Now the famous questions: What can I eat on the paleo diet? Can you give me a simple START Paleo Food List I can follow?
The paleo diet isn’t like any of the other “diets” you’ve tried. As you can read about on my other pages, The Paleo Diet and What Is the Paleo Diet?, we’re talking about a template, a way of eating. So if you veer off the diet and eat a few foods on the forbidden non-paleo list, you don’t need to feel guilty and consider yourself unfit to call yourself “paleo.” (Hey, take it from me—nobody’s perfect!) The idea is to feed ourselves with the foods that our bodies are naturally designed to eat as best as we can. How you choose to use this paleo food list and which template to follow are choices for YOU to make.
That being said, you’ll see that many of the foods on the “acceptable” paleo food list are actually delicious and really satisfying, and foods you may already be eating. After getting past any possible initial carb and sugar withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be able to come up with paleo meals and snacks that will not leave you feeling restricted, yet give you loads of alive, and strong, help balance those hormones and a host fo other changes. Stop by my Recipes page for some paleo cooking ideas!
Remember, the paleo diet is not a “one-size-fits-all” diet. YOU know your body best and which foods you should eat and avoid.
BASIC APPROVED PALEO FOOD LIST
It’s best to think in terms of what you can eat on the paleo gluten-free diet rather than what you can’t. Please do what fit s within your budget and do the best you can. Here’s a simple breakdown of acceptable and unacceptable foods for the diet for those who want the absolute basics:
ACCEPTABLE ON THE BASIC PALEO GLUTEN-FREE DIET:
- Organic seasonal fruits and vegetables (use organic as often as possible)
- Animal proteins such as grass-fed meat, free-range fowl, and wild-caught fish, etc. (grass fed is more costly, so if you cannot access it purchase what you can and take more Omega 3’s)
- Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil (nuts in excess will possibly halt your weight loss, so be aware of that)
- Oils from fruits or tree nuts such as olive oil and avocado oil, although some don’t recommend these for cooking but rather to add uncooked for flavor ( do not heat up my olive oil, I use coconut oil on the stove)
- Grass-fed meat is important because it contains the proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the greens and seeds the animals feed on. Organ meats and bone marrow are good choices. If you’re not able to buy grass-fed meat, aim for organic lean meats.
- Beverages: Spring water, green tea, coconut water, coffee (although this is debated by some, so do your own homework)
- Sweeteners: Raw honey in limited amounts, coconut palm sugar, maple sugar, Lo-Han, Erythritol (if weight loss is your goal, avoid these as much as possible or all together)
NOT ACCEPTABLE ON THE PALEO GLUTEN-FREE DIET:
- Sweeteners: agave nectar and all those other “fake” sugars
- All Cereal grains and legumes such as barley, wheat, rye, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black-eyed peas
- Vegetable, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils: corn oil, Crisco, margarines, soybean oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil
- Sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices, even fruit juices
- Dairy products, although butter and heavy cream may be okay if raw, full-fat or fermented—this is debated amongst different paleo groups and individuals. How YOUR body does on them is what is most important.
- Processed meats
- Some paleo diet advocates argue that salt or sweeteners shouldn’t be added to food. In time, your taste buds will adjust if you try to stay off them. I personally use all the sea salt I want. I feel healthier with salts and so this is MY gauge. I am an active outdoor woman and salt and potassium help me stay balanced, and replenished.
- Alcoholic beverages (According to PaleoDiet.com, “No published paleo diet includes alcohol. But if you are going to drink it, pick one from fermented fruit and water it down to 6%.”) Most beer is made from Barley (grain) Alcohol is high in sugar. Does is help your body? Use this question as your gauge when you are aiming to get healthier, stronger, leaner and heal up your body.
I hope this has been helpful!