A lot of people tend to think that the Paleo diet and the Vegan diet are total opposites. But as it turns out, there are similarities! And depending on how you eat either diets… they actually can be the same.
The general essence of the paleo diet is that our bodies haven’t changed super much from back in the old days when all we ate were meat, vegetables, nuts, and other non-processed foods. But nowadays the general American diet consists of a lot of processed foods. Most paleo dieters (including me) love the diet for cutting out the processed foods and eating real whole foods. Basically, if you can’t even read the ingredients name… probably something to avoid on the paleo diet.
Here’s the gist of what to eat and to avoid on the Paleo diet:
- Foods OK to Eat: Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds
Foods to Avoid: Dairy, Wheat, Rice, Legumes, Sugar, Processed foods such as Soda, Artificial Sweeteners, Doritos, etc.
The Vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet that not only excludes meat, but also any other animal-related foods (and some times not just foods). There are several reasons why people may choose to be vegan. It could be health, environmental, or ethical reasons (ex: animal rights).
Here’s the gist of what to eat and to avoid on the Vegan diet:
- Foods OK to Eat: Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Rice, Wheat, Processed foods
- Foods to Avoid: Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Eggs, anything animal related such as Dairy and Honey
If you’re a visual person… here’s a beautiful venn diagram I made (obviously excluding ALL the things you can/can’t eat on each diet and the similarities, but you catch my drift):
Why they hate each other
Believe it or not, some paleo eaters and vegan eaters hate each other’s diets. Vegan dieters hate the paleo diet because there’s a huge conception that paleo dieters only eat a massive amount of meat. Paleo dieters hate the vegan diet because they want to avoid processed foods and eat real food, but the vegan diet allows all kinds of processed foods as long as it’s not animal related.
Why they shouldn’t hate each other
Not every paleo person only eats meat, and not every vegan person only eat processed foods. Look at that blue area of my venn diagram! There are vegetarian paleo dieters out there, and their diet can almost be considered vegan (depending on how you feel about some ingredients such as eggs and honey). Their main focus is on veggies, and they avoid dairy. And after some research, I discovered that a lot of vegan eaters try to avoid those processed foods (including those ‘processed vegan’ ones). You could actually be 100% paleo and 100% vegan if you really wanted to. So, at the end of the day, I think what is most important is that we are all trying to better ourselves with our diets, and that we come up with more awesome recipes that are paleo, vegan, or both (I have these!) to help each other eat better! Here are some of my paleo and vegan recipes:
- Baked Zucchini Chips
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Avocado
- Apple Banana Smoothie
- One-Ingredient Ice Cream
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes