Difference Between Clean Eating And Paleo (Paleo Vs Clean Eating)

So, it’s that time again. It’s time to look for a suitable and effective diet – one that not only helps you look better, but also one that also makes you feel better. However, this is easier said than done. 

Trying to pick out the right diet without sacrificing your energy and social life can be a difficult task. It may sound like a cliche, but there isn’t one universal diet that works for everyone – different diets work for different people. 

In fact, the most time-consuming and daunting part of a diet is often the initial stage of figuring out what it is that’ll work effectively for you. 

With this in mind, we’ve constructed a brief guide on some of the main differences between following a “paleo” diet and “clean eating”. After reading some of the information below, you’ll hopefully be in a better position to determine which type of diet is the best fit for your lifestyle and goals. 

Paleo Diet

A “paleo” diet can best be described as following an almost “caveman diet”. In other words, it’s all based around the types of food that a caveman could get their hands on. 

By definition, this immediately eliminates a large number of foods that have all been brought to life in modern civilization. Some of the most prominent examples of food and drink that people following a paleo diet should avoid include processed foods, sugar, grains, dairy, soft drink, and alcohol. 

As with all diets, there’s a small degree of flexibility. So if you’re craving a small glass of red wine with your chicken dinner, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem so long as it’s in moderation. 

The basic food groups that are allowed on the diet include the following: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and oils, herbs, spices, nuts, and herbs. 

Traditionally, the structure of a paleo diet will have considerably less carbohydrates than a “clean diet”. This is because paleo further refines the diet with the elimination of grains such as rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. 

Clean Eating 

“Clean eating” is traditionally defined as eating a diet mainly of whole, natural foods. By definition, this typically involves the removal of processed foods, heavy saturated fats, trans fats, and refined grains from your diet. 

A clean eating diet will usually allow for healthy complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. You may also see meals incorporate foods like rice pasta, cauliflower pizza, and more starchy vegetables. 

Which Diet Is Best For Losing Weight? 

Paleo and clean eating aren’t necessarily designed for the sole purpose of losing weight. Both types of diet are a style of eating – one that hopefully improves both your physical and mental health. 

If you want to lose weight in the process, you’ll have to make sure you’re in a calorie deficit. This is the only way to effectively trigger weight loss, and will ultimately determine whether or not you’re shedding the pounds. 

So, if you’re following a paleo diet, but still consuming the same amount of calories as you were before, it’s very unlikely that you’ll lose any significant weight. 

Deciding Which Diet Is Right For You 

In order to maximize the benefits of a diet, it’s essential to understand how certain diet plans may be more favorable than others in terms of your individual goals and lifestyle. To help demonstrate this, we’ll provide examples of two different people.

Sarah is a 150-pound female, looking to lose 5 pounds through diet, who doesn’t work out and works in a sedentary job. For her, it would be a good idea to start a meal plan that has the largest volume to calorie ratio. 

In other words, she’ll want to eat a significant amount of low calorie foods in order to target weight loss. Traditionally, a diet rich in vegetables and lean protein is the type of plan best-suited for Sarah as she’ll be able to stay the most full, while still effectively targeting weight loss. 

Jack is a 170-pound male, looking to add around 5 pounds of muscle through diet, who works out once a day and works in an extremely active and fast-paced job. For him, it’s important to hit a calorie surplus every day. 

Therefore, it would be beneficial to follow a plan that’s rich in healthy carbohydrates to fuel his workouts and lifestyle. A clean eating diet would be best-suited for Jack as it would give his diet greater flexibility and allow him to incorporate more foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a paleo diet expensive? 

Following a paleo diet has a reputation of being expensive. After all, it’s easy to rack up a huge bill if you typically stock your shopping basket up with loads of pricey superfoods and rare ingredients. If, however, you stick to real food, you won’t have to spend a fortune. 

Furthermore, it’s a good and cost-effective idea to batch cook some of your meals. This will help you use up all of the foods that you get. 

Is a paleo diet safe in the long term?

There are plenty of benefits associated with a paleo diet, including weight loss, lower blood pressure, and a better control of blood sugar. However, experts warn that in the long run this eating approach can potentially lead to several health risks such as a nutrient deficiency. 

Is pasta clean eating? 

As with many other foods, pasta can be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. Whole-grain pasta is the best option as it’s higher in fibre and nutrients, while lower in carbs and calories.