Difference Between Primal and Paleo Diets

Primal vs Paleo Diets

Paleo and primal are words commonly used to refer to diets that are close to what our ancestors in Paleolithic times consumed. There are many similarities between Paleo and Primal diets that focus upon meats and poultry products avoiding grains and vegetables. Grains and vegetables got included in the human diet only with Neolithic times with the introduction of the art of agriculture. This is the reason many people get confused about these two cavemen diets . However, despite similarities, there are subtle differences between Paleo and Primal diets that will be taken into consideration in this article.

What is Paleo Diet?

The credit of popularizing the concept of Paleo diet goes to author and researcher Loren Cordian. Significant contribution also came from Robb Wolf in popularizing this diet. According to these eminent researchers, the modern western diet bears very little resemblance to what our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic times. This time period can be taken as the time that begins with the birth of the modern man and continues till about 10000BC when man learnt the art of farming and domestication of animals. Thus, Paleo diet comprises much of what our pre-agriculture ancestors consumed. This diet emphasizes quality protein sources such as meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and roots. This diet strictly prohibits hydrogenated fats, grains, dairy, sugar, and trans fats. Obviously this is a low carbohydrate diet that makes one eat on the pattern of the cavemen who were hunters and gatherers and did not know how to grow crops. 

What is Primal diet?

Mark Sisson is credited with the concept of the Primal diet that he popularized in his book The Primal Blueprint. It is a diet that reflects upon the fact that modern western diet is full of foods that does not suit the human beings and recommends a diet based upon meats and nuts that were consumed by early cavemen. The theory behind this diet is that human beings adopted a diet based upon grown crops and dairy products that did not match human physiology. This diet strictly prohibits all cereals and grains, processed foods, sugars. Primal diet does not put restrictions on the use of good quality dairy products.

What is the difference between Paleo and Primal Diets?

• Paleo diet is a concept popularized by Loren Cordain while the credit to popularizing Primal diet goes to Mark Sisson

• It is the dairy products that mainly differentiate the two diets.

• Paleo diet strictly prohibits dairy products initially and recommends them at a much later stage while Primal diet does not put restrictions on the use of good quality dairy products

• Both diets also differ in their approaches.

• Those who favour Paleo diet remain terrified by the inclusion of trans fats that they believe increases cholesterol levels and leads to heart diseases.

• Primal is a more holistic approach and more of a lifestyle while Paleo remains primarily a diet in nature.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Paleo and Gluten Free