Paleo diet fruit: A Detailed Paleo Diet Food List of What to Eat and Avoid
A Detailed Paleo Diet Food List of What to Eat and Avoid
Those claims aren’t always backed up by scientific evidence.
For instance, promoters of the paleo diet say wheat consumption is linked to chronic digestive and inflammatory illnesses, but there’s no firm evidence that people who have not been diagnosed with the autoimmune condition celiac disease should avoid wheat and other gluten-laden foods. (3)
The paleo diet eliminates dairy because its advocates say many people are lactose intolerant, and because eating dairy has been associated with Crohn’s disease, among other claims. (4) While you wouldn’t want to eat lactose (a sugar found in dairy) if your body can’t tolerate it, there’s no proof that eating dairy causes Crohn’s or worsens symptoms in those who have been diagnosed. (5)
Similarly, paleo fans eschew legumes (beans and peas), soy, and peanuts because of a compound called phytic acid; but phytic acid may not be as harmful as they believe.
Phytic acid is a natural compound found in the seeds of plants, including nuts, grains, and beans. “It’s sometimes called an ‘anti-nutrient’ — or food inhibitor — because it can block the absorption of some minerals in the gut during digestion,” Hultin says.
But researchshows that in varied, balanced diets, the effects of phytic acid are not generally worrisome and that our guts can adapt to a diet that’s high in phytic acid. (6) Plus, some of these foods — particularly beans — offer many compounds and are linked to positive health outcomes, such as a lower risk for metabolic disease, heart disease, and diabetes, according to a May 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (7)
Other food exclusions mandated in the paleo diet do have a clear and proven health benefit for all individuals. “Another group of foods you’ll cut out are processed vegetable oils and refined sugar, including white and brown sugars, agave, corn syrup, and all artificial sweeteners,” Hultin says. An April 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that added sugars have been linked in studies to a host of health problems, such as increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. (8)
What To Eat and Avoid
The Paleolithic diet or “caveman diet” has been a popular approach to weight loss for years. Mainly because it works! And because unlike many fad diets that certainly “work” at targeting weight loss, the paleo diet also incorporates the basic principles of nutrition and is pretty sustainable long term.
Because of its simple principles and whole food approach to eating, it is pretty easy to tell which foods fit into a paleo meal plan and which don’t. Below is our complete list of paleo friendly foods to include in your diet as well as which foods to avoid.
What is Paleo?
The Paleo diet follows the basic principle of “eat foods a caveman would have access to.” Or better yet known as “eat whole foods. ” This would include plenty of healthy fats, proteins and produce, but exclude grains, dairy and processed foods. This diet also emphasizes grass-fed, sustainably caught and free range options – similar to the type of protein options a caveman would have to hunt or gather on their own.
The theory behind this style of eating stems from the theory that our DNA make-up has changed very little since paleolithic times, yet our diets have changed drastically. And paleo advocates argue that we have fallen susceptible to numerous diet related diseases because of our modern diet (1).
While the research behind this theory is far from conclusive, a well executed paleo diet is one way to focus on nutrient dense foods and might be a sustainable approach to weight loss and better health for some.
The Benefits Of A Paleo Diet
Perhaps one of the largest benefits of a paleo diet, from a nutritional standpoint, is that it is a balanced way of eating. This sets most participants up with a great framework for not only losing weight, but actually eating a healthier diet.
Growing research continues to suggest that eating a diet consisting of mostly whole foods is associated with more weight loss (2,3,4). Not to mention that highly processed foods tend to be higher in added sugar, sodium and trans fats, which research suggests may play a role in increased inflammation and actually counteract your weight loss efforts (5).
Is Paleo Gluten Free?
Because a paleo diet excludes all grains – including wheat, rye and barley, a paleo diet is also naturally gluten-free. And for those looking to avoid gluten, paleo options are a safe bet!
How a Paleo Diet Helps With Weight Loss
An added benefit of the paleo diet is the simplicity of it. The rule to “eat foods a caveman would have access to” makes it very easy to shop, plan, and stick with the diet.
Even when eating out, or ordering food, it is still relatively easy to differentiate between processed foods and whole foods “a caveman would have access too.”
Because of the simplicity of a paleo diet, it does not require participants to do too much thinking. While calories in versus calories out is the most basic rule to weight loss, a paleo diet takes a lot of thinking out of dieting. As long as you are eating whole, nutritious foods, you will probably find that weight loss will follow naturally—mainly because this style of eating cuts calories automatically.
And while this certainly is not a “one size fits all” approach to dieting, most people will find that if they are filling their body natural, whole, nutrient-dense foods, it will have a substantial impact on your overall weight and body composition as opposed to processed foods.
One study even suggested that your body may burn twice as many calories digesting less processed foods (2).
A Comprehensive Paleo Diet Food List
Paleo foods include plenty of plant based fats, grass-fed and sustainably caught proteins, and nearly all fruits and vegetables. Here are all of the foods considered to be “paleo.”
Protein is a staple of the caveman diet- specifically options that are grass-fed, sustainably caught or organic, as these options are often from animals raised in environments that encourage natural behavior. And because our ancestors didn’t just live off chicken and beef, they hunted a wide variety of meat, the more variety you can add to your proteins, the better!
The best paleo proteins include:
- Wild Boar
Sustainably Caught Seafood
Because a paleo diet eliminates all grains, this diet tends to be naturally low in carbohydrates. But if you are looking to add some more carbs to your meal plan, here are the best starchy foods that are also paleo:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
Many plant based fats – like nuts and seeds, as well as less processed oils fit into a paleo diet. However, it is important to note that fats are also an easy source of calories and if you are looking to lose weight on a paleo diet, you’ll want to limit your portion sizes for these foods:
Nuts and Seeds
- Almond Butter (no added sugar)
- Cashew Butter (no added sugar)
- Macadamia Nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pine nuts
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Oils and Butters
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut Butter
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Shredded Coconut
Just about any fruit or dried fruit (as long as no sugar is added) can fit into your paleo meal plan. Look for more low carb options like these:
Just like fruit, pretty much all vegetables work on a paleo diet. And non-starchy veggies like the following tend to be low in calories and high in nutrients, meaning your should aim to get a good amount of the following in your diet:
- Broccoli Rabe
- Bok Choy
- Swiss Chard
- Mustard Greens
- White Mushrooms
- Portobello Mushroom
- Bamboo Shoots
- Bell Peppers
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Green Beans (cooked only)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Oyster Mushrooms
While majority of added sugar is not paleo friendly, some natural sweeteners can be used in moderation on this diet:
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Date Paste
Look for simple drink options, made without artificial sweetener or too much added sugar, like the following:
- Coffee (No cream or sugar)
- Unsweetened Teas
- Coconut water
- Bone broth
- Sparkling Water (no added sugar or artificial sweetener)
Non-Paleo Foods To Avoid
While a paleo diet has a general “whole food” approach to eating, there are still many traditional health foods that are not considered paleo – like dairy, legumes and whole grains, because they were not commonly consumed by our ancestors.
A more controversial argument for why legumes and common grains are avoided is because of their high phytic acid content, which is thought to reduce the absorption of certain nutrients like iron zinc and calcium (6). However, phytic acid is also found in many paleo approved foods (like almonds and hazelnuts), and is associated with some health benefits – like protective benefits against kidney stones, antioxidant properties and a suggested link to lower risk for colon cancer (7,8,9). Bottom line, there really isn’t any evidenced based reason to avoid these foods because of phytic acid.
And as for dairy, the research behind whether or not dairy is bad for you, isn’t very conclusive either.
Some people have digestive issues when eating beans, legumes, grains and dairy, for a variety of health reasons. And if any of these foods don’t work with your body, this is probably the best excuses to avoid them.
Because of the debate around these foods, there is a lot of confusion, and some people will choose a more modified paleo diet that still has some dairy or legumes included. But a true paleo diet does not include any of the following:
Beans and Legumes
- Green Peas
- Snow Peas
- Soy Beans
- Peanut Butter
- Cows Milk
- Goats Milk
- Sheep’s Milk
- Cottage Cheese
- Ice cream
- Ancient Grains
- Cereal Grains
Processed Cooking Oils
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Palm Oil
Other Processed Foods and Ingredients
- Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, xylitol, erythritol
- Refined Sugars: Brown sugar, table sugar, agave, corn syrup
- Processed Meats: hot dogs, spam
- Packaged Foods and Snacks
- Fruit Juices
Tips For Shopping Paleo
If you are new to eating paleo, this may seem like a big change to your life. Cutting out grains, processed foods, dairy, and a load of other relatively common items may seem overwhelming.
Here are some tips we have to simplify the process and put your worries at ease.
1) Plan Your Meals
If you are struggling on where to begin, planning out meals that you enjoy and then figuring out a way to make that meal paleo will be a good place to start. Instead of immediately switching to a diet full of chicken and broccoli, find ways to get creative with the process so that you can cook food you genuinely enjoy.
Yes, even paleo food can be delicious; it just takes a little bit of creativity and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Here are some ideas for creative paleo meals.
2) Make A List
Once you have decided what meals you want to make for the week, create a list of all of the ingredients you need to make that food. As simple as this sounds, it will make it much easier for you to stick to a set plan and not get too deep into the aisles of a grocery store.
Having something as simple as a grocery list will keep you on track and ensure you get exactly what you came for. It will also help familiarize you with where to find these paleo-friendly foods in your local store.
3) Shop Outside The Aisles
If all else fails, this simple rule of thumb may make it really easy to shop for paleo foods. The layout of most grocery stores is quite simple: in the inner aisles you will typically find packaged, processed foods. Things like bread, pasta, cereal, flour, sugar, etc. For the most part, many of the foods stocked in the inner aisles of a grocery store will probably be “non-paleo approved items.”
Every now and then you may find some “paleo” food items in the inner aisles (a lot of paleo-approved flours may be in the inner aisles of a grocery store), but that is an exception, not the rule.
