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Old 10-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #1
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Atkins Vs Primal...... what is the big difference?

Just wondering, I ordered the book on Primal Blueprint...... but still waiting on it. Are they both not low carb? What is the big difference? I see alot of good success on the website...although mostly men
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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This explains pretty well.

Primal can be low carb. There is more allowance for fruit and tubers (sweet potatoes, etc.)
As you work your way up the rungs on Atkins, you could end up pretty much at Primal. IMHO.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #3
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dairy?
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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If Primal is the same as Paleo, I don't believe legumes are allowed. I think dairy is a gray area...we evolved to be able to tolerate dairy past infancy, but originally we probably didn't (And there are still many folks who can't)

I think the big difference is in terms of ideology. Primal/Paleo is all about eating as our ancestors are as the creators of it don't believe that evolution has caught up with food processing. Atkins is about carb funcationality and using ketosis as a means for weight loss. In terms of what you actually eat, I think there are a lot of similarities.

I think Primal/Paleo also appeals to certain subsets and it seems to be really big with the Cross Fit peeps (which is probably why you see a lot of men).

ETA: I don't do either, this is just what I've gathered from past readings. Someone who actually follows it might be able to clarify better and the picture above is good.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
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I think I should switch my WOE status, I don't consume dairy or grain so I'm more in paleo than Atkins although I keep carbs low so not much roots, tubers, and fruit. Thanks for the visual.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:38 AM   #6
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Atkins - carb controlled; meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, grains

Primal - meat, vegetables, berries, dairy

Paleo - meat, vegetables, berries

Here's a great illustration from HuntGatherLove.

Last edited by Clabbergirl; 10-19-2011 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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I think it comes down to food quality. This was mentioned in a paleolithic thread but Atkins is more concerned about carb count. Paleo & Primal eating is more concerned about quality whole food nutrition.

There is no diet soda, splenda, carbquick, or low carb junk on paleo and primal plans.

It is very whole food oriented, the focus is on eating like our ancestors would have eaten.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerlilyCA View Post
If Primal is the same as Paleo, I don't believe legumes are allowed. I think dairy is a gray area...we evolved to be able to tolerate dairy past infancy, but originally we probably didn't (And there are still many folks who can't)

I think the big difference is in terms of ideology. Primal/Paleo is all about eating as our ancestors are as the creators of it don't believe that evolution has caught up with food processing. Atkins is about carb funcationality and using ketosis as a means for weight loss. In terms of what you actually eat, I think there are a lot of similarities.

I think Primal/Paleo also appeals to certain subsets and it seems to be really big with the Cross Fit peeps (which is probably why you see a lot of men).

ETA: I don't do either, this is just what I've gathered from past readings. Someone who actually follows it might be able to clarify better and the picture above is good.
The big difference is dairy. Primal allows it and most Paleo people don't. Some Paleo people will allow it but most do not.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:40 AM   #9
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I really gotta slow down when I'm reading some of these threads - I thought the diagram said that the Primal Diet allowed Fruit Loops!

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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the big difference for ME is that if I ate the range of foods Primal diets suggest, I would gain weight (unless I stuck to starvation calorie levels.) Some (most?) of us here are too sensitive to carbs to eat stuff like fruit and sweet potatoes regularly!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonedbody View Post
I think it comes down to food quality. This was mentioned in a paleolithic thread but Atkins is more concerned about carb count. Paleo & Primal eating is more concerned about quality whole food nutrition.

There is no diet soda, splenda, carbquick, or low carb junk on paleo and primal plans.

It is very whole food oriented, the focus is on eating like our ancestors would have eaten.
I think that's the main distinction. On Atkins/low carb, as long as it is lc you can technically eat it even if it is just lc junk, but primal/paleo are mostly whole foods and people get more into food quality/local food/organic/ and phasing out reliance on processed foods. Many do lower carb for the weight loss phase. It's basically what I would call eating clean on Atkins, or a whole foods Atkins (since you add higher rung foods later), with limited dairy.

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Old 10-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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the big difference for ME is that if I ate the range of foods Primal diets suggest, I would gain weight (unless I stuck to starvation calorie levels.) Some (most?) of us here are too sensitive to carbs to eat stuff like fruit and sweet potatoes regularly!
I don't eat fruit or starchy vegetables either, for the same reason. It's my understanding that you must limit fruit and starches if that is the case, even Paleo/Primal.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #13
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Another difference is fat/oil. On Paleo/Primal no soybean, corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, or peanut oils. Coconut, olive, and any animal fats are good. Butter/ghee is primal but not paleo.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:08 PM   #14
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The major difference between primal eating and Atkins is grains. Atkins allows them, and primal eating doesn't.

