Don’t be put off by the number of foods that you are not allowed to eat as there’s a vast range of Paleo-approved foods that will allow you to prepare delicious meals and snacks. In today’s post, we introduce you to a list of 100 foods to eat and avoid on the paleo diet.
If you’re inquisitive about the paleo diet plan but don’t think you wish to be so strict, you do not need to be all-or-nothing along with your approach. Consider adopting some eating patterns from paleo and skipping the ones that don’t work for you. As an example, try just eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing on added sugars. If you’re feeling unsure about grains or dairy, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian to work out what’s best for your body.
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Who Should NOT Try the Paleo Diet?
Before starting to try the paleo diet, be sure to discuss any underlying health issues with your physician. People at risk for heart disease, those who have kidney disease, and those who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent) should avoid the paleo diet.
If your doctor gives you the blessing to try the plan, now is the time to toss the foods that aren’t allowed and stock up the ones that are.
List of Foods and Drinks to Avoid on Paleo Diet
Many common foods in the traditional diet are not allowed in the paleo diet.
You may find the top foods to avoid on the Paleo diet listed below:
- Processed foods (including frozen or processed ones), packaged foods or snacks
- Salty foods
- Sweetened beverages
- Drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Pasta (including whole-wheat and gluten-free)
- Beans, lentils, and peanuts
- Refined vegetable oils
- Refined sugar: white and brown sugars, corn syrup, and candy
How Does Avoiding Some Foods Affect Your Health on Paleo Diet?
Because of the exclusion of major food groups considered healthy by most standards, dairy, whole grains, beans, and lentils, following the Paleo diet long term may lead to nutrient deficiencies, physicians warn.
Whole grains are an important source of nutrition, aside from cholesterol-lowering fiber, these complex carbohydrates source B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and minerals including iron, magnesium, and selenium. While the paleo diet is based on a high veggie intake with fruits included as well, its followers will be missing out on rich sources of nutrients from whole grains, soy foods, and legumes. Be sure to discuss any diet changes with your doctor if you’re new to the paleo diet to make sure the plan is safe for you.
What Can I Eat on the Paleo Diet? List of Foods for Paleo Diet
“Protein is another hallmark of the paleo diet, but this isn’t a free pass to just eat processed meat all day and you may opt-in for the nitrate-free one when possible.
We should also note that anything on the sea is fair game on the paleo diet (big news for seafood lovers 😉). Here are the best sources of protein on the paleo diet:
- Chicken (preferably free-range)
- Wild boar
- Bacon (nitrate-free)
- Beef (preferably naturally bred)
Fish (Preferably not-farmed ones)
Shellfish (Preferably Wild-Caught)
Fruit can be a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings on the paleo diet. We should note out that No packaged sweets (such as cookies, cakes, brownies, and etc.) are allowed on the Paleo plan.
Here are some of the fruits you can eat on your paleo plan:
- Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries
- Watermelon and cantaloupe
If you’re on paleo you should think of this as a diet with tons of fresh vegetables as the main source of what you’ll be eating.
Here are some of the best veggies to gather up if you’re trying the paleo diet:
- Tomatoes (even sun-dried)
- Romaine lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Pumpkin Seeds
Fat is a critical component in your diet, and you’ll be getting fat from the protein you eat, but you’ll need some other types for cooking and flavor.
Here are some of the healthy fats you should eat on the paleo diet:
- Olive oil (my number one preference)
- Coconut oil
- Chia seeds
Nuts and Nut Butters
- Almond butter without sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
You should choose the eggs from fully pastured or free-range chickens.
Herbs and Spices
To make your foods like veggies and protein taste great you would prefer to spice them up a bit. Use new flavors, and keep in mind that many herbs and spices have health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties.
You may consider adding the following paleo-friendly spices to flavor your dishes:
- Vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar)
- Fresh chives
- Cacao powder
Good hydration isn’t just key for weight loss success but it’s also important to help digestion. Here are some of the best ways to hydrate yourself on the paleo diet:
- Gluten-free spirits
- Black coffee
- Low-sugar hard cider
- Unsweetened sparkling water (no artificial sweeteners)
- Herbal and matcha tea
- Coconut water
- Bone broth
As a paleo diet follower, you may avoid sweeteners of any kind, but not all sweeteners are actually forbidden. If you’re looking to lose weight, just remember moderation is key.
Here are some of the sweeteners that are allowed on the paleo diet:
- Raw honey (my choice)
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
- Date sugar
The paleo diet focuses on consuming high-quality, whole foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. The paleo diet encourages choosing seasonal, organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, pasture-raised, and wild-caught food where possible. Also avoid processed foods, trans fats, and additives where possible and no consumption of dairy, legumes, grains, industrial seed oil, sugar, or artificial sweeteners
The paleo diet isn’t a low carb diet, but the absence of grains naturally leads to a lower carbohydrate intake.
We hope that our list of foods to eat and avoid on the paleo diet will help you decide easier on your meal plans. Please feel free to contribute in the comments…
Paleo Or Whole Food Plant-Based? Which Diet Do The Scientific Studies Show To Be Healthier?
Brenda Davis, R.D., registered dietitian and nutritionist, weighs the pros and cons of a whole food diet vs the paleo diet and why the paleo diet gains popularity over other alternatives.