Typically, if you are shopping the outer aisles of a grocery store there will be a produce, meat, poultry, eggs, and bulk food section. All of these areas tend to provide you with the foundation of a paleo diet, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meats.
If you find yourself lacking a clear direction when grocery shopping, using this simple rule should help you create a clear path and help you avoid the variety of temptation within the aisles.
Paleo Meal Delivery
If you are new to a paleo diet, it may be in your best interest to start out with a structured meal delivery service. Starting a new diet can be challenging, especially when you really don’t know where to begin and aren’t ready to spend hours researching ways to make creative paleo meals.
Utilizing a meal delivery service like Trifecta, that can send you fresh, ready-to-eat creative paleo meals, will help you get started on your new lifestyle!
Learn more about the paleo meals Trifecta has to offer here:
Paleo Diet Food List | Paleo Leap
Below you’ll find a list of common Paleo-approved foods by category. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, but instead aims to cover the most popular food items available in grocery stores today.
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Beef, pork, lamb, veal, rabbit, goat, sheep, bison, wild boar.
Deer, pheasant, bear, moose, woodcock, elk, duck, rabbit, reindeer, wild turkey.
Chicken, turkey, duck, quail, goose.
Salmon, tuna, trout, bass, halibut, sole, haddock, turbot, walleye, tilapia, cod, flatfish, grouper, mackerel, anchovy, herring, catfish.
Crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, oysters, mussels.
Avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, clarified butter (ghee), lard, tallow, duck fat, veal fat, lamb fat, fatty fishes (sardines, mackerel, salmon), nut butters, nut oils (walnut, macadamia), coconut flesh, coconut milk.
Chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, quail eggs.
Celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, leeks, kohlrabi, green onions, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, okra, avocados.
Green leafy vegetables
Lettuce, spinach, collard greens, kale, beet top, mustard greens, dandelion, swiss chard, watercress, turnip greens, seaweeds, endive, arugula (rocket), bok choy, rapini, chicory, radicchio.
Carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, radish, jerusalem artichokes, yams, cassava.
Butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, buttercup squash.
Zucchini, yellow summer squash, yellow crookneck squash.
Bananas, apples, oranges, berries (strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry), plantains, grapefruit, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, pomegranates, pineapple, papaya, grapes, cantaloupe, cherries, apricot, watermelon, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, tangerine, coconut, figs, dates, olives, passion fruit, persimmon.
Nuts and seeds
Pistachios, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts.
Button mushroom, portabello, oyster mushroom, shiitake, chanterelle, crimini, porcini, morel.
Fresh and dried herbs
Parsley, thyme, lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, coriander.
Spices and others
Ginger, garlic, onions, black pepper, hot peppers, star anise, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, vanilla, cloves, chilies, horseradish.
Is it Paleo?
The following articles cover foods that often raise questions: honey, maple syrup, potatoes, tea, butter, dairy, vinegar, cured meat, sausages, chocolate, coffee and alcohol.
Foods to avoid
Here’s a list of foods that should generally be avoided on Paleo, by category.
Wheat, Corn, barley, rye, oats, brown rice, millet, spelt, bulgur, couscous,…
Soy beans, lentils, pinto beans, red beans, peanuts, chickpeas, kidney beans,…
Sodas, baked goods, pastries, fruit juices, cane juice, cane sugar, high-fructore corn syrup, agave, aspartame…
Vegetable seed oils
Soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, canola oil, margarine, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil,…
Most foods that have ingredients that don’t seem to come directly from nature. This will include most commertialy packaged foods.
Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream…
Note that some people still like include forms of dairy like cheese, heavy cream and/or yogurt into a healthy Paleo diet template. In other words, dairy falls into a gray-area. While a lot of people do better without dairy products at all, others tolerate them perfectly well. You can read more about dairy and Paleo here.
Additional food lists
You can consult our FODMAPs food list for a list of foods to avoid if you’re trying to limit the amount of FODMAPs in your diet. Not sure what FODMAPs are? Have a look at our introduction here.
Have a look at Paleo Restart, our interactive Paleo 30-day program. Learn more and get started here.
+ #PaleoIRL, our new cookbook all about making Paleo work for a busy life is now available! Get it now here.
Surprising Things You Can’t Eat on a Paleo Diet
The premise of the Paleo diet seems simple enough: if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. Hello meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies. Goodbye refined sugar, dairy, grains, and beans. It sounds so easy, you can’t possibly screw it up. But you can and probably are. (See The Athlete’s Plan for the Paleo Diet.)
What many Paleo followers fail to understand is that certain Paleo food categories include foods that aren’t really “Paleo.” These foods, when consumed in excess, may actually reverse any benefits derived from a grain-free, ancestral-type diet. (Oops. Should you even be eating Paleo? See The Paleo Diet Leaves Athletes Powerless.)
Paleo Diet Know-How
Before farming and organized agriculture, humans ate few grains and no sugar. They consumed only what they could hunt or gather. Their “Paleo foods” consisted mainly of wild vegetation, game, and fish, with very little fruit or sugar (save for the occasional berry, raw honey, or tree sap).
In a nutshell, a Paleo diet is one that abstains from all grains (wheat, rye, corn), processed foods and refined sugar—and most high-sugar fruits like bananas and melons.
Refined sugar, processed foods and restaurants did not exist during this time in human history. Perhaps not surprisingly, some vegetables that we eat today were not around in the Paleolithic era. In fact, if you look at a detailed Paleo diet food list, you will see that some of the most popular vegetables consumed in today’s society are “forbidden,” or at least dramatically restricted.
Surprising Foods That Aren’t Considered “Paleo”
To get a better handle on a true Paleo food diet—what it is and what it isn’t—let’s take a detailed look at the Paleo food list. By examining all Paleo food categories, we can break them down to determine which ones contains foods that aren’t considered Paleo and why.
Vegetables: Potatoes and Corn
Our ancestors were highly adept at eating large amounts of leafy greens, which provided bulk and sustenance when other foods became sparse. Many of the vegetables they consumed resemble the green, leafy, fibrous vegetables we eat today, like lettuce, spinach, kale and broccoli.
These are generally low-starch vegetables, which are also low on the glycemic index. Vegetables that were not consumed in amounts like they are today include potatoes and corn. These are high on the glycemic index (they raise blood sugar quickly) and actually are considered grains. They were relatively sparse during the Paleolithic era.
Meat: Processed Meats (Sausage) and Lunch Meats
Most meat is considered Paleo—as long as it is grass-fed beef, lamb, or free-range poultry. Processed meats, such as lunch meats and processed pork, are not true Paleo foods. They did not exist in the diets of our Paleo ancestors. These foods often contain sodium nitrates and other unnatural preservatives. Many Paleo enthusiasts find a way around this, especially when it comes to bacon, by finding nitrate-free varieties of their favorite processed meats.
Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Nuts and seeds were consumed sparingly during the Paleolithic era. Yet since they are low in carbohydrates and high in energy, they are often consumed by individuals following the Paleo diet. Nut and seed butters are not true Paleo foods, yet are often considered Paleo in our modern society. Peanuts and peanut butter are categorized as legumes, and are not considered Paleo.
Fruits: Banana and Melon
Low-sugar fruit, such as the fatty avocado, are considered Paleo. Again, the majority of fruit consumption during the Paleolithic era consisted of small berries, and only when they were in season. Berries are lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than other sweet fruits. Bananas and melon are not considered true Paleo foods; however, many people who follow the Paleo lifestyle consume them in moderation. Paleo diets seem to vary based on each individual’s needs and taste preferences.
Despite the limited number of categories in this Paleo diet food list, there really is an abundance of things you can eat! Simply put, to avoid confusion, the next time you are making out your Paleo shopping list, avoid processed foods and unpronounceable ingredients. Steer clear of sugar, grains, and high-sugar products. In other words, think like a caveman. (See also How to Customize A Diet Plan to Meet Your Specific Needs.)
Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular?
Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular?
Is the Paleo diet, an eating plan modeled on prehistoric human diets, right for modern humans?
By Mayo Clinic Staff
A paleo diet is a dietary plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains.
Other names for a paleo diet include Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet.
The aim of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that’s more like what early humans ate. The diet’s reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices — an idea known as the discordance hypothesis.
Farming changed what people ate and established dairy, grains and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This relatively late and rapid change in diet, according to the hypothesis, outpaced the body’s ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.
Why you might follow a paleo diet
You might choose to follow a paleo diet because you:
- Want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Want help planning meals
Details of a paleo diet
Recommendations vary among commercial paleo diets, and some diet plans have stricter guidelines than others. In general, paleo diets follow these guidelines.
What to eat
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
- Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
- Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
What to avoid
- Grains, such as wheat, oats and barley
- Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
- Dairy products
- Refined sugar
- Highly processed foods in general
A typical day’s menu
Here’s a look at what you might eat during a typical day following a paleo diet:
- Breakfast. Broiled salmon and cantaloupe.
- Lunch. Broiled lean pork loin and salad (romaine, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts and lemon juice dressing).
- Dinner. Lean beef sirloin tip roast, steamed broccoli, salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds and lemon juice dressing), and strawberries for dessert.
- Snacks. An orange, carrot sticks or celery sticks.
The diet also emphasizes drinking water and being physically active every day.
A number of randomized clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:
- More weight loss
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Better blood pressure control
- Lower triglycerides
- Better appetite management
However, longer trials with large groups of people randomly assigned to different diets are needed to understand the long-term, overall health benefits and possible risks of a paleo diet.
Questions about paleo diets
Concerns or questions about the paleo diet include both food selection and the underlying hypothesis.
A paleo diet is rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts — all elements of a healthy diet.
The primary difference between the paleo diet and other healthy diets is the absence of whole grains and legumes, which are considered good sources of fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Also absent from the diet are dairy products, which are good sources of protein and calcium.
These foods not only are considered healthy but also are generally more affordable and accessible than such foods as wild game, grass-fed animals and nuts. For some people, a paleo diet may be too expensive.
