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What is the Difference Between Paleo and Primal?

by Love and Primal. Posted 10 Jan 13.

Q: I was wondering what the difference is in Paleo and Primal? I think I’ve heard dairy, is there anything else? – Rene

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]Answer[/pullquote]


The Paleo diet was first popularized by Loren Cordain, researcher and author of “The Paleo Diet,” Robb Wolf, biochemist and author of “The Paleo Solution” also largely contributed to the movement. The Primal diet was developed by Mark Sisson and published in “The Primal Blueprint.” 

While the complete Primal Blueprint takes on a more holistic approach to life and living, the dietary aspects of both plans are very similar.  Both are grounded in the caveman’s approach to eating.  They emphasize the consumption of foods that can be grown, hunted, and gathered.  Eating this way provides the most nutrient dense foods that are the best for fueling and healing our bodies.


Both plans also emphasize staying away from empty calorie foods that harm our bodies and are agents of disease like grains containing gluten, sugar, refined and processed foods.

In practice, both plans recommend choosing high-quality foods, such as grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish and game meat.  These foods have a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, making them less inflammatory and better for your body.  In addition, seasonal vegetables, fruits, tubers and nuts are a big part of both diets.  Both plans encourage the selection of locally grown and organic produce as much as possible.

The Paleo and Primal eating plans eliminate all grains; as well as, processed foods, sugars and legumes, which include not only beans and lentils but also soy and peanuts.  Grains have poor nutrient density and a high potential to trigger health problems because of anti-nutrients and gluten.  Both plans also recommend eliminating processed foods made with sugars, high omega-6 vegetable oils and chemicals from your diet.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Primal and Paleo is the Primal plan includes dairy.  Paleo encourages the elimination of dairy, especially in the first few months; whereas, Primal includes (in moderation)  the consumption of good quality, full-fat dairy products, such as butter, cream and full-fat yogurt.  Primal also recommends choosing dairy products from pastured animals and consuming them raw instead of pasteurized.

The Love & Primal bottom line:
We chose to go Primal because it is a better long term fit with our lifestyle and is a very healthy and sustainable way to eat; in addition, based on our knowledge, experience, empirical data, and observation, we agree with the basic principles of the primal way of eating.

We hope this helps! Keep moving forward (& bring somebody with you)

– Leonard & Sarah

 What do you think? Please post your comments, questions, concerns below….they are always welcome.

Know What You Eat


 Article Sources: Livestrong , Mark’s Daily Apple