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<December 2013>
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colette_heimowitz's Blog
A Comparison of the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet

If you’ve read anything about diets lately, you have most likely heard of the Paleo Diet, which is based on eating whole foods from food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten during the Paleolithic Era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and healthy oils. You eliminate dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods on the Paleo Diet.

As you can see, there are some similarities to the Atkins Diet, in that whole foods, healthy fats, protein, veggies and fruit dominate the two eating plans. If you were wondering why someone would choose Paleo over Atkins or vice versa, here is a quick comparison:

Paleo Diet

Recommended foods:
• Fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry and game meat)
• Fish and seafood
• Fresh fruits (preferably locally sourced)
• Fresh vegetables (preferably locally sourced)
• Healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed)

Foods that are not allowed:
• Dairy products
• Cereal grains
• Legumes (beans, peas, soybeans, lentils and peanuts, to name a few)
• Refined sugars
• Processed foods
• Potatoes
• Salt
• Refined oils (soy, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, safflower and sesame)

Paleo Diet:
• Grass-fed or free-ranging meats and locally sourced fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits are healthier.
• Grass-fed or free-ranging meats and locally sourced fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits are also more expensive and harder to find.
• One-size-fits all approach and does not allow an individual to discover their personal carbohydrate tolerance and uncover potential food sensitivities.

Atkins Diet

Recommended foods:
• Fresh meats (beef, pork, lamb, poultry and game meat)
• Fish and seafood
• Fresh vegetables
• Healthy fats (butter, canola oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, mayonnaise, olive oil, high-oleic safflower oil, sesame oil)
• Most cheeses
• Nuts and seeds
• Whole milk, cheese, Greek yogurt, ricotta or cottage cheese
• Approved Atkins low-carb bars, shakes and frozen meals
• Berries in early phases and other types of fresh fruits( in later Phases)
• Starchy vegetables (in later Phases)
• Whole grains (in later Phases)

Foods that are not allowed:
• Sugars
• Processed foods with refined sugar and/or partially hydrogenated oils (cookies, crackers, chips, etc.)
• Breaded Fried foods

Atkins Diet:
• Easier entry point into a low-carb lifestyle, while still emphasizing whole foods; healthy fats, optimal protein intake, vegetables, and fruit
• More convenient—Atkins bars, shakes and frozen meals are allowed
• Less expensive than Paleo
• As you learn your personal carb tolerance, you can incorporate certain carbs back into your eating plan while still maintaining your weight loss.
• By introducing foods one at a time (in 5 net carbohydrate increments) you are given the opportunity to discover food intolerances as well as your own personal carbohydrate balance.
• Unlike Paleo, you aren’t asked to totally eliminate cereal grains, legumes, potatoes and dairy.

Ultimately, both diets have numerous benefits, and the choice is yours, although Atkins may be easier to start with since you don’t have to eliminate as many foods, and it’s more convenient and less expensive.

Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 04:29 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Carb Balance/Carb Intolerance, Nutrition, Personal observations & lessons learned
suelss said:
Wow, thanks for this comparison! My brother is on the Paleo diet, and I didn't know how to explain the difference! I really don't want to eat like a caveman. Atkins is a better fit for me. I am looking forward to experimenting with the OWL level. So far, I have learned that nuts work for me pretty well!
December 17, 2013 04:38 PM EST
Jacq said:
This is awesome! Thank you Colette. :)
December 18, 2013 06:01 AM EST
naugy81 said:
Thank you for the comparisons. We are not a one size fit all - every "body" is different.
December 18, 2013 06:35 AM EST
Caroll51 said:
If you were to recommend the "ideal" time for a person to eat during the day, how many hours would you say we should do. Righ now I eat around 9am then every 2 1/2 to 3 hours after that (small meal/bite) and take the very last bite at 9pm. Is it ok ? If not, what would be what you recommend? thank you in advance
December 18, 2013 12:16 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
HI Carol, timing of meals is an individual requirement. It depends how far you have traveled along the path of blood sugar metabolism breakdown. When I first started I had to eat every 2 hours. Now that I have been eating the Atkins way for 25 years I can go longer between feedings , but I feel most energized when I eat small frequent meals. If that timing works for you ( energy good, appetite under control) then that is ideal for you.
December 20, 2013 05:58 PM EST said:
Dear Colette ~ Reading your new book (plus I also got the new cookbook and workbook!) and it is excellent! Couldn't have come at a better time. I have about 20 pounds to lose and have been fiddling with this amount for the last few years and I think with this new "push", I will get there! Thank you so much and Happy 2014! Mary Ellen
December 27, 2013 09:47 AM EST
44apples said:
Dear Collete, Are there any calorie recommendations to use as a guide in Atkins. I have a tendency to eat larger portions than I should and counting calories or a guide to portion size would help. Perhaps this is addressed in one of the Atkins books? Thanks so much Eileen
January 04, 2014 05:44 PM EST
goochda12 said:
Collete, Thank you for all of this. I have utilized Atkins for years and just re-read my 1992 paperback for motivation for my jumpstart. However, I have a recurring problem when on this diet--which doesn't seem to go away despite drinking lots of water. When in the higher ketosing stages of the darker pink or maroon on the Ketostix, I have horrible breath (which I assume is due to ketosing). I don't see this problem mentioned in the book or online. Can you please address? Also, I worry about the effect of mouthwashes on the diet so please review that also. Thanks so much, Debbie from Cincinnati.
January 09, 2014 09:58 AM EST
britthinton32 said:
I have a question, that I cant seem to find the answer to. I wanted to know if rice cakes were allowed on Atkins. I don't want to do this diet wrong, right out of the gate. And I want to stick with this for as long as possible. Starting in Phase 1. Please let me know. Thanks.
January 24, 2014 08:00 PM EST
VALLEYGIRL9950 said:
Great info. Now could you post an article on how to have an Atkins Valentines day?
February 08, 2014 08:03 PM EST
yvonnecvw said:
I have been on a gluten free diet for about 6 months and feel so much better but just was diagnosed with diabetes to control with diet. The Doc suggested the Paleo diet and after reading your comparison Atkins sounds more to the way I eat except for meat, I eat very little of that. My question is which diet would work best for me with both diabetes and gluten issues? Yvonnecvw
June 27, 2014 09:38 AM EST
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