Questions about the paleo diet hypothesis
Researchers have argued that the underlying hypothesis of the paleo diet may oversimplify the story of how humans adapted to changes in diet. Arguments for a more-complex understanding of the evolution of human nutritional needs include the following:
- Variations in diet based on geography, climate and food availability — not only the transition to farming — also would have shaped the evolution of nutritional needs.
- Archaeological research has demonstrated that early human diets may have included wild grains as much as 30,000 years ago — well before the introduction of farming.
- Genetic research has shown that notable evolutionary changes continued after the Paleolithic era, including diet-related changes, such as an increase in the number of genes related to the breakdown of dietary starches.
The bottom line
A paleo diet may help you lose weight or maintain your weight. It may also have other beneficial health effects. However, there are no long-term clinical studies about the benefits and potential risks of the diet.
You might be able to achieve the same health benefits by getting enough exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Aug. 25, 2020
- Tarantino G, et al. Hype or reality: Should patients with metabolic syndrome-related NAFLD be on the Hunter-Gatherer (Paleo) Diet to decrease morbidity? Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 2015;24:359.
- Should we eat like our caveman ancestors? Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/fad-diets/should-we-eat-like-our-caveman-ancestors. Accessed March 17, 2017.
- Manheimer EW, et al. Paleolithic nutrition for metabolic syndrome: Systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;102:922.
- Beals KA. Is a paleolithic diet the key to achieving optimal health and athletic performance? American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal. 2016;20:18.
- Wang C, et al. Macro-process of past plant subsistence from the Upper Paleolithic to Middle Neolithic in China: A quantitative analysis of multi-archaeobotanical data. Plos One. 2016;11:e0148136.
- Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/. Accessed May 28, 2017.
See more In-depth
Paleo Diet Food List (What To Eat & Avoid)
In this article, I cover Paleo diet foods with a handy list of what to eat, what to avoid and what to enjoy occasionally. Plus, you can use this paleo food pyramid for quick, visual reference. Below you will find overview paleo diet rules: which foods to eat, which foods to avoid, what to consume in moderation.
ABOUT THE PALEO DIET
Paleo diet and lifestyle take inspiration and cues from our ancestors and the way we used to eat and live. It’s not about re-enacting the caveman era; nobody runs around in loincloths and sets fires to cook their food (only occasionally). Paleo is about learning from ancestors but it is mostly fuelled by modern science and some common sense.
The paleo diet focuses on unprocessed, whole foods: healthy fats including saturated fat, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs, lots of fish and seafood, even more vegetables, some fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and natural sweeteners.
It excludes grains, legumes, processed sugar and most dairy. Some people include healthy dairy foods like kefir, full-fat natural yoghurt, aged cheese and butter. That, of course, really depends on your sensitivities.
I love this way of eating because it also focuses on local, organic produce and good farming practices.
The paleo lifestyle also promotes healthier, more natural living: better sleeping habits, stress reduction and management, functional fitness and movement, adequate sun exposure, spending more time outdoors, avoiding environmental toxins and so on.
Above all, it’s not a set of strict paleo diet rules. It’s more of a framework that you can adapt based on your own goals, health, gender, age, location and current lifestyle. It’s a very holistic approach to wellbeing. You can learn more about the paleo diet basics here.
Here is a summary of paleo diet foods (well, more like my personal Paleo food list):
Foods to eat on the paleo diet
- Meat and poultry (including offal) – grass-fed, free-range meat is not only a kinder and more ethical way to consume animal products but it is also much higher in nutrients because of the way the cattle were fed and raised.
- Fish and seafood – try to choose sustainable, wild fish and seafood when possible.
- Eggs – free-range, pasture-raised whenever possible.
- Vegetables – all non-starchy and starchy tubers and root vegetables. A caveat should be made about white potatoes, which some of you might want to eliminate for a period of time due to the high glycaemic index and some sensitivities you might have to nightshade vegetables. Having said that, it is real food and very nutritious so don’t snub the spud.
- Fruit and berries – stick to low-sugar fruit and berries and keep high-sugar fruit like bananas and mangos for days when you need a higher carbohydrate intake or when in season and tasting delicious. For me personally, I eat most fruits and don’t worry about the fructose because I am fairly active but there are days when I don’t eat any fruit at all, so it balances out.
- Nuts and seeds – these guys are very nutritious but many nuts and seeds are high in omega-6 fatty acids which can be pro-inflammatory if consumed in large quantities and when your diet is not balanced by an equal amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, eggs and leafy greens. Basically, don’t gorge on buckets of nuts and seeds every day. The same goes for nut meals and flours such as an almond meal. Whenever possible, try to activate nuts and seeds by soaking and then dehydrating them back, which makes them easier to digest.
- Spices and herbs – go to town, the more the better! As for salt, use good quality sea salt or Celtic salt to get beneficial minerals and be sensible with it. I love spices and herbs so much, I wrote an e-Book about it.
- Healthy fats – coconut oil, coconut milk and cream, ghee (suitable for Whole30), butter (it’s mostly fat so no big problems with lactose but might have to be out for some of you), duck fat, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, fish oil, sesame oil as well as from grass-fed meats, poultry and fish.
- Condiments – mustard, fish good, quality vinegar such as apple cider, aged Balsamic, olive oil mayonnaise, low-sugar tomato sauces and paste, anchovies, olives, gherkins, capers, salsas and pestos – are all fine, just make sure no nasty chemicals and preservatives are added. Wheat-free soy sauce such as Tamari and naturally derived oyster sauce are okay every now and again but it’s better to try something like coconut aminos. You can make a lot of your own paleo sugar-free salad dressing and try my go-to paleo stir-fry sauce.
- For baking – nut meals, coconut flour, tapioca and arrowroot flour, sweet potato flour, chestnut flour, hemp seed flour, banana flour – use in moderation as some of these guys are either still high in carbohydrates or may contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
- Protein powder can be added in a form of a smoothie or as a post-workout snack, especially if you can’t or don’t want to consume too much meat or fish. I have a handy guide to paleo protein powders here.
Foods to avoid on the paleo diet
- Grains – especially wheat and anything with gluten. White rice is the least harmful of all grains and is added to dishes on occasions or for variety. It’s also part of the Perfect Health Diet protocol, which is what I follow. Rice is very high in carbohydrates and if you’re not active or trying to lose weight, it should be kept to ‘occasional’ use. Read more about the paleo diet and white rice here. And, learn more about why grains are avoided in the paleo diet here. Many people ask about oats and oatmeal, read about them here.
- Legumes – beans, lentils, chickpeas and so on. Cashews are not legumes! There are some debates over whether some legumes are safe to consume in moderation if prepared properly (soaked for 12 hours and then cooked really well to remove the phytic acid and make them easier to digest). You can read this article by Dr. Chris Kresser and this article by Dr. Loren Cordain and make up your own mind as I do. I include green beans and peas but avoid the rest.
- Refined sugars and carbohydrates – bread, pasta, cookies, white sugar, artificial sugar, high-fructose syrup, sodas, fruit juices and so on.
- Dairy – especially milk and low-fat dairy, and for those with damaged gut or gluten/lactose intolerances. If you’re concerned about calcium intake on a paleo diet read this post.
- Processed vegetable oils and fats such as canola oil (rapeseed), soybean oil, vegetable (Is it really made from vegetables? We don’t think so), and sunflower oils, as well as margarine and spreads made with such oils. Read this post on healthy cooking fats and oils here.
- Gluten-containing products
Consume on occasion & if tolerated
- Dairy should mainly be avoided, especially if you suffer from gut problems and gluten intolerances, but if you’re in good health and have no sensitivities to lactose (sugars in milk) or casein (protein in milk) then a little healthy dairy can go a long way. Avoid cow’s milk as it has a high glycaemic Index, unlike cheese or yoghurt. Better options are goat’s and sheep’s milk products, A2 cow’s milk and cow’s milk fermented products like kefir, unsweetened yoghurt, aged cheeses, full-fat cream, butter, and ricotta.
- Natural sweeteners – honey, maple syrup, molasses, dried fruit, dark chocolate, palm sugar, rice malt syrup for those avoiding fructose.
- Alcohol – dry wines, clean non-grain based spirits.
- Fermented soy such miso, tempeh in small amounts, wheat-free soy sauce
- Pseudograins like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are less harmful but they are still dense sources of carbohydrates and contain similar antinutrients to grains. They should be prepared carefully to remove some of the anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. Soak such grains in salted water for 8-12 hours, rinse and then cook well before consuming. Chia seeds also fall in this category. Buckwheat is the safest out of these, read about it here.
- Fresh corn, green beans and green peas fall into grain/legume category but in my eyes, they are totally fine to use every now and then and especially when in season and local. Read whether you could include green peas in the paleo diet here.
- White rice is often added back in as it seems to be the least problematic grain for most people. Find out if you should add white rice to your paleo diet here.
Need some help with paleo shopping? Check out our ultimate paleo shopping list here. Not sure what Paleo is all about? Read about the paleo diet here.
Feel like you still don’t know where or how to start? Looking for a plan or program to help you reset and recharge? Check out my free paleo program here.
Additional reading on Paleo nutrition
Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook by Irena Macri
Optimal Health The Paleo Way by Claire Yates
The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet
The Paleo Cure by Chriss Kresser
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, a must-read!
Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
A guide and 7-day meal plan
The paleo diet is an eating plan that mimics how prehistoric humans may have eaten. It involves eating whole foods that people could theoretically hunt or gather.
Advocates of the paleo diet reject modern diets that are full of processed foods. They believe that returning to how hunter-gatherers ate may cause fewer health problems.
The paleo diet is not safe for everyone. Doctors do not know its effects on children, pregnant women, or older adults. People with chronic conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, should also speak to a doctor before trying a paleo diet.
This article explores paleo principles and provides a 7-day paleo diet meal plan to follow. Read on to learn how to eat like our ancestors.
