The Complete Paleo Diet Food List: What To Eat And What To Avoid
The paleo diet is meant to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. But what foods should you eat to follow this diet and what foods do you want to avoid? If you’re new to the paleo diet, knowing what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be hard. As with most diets, there are foods that are allowed and not allowed. Some foods also fall into a bit of a grey area and are sometimes allowed.
Our ultimate list of paleo-approved foods will help simplify your planning if you’re dining out or cooking at home. Whether you’re a beginner, looking for a refresher on the rules or just want to adopt some of the healthiest parts of the Paleo Diet, here’s what you need to know to eat paleo.
What Really Make This Book Unique Is The 105 Creative And Unique Paleo And Gluten
- The caveman breakfast hash, the glorious morning smoothie or the primal blueberry waffles for nutritious breakfast selections.
- Super easy to make snacks options like fresh berry cereal, pumpkin pie spice sweet potato or spicy cauliflower.
- Lunch will be a breeze with recipes like the macadamia hummus, the paleo prawns with tomato sauce or the sautÃ©ed coconut chicken.
- Mouth-watering dinner recipes like the stuffed sea bass, the primal chicken fajitas or herb crusted pork tenderloin.
- A sweet finishing touch with recipes like ginger brownies, sweet and salty chocolate barks or the honey coated walnuts and peaches.
Let’s start cooking! Scroll back up and order your copy today!
Where Can I Get Even More Info
If youre looking to read more about the Paleo Diet, I have a few resources to recommend. The main links are free resources, the indented links are books available for sale on Amazon:
The Nerd Fitness Academy Yup, tooting my own horn here. Iâm a fan of the Paleo Diet, but I know it can be intimidating, so Iâve created a diet philosophy that allows you to slowly ease into the Paleo lifestyle. I still include minimal resources for vegans and vegetarians if thatâs your thing, but I focused on making this whole âdietâ thing enjoyable and educational.
Easily the most comprehensive resource on the Internet for the Paleo Diet â Mark writes an article every weekday about everything Paleo, and it usually blows me away. Some of the posts can get overwhelming, so I suggest starting with his Primal Blueprint 101.
The Primal Blueprint If you want to read about this stuff in a book rather than on a computer screen, Markâs book The Primal Blueprint is a fantastic place to get started on not only what to eat, but why you should be eating it. Itâs educational, funny, real-world applicable, and teaches you how to primalize the rest of your life too.
Robb Wolf Another great resource, and a guy Iâve already referenced in this article multiple times. Check out his site for a comprehensive FAQ on all things Paleo, a shopping list pdf , and plenty of humor.
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Does Eating Fat Make You Fat
If youâre cutting back on carbs, that means youâll need to fill the void in your diet with the most controversial macronutrient:
Itâs gotten a bad rap over the past number of decades, so companies have been doing everything possible to make everything low fat and âhealthy!â .
Yupâ¦cut out the fat, increase the carbsâ¦.and look where THAT has gotten us.
Why has fat been vilified? Rather than get into the politics of it myself, Iâll let Gary Taubes, author of the incredibly thorough and well-researched Good Calories, Bad Calories take over.
As he discusses in an article he wrote for the New York Times a decade ago:
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time.
In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma.
They say that low-fat weight-loss diets have proved in clinical trials and real life to be dismal failures, and that on top of it all, the percentage of fat in the American diet has been decreasing for two decades.
Our cholesterol levels have been declining, and we have been smoking less, and yet the incidence of heart disease has not declined as would be expected. That is very disconcerting, Willett says. It suggests that something else bad is happening.
That something is usually sugar .
What Is A Modified Paleo Diet
Throughout the years the Paleo diet has been tweaked and adjusted confusing and sometimes causing drama in the Paleo community.
Some Paleo diets include dairy, some grains, and beans while others follow the strict rules of the original diet.
Yes, but heres what you need to keep in mind. Whether you chose a strict or modified Paleo diet, the best version is the one you can stick with.
If youve been struggling with your weight and youre ready for a change then look at the Paleo diet as a lifestyle rather than a diet.
Ultimately, your health matters more than than a list of rules.
Finding the right combination of foods for your body is more meaningful than being able to shout from the mountaintops that youre 100% Paleo!
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What Does Steve Think About The Diet
Iâm a fan of the Paleo Diet because it makes logical sense to me. I know we existed as a species 150,000 years ago, I know the agricultural revolution didnât happen until 10,000 years ago, which means we had 140,000 years without grains. In that time we learned to thrive as a species without grains .
The other reason Iâm a fan is because you can eat what you want , when you want, and eat however much of it you like. Eat a huge breakfast, skip lunch, and a big dinner. Eat a small breakfast, two snacks, and then dinner. Do whatever makes you happy and fits in your schedule. I like this kind of stress-free eating.
Regardless of whether or not grains should be vilified, I love this diet because I know it WORKS. I know people that have lost incredible amounts of weight and changed their lives within a matter of months.
The diet portion of The Nerd Fitness Academy, is designed around the Paleo Diet because I know it works.
Regardless of how you feel about grains, we can all agree that eating more natural foods and less processed foods is better for you.
Simple Grilled Fish With Moroccan Spiced Tomatoes
This delicious North African sauce with aromatic spices goes well with sea bream, sea bass or barbecued sardines
This all-in-one side dish can double up as a veggie main course, perfect for summer
A meaty main or lovely lunch that will be ready in just 25 minutes
Good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
Serve lean fillet steak with a rich, Italian-style pepper, olive and caper sauce and wilted spinach
A super-simple fruit salad for breakfast and beyond, sweetened with honey and packed with nutrients
You can’t beat this low-fat, one-pot recipe for an easy meal, bursting with summer colour and flavour
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The Paleo Diet Beginners Guide Including Best Vs Worst Foods
In the past few decades, our diets have changed dramatically. Highly processed foods are more common than fruits and vegetables, as Americans opt for convenient choices that fit in to their busy lifestyles. Enter the Paleo diet plan, which seeks to ditch processed options in favor of the foods eaten by our ancestors.
The Paleo diet has been associated with many health benefits, from better blood sugar levels to reduced inflammation. Its considered one of the best diets to lose weight because its high in protein and fat and emphasizes the consumption of nutrients.
It may also increase satiety and help correct nutrient deficiencies. Still, the diet has remained the subject of much controversy in recent years.
Despite this, the Paleo diet plan remains very popular, and there is a massive community of people who swear by it, claiming that it can be a convenient, easy-to-follow and effective way to attain better health.
So what is it, and does it work? Heres your Paleo diet beginners guide.
Is The Paleo Diet Dangerous
The dismissive criticisms of the Paleo Diet generally fall into one of three categories:
- Cavemen had short lifespans. So there.
- A recent article said that cavemen ate grains. So there.
- Eating that much meat is unhealthy. So there.
As I said at the beginning of this article, it doesnt matter what cavemen or cavewomen ACTUALLY ate.
The reason this diet works has nothing to do with what our bodies are designed to eat or what cavemen ate 1,000s of years ago.
The Paleo Diet CAN help you lose weight because it gets you to cut out junk food, focus on eating real food, and gives you a framework to evaluate quickly every food choice:
Did a caveman eat this? Yes or no.
By following this ONE rule, youre likely to eat fewer calories than you used to, and thus youre likely to end up healthier than before.
I personally dont follow a Paleo Diet, but I do appreciate the fact that its easy to comprehend and gets people to take a more active approach in their food!
So, disregarding the fear-mongering, dogma, and anthropological criticisms of what cavemen actually ate, what are the ACTUAL critiques of the Paleo Diet?
#1) Why is the Paleo Diet expensive?
Admittedly, while I recommend eating organic fruits and veggies, free-range chicken, and grass-fed beef whenever possible, these products can be more expensive in conventional stores due to the processes needed to get them there.
Again we dont really care to live like cave people!
Cue the Baltimora!
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But I Cant Give Up My Muffin Pasta Bagel Pizza And Bread
Okay then, donât try the Paleo Diet! Simple as that.
If youâre happy with how you look, your energy levels are good all day, and you donât see any room for improvement, then keep doing what youâre doing â I wonât force you to eat like this. However, if youâve been struggling with weight loss, have no energy throughout the day, need eight cups of coffee, hate counting calories, and want to start turning your life around today, why not give it a shot for 30 days?
TRY IT: If after 30 days you havenât noticed a marked improvement in your quest for a better life, then go back to the donuts. Itâs important to give yourself a full 30 days before passing judgment. Your body has to adjust from fueling itself on carbs and sugar to burning your stored fat for energy, which can take a few weeks.
If youâre not willing to cut out grains from your diet completely, just work on MINIMIZING those foods gradually and see how your body adjusts. Slow transitions are often much easier to handle over the long-term the more you can shift your diet closer to Paleo principles, the faster youâll start to see results.
