The paleo diet is based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It includes whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they look like in nature.
Our ancestors were genetically the same as modern humans. They thrived eating such foods and were free of diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (without calorie counting) and major improvements in health.
Avoid these foods and ingredients:
- Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.
- Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
- Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy like butter and cheese).
- Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil and others.
- Trans Fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Sucralose, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Acesulfame Potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
- Highly Processed Foods: Everything labelled “diet” or “low-fat” or has many weird ingredients. Includes artificial meal replacements.
A simple guideline: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!
If you want to avoid these ingredients, then you MUST read ingredients lists, even on foods that are labelled as “health foods.”
Base your diet on these real, unprocessed paleo foods.
- Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
- Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries, avocados and more.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
- Healthy Fats and Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and others.
- Salt and Spices: Sea salt, himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
Try to choose grass-fed, pasture raised and organic if you can afford it. If not, then just make sure to always go for the least processed option.
There is an incredible variety of foods you can eat on the paleo diet.
This simple shopping list should give you an idea of how to get started.
- Meat: beef, lamb, pork, etc.
- Poultry: chicken, turkey, etc.
- Fish: salmon, trout, mackerel, etc.
- Fresh vegetables: greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: broccoli, spinach, various mixes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, pears, oranges, avocado.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts.
- Almond butter.
- Coconut oil.
- Olive oil.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, parsley, etc.
It is a good idea to clear all unhealthy temptations from your home, including sodas, pastries, cookies, crackers, bread, ice cream and cereals.
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