Carb Counters - Paleo vs. Low Carbing.. Any difference??

01-16-2012, 01:30 PM
Hi guys!

I've been reading tons about paleo all over the net recently. I'm not really interesting in following the lifestyle but am really interested in what paleo is and if it's any different than low carbing..

Anyone want to give this newbie a paleo lesson???:)

01-16-2012, 01:38 PM
My brother and nephew have done Paleo. Paleo is essentially "eating the way a cave man ate" using only lean meats, seafood, fruits, grains and nuts.

The difference is with low carb, you can opt to eat processed sandwich meats.

There is definitely more to it, but there are major differences in the two eating styles.

01-16-2012, 10:22 PM
Paleo does not equal low carb in the sense that lowering carbs is not a main aim of the Paleo diet. Controlling the source of those carbohydrates is a factor in the Paleo diet, as is being aware of the overall portion of your daily food that is coming from carbohydrates/fat/protein. Where low carbers will often consider the number of carbohydrates in raw grams, someone eating Paleo may be more concerned with with percentage of calories coming from the various macronutrients. A subtle difference, but key in understanding approach.

Paleo eating is about eliminating many of the relatively "new" foods that are part of the current day diet that our bodies are not properly adapted to eat. Things like grains, dairy, legumes, processed foods, etc. are not eaten in this lifestyle. The foods that are not eaten are often linked to health problems linked to inflammation, digestion, blood sugar/insulin problems, etc.

Where the low carb aspect comes in is that in eliminating things like grains you will automatically lower your carb consumption. But as I said, this is not the main aim as it would be with something like Atkins.

People eating a Paleo diet are also paying attention to the sources of their food - i.e. grass fed vs grain fed beef, organic vegetables, eating certain oils and nuts over others to maintain a good omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, etc.

Many people who eat Paleo end up aiming to live a Paleo lifestyle, choosing exercise and activity that is more in line with how our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have lived. You never would have seen a caveman running a marathon....instead he'd spend more time lifting heavy things and doing things like walking, climbing, jumping, etc. This connects to the exercise philosophies of things like CrossFit, popular in the Paleo community.

As you can hopefully see, it's significantly more complex than a simple difference of processed sandwich meats or not. ;)

Here's a brief overview from Robb Wolf, one of the main Paleo experts -

If you have any other questions about Paleo, please feel free to ask! I'm not an expert, but I have been eating this way for about 6 months now and have learned a lot about the research and information out there relating to this way of eating.

01-17-2012, 09:40 AM
Thanks so much for your insight!

I've heard plenty about paleo from different sources but couldn't really make the distinction between paleo and low carb! Thanks for straightening that out for me!!