What About The Similarities Between Paleo And Keto Diets
Of course, there are also similarities between these two diets. There are many foods – and recipes – that overlap and can be enjoyed on both the paleo diet and the keto diet. And both diets avoid foods that are typically higher in carbs like processed foods, fast food, and junk food.
Between these two diets, the paleo diet tends to be the least restrictive. This makes it a great choice if you want to dip your toes into a low carb diet, without needing to track macros. While all the recipes I post on Cook Eat Well are paleo-friendly, many are also keto-friendly. And with so many healthy foods that cross over between these two diets, there’s no reason why you couldn’t mix some keto recipes into your weekly meal plan!
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Why Would You Want To Eat Like A Caveman
Everybody knows that they should eat food which is good for them, and avoid junk food. But the question arises: what is the best food to eat? What is the best food to eat in order to be strong, fit and healthy? What food should you be eating in order to maintain your body in the best possible health? What foods are best suited to human beings? What is the natural diet for humans?
Imagine you were a zookeeper who had the responsibility for feeding the animals such as lions and penguins, etc. What would you feed them? Probably you would research what these animals ate in the wild.
None of the animals would eat bread or pasta or chocolate or any other foods that are not natural for them. The food they eat is the food they have evolved to eat over thousands of years.
If they eat food which is natural to them, then they will be healthy. If you fed a penguin only chicken or fruit and no fish, then eventually it would become ill. If you fed a lion fruit or chocolate or broccoli, but no meat then eventually it would become ill. If the animals stray from their natural diet then eventually they will become ill.
So this leads us to the question: what is the natural diet for humans? What have we evolved to eat? What type of food keeps us in the best possible health? What did humans eat in the wild? What did humans eat when we were hunter gatherers?
Paleo Air Fryer Recipes
These satisfying paleo air fryer recipes are the perfect alternative to traditional deep-fried dishes. Think crispy sweet potato fries, chicken nuggets, and even Buffalo chicken wings with ranch dressing! This is a great option if you’re looking for healthier options that won’t leave you feeling deprived of your favorites.
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Do I Need To Eat Every 3 Hours
Nope. Eat when youâre hungry, donât eat when youâre not. Going again back to our evolutionary history, we didnât always have the luxury of going to a vending machine or drive-through window to pick up food. Sometimes weâd go all day long, or even days at a time, without finding any food. Luckily, weâre designed to use our excess fat stores as energy in these situations.
Donât worry about eating every three hours.
Sometimes, itâs even okay to skip a meal or two, as long as you donât go berserk and eat 7 pizzas because youâre so hungry afterward.
Dont worry about hitting a specific amount of calories each day. If youre not hungry, dont eat.
This type of eating is generally referred to as Intermittent Fasting.
Easy Paleo Dips & Salsas For Entertaining
Guac lovers, rejoice! Many of your favorite dips and salsas are still fair-game for snacks or if you’re entertaining a crowd. These easy paleo dips and salsa recipes are perfect no matter whether you’re planning for game day or your afternoon snack. You’ll find guacamole, baba ganoush, salsa recipes and more!
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Paleo Meatballs With Zoodles
The fun in this recipe comes from creating your own meatballs. It can be ready to eat in under an hour, making it a great recipe to put together on a weeknight or in a family with small children. This recipe also doesnt integrate its ingredients as much as the other recipes, meaning you can substitute any core ingredient you dont like with another one. For example, if you arent fond of tomatoes, you could add mushrooms to the dish instead though you should also expect your macronutrients to change.
Adjusting Recipes Based On Your Nutrition Goals
Now that you know how many calories you need each day, you may find that the calories for the recipes below may either be too low or too high.
If you need to increase your calorie intake all you need to do is multiple the portions to match your calorie needs.
For example, if you need 1800 calories per day, youll need to increase portions by a factor of 1.28 . Just multiply all ingredients by a factor of 1.28 and your set! If you consume a 2,000 calorie diet, then simply multiply by 1.43 .
Lastly, if you require extra calories, this meal plan also has really fun and exciting paleo snack options to help you bridge any gaps in your nutrition, all while keeping your food exciting and delicious .
Let’s get to it.
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Finding The Best Paleo Approved Foods
The paleo diet is based around what presumably hunt-gatherers ate in the paleolithic era.
Due to the nature of eliminating certain foods that don’t meet the paleo criteria, it is important to understand what foods can be had and what foods ought to be eliminated with this lifestyle. See the video below for a quick and comprehensive look into this topic.