If you want to go on a diet that is tasty yet healthy, you should consider choosing between a Mediterranean and Paleo diet. Both these diets have their health benefits and risks. However, before sticking to one, you must know the difference between both.
Mediterranean diet overview
The Mediterranean diet is considered to the healthiest of all the other diets available. The majority of the fitness freaks would choose this diet globally. People who are on this diet would consume healthy food and stay away from processed food items.
It is different from the Paleo diet. In this type of diet, people mostly consume plant food such as vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, nuts, and oils. The best part of this diet is that you get to eat all the food items.
When you question the protein required for the body, you can consume little eggs, meat, and dairy products. It comprehensively supplies the essential nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body. However, red meat, sugar, processed food, and meat cannot be consumed.
Jewish people in Israel and Arabs in Israel and Middle East countries, who follow this diet must consume a lot of olive oil and drink the wine of a glass or two every day. It does not encourage you to fry the stuff and drink to the core every day. But, you can consume a glass of alcohol every day.
The Mediterranean diet is followed by the people who reside in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Turkey. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and lets you lose the desired weight in a short time.
The Mediterranean diet would have whole grain, dairy products of low fat, fish oils, vegetables, and margarine. US News & World Report has placed this diet as one of the 40 best diet lists in 2019. When it comes to Mediterranean diet vs. vegan, vegan is considered to be healthier than the Mediterranean.
Paleo diet overview
Another name for the Paleolithic diet is the Paleo diet. It is the kind of food that the ancestors used to consume. It is power-packed with many health benefits. There are processed foods that are harmful to human health, especially table salt and refined sugar.
These two things must be avoided by the people who are on a strict diet and who would like to maintain a healthy yet impressive physique.
Today, people eat the food that is essential nutrients, but earlier, the caveman used to consume the diet that is rich in proteins as they do not have much access to greens and grains.
There are different types of foods that are ingested by a person on this diet. These include meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and choosy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil. They also ingest raw honey that is not processed and has no added preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
People on this diet would get the energy required for the body to function actively for the whole take by consuming animal products that are rich in proteins and lesser carbohydrates.
The Paleo diet is embraced by the people who are doing high-intensity exercises. It is the same diet followed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors in the Stone Age. There was no cultivated diet then. Few kinds of research are conducted on this diet as it is a whole new landscape.
A few studies are carried out to find the health benefits of both the Mediterranean and Paleo food and revealed that it is helpful to fight diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. This diet is a part of Jewish culture in Israel. The Paleolithic diet is focused on fruits, vegetables, eggs, lean meat, and nuts.
Mediterranean diet Vs. Paleo
Physical health benefits
These are the common physical health benefits that you can reap by taking Mediterranean and Paleo diet.
Promote weight loss
One of the Mediterranean diet health benefits is weight loss. The best thing is that both these diets promote weight loss and never let you experience hunger pangs. When you are starving, you grab the food that is close by and consume a lot more than what you eat.
The diet can be modified according to your requirements. If you want to lose weight at a brisk pace and slip into your favorite dress, any of these two diets are best to follow. It reduces the consumption of carbohydrates and increases healthy fat and protein consumption.
When you intake the Mediterranean diet, it helps you keep the insulin level under control. Even people suffering from chronic inflammation, especially diabetes-2 type, can also follow this diet without a second thought.
The food you consume as part of the diet is well-balanced and would help you naturally burn the fat. It allows you to consume fresh fruits. You can cheat a day and treat your taste buds by consuming homemade dessert once a while.
There is a balanced breakfast that is consumed in this diet after waking up in the morning. It balances blood sugar levels. The three healthy meals in a day would let you consume vegetables and fruits. People on this diet would take big meals in a day and light meals at night. The Paleo diet would not help in controlling diabetes, like the Mediterranean diet.
Promote sound cardiac health
Both the diets have healthy fat in olive oil and omega-3 foods that reduce the risk it poses to the heart. According to Advances in Nutrition, the Paleo diet will help to low blood pressure and control cholesterol.
