Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins is it for You?

In a previous post, I talked about going “Paleo” and off of gluten because of the research regarding gluten and autoimmune disease. And since I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis, I felt this was right for me. Read here to see that post. I have since eliminated gluten, but have not adopted the  Paleo lifestyle until this week.  The difference between the two is this:  Gluten- free you can virtually have any gluten-free product.  (There are a lot out there)    So , even though I was not a big snack or grain eater in the first place, I found myself buying all of these “fun” gluten-free products, like bars, cookies etc.  Ummmm,, so I felt pretty bad and fell into the trap like most people.  So out with all the snacky snacks and in with the Real Food .

Let’s take a look at three popular and very similar programs or meal plans.   I say “meal plan” because I don’t believe in going on ‘diets” anymore, I believe in getting healthy and as this “Aspire page” says “Wellness from the inside out”.  So with that in we go:

Claims from Whole 9 Life (Whole 30 , Whole 90)website says: testimonials claim of cure or improvement in these:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • type 1 & type 2 diabetes
  • asthma & allergies
  • sinus infections
  • hives, skin conditions
  • endometriosis, PCOS
  • infertility
  • migraines
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • heartburn & GERD
  • arthritis & joint pain
  • ADD
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • Lyme disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue
  • lupus
  • leaky gut syndrome
  • Crohn’s, IBS, Celiac disease, diverticulitis, colitis

What to Eat

  • meat,
  • seafood,
  • eggs,
  • vegetables,
  • some fruit, and
  • plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

What Not to Eat

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not eat white potatoes.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30
  • No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods

Find out more about the Whole 30 with their book “It Start With Food” here It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

Benefit Claims of Paleo

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and most chronic degenerative diseases that affect people in the western world
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Improve your athletic performance
  • Slow or reverse progression of an autoimmune disease
  • Improve or eliminate acne
  • Sleep better and have more energy throughout the day
  • Enjoy an increased libido
  • Improve your mental outlook and clarity
  • Enjoy a longer, healthier, more active life

What to eat :

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

What Not to Eat:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

Eating foods made with substitute flours (Almond &Coconut Flour)

“The basic premise and goal of The Paleo Diet is to eat as close to nature as possible. In reality, a hunter gatherer would have not been able to cook up Paleo pancakes or bread, regardless of the type of flour used. Processed foods were completely out of the picture. The key here is moderation. A coconut flour based pastry on occasion is obviously better than eating the common alternative, which typically is loaded with gluten and vegetable oils. As long as you stick to consuming The Paleo Diet in the way that it was meant to be followed for the majority of your meals, a little dessert here and there should do you no harm.” Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Find out more about the Paleo Lifestyle here The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat

Paleo vs. Atkins

  • Counting carbs essential on an Atkins diet requires measuring, weighing and recording of the carbohydrate content of everything that’s eaten.
  • Paleo is just about eating real food and avoiding grains, legumes and dairy so no need to weigh, count, measure or journal.
  • A Paleo diet is all about food quality. Meat in particular, is ideally grass-fed and organic. Processed, grain-fed, intensively farmed meat is to be avoided.
  • Atkins however, the source of the food isn’t of such importance .
  • Paleo diet omits grains, legumes and (sometimes) dairy, on an Atkins diet, these are all permissible – providing they are low in Calories.
  • Atkins You can consume sweeteners, diet soda, seed oils, soy, Atkins chocolate bars, Atkins crisps – and lots of other very un-Paleo foods on Atkins.


So here it is, the differences and similarities.  Questions to consider first would be why you are choosing one of these.  Choosing a meal plan is  something you do for a lifetime, not just a temporary fix.  I do not recommend the Atkins program.  Usually those that choose Atkins, are looking for a quick fix and then go “off” the program and gain weight back.  I feel the other 2 programs are about choosing “healthy’ and natural foods to incorporate for a lifestyle and lifetime of eating.

For me, with Hashimotos Thyroidits, I feel , it is vital to have a gluten-free lifestyle. This is the reason I am sharing my story and will also share my results.

This will not be easy ,  but this will be my journey!  I’ll keep you updated.  Share your stories with me if you have an autoimmune disease or have gone on Paleo and whole 30 for health reasons.

* I am not a doctor, always consult your physician before starting any program especially if being treated for a condition and /or taking any medications.

* This site contains affiliate links.  That means that when you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.  However, the amount that you pay will not change.

*The picture is provided by © Guyerwood | Dreamstime Stock Photos