Share on PinterestPeople who support the paleo diet claim that it can aid weight loss and reduce the risk of some health conditions.
The focus of the paleo diet is on eating foods that might have been available in the Paleolithic era. The paleo diet is also known as the stone age diet, hunter-gatherer diet, or caveman diet.
Before modern agriculture developed around 10,000 years ago, people typically ate foods that they could hunt or gather, such as fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
The development of modern farming changed how people ate. Dairy products, legumes, and grains became part of people’s diets.
Proponents of the paleo diet believe that the human body has not evolved to process dairy, legumes, and grains and that eating these foods could increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Foods that a person can eat on the paleo diet include:
- lean meat
- oils that come from fruit or nuts, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil
People following a paleo diet tend to choose grass-fed, organic meats because these are the least processed.
Foods to avoid on the paleo diet include:
- grains, including wheat, oats, and barley
- legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts
- trans fats (hydrogenated oils)
- refined sugars
- artificial sweeteners
- low-fat or diet products
People following the paleo diet should drink lots of water. Some people on this diet also drink black coffee or green tea, but they avoid all soft drinks and juices with added sugar.
Getting regular exercise is another vital part of the paleo lifestyle.
We have created a 7-day paleo diet meal plan with the intention of providing a guide for people who want to try this way of eating.
People can make changes to each meal according to their personal preference. Fruits, nuts, and seeds make excellent snacks or desserts.
On the first day, a person could eat the following:
- Breakfast: Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
- Lunch: Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner: Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
On the second day, use the leftovers for lunch and enjoy fish for dinner:
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with wilted spinach, grilled tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds.
- Lunch: Mixed salad leaves with leftover roast chicken and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner: Oven-baked salmon with asparagus and broccoli fried in coconut oil.
On day 3, use any leftover salmon from the previous day:
- Breakfast: Chopped bananas with blueberries and almonds.
- Lunch: Mixed salad leaves with leftover salmon and an olive oil dressing.
- Dinner: Beef stir-fry with mixed peppers, using coconut oil to fry.
On the fourth day, start with a protein-packed egg:
- Breakfast: Broccoli fried in coconut oil with toasted almonds and a poached egg.
- Lunch: Mixed salad with tuna, boiled eggs, seeds, and olive oil.
- Dinner: Harissa-baked chicken wings with steamed broccoli.
On day 5, a person could prepare the following:
- Breakfast: Coconut milk, mixed berries, and spinach smoothie.
- Lunch: Butternut squash, broccoli, and tomato omelet with mixed salad.
- Dinner: Red pepper, broccoli, baby corn, and salmon stir-fry.
On the sixth day, start with a savoury breakfast:
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, and tomatoes fried in olive oil.
- Lunch: Mixed vegetable and chicken soup with turmeric.
- Dinner: Grilled lamb chops with wilted spinach and spiced red cabbage.
On day 7, add healthful fats by using avocado:
- Breakfast: Spring onion, tomato, and mushroom omelet.
- Lunch: Mixed salad with chicken, avocado, seeds, and olive oil.
- Dinner: Slow-cooked beef stew with mixed vegetables.
People claim that the paleo diet offers many health benefits, which include promoting weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes, and lowering blood pressure.
In this section, we look at the scientific evidence to see whether research supports any of these claims:
An older 2008 study found that 14 healthy volunteers achieved an average weight loss of 2.3 kilograms by following the paleo diet for 3 weeks.
In 2009, researchers compared the effects of the paleo diet with a diet for diabetes on 13 people with type 2 diabetes. The small study found that eating the paleo way reduced participants’ body weight and waist circumference.
A 2014 study of 70 postmenopausal women with obesity found that following a paleo diet helped participants lose weight after 6 months.
However, after 2 years, there was no difference in weight loss between participants following the paleo diet and those adhering to regular Nordic nutrition recommendations. These results suggest that other healthful diets may be just as successful at promoting weight loss.
The authors of a 2017 review noted that the paleo diet helped reduce weight in the short term but concluded that this result is due to caloric restriction, or consuming fewer calories.
Overall, the research suggests that the paleo diet may help people lose weight initially but that other diets that reduce calorie intake may be just as effective.
More research is necessary before doctors recommend the paleo diet for weight loss. Currently, doctors advise people to follow a calorie-controlled diet and exercise more to lose weight.
Reducing diabetes risk
Will following a paleo eating plan reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes? The results of some initial studies are promising.
Insulin resistance is a risk factor for diabetes. Improving a person’s insulin sensitivity decreases the likelihood that they will develop diabetes and can help those who have diabetes reduce their symptoms.
A small study in 2015 compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association on people with type 2 diabetes.
While both diets improved the participants’ metabolic health, the paleo diet was better at improving insulin resistance and blood sugar control.
An older 2009 study of nine sedentary volunteers without obesity also found that the paleo diet improved insulin sensitivity.
There is a need for more recent research on the paleo diet and diabetes, but the evidence to date suggests that eating like a hunter-gatherer may improve insulin sensitivity.
Lowering blood pressure
Share on PinterestResearch into the impact of the paleo diet on blood pressure is ongoing.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. Some people think that the paleo diet can help keep blood pressure in check and promote heart health.
An older 2008 study of 14 healthy volunteers found that following the paleo diet for 3 weeks improved systolic blood pressure. It also decreased weight and body mass index (BMI). The study did not include a control group, however, so the results are not conclusive.
A 2014 study supported these early findings. Researchers compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet that the Dutch Health Council recommend on 34 participants with characteristics of metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease.
Results showed that the paleo diet reduced blood pressure and blood lipid profile, both of which can improve heart health.
Although initial studies suggest that the paleo diet may reduce blood pressure and support heart health, more recent and extensive studies are necessary to make any conclusions.
Followers of the paleo diet aim to eat in the way that our prehistoric ancestors did. They seek out whole, unprocessed foods and avoid processed foods, grains, legumes, and dairy.
Paleo advocates argue that our bodies are unable to process foods that emerged after the development of farming.
A paleo meal plan may support weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood pressure in the short term. The results of small, initial studies support some of these health effects, but more research is necessary to confirm them.
The paleo diet may not be safe for everyone, so it is best to speak to a doctor or dietitian before making significant dietary changes.
For people who are interested in trying the paleo diet, the 7-day meal plan above is a good place to start.
What is the paleo diet and how to sit on it
What is the essence of the paleo diet
The paleo diet prescribes to eat the way our distant ancestors did in the Paleolithic era – a period that began about 2.5 million years ago and lasted until about 10 millennia before ad.
At that time, people led the lifestyle of hunters and gatherers, if meat and fish, as well as everything that can be found: vegetables and fruits, herbs, nuts. Diet proponents believe that since the modern human body has finished evolving during this period, the diet of hunters and gatherers is ideal for him.
But dairy products, cereals and legumes, which appeared in the diet much later – about 10 thousand years ago – did not have time to become a habitual food, and therefore contribute to the development of the obesity epidemic, cause diabetes, heart and vascular problems.
Opponents of this hypothesis claim that there is no evolutionarily correct diet, and that human nutrition is largely determined by the environment. Here are some arguments against:
- Genetic studies have shown that evolution did not stop in the Paleolithic: the body continued to adapt, including to changes in diet and lifestyle.For example, in humans, the number of genes associated with the breakdown of starches increased, and the evolution of lactose resistance continued.
- Archaeological research has shown that people in the Stone Age could eat wild grains 30 thousand years ago – long before they switched to agriculture.
- Dietary preferences are shaped by society. We learn what is tasty and what is not, what you can eat and what is not food and how to combine different products.This is not the kind of knowledge that is genetically inherent and given to us instinctively.
The topic is too complex and confusing to make an unambiguous conclusion. However, the paleo diet was extremely popular in the 2010s, so there is a lot of research into its effectiveness and impact on health.
How quickly the Paleo diet allows you to lose weight
It is impossible to say for sure how quickly you will be able to lose weight. It depends on many factors: the characteristics of the body, the calorie content of the diet and the amount of physical activity.However, one can at least roughly draw conclusions from research data.
On average, the paleo diet allows you to lose up to 3-5 kg in three months, up to 6.5 kg – in six months and up to 8.7 – in a year.
In addition, the paleo diet helps fight abdominal obesity. According to various sources, it is possible to get rid of 1.5 cm at the waist in three weeks to 11 cm in six months.
However, when the body fully adapts to this type of diet, you can put on a few pounds again.For example, in a two-year study of women on paleo lost an average of 8.7 kg during the year, kept this weight for another 6 months, and by the end of the second year gained about 3-4 kg.
What problems can the paleo diet cause?
There is still no consensus in the scientific community whether it is good for health or, conversely, can harm. We can say for sure that such a diet is not suitable for all people. Moreover, this applies to both health and household factors.
This diet is believed to have cardiovascular health benefits. Paleo lowers blood pressure and improves lipid profile: reduces the amount of triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol, raises the level of “good” . But one 2019 study cast doubt on its heart health benefits.
A team of scientists from Australia has found elevated levels of trimethylamine oxide in people on the paleo diet, which is associated with atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
Trimethylamine oxide is produced in the liver from trimethylamine, which in turn is produced in the intestine under the influence of its flora. Scientists have suggested that since people on the Paleo diet do not eat grains rich in fiber, this negatively affects bowel function and may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
This is just one study, and the mechanism of action of trimethylamine oxide is not yet clear, but if you have heart problems, it is worth consulting a cardiologist and nutritionist before switching to a paleo diet.
Since cereals and bread are prohibited in the Paleo diet, meat and eggs are often the basis of the diet, and the amount of protein in the diet increases. High-protein diets, on the other hand, can harm kidneys with pre-existing problems, and also contribute to stone formation.
However, the Paleo diet does not have to be high in protein. If you want, you can change your menu to fit into a safe level of protein – add more fruits and vegetables.
