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How to Tell the Difference in Plant Based or Low Carb Lifestyles

How to Tell the Difference in Plant Based or Low Carb Lifestyles

Do you know the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?  What about keto or paleo?  If it’s confusing to you, here’s a quick outline.




Choosing to live a vegan lifestyle is more popular than ever, and it’s easier than ever to get plant based versions of so many foods.  Vegan is actually a broad term, in fact Nutriciously states there are 15 different vegan diets! In it’s simplest & purest form, the vegan lifestyle is eating no animal products whatsoever-no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, or anything at all that does not come from plants.  You can keep it as broad as that, or go further, and choose a vegan raw diet, vegan whole foods, or even a low fat fruit vegan diet.




The vegetarian lifestyle, in general, means eliminating  any meat from your diet.  This includes all red meats, white meats,  poultry, and seafood.  So the difference between vegan and vegetarian is that vegans abstain from all animal products and animal by-products, and vegetarians abstain from animal products, meaning that vegetarians eat dairy and eggs.  However, this is more of an umbrella, and there are options, and different types of vegetarian lifestyles.

What many of us think of as simply a vegetarian diet is actually lacto-ovo vegetarian.  Animal products are excluded, but dairy and eggs are not.

Depending on your purpose and reason for choosing to eliminate animal products, the lacto-vegetarian lifestyle is another option, where animal products are excluded, including seafood and eggs, but dairy is not.

Conversely, there is the ovo-vegetarian lifestyle.  Of course, this is where animal products are excluded, including dairy, but eggs are part of what you eat.




The pescatarian lifestyle abstains from any land animal products.  Pescatarians eat seafood.  Just like vegetarians, pescatarians can be lacto pescatarian or lacto-ovo pescatarian.

Hopefully this clears things up a bit, even if it’s just so you understand the vegans/vegetarians in your life a bit better.

Keto vs. Paleo

Now that we have summarized the types of plant based diets, let’s see what the difference is between Keto & Paleo.

They may seem similar, and even a bit hard to tell the difference at first, but Keto and Paleo lifestyles have different philosophies and foundations.  The paleo diet is to abstain from anything that hunter-gatherers didn’t eat during the paleolithic era, thousands of years ago. Paleo eaters eat meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices but abstain from legumes, dairy, processed foods, vegetable oils and margarines.

The Keto lifestyle is focused on eating low carb and high fat.  Fat is the main component of the diet, with 75% of your food being fat, carbs being 5% and the other 20% being protein.  It’s different than the Atkins diet in that the protein intake is limited, and it is simpler in it’s plan.

The keto diet includes dairy and sugar free sweeteners, where paleo does not.  Paleo includes fruits and starchy vegetables where keto does not. Take a look at this simple chart from medical news today & see the differences in a bit more detail.

Did this clear things up a bit for you?  Let us know in comments!