Also, primal eating is isn't necessarily low carb.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #15
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Primal/paleo is about eliminating fake, processed foods and all grains.
The whole30 challenge a few of us did is very restricted- no dairy(not even butter or ghee), no sweeteners(not even stevia), but the basic paleo plan isn't as strict.
Primal allows for stevia, butter, some dairy (but should be limited).
Over all they're both about clean, natural eating.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
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I really gotta slow down when I'm reading some of these threads - I thought the diagram said that the Primal Diet allowed Fruit Loops!

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Old 10-19-2011, 12:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The big difference is dairy. Primal allows it and most Paleo people don't. Some Paleo people will allow it but most do not.
The big difference between Primal and Paleo may be dairy, but that wasn't the question.

ETA: I was talking about dairy being a gray area in Primal (Mark Sisson refers to it being in "primal limbo")

Last edited by TigerlilyCA; 10-19-2011 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #18
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It is sort of interesting that low carb generally allows the hair of the dog that bit us, albeit in small and CONTROLLED amounts: wheat and other grains, legumes and starchy vegetables, fruits, artificial sweeteners. It also allows frankenfoods.

Paleo/primal allow only whole foods, no grains, no artificial sweetenders. Primal permits dairy. Both allow more carbs than low carb in the form of fruit and starchy vegetables. Honey is permitted.

There's also a fitness component to paleo/primal--short sprints and short bursts of heavy lifting and pushing--the kind of stuff a caveman would do.

I'm low carbing but trying to lean a bit more primal in my WOE--mostly whole foods, grass fed beef (we're lucky to have an inexpensive source) and, when I can, I get dairy and eggs from pastured animals (can't afford raw milk products). I've cut out legumes and grains entirely, even though I could be eating them in small amounts on low carb.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #19
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I follow the Primal Blueprint. I can confirm what others are saying about this WOE having less processed foods and more whole foods.

Dairy is in kind of a gray area. I eat some, but not very much. Probably an ounce 3-4 times per week.

All meats and low carb veggies are encouraged. Fats are encouraged if they are not overly processed. Berries and sweet potatoes are ok for maintenance, but Sisson warns people who are trying to lose weight to restrict them. At this point, I am avoiding them.

Eggs are ok, nuts are ok. Wine is ok in small amounts. Dark chocolate is ok in small amounts.

Grains are totally out even if they are low carb.

I eat this way because I feel better on whole foods and like knowing that I am not accidentally eating something in an unknown ingredient that may interfere with weight loss. Plus I like basic uncomplicated foods.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
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It is sort of interesting that low carb generally allows the hair of the dog that bit us, albeit in small and CONTROLLED amounts: wheat and other grains, legumes and starchy vegetables, fruits, artificial sweeteners. It also allows frankenfoods.
The first book that Atkins wrote really restricted a lot of these things, moreso than the later versions. Also, a lot of todays items didnt exist. Heck, ranch dressing didnt exist back then! I think the Atkins Group included a lot of things in the later versions to appeal to the masses. I much prefer the '72 version.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocahontas View Post
The first book that Atkins wrote really restricted a lot of these things, moreso than the later versions. Also, a lot of todays items didnt exist. Heck, ranch dressing didnt exist back then! I think the Atkins Group included a lot of things in the later versions to appeal to the masses. I much prefer the '72 version.
He loved soya powder, though. I had to live through soy flour recipes in the 80's. I will say we loved D-Zerta, though...
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:04 AM   #22
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I will add my son is doing Primal Blueprint, he started Feb 13 and by Aug 13 was down 60 pounds. I am so impressed I am going to read the book.

His wife just had their 3rd child 3 weeks ago and has started PB as of monday. She is having a very hard time becuase she is very carb addicted, so we will see how this goes with her. She has always used WW to lose the baby weight.


He eats nothing processed, nothing bad it drives me crazy because I have such a hard time cooking a Sunday dinner for him.

Dinner
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:08 AM   #23
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I will add my son is doing Primal Blueprint, he started Feb 13 and by Aug 13 was down 60 pounds. I am so impressed I am going to read the book.

His wife just had their 3rd child 3 weeks ago and has started PB as of monday. She is having a very hard time becuase she is very carb addicted, so we will see how this goes with her. She has always used WW to lose the baby weight.


He eats nothing processed, nothing bad it drives me crazy because I have such a hard time cooking a Sunday dinner for him.

Dinner
Roast Beef with carrots, onions, and some red potatoes. He can avoid the potatoes if he wants.

Roast chicken, same as above.

Roast turkey, same as above.

Salmon, roasted veggies (I toss bags of frozen veggies in oil and roast at 275 for at least 20 minutes), salad

Taco salad.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:27 PM   #24
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Heck, ranch dressing didnt exist back then!
Actually, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing was invented in the 1950s... And for years before that, esp in the South were oil was scarce and expensive after the civil war, people had been using sour cream and buttermilk based dressings.