Decreased Bone Mineral Density
Since Paleo does not include dairy products (the main source of calcium in the modern human diet), a diet can lead to deficiencies in this trace element necessary for bone health. True, you can get calcium from permitted sources: sesame seeds, parsley and other foods rich in this element, or take nutritional supplements.
Increased spending on groceries
If you eat the Paleo diet, you will be spending about 10% more money than if you had a regular diet.Meat, red fish, nuts and seeds, vegetables in winter – all this will cost much more than cereals, legumes or milk. Therefore, if money matters, first try to calculate how much money will be spent on a new diet.
Lack of opportunity to eat in cafes and restaurants
One of the problems of the paleo diet is the difficulty with ready meals. You are unlikely to be able to follow the rules when eating in a cafeteria or restaurant, so you will have to cook at home or replace meals with legal snacks like fruits, nuts and seeds.
You can cope with this, for example, if you order meat and vegetables in a restaurant and ask them to cook them in olive oil, but you will hardly be able to eat constantly and fully in public places.
What you can and cannot eat on the Paleo diet
The Paleo diet does not include restrictions on calories and the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but at the same time it has a clear list of permitted and prohibited foods.
What you can eat on the paleo diet
- Meat : beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, game.Livestock and poultry should be free range, grass or grain fed, not special feed.
- Fish and seafood : salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish and others.
- Eggs : Choose from free-grazing hens or fortified with omega-3.
- Vegetables : broccoli, collard greens, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes.
- Fruits and berries : apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados and others.
- Root crops : potatoes, yams, turnips.
- Nuts and seeds : almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and others.
- Certain vegetable oils : Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.
- Salt and spices : sea salt, garlic, rosemary, turmeric and others.
- Drinks without sugar and caffeine : water, including mineral water, herbal teas without caffeine, berry fruit drinks without added sugar, vegetable juices.
What you can’t eat on the paleo diet
- Sweet foods : sugar, any sweets, ice cream.
- Cereals : including bread, pasta, wheat, spelled, rye, barley and others.
- Legumes : beans, beans, peas and others.
- Dairy products : milk, fermented milk products, cottage cheese.
- Some vegetable oils : soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grape seed, safflower and others.
- Trans Fat : Margarine and processed foods containing hydrogenated oils.
- Artificial sweeteners : aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium.
- Heavily processed foods : Diet and low fat foods with many additives.
- Drinks with sugar, alcohol and caffeine : alcohol, tea, coffee, fruit juices, energy and sports drinks, soda with sugar or sweetener.
What You Can Eat in Some Versions of the Paleo Diet
In some cases, people modify their diet and, in addition to the basic foods allowed, also add:
- Fatty dairy products : butter and cheese.
- Tea and coffee .
- Red wine in moderation.
- Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa.
These foods provide the body with nutrients and make life a little more enjoyable on a diet.
What the Paleo Diet Weekly Menu
We have drawn up a rough meal plan for the week in accordance with the principles of the Paleo Diet. Some recipes contain cheese. If you choose to stick to a strict paleo diet, simply cut it out while cooking.
Photo: Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock
Photo: Daria Polukarova / Lifehacker
Photo: Aleksei Isachenko / Shutterstock
Photo: Lesya Dolyuk / Shutterstock
Photo: Milosz_ / Depositphotos
Photo: DronG / Shutterstock
Photo: rezkrr / Depositphotos
Also, in addition to the main meals, you can freely add snacks and desserts in the form of nuts, fruits and berries.But remember that nuts are a high-calorie food, so don’t get carried away.
Would you decide on such a diet? Write in the comments!
See also 🧐
Paleo diet: A to Z
The Paleo Diet is based on the diet of ancient humans, and is gaining popularity among actors and athletes every year. What is the secret of this diet, how much to eat so as not to get fat and what harm to health from such experiments?
What is the paleo diet
In the Stone Age, people hunted for food, picked berries, fruits, mushrooms and nuts, and used a fire for cooking.This is the basic principle of the paleo diet: eat only natural products that grow in the region of residence.
The weight loss system differs from the others in that you can consume an unlimited amount of calories and not count them.
The effect of the Paleolithic diet is the complete exclusion of fast carbohydrates from the diet. That allows you to reduce the extra centimeters at the waist.
- Most of the menu is occupied by berries, fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs;
- eat only when you feel hungry;
- reduce the portion to avoid overeating;
- to increase physical activity, since our ancestors never sat idle;
- Eat non-fatty meat (rabbit, chicken, turkey, etc.)).
The number of permitted products allows you to show imagination in the preparation of the daily menu, but certain rules must be observed:
- Breakfast should be hearty. A small amount of meat, fruits and vegetables is required. In limited quantities, the Paleolithic diet allows for the consumption of tea or coffee without sugar.
- Snack includes a large ripe apple or 100 g of berries. Drinking a glass of plain water is also recommended.
- Lunch should be satisfying, therefore it is necessary to eat meat or red fish with a lot of vegetables.
- For an afternoon snack, you can eat a handful of dried nuts or some fruit.
- Dinner consists of vegetable salad and lean fish fillets baked in the oven or grilled.
- Before going to bed, you can allow to eat a few pumpkin seeds and drink a glass of water.
The most desperate dieters eat absolutely raw meat without cooking.Of course, such extremes are not suitable for everyone, but you will have to give up fast food, borscht and cakes.
Most followers of the Stone Age food system try to diversify the menu using various cooking methods: grilling, baking, boiling.
For 7 days:
|Day of week||Meal time||Menu||kcal per 100 g||Proteins / Fats / Carbohydrates per 100 g|
|Monday||Breakfast||Boiled eggs||154||12.5 / 10.5 / 1|
|tomato and cucumber salad||84||0.5 / 7.13 / 4.13|
|Lunch||Grilled sole||91||18.84 / 1.19 / 0|
|white cabbage, bell pepper and cucumber salad||71||1.24 / 4.15 / 7.28|
|Dinner||Baked skinless chicken breast||164||30.76 / 3.54 / 0|
|boiled cauliflower||48||1.77 / 3.29 / 4|
|Tuesday||Breakfast||Steamed omelet with bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions||119||5.56 / 9.14 / 4.03|
|Lunch||Chicken broth with pieces of breast and egg, finely chopped parsley and dill||37||6/1/1|
|apples||52||0.26 / 0.17 / 13.8|
|Dinner||Baked white fish with onions and carrots||126||21.94 / 3.44 / 0.33|
|Wednesday||Breakfast||Fried eggs with mushrooms and herbs||125||8.73 / 8.68 / 2.81|
|Lunch||Stewed cabbage with turkey||170||31.2 / 10.1 / 3.27|
|Dinner||Grilled courgette||45||1.12 / 2.58 / 6.3|
|fresh small-fruited tomatoes||18||0.88 / 0.2 / 3.92|
|baked tuna||153||27.3 / 3.96 / 0.41|
|Thursday||Breakfast||Fruit Salad||57||0.7 / 0.86 / 13.16|
|hard eggs||154||12.53 / 10.57 / 1|
|Lunch||Cream of pumpkin soup||40||0.63 / 2 / 4.67|
|stewed rabbit||143||16.5 / 6.95 / 3|
|Dinner||Salmon baked in foil with mushrooms||258||25.3 / 17.5 / 1.5|
|Friday||Breakfast||Cabbage, carrot, greens and cucumber salad drizzled with lemon juice||125||1.5 / 11.5 / 3.8|
|Lunch||Champignon soup||130||1.9 / 10.1 / 8|
|boiled chicken||171||25.26 / 7.2 / 0|
|Dinner||Tomato and cucumber salad||84||0.53 / 7.13 / 4.13|
|fish stew||120||11.28 / 5.88 / 5.6|
|Saturday||Breakfast||Omelet||153||10.62 / 12 / 0.69|
|fruit salad||57||0.67 / 0.86 / 13.1|
|Lunch||Vegetable soup with cabbage and bell pepper||43||1.1.73 / 4 / 5.83|
|stewed chicken liver||134||17.25 / 6.26 / 1.1|
|Dinner||Vegetable salad with mushrooms||69||1.8 / 3.1 / 2.9|
|Sunday||Breakfast||Fried eggs with spinach and bell peppers||129||8.81 / 8.95 / 2.9|
|Lunch||Ear||67||8.33 / 1.74 / 4.12|
|baked chicken with vegetables||237||27.07 / 13.49 / 0|
|Dinner||Meat Chop||274||17.51 / 22.07 / 0|
|Fresh tomatoes||18||0.88 / 0.2 / 3.92|
|cucumbers||15||0.65 / 0.11 / 3.63|
Note: portion weights are not indicated, so you can eat in unlimited quantities until full saturation.
The menu should include fruits and vegetables that grow in the region of residence. For example, if the nearby areas do not have tangerine trees, then this fruit is prohibited.
Nuts and seeds must be dried, not roasted.
It is advisable to make sure that the meat does not contain harmful substances, and for this the animal had to eat fresh grass, and not feed.
List of Prohibited Foods in the Stone Age Diet
The menu does not include the following products:
- All cereals and legumes, as well as everything that is made of them, and this is pasta, bread, all kinds of cereals and cereals;
- all dairy products;
- salt and sugar, since our ancestors did not know about their existence, and only occasionally feasted on honey;
- industrial food products: oils, canned food, sausages, semi-finished products and others;
- starchy products;
- fast food, soda, sushi, rolls;
This is important! The minimum amount of carbohydrates can be replenished with cherries, bananas and pineapple.
Outline: “How to Determine Product Suitable for Paleo Diet”
The disappearance of these products from the human diet can bring not only benefits, but also harm. For example, people who regularly consume whole grains are less likely to have heart disease and diabetes. Most cereals are cholesterol-free and good for digestion.
In many countries, dairy products are included in official nutritional guidelines because they are nutrient-dense, such as calcium, protein, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. The fatty acids contained in butter stimulate the intestines and support the human reproductive system. Olive oil prevents cardiovascular diseases, strengthens blood vessels, making them more elastic. The benefits of this product are enormous, and excluding it from the diet can be harmful to humans.
