Primal vs. Paleo: What's the Difference?
The words Primal and Paleo are used interchangeably. Both are based on an idea that our ancestors ate the way our bodies were designed to eat. I myself am guilty of doing this. But there are fundamental differences behind each of those words, and I'm going to explain it as best I can.
Paleo refers to the Paleolithic Era when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who made great technological advances like stone tools and the control of fire. It doesn't allow for many modern concepts, while it has evolved to be more Primal over the years.
Primal refers to Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint which allows more room for modern science. It's less restrictive as it looks more in-depth at the affects on the body. It also allows for some dairy which is awesome because I love heavy cream in my coffee.
The two absolutely have more similarities than differences. Both promote eliminating modern processed grains and sugars, and promote eating more protein and vegetables in abundance. Both allow for fruit, but Paleo doesn't really have a restriction or guiding principle behind fruit consumption.
As referenced above, Paleo refers to what we know about a specific era in history. There is little room for modern concepts or discoveries. Primal, on the other hand, merely uses our ancestors as a foundation for knowledge. There's no question that we evolved designed to eat a certain way, but we've also evolved a good amount since the Paleolithic Era.
Fruit should be eaten in moderation under the Primal lifestyle. The natural sugar still provides negative affects on your body when consumed in excess.
Dairy is also permitted in a Primal diet, but almost solely in the form of organic butter and/or heavy cream. Paleo has grown to be more open to these concepts, but at it's core, Paleo is much more restrictive than Primal.
Finally, the Paleo concepts were only ever communicated to me in a dietary sense. This left me to figure out my own fitness, and that was a struggle and point of frustration when trying to get healthier. The Primal Blueprint lays out a combination of fitness and nutrition guidelines that are easy to follow.
Why I Choose to Live Primal
It's not just for the dairy, but I'll admit it helps. The simple concepts of fitness and nutrition are backed by science, and this was the first thing I've ever started that has made sense. It's helped me lose a ton of weight, I'm stronger than I've ever been, and my energy is through the roof. The more I learn about it, the more I'm sold on the Primal lifestyle.