There is less chance for a person who is on this diet to get prone to cardiac issues. Research has proven that the consumption of olive oil would reduce blood pressure, which triggers a heart attack in people. When you consume olive oil in the diet, it will keep arteries clear.
According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming the Mediterranean diet would reduce the heart diseases, heart attacks and mortality.
The Paleo and Mediterranean diet have omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and many antioxidants that you get from fruits and vegetables. It plays a critical role in the prevention of cancer growing cells as per the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. A plethora of studies has proven that olive oil consumption would naturally cure cancer and reduce colon and bowel cancers.
Mental/Cognitive health benefits
When you consume fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and nuts, it improves cognitive ability. The Mediterranean diet would also reduce Alzheimer’s problem. Probiotics such as yogurt and Kefir would enhance cognitive functioning and alleviate mental disorders.
There is healthy fat is found in the Mediterranean diet. Two different types of fats you can be consumed in this diet. These include – saturated fats and Trans fats. Olive oil is the primary source that supplies healthy fat in this diet.
It comprises the mon-saturated fat that reduces the cholesterol levels in the body and keeps low-density lipoprotein under control. Other foods have monounsaturated fat, i.e., nuts and seeds.
Fish is a critical part of the Mediterranean diet. The fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is a kind of polyunsaturated fat.
The Omega-3 fatty acids present in the food that you consume will reduce blood clotting, reduce the chances of getting prone to heart diseases, and keep triglycerides at bay. When it comes to Mediterranean diet vs. keto, the Ketogenic diet has high-fat foods and moderate proteins. More importantly, there will be low carbohydrates.
In the Paleo diet, you would consume three different types of fats in the food. These include – saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and the other one is polyunsaturated fat. These are all Paleo approved.
These would help you fight cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. People who are following the Paleo diet would get a lot of energy by consuming fat. However, these healthy fat items would not make you gain weight.
They help you stay thin and boost the fat-burning process. You need to avoid consuming the fat from the whole foods, especially egg yolks and the chicken’s skin.
The carbohydrates that you consume in the Mediterranean diet would come from the fiber-rich sources and unrefined sources such as whole wheat and beans. This diet is also rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. You also need to consume a moderate amount of cheese and meat from which you can get the carbohydrates essential for the body’s optimal functioning.
The Paleo diet would supply you 30% of carbohydrates. The fruits and vegetables you consume would have carbohydrates in small amounts such as Cassava root, plantains, white potato, yam, onion, green peas, carrots, beets, winter squash, and turnips so on. The non-grain foods such as raisins, blueberries, honeydew, coconut, avocado, and banana, and so on would have the right amount of carbohydrates.
The diabetic patient who wants to be on a diet must be careful with the food that they are going to consume. The foot has a direct impact on the blood sugar levels in the body. Paleo diet is the best for diabetes as it helps them manage blood sugar levels with ease.
There are a few food items that would increase or decrease blood sugar. You must know what you are going to eat, how much you are eating, the ingredients you are adding, and the eating plan.
On the flip side, the Mediterranean diet is about how you eat rather than what you consume. The food would comprise fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seafood, nuts, and unsaturated fat, which has less red meat and refined grains. The delicious Mediterranean diet would require you to consume 1500 to 2000 calories of food every day. It also depends on your needs.
Mediterranean food is good for diabetes. When you are on a stringent diet plan, it won’t let you enjoy the food. You can eat Mediterranean food that is cooked at home. This helps you manage blood sugar levels and reduce the foods that would increase the sugar levels in the body, especially the refined grains and sweets.
Diabetes is quickly prone to cardiac diseases. The diabetic patient must follow the Mediterranean diet that has healthy unsaturated fats while reducing the saturated fats. It has many rich fiber foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
These foods will help you control the blood sugar in the body. The fiber you intake in the diet would get digested slowly, and it won’t let the sugar get mixed with the bloodstream and keep the spike of blood sugar level at bay.
In Paleo diet, there are different varieties of food items you can consume such as broiled salmon, cantaloupe, walnuts, lean beef sirloin tip roast, strawberries for dessert, and carrot sticks.
In Mediterranean diet there are different varieties of food items that you can consume in the Mediterranean diet, which is a treat for your taste buds include bulgur, faro, grilled fish, and plain yogurt, and so on.
Taste and spices
The Mediterranean and Paleo diets are rich in flavor. The Paleo diet would add spices in the Mediterranean diet easy recipes. The spices that are added include garlic, turmeric, and rosemary, and so on. The typical spices that you find in the Mediterranean diet are basil, black pepper, clove, cumin, fennel, mint, and so on.
The Mediterranean and Paleo diets would cost you the same. These would have fresh foods and meat. The Mediterranean diet would have a lot of grains and legumes, especially the lentils and beans, which are cost-effective for you to find in the grocery store.
The best thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is cost-effective compared to the Paleo diet, wherein you must spend a lot of money on buying the red meat. It is a critical part of the diet. In both diets, if you want to consume only organic products, you may have to spend a lot of money. would cost you more. When compared to the Western diet, these two diets would cost you more.
When you use the low sodium canned options or frozen foods, the cost may reduce. You can get in touch with the dietician to ensure that you follow the diet that is within your budget.
The Mediterranean diet foods would include fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, and healthy fats. There are limited amounts of red meat, processed foods, and sweets consumed as part of this diet.
The following is the list of food items that are consumed in the diet
- Fresh vegetables – The leafy greens and the non-starchy vegetables
- Fruits – Pomegranate, citrus, grapes, and apples
- Healthy fats – Olive oil and olives
- Legumes – Almonds, chia, beans, and lentils
- Protein products – Eggs and chicken
- Red meat must be consumed moderately
- Consumption of red wine (one or two glasses)
- A lot of herbs and spices
- Dairy and Yogurt
Paleo approved foods
The Paleo diet would have unprocessed foods, grass-fed meat, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat.
- Meat- beef, lamb, chicken and wild game
- Fish and seafood’s- Salmon, shellfish, shrimp
- Fresh fruits such as bananas, oranges, berries, and apples
- Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds
- Herbs and spices
The key ingredients that you find in the Mediterranean diet include olive oil, fresh fruits, protein-rich legumes, whole grains, fish, chickpeas, tahini, eggplant, broccoli, hazelnuts, peppers, tomatoes and additional vegetables. It also has moderate wine and red meat. These have rich flavor and are healthiest.
The ingredients that you find in the Paleo diet include Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, fats (yogurt, sour cream) oils and spinach.
The Mediterranean diet would let you consume a glass of red wine every day while having a meal. The alcohol has been used to reduce the risk that it possesses to the heart. Many studies have proven this point to be true. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have given caution that drinking excess alcohol leads to health issues. The Paleo diet would avoid the consumption of alcohol.
Restrictive (how restrictive is the diet)
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the safest of all diets. The diet is based on the lifestyle than the food you intake. You can eat everything but in a moderate quantity. It covers all the nutritional bases and would give a high level of satisfaction.
The Paleo diet is considered to be a restrictive diet as it brings a lot of health issues. It is challenging for a person to get stick to this diet for a long time. The primary concern of this diet is fiber. There is no room for grains in this diet, which results in the reduction of the fiber you intake every day and other essential nutrients.
Fiber is the critical thing that would produce good bacteria in the body, in the gastrointestinal tract. There is a reduction of fiber in this diet, which results in the change of gut micro biome.
Ease of cook
Both diets are easier to cook. Many people live in the assumption that when they want to eat healthily, they must sacrifice on the taste part. Then only it helps them lose weight and promote sound health. The Mediterranean and Paleo have many cooking recipes that are simple for anyone to cook. These would not have any gluten, inflammatory oils, and artificial sweeteners.
