Living the paleo lifestyle begins with choosing the right foods to fuel your body. Here’s a good starter list of paleo diet foods you can eat, and which ones shouldn’t be on your menu.
GOOD PALEO FOODS TO EAT
Meats – just about every kind of meat is paleo, with the exception of processed meats such as hot dogs, Spam, bologna, and so on. Choose grass-fed beef and free range poultry over grain-fed meats whenever possible.
Fish – freshwater and saltwater fish provide great nutrition for the paleo lifestyle. Avoid farm-raised fish and choose fresh-caught instead.
Eggs – eggs are paleo and rich in protein and omega3 oils. Choose eggs that come from cage-free/free range hens if possible.
Oils/Fats – minimally processed oils and fats are good for you on the paleo diet. Healthy choices include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee and grass-fed butter.
Vegetables – almost all are perfect for the paleo lifestyle. Just avoid those higher in starch and lower in nutrients – especially white potatoes. Also note most legumes (especially dried beans) corn and peanuts are on the do-not-eat list.
Fruits – concentrate mainly on berries to avoid consuming too much fructose (sugar), especially if your goal is to lose weight on the paleo lifestyle.
Nuts – okay to eat, but do so in moderation due to some toxins and generally high omega6 content.
FOODS TO AVOID ON THE PALEO DIET
Processed/Junk foods – if it comes in a box, package, pop-top can or fast-food wrapper, it probably includes additives, preservatives, sugars, processed oils, or any number of things that add useless carbs and health-robbing ingredients to your diet. Think wholesome fresh food and steer clear of pretty much everything else.
Grains – wheat, rye, barley, rice, corn – all grains and products made from grain such as cereals and breads should be avoided following the paleo lifestyle.
Sugars – definitely no table sugar, brown sugar, powered sugar, cane sugar and similar refined sugars that provide no nutritional value and can be downright harmful. Sweeteners that are better for you (but should still be limited to small amounts) include raw honey, coconut sugar, and pure maple syrup.
Vegetable oils – consuming heavily processed and chemically refined oils (corn oil, canola oil, seed oils) may cause inflammation and possibly lead to more serious problems.
Dairy – no milk, ice cream, cheeses, yogurt, pudding, and so on. We make an exception for grass-fed butter or ghee, however if you want to follow a strict paleo diet, avoid those too.
Soft drinks – no sodas, and it doesn’t matter if they’re “diet” – avoid them all. Get used to drinking pure water instead.
Fruit juices – most fruit juices are about the same as a glass full of sugar water. Enjoy whole fruits instead.
Legumes – most beans, particularly dried beans such as lentils and navy beans, contain toxins and other stuff that can be bad for your digestive system. This includes peanuts. Fresh green beans and peas are less toxic, and when cooked, are fairly benign.
Starchy vegetables – it’s best to avoid white potatoes, squash, beets and other vegetables higher in starch and lower in nutritional value. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with them, you’ll look and feel better limiting your intake of starch – especially if you’re trying to lose weight.