Atkins did allow alot of processed foods, gelatin, artificial sweetners, soy flour. Dont get me wrong, I love the guy and he pioneered low carb eating, but he really didnt have a huge focus on organic whole foods, it was all focused on carb counts.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Atkins did allow alot of processed foods, gelatin, artificial sweetners, soy flour. Dont get me wrong, I love the guy and he pioneered low carb eating, but he really didnt have a huge focus on organic whole foods, it was all focused on carb counts.
Atkins was very much a guy of his times. That's how people ate in the 70's and 80's when Atkins was in his prime. Nobody ever heard of 'grass fed beef" or "pastured" animals, soy was the miracle food, packaged foods were considered man's gift to woman-kind (because in the 70's and 80's we could finally work for a living AND cook the food), and nobody understood the dangers of PUFA's, and conventional agriculture was happening, but the general public didn't want to know about it.

I suspect that if Atkins was around today, he'd be telling everyone to eat more cleanly--pastured, grass-fed, organic, avoiding soy, etc. But in the context of his time, he was way ahead.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Atkins was very much a guy of his times. That's how people ate in the 70's and 80's when Atkins was in his prime. Nobody ever heard of 'grass fed beef" or "pastured" animals, soy was the miracle food, packaged foods were considered man's gift to woman-kind (because in the 70's and 80's we could finally work for a living AND cook the food), and nobody understood the dangers of PUFA's, and conventional agriculture was happening, but the general public didn't want to know about it.

I suspect that if Atkins was around today, he'd be telling everyone to eat more cleanly--pastured, grass-fed, organic, avoiding soy, etc. But in the context of his time, he was way ahead.
Agreed.


I don't eat most of the packaged "low carb" foods that are around, I stick to food food, with few ingredients, mostly what I can pronounce (except for diet soda). But, just like someone on WW could eat only Oreos and technically be within their points, someone could fill up on crappy "LC" food too. I choose not to.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #27
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Agreed.


I don't eat most of the packaged "low carb" foods that are around, I stick to food food, with few ingredients, mostly what I can pronounce (except for diet soda). But, just like someone on WW could eat only Oreos and technically be within their points, someone could fill up on crappy "LC" food too. I choose not to.
Me either. I stay away from frankenfoods. The only thing I do that is not real food is artificial sweetener which I am attempting to ween myself from. I have never had an Atkins bar or the like.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #28
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the big difference for ME is that if I ate the range of foods Primal diets suggest, I would gain weight (unless I stuck to starvation calorie levels.) Some (most?) of us here are too sensitive to carbs to eat stuff like fruit and sweet potatoes regularly!
Yup. A clean Atkins that excludes some of the higher rung foods has been best for me. Too much starch on Paleo/Primal plans, and I'm doing okay with dairy these days so long as it is high fat and I'm not also eating things like grains, which flare up my sensitivities.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #29
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I think a big difference is that Atkins is weight loss plan
Paleo is a lifestyle plan, that may or may not cause you to lose weight,
but certainly can't be faulted for it's health benefits.
the difficulty with going full paleo is finding the foods AS THEY WERE WHEN OUR ANCESTORS ATE THEM....That means foods grown without any gmo, fertilizer or insectiside etc. Meats that are free range animals with no hormones or grain feeding etc.
fish that are wild caught (forget about "from clean water" cause that is simply impossible)
and so on. It's also likely that our paleo ancestors endured periods of fasting due to lean times.
All we can do is eat as healthy as our availability and budgets will allow.
the typical American diet is so horrible that it doesn't take much effort to vastly improve on it. Fortunately there is growning awareness about healthy food choices. Even at Walmart I can meet most of my lc and healthy needs. Main exception is grass fed meat.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #30
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Quote:
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I think a big difference is that Atkins is weight loss plan
Paleo is a lifestyle plan, that may or may not cause you to lose weight,
but certainly can't be faulted for it's health benefits.
the difficulty with going full paleo is finding the foods AS THEY WERE WHEN OUR ANCESTORS ATE THEM....That means foods grown without any gmo, fertilizer or insectiside etc. Meats that are free range animals with no hormones or grain feeding etc.
fish that are wild caught (forget about "from clean water" cause that is simply impossible)
and so on. It's also likely that our paleo ancestors endured periods of fasting due to lean times.
All we can do is eat as healthy as our availability and budgets will allow.
the typical American diet is so horrible that it doesn't take much effort to vastly improve on it. Fortunately there is growning awareness about healthy food choices. Even at Walmart I can meet most of my lc and healthy needs. Main exception is grass fed meat.
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