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Do Paleo and Vegan Diets Have More In Common Than We Think?

Think you’re paleo and vegan friends can’t come together for a dinner party this weekend? Think again.

Today, I’m going to talk about two of the hottest diet trends right now. I’ll admit that both are pretty extreme in terms of diet and dogma. But it doesn’t have to be that way! As opposite as the Paleo diet and Vegan diet seem to be, they actually have a ton in common. Check out these striking similarities in two of the most talked about eating plans!

1. Both Diets LOVE Plants

Sure, you could follow a vegan diet by living off of soda and chips. Conversely, you could eat burgers with no buns from McDonald’s and half a pound of bacon for breakfast every morning and still be on the Paleo Diet. But is this really the way these diets were intended to be followed?

There are plenty of products out there that are naturally vegan or Paleo. But that doesn’t mean they should be the base of your diet. At the end of the day, both of these diets are really into eating a lot of plants. This means fruits, veggies, and root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, etc. should be the bulk of your diet regardless of following a vegan or Paleo diet. Actually, no matter which diet you follow, vegetables and fruits should definitely take center stage. But I digress. We’ll save that talk for another day.

Anyways, the fact that both these diets place such emphasis on plant foods makes me wonder why they are so diabolically opposed to each other. I think part of it is the misconception that Paleo dieters basically eat steak all day er’ day, and that’s simply not true. Sure, it could be that way if you really want to. But following a Paleo diet this way isn’t really all that great for your body, and you’re certainly not going to reap the health benefits.

2. Both Diets are Anti-Dairy

For different reasons, both vegan and Paleo diets opt for nixing the dairy. While vegan advocates might focus on animal cruelty, Paleo advocates argue that our inability to produce lactase (the enzyme that digests the lactose in milk and other dairy products) indicates that after childhood, our bodies weren’t designed to consume and break down dairy on a regular basis.

What’s important to note is that many vegan advocates will agree with this same argument about the body’s inability to digest dairy. And while there are some Paleo advocates that are okay with dairy products like butter or cheese, the original Paleo did do away with all forms of dairy.

Again, we need to ask ourselves, why are these diets so religiously opposed to one another? So far, both diets love plants and abhor dairy. What’s so bad about that?

3. Both Diets Include Healthy Fats

While vegan diets don’t include any animal fats at all and paleo diets include even saturated fats, both diets are definitely pro-healthy fat! Paleo and vegan diets love to include nuts and seeds in their recipes, which can also be a good source of protein, fiber, and even vitamin E.

4. There ARE Paleo Vegan Recipes Out There

Like these brownies:

paleo and vegan brownies

Source: The Real Food Guide

Or these carrot fries:

paleo carrot fries

Source: Healy Eats Real

This dreamy, creamy, spinach and artichoke dip:

paleo spinach and artichoke dip

Source: Paleo Spirit

Or even this amazing ice cream (yes, ice cream):

paleo strawberry ice cream

Source: Comfort Bites Blog


So you see, vegan and paleo diets aren’t out to get each other. They actually have a lot more in common than you’d think. Enough with diet hating and bashing. Find the diet that works for you personally. It may be modified paleo, it may be vegan except for your egg consumption. The important thing is to in  way that promotes healthy, longevity, and energy!


Cover Photo Courtesy: Vegan Skate Blog

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