Popular diet comparison, what’s the difference among the Keto, Vegan, Paleo, and calorie counting?

Nowadays, when people want to lose weight, they have come up with plenty of different ways to solve this problem, no matter it is the rigorous way to lose weight in a short time or a relatively mild way to create a healthy lifestyle for that.

However, diets are big part of weight loss. According to the Harvard Health website (https://www.health.harvard.edu/), it indicated that the amount and the quality of what you eat are playing a significant role in losing or healthily maintain weight. Therefore, it might be useful to compare the differences among some popular diets such as keto, vegan, paleo, and caloric counting with pros and cons to find out which is the most efficient for us.

Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet is summarized as a very low-carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities with low-carb diets. The way it works is based on lowering blood sugar and insulin levels and shifting the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. (Mawer,2018).
What does it involve?
Eat real low carb foods: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetable and natural fats like butter and olive oil. (Eenfeldt&Scher, 2019).


•    A ketogenic diet has a significant impact on losing weight, gaining muscle, and lowering risk factors of disease due to the high protein and low fat intake.
•    The menu could give the fullness feeling that people do not need to count calories to lose weight.
•    The ketogenic diet could boost insulin sensitivity and cause fat loss, have significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
•    The menu originated as a tool for treating neurological disease such as epilepsy.


•    It might bring a keto flu into the body at the beginning of keto eating.

•    The diet also changes the water and mineral balance of the body. Moreover, it may be not suitable for elite athletes, and someone wants to gain large amounts of muscle or weight. (Mawer,2018).


The author of Healthline, Gunnars, stated that “the paleo diet is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago.” Therefore, a paleo diet is a dietary plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era.
What does it involve? (Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular, Mayo Clinic)
The reliance on natural foods means the exclusion of:
Processed Meats
Wheat and dairy
Refined sugar
Grain-based food

Moreover, the inclusion of:
Lean Meat


Fruit and vegetables

Nuts and seeds



•    brings more weight loss due to small calorie-dense meals and more nutritious fruits and vegetables.

•    The study shows that GOING paleo BASED could improve glucose tolerance, give a better blood pressure control, and a lower level of triglycerides.

•    Also, It also helps better appetite management.


•    The diet brings some dietary concerns; for example, the absence of whole grains and legumes will make the absence of fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. So lack of protein and calcium will be caused by absent dairy products.

•    It may be expensive for people to buy foods like wild game, grass-fed meat, and nuts. This kind of food is more affordable and accessible.


VEGANISM is devoid of all animal products, including meat, egg, and dairy. Many people choose to eat in this way for ethical, environmental, or health reason (Petre,2016).

What does it involve?

All plant-based foods, such as tofu, tempeh, legumes, nuts and nut kinds of butter, seeds, Whole grains, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.


•     vegaNISM has a remarkable impact on losing weight due to reduced calories.

•     veganISM could make the blood sugar staying at a lower level, and it also lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

•    It also has some influences on improving heart health by reducing blood sugar, LDL, and total cholesterol.


•    The diet increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, long chain omega -3, iodine, iron, calcium, and zinc.

•    Moreover, when people take supplements for adding those nutrients, there is not enough evidence to prove the gained nutrients from supplements will be equally functioning in the body as the fresh food.

•    could quickly lose weight by fewer calories intake as a bedside.

Caloric counting diet

Caloric counting diet is the way to manage the food intake to losing weight efficiently. An article from Healthline explained that to lose weight, we should eat fewer calories than we burn (West, 2016).

What does it involve?

Use the online calories calculator or related applications to record the calories of food you eat.


•    works on an effective way to lose weight with strictly controlled calories intake.

    The menu stated clearly that the calories of every eaten food.


  Lack of calories could negatively affect on body health by dropping metabolic rate due to the research called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

   A low calories diet does not help with losing weight if the body is producing or receiving high levels of insulin (Diabetes.co.uk).

 The meager calories diet will make the organization challenging to get enough nutrients like calcium, protein, and magnesium (Healthline).

In summary
Overall, to compare with the pros and cons along with four different diets, keto diet seems to provide adequate nutrients and could be an effective and mild way to choose. However, the different foods work on different people, and the results of diets also vary on different people.

Diet & Weight Loss.Harvard Health.
Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/diet-and-weight-loss
Eenfeldt,A. & Scher, B. (2019). Ketogenic diet foods – What to eat. Diet Doctor. 
Freeman,J.M., Kossoff,E.H. & Hartman A.L. (2007). The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Pediatrics. 119(3):535-43.
Gunnars, K. (2018) The Paleo Diet – A Beginner’s Guide Plus Meal Plan. Healthline. 
Paleo diet: what is it and why is it so popular?Mayo Clinic.
Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182
Petre, A. (2016) The Vegan Diet – A Complete Guide for Beginners. Healthline.
Why Calorie Counting is Flawed. Diabetes.co.uk.
Retrieved from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/why-calorie-counting-fails.html

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