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paleo and atkins diet|salmon on a white background|carbohydrates

Terpene Deficiency / Paleo Air

The Difference Between the Paleo and Atkins Diets

Many people are looking to find a better diet that can improve their weight loss efforts and overall health and wellness, and both the Atkins and Paleo diets claim to do just that.

The Atkins diet is centered around the carbohydrate-controlled intake, high protein consumption, and high healthy fat consumption. 1 The focus of the Paleo Diet, on the other hand, is to reintroduce a “caveman diet” that completely avoids refined sugars, dairy, processed foods, grains, and legumes.

salmon on a white background Similarities Between the Diets

Promote Whole Food Consumption

Both diets encourage the intake of whole, nutrient-dense foods, including fresh grass-fed meats, fish, seafood, fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and more.

Avoid Processed Foods and Refined Sugar

Individuals are discouraged from consuming any processed foods on either of these diets which can maximize weight loss efforts.

carbohydrates Differences Between the Diets

Carbohydrate Intake

The Paleo diet completely eliminates grains and simple carbohydrates, whereas the Atkins diet is more of a carbohydrate-controlled approach that allows the dieter to find their personal carbohydrate tolerance. While the dieter is meant to avoid carbohydrates to begin the Atkins diet, they can be reintroduced at a later stage. 2


The Paleo diet is a more restrictive diet as it is based primarily on mimicking the diet of Paleolithic humans. In contrast, the Atkins diet is less restrictive in that individuals are able to reintroduce carbohydrates and don’t have to completely avoid food groups like dairy.


While Atkins is purely a diet, the Paleo Diet has become much more of a lifestyle change. As a result, the Paleo Diet can be seen as a more comprehensive diet because it focuses on various aspects of lifestyle that make the diet more effective in the long run.

The Paleo diet encourages bringing not only diet back to the Paleolithic but also some aspects of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle such as increased exercise and exposure to nature.

For instance, one of the most significant changes between the Paleolithic and the modern is the current lack of exposure to the healthy natural compounds found in clean, forest air and increased exposure to pollutants and harmful chemicals.

Thus, the Paleo Air movement works in conjunction with the Paleo Diet to encourage individuals to reintroduce the beneficial compounds found in the forest back into their daily lives through the use of essential oils. This practice has been shown to provide a range of health benefits including alleviating stress, boosting energy, and improving overall mood.

Additionally, essential oils are easy to use. They can be applied topically or used aromatically in a room diffuser or a personal aromatherapy diffuser.

The effectiveness of Each Diet

Paleo Diet Has Been Shown to Improve Glucose Intolerance

The Paleo diet specifically has been shown to improve glucose intolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals suffering from heart disease. 3

Low Carbohydrate Diets Can Improve Weight Loss Efforts

As both the Paleo and Atkins diets are low-carbohydrate diets, some studies provide results that are encouraging for each. One study found that low-carbohydrate diets could promote weight loss without slowing down metabolism. 4

Low Carbohydrate Diets Can Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

Another study found that individuals who adhered to a low carbohydrate diet with high vegetable sources of fat and/or protein had as much as a 30 percent lower risk for heart disease and a 20 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared to individuals who followed a diet with high carbohydrate and low fat intake.


As you can tell, both the Paleo and Atkins diets offer their own unique health benefits. Because both diets are largely low carbohydrate and high-fat diets, they offer a lot of the same benefits and are backed by similar research.

The major differences, however, is that the Paleo diet offers a more comprehensive lifestyle change. This not only makes it more sustainable, but also more effective for promoting better overall health and well-being.

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