The opinion of nutritionists
The founders of the nutrition system are Lauren Cordain and Oz Garcia and have published several books and scientific articles on the benefits of the paleo diet.
- Normalizing blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing diabetes;
- chronic fatigue disappears;
- reduction of blood cholesterol, prevention of heart disease;
- fat burning and muscle building;
- exclusion of the risk of returning dropped kilograms;
- quick result, the founders of the diet claim that from 5 to 10 kg of excess weight can go away in two weeks.
Swedish nutritionists from Karolinska University conducted an experiment in 2008: for a month, men and women ate like residents of the Paleolithic period. At the end of this period, it turned out that all subjects had a 35% reduction in their daily calorie intake, their risk of blood clots decreased by 72%, and their blood pressure dropped by 5%. Fulham England footballers have long followed a prehistoric diet on the recommendation of nutritionist Steve Hines.
The paleo diet also has its drawbacks:
- Quality and fresh food is much more expensive than regular food;
- moral discomfort is possible due to a sharp refusal from the usual menu;
- is not suitable for vegetarians, as even legumes are prohibited in it;
- for kidney problems, diet is strictly prohibited.
90,016 not all people can control the number of servings, and continue to eat even after full satiety;
Before using the ancestral diet, you should consult with your doctor and listen to the true desires of your body.
Eat and lose weight
So that the diet does not harm the body, you do not need to abruptly switch to this food system. It is best to gradually eliminate prohibited foods. Do not confuse thirst with hunger, so it is necessary to constantly maintain water balance in the body. The transition to a diet should not coincide with illness or stressful situations.If you cannot refuse a certain product, then it is better to leave it. For example, dressing salads with olive oil.
Before and after paleo diet
Basketball player LeBron James comments positively on the paleo diet:
I had no sugar, no dairy products, no carbohydrates. All I ate was meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. That’s all. For 67 consecutive days.
Approximately he lost 12 kg. And he began to weigh 111 kg with a height of 2.03 m.
NBA star LeBron James before and after the paleo diet
Paleo diet is a rigid, carbohydrate-free type of food that is not suitable for everyone. It is also difficult to choose products, since what our ancestors ate is almost impossible to find on store shelves in the same quality.
Be sure to read about it
90,000 Paleo Diet: Understanding the Nutritional System
Exhausting yourself with diets to exhaustion and counting each calorie is not only not fashionable, but also not reasonable.We must strive for a healthy lifestyle and appearance, which does not always coincide with the notorious “50 kg” and “60-60-90”. The Paleo diet is just about health and only then about losing weight.
The creators of the Paleo diet went back to basics and put forward an interesting theory on which this nutritional system is based. The diet (or, nevertheless, the nutritional system) of Paleo is based on the idea that a person should eat the same food that his ancient ancestors ate.They argue that the human genome was fully formed in the Paleolithic era (hence the name) and the products that appeared later are unnatural for humans and can lead to diseases and problems. And this theory has strong scientific evidence.
Thus, the Paleo diet or the Stone Age diet is based on the fact that we should only eat foods that appeared before the creation of agriculture. For the first time this idea came to the gastroenterologist Walter Wogtlin, who published a book on this topic back in 1975.
Wogtlin argued that humans are carnivores, and the Paleo diet, high in protein and low in carbohydrates, is ideal for GI treatment. Over time, the theory of the paleotic food system grew into a kind of philosophy and was overgrown with a large amount of research. And thanks to nutritionist Lauren Cordain, she became popular again. Let’s see what you can and cannot eat with the Paleo diet.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Stone Age diet is based on a large amount of animal protein in the diet.And this is its main advantage, because, as we know, it is animal proteins that help speed up metabolism, provoking weight loss. Animal protein is more satisfying, it allows you not to feel hunger longer than vegetable protein.
Paleo’s nutritional system suggests eating every 5 hours, 3 times a day: our body needs about three hours to fully absorb protein, and subcutaneous fat will be burned for 2 hours.
Here is a list of acceptable products:
- Lean meat or poultry.
- Wild fish and other seafood.
- Eggs (maximum 2 per day).
- Nuts, seeds, almond flour.
- Berries, fruits and vegetables.
- Vegetable oils: olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado oil, etc.
What shouldn’t be eaten on the Paleo diet?
This food system has a lot of prohibitions that have a logical and scientific explanation. Let’s figure out what and why not to use.
The following products are considered unacceptable:
- Cereals and legumes.
- Milk products.
- Dried fruits.
- Processed foods.
The Paleo diet excludes legumes that are rich in anti-nutrients, which are anti-nutrients that block the entry of healthy foods into the body.
READ ALSO – How to Lose Weight Without Diet: Proven Ways
Any cereals are also not held in high esteem, which is understandable – bread and baked goods are fast carbohydrates that cause hunger and are the main obstacle to slimness.
Dairy products are not known to be absorbed by most adults, increasing insulin levels. For milk, choose almond or coconut milk.
Starch is also harmful to the body as it raises blood sugar levels due to its high glycemic index.And our ancestors did not even see sugar in the Stone Age, so it is advisable to get rid of it, as well as any other sweets, soda, chocolate and juice. Raw honey can be used.
What can you cook?
Such an interesting set of acceptable products can, at first, discourage the fastidious modern person. Therefore, we decided to prepare a small menu for you that will help you not to stay hungry and do everything right.
For breakfast, you will have a two-egg omelet with vegetables and bell peppers.For lunch – salad with tuna, tomato, cucumber and lettuce, seasoned with olive oil. Snack on tea and almonds. Eat chicken breast with broccoli for dinner.
Breakfast – salad with avocado, lettuce, tomato and olive oil. For lunch – broccoli puree soup. Any fruit will be a snack. For dinner – fish in the oven with vegetables.
Breakfast – an omelet of two eggs with mushrooms, for lunch – stewed cabbage with ham, for a snack – fruit, for dinner – a salad of shrimp, avocado, orange and apple.
Breakfast – fruit salad from apple, kiwi and orange, lunch – borscht or other vegetable soup, snack – nuts, dinner – salmon in foil with champignons.
Breakfast – boiled eggs with a salad of cucumber and tomato, lunch – chicken nuggets with herbs, a snack – fruits or nuts, for dinner – champignon soup.
For breakfast, banana, kiwi and orange smoothies, lunch – vegetable soup with cabbage, snack – fruit, dinner – boiled veal with salad.
Breakfast – banana and almond pancakes, lunch – steamed fish with vegetables, snack – nuts or fresh celery and apple, dinner – chops and avocado salad.
This menu will make it easier for you to get involved in the Paleo diet. Then you can experiment by adding new ingredients.
See also: It is effective: how to lose weight on a carrot diet
Materials on the topic:
90,000 diet – everything you need to know
The popularity of the paleo diet forced us to pay attention to it and decide: "to be or not to be."
The Paleo Diet (also known as the Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet, Hunter-Gatherer Diet) is one of the top 5 most interesting diets of our time. We will tell you what kind of food it is, what products it includes, its pros and cons, as well as an exclusive commentary from our expert Olga Sukhova.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is a diet that completely eliminates processed foods and brings the diet closer to that of a hunter-gatherer diet.As you might have guessed, the paleo diet consists of the same foods that the ancient people ate – these are:
Our ancestors ate what nature gave, and they did not have such chronic diseases as we have, but it is difficult to say that the reason for this was food.Otherwise, what conclusion might suggest itself if we live three times longer, although we do not disdain fast food?
– Asks Christopher Ohner, M.D., Researcher, Obesity Research Center at St. Lux Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
What can you eat on a paleo diet?
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat – that’s what the paleo diet is based on. But remember that our ancestors did not have vegetable gardens and livestock, so you should choose your products very carefully – they should not contain pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals that the modern food industry generously treats us to.
Fun fact: Research from Emory University shows that people living in the Paleolithic era got about 35% of their calories from fat, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Consider this point when making your menu.
Read also: NEW POPULAR DIET: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE KETO FOOD SYSTEM
What is not allowed with a paleo diet?
It’s very simple. You will have to give up:
legumes (including peanuts, beans, lentils and soybeans)
But there is one plus – you can eat potatoes, albeit in moderation.
According to the principles of this nutrition, alcohol and honey should also be on your “black list”, but if you really can’t live without strong drinks and sweets, then drink a little red wine and sometimes spoil yourself with a spoonful of honey (it’s still better than sugar !).
Is sport necessary for a paleo diet?
Scientists have calculated that our ancestors led such an active lifestyle that they needed to eat at least 4,000 calories a day to function normally. Just imagine! We in no way force you to lean on food in order to achieve such a result, but we strongly recommend that you reconsider your lifestyle.The more movement, the more effective the diet.
Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet
The upside and downside is that you have to cook more. But we must reassure you with one pleasant fact: studies have shown that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% likely to outlive those who eat out by 10 years.
No matter how hard we try, it will not work to exactly repeat the diet of ancient people. They were unlikely to have veal ribs and chicken wings for dinner, but a juicy steak from a buffalo or some outlandish animal – almost certainly.And by the way, scientists came to the conclusion that their meat had less unhealthy fats, and more omega-3 fatty acids. And not all plants of the Paleolithic era have survived to this day … So this makes it impossible to follow the diet according to all the canons.
See also: ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE ITS ADVANTAGES
The disadvantage of a paleo diet is that nutrients found in large quantities in “forbidden” legumes, grains and dairy products can help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, normalize blood pressure and promote a healthy weight.Particularly worried about the rejection of “milk” as the main source of calcium and vitamin D.
And more … If you want to order a super dietary salad with boiled chicken breast and salad in a restaurant, you will have to make sure that all the ingredients are organic. Sounds like something out of the realm of fantasy.
