasing metabolism. The first bottom line, thus, is that both are fantastic weight loss programs.
Now, talking about the most important fact on what’s better for weight loss: vegan or paleo, you must understand that vegans eat less fat but a paleo diet follower consumes more fat on a comparison.
Thus, despite both diets lead to weight loss when planned properly, the chances that vegans will gain weight are lesser.
Nevertheless, the choice of Vegan vs Paleo is ultimately a personal preference. On a closing note, amid all the discussions, one thing that no one tells you is, both the diets have initial side-effects due to a sudden shift, but when the diet is planned properly, those short-term side effects fade away with time.