Paleo vs Primal -- Which is Best & How You Should Choose?

Paleo vs Primal -- Which is Best & How You Should Choose?
Diets are probably one of the most talked about topics when it comes to health nowadays. What diet are you following?
Is it effective? Have you tried this diet and that diet? The list and questions go on. This is because there are many different kinds of diet out there and each of this has its own unique ways to plan out meals, frequency of eating and the amount of calories you take per meal.

When you hear the word “diet”, the first thing that comes to mind is always eating less to lose weight. While this may be true, not all types of diet work toward losing weight. There are other types that address health issues, regulating nutrients that the body absorbs and even a diet that targets weight gain. Through all the many types, with their exclusive do’s and don’ts when it comes to eating, we will be focusing on two types: Paleo and Primal – which diet is best and how will you choose?
In this article, we will talk about the differences and similarities of the two diet plans, contrast their techniques and find out which one is the best.

What is Paleo Diet?

If you know your history lessons, you have heard of the Paleolithic era which studies believe to be about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The Paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet or Stone Age diet. This diet follows through the meals and types of food from the ancient times to when the time humans have started to use tools for gathering and hunting. Humans of those times were not as fully equipped in terms of gathering food and supplies, and use the limited tools they have to gather and eat what they can. These food types are typically fish, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seeds.
The idea of this diet is to reintroduce the body to the eating habits that it is genetically matched to do, before farming changed some of the food choices and eating routine. Early humans survived and thrived on food groups that are in its most natural state, less the salt and processing that most food go through today, less whole grains and dairy products. The Paleo diet includes regular water intake and being physically active on its principles.
Studies have shown that people who follow the Paleo diet have less likelihood to develop diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is also an effective weight loss diet or maintaining weight. However, studies have shown that these results can also be gained through regular exercise and a balanced, healthy diet. Furthermore, the human body has evolved and shown significant changes in adapting to the types of food that we eat, especially food types that emerged when farming was introduced to civilisation.

What is Primal Diet?

The Primal diet does not differ much from the Paleo diet, except that humans in this era have more limitations in food gathering and less access to tools. Humans in this ancient time have not yet developed the basic tools that will eventually emerge in the Paleolithic era. They did, however, have the same food types around such as fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats. Farming food products and dairy were not yet available on this time.
The benefits of Primal diet mainly involve preventing diabetes or limiting sugar intake for individuals with diabetes. It is a good diet for those with food allergies that developed from processed food and food types from farming, and for people with celiac disease. This is a natural, well-balanced diet that is effective for weight loss. Both Paleo and Primal are known to be fast metabolism diets

Where did these diets originate?

One can easily say that these diets came from the idea of living the holistic lives of our ancestors in the early times but who exactly authored these diets. The Paleo diet was introduced back in the 1970s and was handed down to the next generation. The most recent modification was made by Loren Cordain who is maintains a website and published a book about the Paleo diet.
The Primal diet is explained in the book The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. The book includes discussion on why natural ways of eating is much more beneficial than the modern ways.

Which is best?

To choose which among the two diets is best can be a little tricky. The two diets do not have much difference, especially when you are choosing a type of diet that can help you lose weight and maintain your health. Both diets are known to help you lose and manage your weight, and both are effective in regulating a balanced diet to get the right nutrients that your body needs.
In addition to that, both diets target the elimination of processed food on your meals. They also target a way of living that is simple and mirrors the life of our ancestors in the primal and Paleolithic era, where there are less preservatives in food, less vices and humans live in a natural way of life.
The contrast for both diets exists only on the principles on which they are practiced. For instance, the Paleo diet is more focused on telling you which types of food you should and should not eat, therefore a much controllable measurement on your body’s reaction to the diet. On the other hand, the Primal diet is a little more open-minded when it comes to the types of food you eat and takes into factor the science that we have today to apply it to the types of food you eat. Although Paleo diet has a guide on what to eat and what not to eat, both diets are actually flexible on what food you find appealing to you, as long as it fits on the principles. The main ideology of Paleo and Primal diets is to remove unnatural food and junk food from your daily meals as much as you can.


To sum up, Paleo and Primal have more similarities than differences. In general, both have the same goal – and that is to follow a diet plan that focuses on food that are less processed, less modernized and more on food that are around in the early times. To choose which one is the “best”, the answer would be the same for all types of diet: it would depend on how your body reacts to the types of food you intake, the nutrients that your body needs and how you can discipline yourself to follow the meal plans. In the case of Paleo vs Primal, health is still the hot topic.
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