The main advantage of the paleo diet is that it stabilizes blood sugar levels. Foods in the paleo diet release natural sugar into the blood slowly, which ensures a feeling of fullness and keeps energy levels high.The diet fills the diet with quality, healthy food, is great for losing weight, and encourages more cooking at home. The latest research suggests that people consume fewer calories when cooking at home. Plus, baking fish or meat takes nothing at all.
But the paleo diet has its drawbacks. According to some scientists, excessive consumption of animal protein increases the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon, breast and prostate cancer. It is not in vain that the world associations of nutritionists say: eat a variety of foods.Also, with the paleo diet, you will have to give up most of what is sold in the store. Eating 80% of the products in supermarkets will be banned, so you’ll have to be creative. Think if you are ready for this,
– warns Olga Sukhova, wellness coach and founder of the BeautyCamp fitness program for women.
Whether or not to stick to the paleo diet is up to you, but remember that health comes first, and then a thin waist.
products, menus, protocols. Autoimmune Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is a nutritional system based on the idea that our body is ideally adapted to the diet of a caveman, since it was in this state that our species spent most of the time on earth. Our ancestors were engaged in gathering, and also hunted and fished. With the advent of the agrarian revolution, the nomadic way of life was replaced by a sedentary one, and the diet included new foods to which the body was not adapted: milk, cereals, legumes.
Paleo diet products
|Meat and poultry||Paleo. Without industrial processing|
|Fish and seafood||Paleo. Without industrial processing, wild origin|
|Tuber crops||Paleo||seeds||Nuts 9108||Nuts 9029 paleo|
|Oils||Paleo.First cold pressed olive, coconut, avocado|
|Complex dishes (rolls, pizza, etc.)||Non paleo|
As a result of moving away from the paleo diet and changing lifestyle,
health indicators deteriorated, even the average height of the Neolithic people was less. FROM
the development of production and the growth of the population appeared even more products,
harmful to health: refined fats and sugars, food additives,
preservatives, increased salt intake.Moreover, those products that are conditionally
safe, began to grow in unnatural ways with the addition of
antibiotics, chemicals and other harmful substances. Therefore, in the last
decades, there has been a surge in the diseases of civilization: oncology, obesity, insulin
resistance, and as a result – diabetes mellitus.
The first to pay attention to this state of affairs was a gastroenterologist
V. Vegtlin, then there was Boyd Eaton. But the most famous popularizer of the paleo diet was
Lauren Cordain, who published a book on paleo in 2002
nutrition.New protocols are emerging today to help combat
various diseases, for example, the autoimmune palio diet.
Many people now eat on the paleo diet, including
number of Hollywood celebrities. On the basis of it, whole
financial programs. And a professional nutritionist-nutritionist simply needs
understand this power system. Yes, and an ordinary person will benefit from it.
Therefore, I have prepared this article for you.
Paleo Diet Video
The video expands the information in the article.See if it is convenient to receive information about paleo nutrition in video format.
Pros and cons of the paleo diet
The undisputed advantages of the paleo diet are the exclusion from
gluten diet, sugar control, detoxification effect. Consequently –
improving the quality of sleep, skin, a surge of vivacity and energy. And what else
paleo food is remarkable – it is unnecessary to count calories.
The disadvantages include the fact that quality products,
which should be consumed on a paleo – can be expensive.Have to
also be puzzled by buying the right dishes and kitchen utensils. You’ll have to
Get creative with your paleo diet menu.
Even on the standard paleo diet, there may be a lack of chromium and
calcium as well as biotin. To avoid such problems, it is enough to control
the level of these nutrients using laboratory tests.
This process can be lengthy, the first results of paleo
diets may only appear after a few weeks. However, improvement
well-being, body quality and condition of the body will be stable and
Paleo Diet Menu: What Foods Can You Eat?
Paleo diet involves the elimination of dairy products,
legumes, cereals, refined fats, added sugar. What is essentially more than just a diet, it is a system
nutrition, such as vegetarianism, but unlike it, the main emphasis
is made for animal products, proteins from meat and seafood.
What foods can you eat on the Paleo diet?
Products included in the paleo protocol are nutritionally dense.But
the following ratio is recommended: ¾ plate is vegetables and fruits, ½ is meat,
Fish and seafood. Eggs, fermented foods, baked goods (for
1. Vegetables on the paleo diet
Dark greens and crucifers are preferred:
various types of cabbage, spinach, daikon, zucchini, watercress, etc. Also
you can: pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, more exotic yucca, yams,
This group of products has many useful properties, but one of
them are to help fight chronic inflammation and maintain healthy
intestinal microflora.For example, Root vegetables can help prevent
colonization and infection of the intestines with pathogens, since they are
food for Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
2. Fruit on the Paleo diet
There is a rainbow principle in the paleo diet: this means that
eat foods of various colors. I sometimes even advise you to eat in
Monday with red fruits and berries, Tuesday – orange, etc.
In general, brightly colored fruits and vegetables are a storehouse of useful
substances: carotenoids, flavonoids, sterols and stanols, not to mention the “banal”
vitamins and minerals.
3. Meat, poultry, offal and paleo-diet
Bone broth is also recommended to be included in the menu on
paleo diet. There are no separate restrictions on the types of meat, but it is important that
the animal was raised in the most organic conditions and the fattening was
herbal. This directly affects the composition and density of nutrients.
For example, raising a chicken in a grassy pasture will contain more
useful OMEGA-3. And if the process is violated, then OMEGA-6 will prevail.By the way, you should pay close attention to the balance of OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6. About
I talk about this in detail in my training course for nutritionists
You should not be afraid of increasing the risk of oncology, according to studies, a large amount of vegetables affects the absorption of heme iron, preventing the formation of toxic compounds with its participation.
4. Fish and seafood on the paleo diet menu
Molluscs and crustaceans appeared more than 500 million.years ago, and
this means that they were almost the very first food of animal origin
on the paleo diet menu of our ancestors. This product group exceeds the norms
the content of nutrients in tens, and sometimes hundreds of times compared with
others. For example, the RDA of oysters for zinc is 605%, the RDA of shellfish for
B12 – 1648%. what
for fish, recommended: salmon, hake, cod, halibut, etc. The main thing
the rule for both seafood and fish – they must be of wild origin,
maximum – grown on an organic farm.
Even in my paleodietology course, I remind you of the importance of
control the intake of mercury from fish and analyze how to reduce its negative
influence. After all, high levels of methylmercury wreak havoc on the nervous system and
it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and placenta and can
harm the baby in the womb.
5. Fats and oils in the protocol of the paleo diet
The ratio of BJU in paleo nutrition can reach 40:40:20. Moreover
such a diet allows for a moderate intake of saturated fat.Recommended for
consumption: avocado oil, which is ideal for cooking with
high temperatures, coconut oil rich in triglycerides with medium length
chains, fat and lard from grass-fed animals, etc.
What else is possible on the Paleo diet?
Mushrooms, eggs, seeds and nuts, algae, spices, fermented
products. In the gray zone there are foods with “safe starch”: potatoes,
yams, white rice.
Autoimmune Paleo Diet
Paleo diet is recommended for various diseases from
chronic inflammation before oncology.But with certain types of diseases
special protocols are recommended. This is how the autoimmune protocol helps to enter
remission in Hashimoto’s disease or autoimmune thyroidosis.
This protocol will have to abandon: eggs, algae,
nightshades, nuts and seeds other than coconut. I analyze this system in more detail.
on my course.
Keto Paleo Diet and Epi Protocol
The Keto Paleo diet helps to cope with diabetes, depression,
obesity and is even recommended for cancer and dystrophic
diseases of the brain.This protocol focuses on fat.
EPI Paleo Diet RX Protocol helps to cope with
leptin resistance. You can suspect him of yourself by a feeling that does not pass.
hunger, then you need a nutritionist consultation, tests. Also the epipaleo diet
helps to cope with inflammation at the level of the brain, as well as hormonal
imbalances and is suitable for people with insulin resistance. According to this protocol
the paleo diet focuses on nutrition according to seasonality and
locality, poultry, products with saponins are also excluded.As with any
elimination diet of food according to such a protocol should be adhered to until
improvements. And then you can return to the regular paleo diet.
90,000 Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet • INMYROOM FOOD
Today there are many different diets. In pursuit of the desired weight, girls around the world try various nutrition schemes, exclude certain foods from the diet and, on the contrary, lean on others.
Recently, the paleo diet has gained particular popularity.It is also often called the “diet of the ancients” or “the Paleolithic diet”. From the name it is easy to guess that some principles of nutrition and lifestyle are borrowed from primitive people.
We will tell you in more detail what the essence of the paleo diet is and how to follow it correctly in order to get rid of extra pounds and acquire new healthy habits.
How the paleo diet works
Today, a person actively uses all the benefits of civilization and is not at all constrained in his choice. On the shelves of supermarkets and shops, despite the sanctions, a huge assortment of all kinds of products and delicacies is still presented.Ancient people, in turn, earned their own food and ate simple and wholesome food. Supporters of the paleo diet believe that this is the essence of all problems, especially those associated with excess weight and various diseases.
They propose to return to the origins and borrow some habits from ancient people. To become slimmer and improve health, the founders of the paleo diet advise including low-fat protein foods and fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and other fruits in the diet.But it is better to refuse from fatty meat and high-calorie dairy products. It is also necessary to acquire a number of good habits that are not related to nutrition.
It is believed that the paleo diet helps to significantly improve hormones, lower the level of bad cholesterol, and normalize blood pressure. In addition, such a diet will be an excellent prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system and atherosclerosis.
Opinions about the paleo diet are highly controversial. Many celebrities have picked up this trend and are advertising this approach to nutrition with might and main.Scientists, researchers and nutritionists, on the other hand, believe that long-term adherence to the paleo diet can cause deficiencies in a number of substances that are extremely important for the normal functioning of the body.
It’s up to you to decide whether to go on such a diet and how long to stick to it. If you know when to stop and follow the paleo diet without fanaticism, then there will be no harm to the body. Moreover, some of the habits and principles of this diet are quite reasonable and useful.