Required effort (to adopt the diet)
If you want to follow any of these two diets, you must be determined. Though, you do not have to compromise on the food. You can cook tasty recipes with the ingredients that are acceptable in these diets.
- You must intake vegetables, fruits, beans, and wholegrain a lot. You must give up red meat. Supply the proteins to the body by consuming fish, beans, nuts, and other leafy vegetables.
- Replace butter with olive oil
- Reduce the intake of processed food items, which would have a lot of salt and saturated fat
- Do not consume a lot of dairy products and eat low fat.
- Do not add excess salt to the food.
- Say goodbye to processed snack food and switch to healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and low-fat cheese.
- If you are drinking wine as part of a Mediterranean diet, drink only two to three glasses.
- Water must be consumed in ample amount.
The best part of having these diets is that the Mediterranean diet would focus on vegetables and fruits. It makes sure that you supply the essential minerals and vitamins for your kid and promote a healthy body. If these are missing, it is harder for kids to pay attention in school. By following the diet, it never makes the keep feel sluggish.
The Paleo diet is rich in fiber, protein and has low carbohydrates. The intake of processed food can be reduced by following this diet. It reduces the risk of chronic diseases and promotes sound health.
However, as we have reviewed so far, a Mediterranean diet is richer in more foods compared to the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet reduces foods and therefore can harm children who need a variety of foods to develop properly.
One can understand the logic of a parent trying to change a child’s diet that includes a lot of junk food foods but it is better to choose a richer diet in terms of ingredient and foods rather than a diet that reduces them and therefore may impair the child’s development.
Suitable for beginners
The Mediterranean and Paleo diets promote a healthy way of eating. There would be a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains that supply proteins for you. The Paleo diet would let people eat plenty of whole foods such as meat, fats, eggs and herbs.
Still, the same logic that makes the Paleo diet less suitable for children, makes it more difficult for beginners. Because it restricts carbohydrate-based foods found everywhere in the Western world, and other foods, it requires very high self-discipline and perseverance over time. In contrast, a Mediterranean diet, richer in foods, less restrictive and therefore also easier to implement and more suitable for beginners.
The Mediterranean diet is sustainable. With the growing population, it is impossible to get access to natural resources for everyone. The Mediterranean diet would give you a clear blueprint of how to eat deliciously with what is available for you.
The meals are sustainable. Mediterranean dietary habits are the same in many countries, which promote sustainability. These are plant-focused and have many fruits, vegetables, olive oil, olives, and nuts. You must consume a small portion of meat products. It is found to be best for healthy living and sustainability.
The Paleo diet does not have processed foods and consumes fewer dairy products. This makes the Paleo diet a sustainable diet as well.
Risks Mediterranean and paleo diets
Risks following the Mediterranean diet
These include – intake of alcohol, which may lead to health issues. There would be short of nutrients. The dietary restrictions are highly challenging to follow.
Risks following Paleo diet
The risks of the Paleo diet are that it lacks iodine deficiency, eliminates few healthy food groups, and has a significant impact on gut health. More importantly, it is difficult to follow for a long time.
Can both diets work together?
Yes, these both can be taken together. This helps you to see miraculous results. Both diets would have high-quality food such as seeds, nuts, and healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter.
These diets would not accept processed fats. These both would be treating various health issues such as inflammation, high cholesterol, and diabetes. However, you can reap its benefits in the most effective way, only when you stay physically active stop smoking.
The diet you follow depends on the health goals. The Paleo diet you are following would help you eliminate the intake of inflammatory foods. You must pay close watch to how the foods are reacting in the body. If the body does not tolerate the food items you are taking, you must avoid that diet.
The Mediterranean diet would have all the foods that promote a healthy lifestyle without any kind of limitations. It promotes weight loss. This diet is the favorite of many nutritionists and dieticians. This diet also ranks 1st by the US annual diet ranking.