Deciding to eat a Paleo diet can be a major life-changing decision for people. Many people have lost weight, felt better and had more energy by adopting a Paleo diet.
But what do you eat on a Paleo diet?
Eat like your hunter-gatherer ancestors would have.
Eat a variety of colorful vegetables including:
- Dark Greek Leafy Vegetables (kale, collards, char, lettuces)
- brussel sprouts
- bell peppers
- sweet potatoes
- And many more
On a Paleo diet you’ll be eating A LOT of vegetables. Try eating a variety of them.
Vegetables to Avoid:
For most people that are looking to improve their health or lose weight they should avoid white potatoes.
And if you’re looking to lose weight you’ll want to minimize the amount of sweet potatoes and yams you eat because of the sugar load in these vegetables. (The starch in root vegetables gets converted into sugar when we eat it.)
2. Eat Meat
Try for grass-fed if possible (better fatty acid profile).
- beef (ground beef, steaks, roasts or other cuts)
- game meats (deer, elk, wild birds, etc..)
- organ meats
3. Eat Seafood
Try to eat wild-caught fish at least three times per week to get a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. (Salmon, herring and mackerel are good sources of this fatty acid.)
- Shellfish (including: mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, lobster and crab)
4. Eat Eggs
Most people can consume eggs. But if you have an auto-immune condition and are trying to avoid common allergens then you’ll want to eliminate eggs for one month, then re-introducing them to see if it impacts your condition.
Eating a Paleo breakfast without eggs would be a bit challenging, but definitely do-able. People that follow the “Wahls Protocol” don’t eat eggs. (This is a great book written by Dr. Terry Wahls outlining how she helped beat progressive multiple sclerosis with diet and exercise.)
5. Eat Fruit
Fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and water, but if you’re trying to lose weight you should avoid dried fruit.
Below are some fruits that are lower in sugar.
I feel that if you need a “snack” and you’re tempted to break your Paleo diet by reaching for a cinnamon bun or candy, you should reach for some fruit instead. Yes, an apple is higher in sugar than the fruits I mentioned above but its still better than what you were probably eating before going Paleo.
6. Eat Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be a great snack or as a topping to a salad.
But nuts and seeds do contain a lot of fat. So if you’re trying to lose weight don’t go overboard. Dr. Loren Cordain in his book “The Paleo Diet Cookbook” says that if you’re trying to lose weight on the Paleo diet you shouldn’t eat more than 1/4 pound (or 4 ounces) of nuts per day.
Examples of Paleo Nuts and Seeds:
- sunflower seeds
- sesame seeds
- brazil nuts
- chia seeds
Note: Avoid peanuts. Peanuts are legumes (beans) and not truly nuts.
7. Oils to use
Acceptable oils to use for cooking and as dressing varies by Paleo books. Some say eat this oil, but not that one.
Dr. Cordain says the Paleo-acceptable oils are:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- walnut oil
- flaxseed oil
Avoid: vegetable oil and canola oil
These may be “inflammatory” to your body.
Avoid added sugars.
If you’re trying to lose weight and feel better then you don’t want to eat added sugar or products that contain added sugar. That is like throwing gas onto a flame.
Avoid Grains (including rice)
Avoid legumes (beans…including peanuts and soy)
I hope you’ve found this concise list of Paleo foods helpful and easy to understand. Seeing it all written out like this makes you realize that eating Paleo can be easy and there is a huge variety of foods you can eat.
I’ve tried my best to ensure accuracy but if you think I need to add anything to this list of Paleo foods or ones I need to remove please let me know by commenting below.