Skip To Main Content

COVID-19 Updates and Resources. Learn More

A Comparison of the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet

December 16, 2013

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. 

Register with Atkins today for additional tips, low carb recipes, and ideas on how to overcome your weight loss plateau.

More From Colette

Keeping It Low Carb on July 4th

Here’s a 4th of July menu with plenty of low carb options that will take your backyard barbecue, picnic or potluck to the next level.

Read More »

8 Tips to Jumpstart Your Low Carb Lifestyle

It’s been an interesting spring, that’s for sure, and it may have been a challenge to stay motivated about your weight loss or wellness goals when your routine was turned upside down.

Read More »

Low Carb Plant-Based Recipes for Spring and Summer

After cooking and eating at home for quite some time, you’re probably ready to lighten up your meals with fresh vegetables that are in season and new low carb plant-based recipes that will add variety to your weekly menu.

Read More »

Low Carb Snacks When You’re on The Go

While the beginning of this summer may have more of a “staycation” vibe versus “vacation” vibe, it’s still the perfect time to get outdoors for a walk or hike, a few rounds of golf, a picnic in your yard or at the park or even a little road trip, and all these occasions call for a smart low carb snacking strategy.

Read More »

FAQs

Have more low carb questions? We've got the answers!

Learn More »
FAQs

Free Tools

Access meal plans, carb counters, discussion boards, and more.

Learn More »
Free Tools

FAQs

Have more low carb questions? We've got the answers!

Learn More »
FAQs

Free Tools

Access meal plans, carb counters, discussion boards, and more.

Learn More »
Free Tools