Paleo vs Whole30: Difference and Comparison

Paleo and Whole30 are two diets or eating patterns with lots of health benefits and nutrients. Both include minimally processed foods and discard processed items that are rich in sugars, fat, and salt.

Both of the two are effective in losing weight, controlling diabetes and also lowers the risk of different heart diseases. Despite these similarities, these two have many differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. Paleo is a long-term lifestyle choice, whereas Whole30 is a short-term dietary reset program.
  2. Paleo focuses on mimicking the eating habits of our ancestors, while Whole30 eliminates specific food groups for 30 days.
  3. Whole30 is stricter, disallowing natural sweeteners, dairy, and legumes, while Paleo permits some flexibility.

Paleo vs Whole30

The difference between Paleo and Whole30 is that the Paleo diet is for a short period of time, whereas Whole30 is a long one, and it maintains strict restrictions throughout the diet. But Whole30 loosens its restrictions after 30 days.

Paleo vs Whole30

The foundation of Paleo is the eating habits of our ancestors, so it is basically whole food and foods that do not include farming. This diet is a great way to lose weight, and it is also healthy and filled with nutrients.

Whole30 is a great short-term diet plan of 30 days that not only helps you to lose weight but makes you more energetic and active as well. It does not allow any sweeteners and processed food, and one has to continue this for 30 days without any breaks.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPaleoWhole30
Meaning This found its root in the food habits of our Paleolithic ancestors, so it is called the Paleo diet.This diet is done for 30 days only without any cheat days, so it is called Whole30.
DurationIt is a long term diet plan.It is a short term diet plan.
StrictnessPaleo sustains strictness in the food habit throughout.Whole30 is comparatively less strict.
DairyUnpasteurized dairy and grass-fed butter can be eaten in this diet.No dairy is allowed in this diet.
SweetenersHoney and maple syrup are allowed in this.Any kind of sugar or sweeteners is restricted in this diet.

What is Paleo?

The paleo diet is based on the foods of our ancestors, who used to hunt in order to get food. These food habits are able to protect against many diseases.

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As it is based on humans’ old food habits, the foods are minimally processed foods, and thus these are low in calories, and as a result, it is capable of helping lose weight.

The paleo diet includes foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, herbs, vegetables, spices, and even vegetable oils. Wine and dark chocolate are also a part of this pattern.

This diet cut off food items that have processed and artificial sweeteners. Legumes, soybean and sunflower oil, are also excluded from this diet. Trans fat and dairy are also subjected to avoidance.

This food gets its name from the fact that this diet is based on the food habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. Thus it is called the Paleo diet. Our ancestors did not eat modern foods that require farming.

So the Paleo diet also cut off foods that are produced by farming.

This is why foods like beans, grains and dairy do not have a place in this diet. Alcohol is also supposed to be avoided.


What is Whole30?

The Whole30 diet is a short-term diet plan. It is mostly a month-long, and it is constructed in a way that helps to increase your metabolism and revamp your body and eating habits.

It is called Whole30 because it is only for 30 days without any gap or cheats meals.

It encourages whole foods and provides the ground to lose weight. Not only weight loss, this diet plan can also boost energy levels and improve sleep. This diet can be used successfully to identify any food intolerances.

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The food items that got a place in this diet are meat, seafood, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Fats like plant oils are allowed in this, too, such as duck fat and ghee.

And the food items that should be avoided while following this diet are artificial sweeteners, food processed with rich sugar, alcohol, dairy, and pulses.

As it is just a short-time diet pattern, after 30 days, the restricted food items can be started again gradually. Most people look at this as a weight-loss program and not a diet, as this is only restricted for a month.

This program does not eat with measured calories. Rather it changes the food you eat.


Main Differences Between Paleo and Whole30

  1. The Paleo diet is inspired by the food habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. This is the reason we call it the Paleo diet. Whole30, on the other hand, got its name from the fact that it is done for 30 days continuously.
  2. Paleo is a long-term diet plan with a strict regime, whereas Whole30 is a short-term, 30 days diet routine.
  3. Paleo sustains very strict rules and regulations throughout the diet, but Whole30 is not as strict as Paleo.
  4. One is allowed to consume unpasteurized dairy and grass-fed butter in the Paleo diet, but Whole30 does not allow any dairy products.
  5. Honey and maple syrup are allowed to consume in the Paleo diet. But Whole30 exclude these too.
Difference Between Paleo and Whole30

Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Paleo vs Whole30: Difference and Comparison”

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  3. Paleo focuses on maintaining the eating habits of our ancestors as a long-term lifestyle choice, while Whole30 serves as a short-term dietary reset program by eliminating specific food groups for 30 days. Both have their distinct characteristics and health benefits.

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  5. The Paleo diet mimics the food habits of our ancestors and focuses on whole, nutrient-dense foods. On the other hand, Whole30 is a short-term dietary reset program that eliminates specific food groups for 30 days, with strict restrictions on natural sweeteners, dairy, and legumes.

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  8. Both Paleo and Whole30 are dietary approaches that prioritize whole, unprocessed foods, and aim to address health issues. While Paleo is a long-term lifestyle choice based on ancestral eating habits, Whole30 is a 30-day dietary reset program with stricter restrictions on certain food groups.

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    • The elucidation of the differences in the foods allowed and restricted in the two diets is quite insightful, Zachary74. It underscores the unique approaches of Paleo and Whole30.


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