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Paleo versus Whole30 versus the Mediterranean Diet versus the Primal Blueprint

After doing more research into Paleo and healthier diets or lifestyle changes, I can see that there are a ton out there.

Some of them are pretty similar, and it is kind of difficult to really keep them straight.

I decided to quickly write this post that includes a table to show the differences between some diets, and then I wrote a quick summary of each diet below the table (along with some links to sources).

Note: please keep in mind I am not an expert at any of these diets. I’m a total noob trying to figure out how to eat healthier and looking for a diet that works for me. If I got any of this wrong, please contact me. 

Diet Comparison Table

Food Paleo Whole30 Mediter. Primal BP
Dairy No No Limited  Limited
Grains No No Yes No
Sugar Limited No Limited No

 

Paleo

Overview: Eat like our Paleolithic ancestors by going Paleo. I have a whole list of Paleo FAQs.

Emphasizes Eating:

  • Meat, Fish, Seafood, Poultry
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fats and Nuts
  • Basically nutrient rich foods

Limits Eating:

  • Sugar (Honey, Stevia, Maple Syrup, and some sugary fruit juices are okay)
  • No Grains
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed Foods
  • White potatoes
  • Butter and Saturated Fast are borderline.

Whole30

Overview: As far as I can tell, Whole30 seems to be a Paleo challenge, not a lifestyle that you can actually maintain. It is just a little stricter than Paleo.

Emphasizes Eating:

  • Meat, Fish, Seafood, Poultry
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fats and Nuts

Limits Eating:

  • No Sugar
  • No Grains
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed Foods

Source: Whole30 

Mediterranean Diet

Overview: Eat like they do in the Mediterranean, but without the dairy or salt. This diet is pretty similar to Paleo, although they limit red meat intake and eat grains. People say the Mediterranean diet is cheaper as grains are cheaper than meat, fruits, or veggies.

Emphasizes Eating:

  • Plant based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs and spices
  • Fish and Poultry
  • Red wine in moderation

Limits Eating:

  • Butter
  • Red Meat
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Dairy (Basically Greek yogurt only)

Primal Blueprint

Overview: Basically, Paleo but with some Dairy allowed. There are other differences and Mark Sisson has a post about them. Paleo has really come to have many different diets, rules, and meanings. In that post I linked to, Mark is really just talking about Dr. Loren Cordain’s comments about Paleo.

Emphasizes Eating:

  • Meat, Fish, Seafood, Poultry
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fats and Nuts
  • Basically nutrient rich foods
  • Some Dairy
  • Butter and Saturated Fast are okay.

Limits Eating:

  • Sugar
  • No Grains
  • No Processed Foods
  • White potatoes

Source: Mark’s Daily Apple

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