Important Paleo Diet Rules
1.Eat natural foods
Our ancestors did not have a large selection of foods and delicacies. Maybe that’s why they were less likely to be overweight and obese. Borrow the diet from ancient people. Try to eat only natural foods. Stop your choice on fresh vegetables, fruits, as well as nuts, herbs, roots. Meat should be chosen low-fat, dietary. As for the cooking methods, not all options will work. Eliminate frying and try to cook and bake more.
2. Drink plenty of clean drinking water
Make it a rule to drink as much clean drinking water as possible. For an adult, the average daily fluid intake is 1.5–2 liters. It should be water, not soda, juice, tea or coffee. It improves the functioning of the digestive system, starts metabolic processes in the body, removes toxins and toxins. Remember that our ancestors drank water in large quantities and did not know other options – follow their example.
It is certainly not worth giving up your favorite drinks at all. However, it is better to reduce the consumption of coffee, since its excessive consumption causes disorders of the nervous system, nervousness, which can affect the metabolism. When it comes to tea, preference should be given to green varieties.
3. Move more
Enjoy sports and physical activity. This is an important part of the paleo diet. The more you move, the faster you lose weight and the healthier you become.Our ancestors led an active lifestyle: they obtained food for themselves, hunted, and hid. Unsurprisingly, they were in great physical shape. Choose the activity that you like the most. This can be dancing, hiking, fitness, running, or just cleaning the house. It is important not to stand still!
4. Don’t Avoid Healthy Fats
Of course, the Paleo diet is not synonymous with a low-calorie diet and fasting. This is, first of all, a healthy diet and lifestyle. Look for healthy, natural foods that contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.These are fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado. They have a beneficial effect on the work of the cardiovascular system and strengthen the immune system.
5. Eliminate sugar from your diet
Sweet tooth, we have bad news for you! Sugar in the paleo diet is prohibited. It is responsible for the development of serious diseases, and is also the cause of obesity and excess weight gain. The frequency and intensity of the release of insulin into the blood, which sugar provokes, does not contribute in any way to good health and high immunity.Sugar can be substituted for natural counterparts. For example, a small amount of honey.
6. Get more rest
Rest and recovery is something that cannot be neglected. Adequate sleep is necessary for the normal functioning of all organs of the human body, without exception. An adult needs 7–8 hours of sleep to recuperate. It is advisable to go to bed before 12 o’clock at night. It is beneficial for the beauty of skin, hair and metabolism. Remember, you can’t stay healthy just by eating right.A sound sleep is equally important.
7. Try to exclude carbohydrates from the diet
Carbohydrates are not favored by the Paleo diet supporters. They believe that such products contradict the human genome, which has not undergone major changes, even despite the complex evolutionary process. Complex carbohydrates can be consumed in small quantities (except for pasta made from durum wheat and cereals – they contain gluten), but simple carbohydrates (sweet soda, fast food, confectionery, convenience foods) will have to be completely abandoned.
8. Take vitamins
Even if your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, do not neglect special vitamin complexes. The modern rhythm of life, constant stress and poor ecology do not contribute to good health in any way. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get the required amount of important elements with food. Therefore, take care of your body yourself and support it with additional vitamins and minerals. To choose the right vitamin complex, consult a specialist.
Paleo diets: pros and cons | FPA
Started by – Brian St. Pierre.
Translation by Sergey Strukov.
All of us have not lived in caves for a long time, but most of us have heard of the paleo or “caveman” diet. You may have even tried it. Some meat here, some fresh vegetables there. Possibly cereals or unprocessed food.This is a cool idea that captures the imagination. But is it right? Does it work? We will consider these questions in the article.
Let’s start first
- define what belongs to the paleo diet
- explain the features of hunter-gatherers
- consider how and what is actually inherited in the diet. After that, let’s take a critical look at the ideas and evidence.
Then questions await us:
- What does paleo promise?
- What evidence is there to support ancestral eating habits?
- What factors are causing our chronic health problems in the twenty-first century?
- Is the paleo diet really primitive?
- What does the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) tell us?
Finally, we present a comprehensive conclusion:
- what you have to do with all this?
The paleo diet, or “primordial” nutrition, is based on two central ideas:
- We are adapted to the consumption of certain types of food;
- To stay healthy, strong and looking good, we must eat like our ancestors.
Brief Power History
Our ancient relatives, the most ancient primates, lived 60 million years ago. And like most primates nowadays, they ate mainly fruits, leaves, and insects.
About 2.6 million years ago, at the dawn of the Paleolithic era, the situation began to change. Early human ancestors acquired an opposed thumb and greater brain adaptations. They began using stone tools and fire, with the result that they slowly and gradually changed their diet.
By the time truly modern humans came on the scene, about 50,000 years ago, our ancestors were omnivorous, following a hunter-gatherer diet.
So, we come to the paleo diet model, which includes:
- 91.183 Animals (meat, fish, reptiles, insects, etc. – as a rule, almost all parts of animals, including organs, bone marrow and cartilage)
- Animal products (e.g. eggs or honey)
- roots / tubers, leaves, flowers and stems (in other words, vegetables)
- seeds and nuts that can be eaten raw.
Recently, many Paleo proponents believe that eaters started out with the above, then gradually introduced herbivore-derived dairy products (mainly yogurt and other crop varieties) and a small amount of “properly cooked” legumes – that is, legumes that are soaked overnight.
What’s so special about hunter-gatherers?
Agriculture emerged in most countries of the world about 10 thousand years ago.The Neolithic has come.
Crop production and agriculture have provided us with a coordinated and relatively reliable food supply, without which the development of civilization would have been impossible.
However, the ten thousand year period since the beginning of the Neolithic period is only 1% of the time that humans exist on Earth.
Many believe that the shift from a hunter-gatherer diet (rich in fruits and vegetables) to an agricultural diet (rich in grains) has given rise to our modern chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
This is the foundation of the Paleo diet and the main reason its proponents argue that we should go back to meat and eat according to the diet of our past.
How to evaluate the nutrition of the ancients?
Of course, despite numerous remains, cooking sites, and other evidence, we do not have detailed medical records of our hominid hunter-gatherer ancestors. But we have samples of the modern population that we can take into account.
Diverse Diet World
Small populations of hunter-gatherers have a wide variety of diets, from root-eating Kung seeds and nuts to the vegetable-eating Kitawans from Papua New Guinea to meat and fat-loving Inuit from the Arctic. Food sources are varied and likely reflect significant differences in the diets of our prehistoric ancestors, simply due to the availability of food in the area where we live: mostly vegetable (in the tropics) and mostly animal (in the Arctic), plus all intermediate options.
Despite dietary variations around the world, most Paleolithic people appear to have consumed three times as much food as the typical American. Compared to the average American family today, Paleolithic people ate more fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, and much less saturated fat and sodium.
Figure 1. How location affects the diet of the hunter-gatherer.Shown is the proportion of certain food groups in the diet. Source: JenChristiansen (ScientificAmerican).
The inhabitants of Kitava Island (Papua New Guinea) are probably the most extensively researched hunter-gatherer settlement.
According to Dr. Staffan Lindeberg, who has carefully studied their habits, the Ktavans eat exclusively:
- starchy fruits (yams, sweet potatoes, taro, tapioca)
- fruits (banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, guava, watermelon, pumpkin)
- fish and seafood
Kitavans are healthy and robust, they are free of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and acne, despite the fact that most of them smoke!
Things are going well when you eat like a caveman 🙂
What does paleo promise?
The main idea of the primitive diet is our construction (not a pun), like that of ancient man. But the ancient human genetic “pattern” does not match the 21st century diet and lifestyle.As a result, our health and well-being suffers.
The Paleo Diet is based on some key evolutionary assumptions:
- Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were strong and healthy, if they did not die young from an infectious disease or an accident, then they lived as long as we do now.
- When Paleolithic hunter-gatherers moved on to Neolithic agriculture, they became relatively weaker, short, and clumsy.
- Modern hunter-gatherers are healthy, but their health deteriorates when they switch to a modern diet.
Despite speculation based on evolutionary trends, hunter-gatherers weren’t actually in perfect health. They were undoubtedly home to various parasites and were also susceptible to many infectious diseases.
A recent study, published in the journal Lancet, examined 137 mummies from various societies from Egypt, Peru, the US Southwest and the Aleutian Islands for signs of atherosclerosis.Signs of probable or present atherosclerosis were found in 47 of 137 mummies in each geographic region, despite the difference in occupation – farmer or hunter-gatherer. All had arteries involved, regardless of lifestyle.
A reason to think.
Diseases of industrialization and wealth
While atherosclerosis can be a common human problem, there is no doubt that the “diseases of affluence” (obesity, diabetes and CVD) have skyrocketed over the past 50 years in industrialized countries like the United States, especially when compared to the non-industrial population.
Over the past century – a period that is certainly too short for significant genetic adaptation – industrialization and technology have fundamentally changed the way we live and eat. The average American today lives on packaged and commercially prepared foods. Rich in starch and refined sugars, saturated in fat and sodium, these foods are so tasty that they suppress normal satiety signals and promote overeating.
Consider six of the most popular sources of calories in the US today: cereal-based desserts (cakes, pastries, etc.), yeast-based breads, chicken-based dishes (and that doesn’t mean fried chicken), sweetened and alcoholic drinks, and pizza.
These are not primitive products. Not foods that any nutritional expert would recommend, regardless of dietary beliefs. So when Paleo proponents argue that modern Western diets are unhealthy for us, they are absolutely right.
Is the paleo diet really paleo?
There is no single “paleo”
Our ancestors lived almost all over the world, in incredibly diverse conditions and ate extremely varied.
In most cases, the primitive diet included more vegetables and fruits than most people eat today. Therefore, if we want to be healthy, we must do as they do and consume more of them. Right?
Maybe you are right… but not necessarily for the reasons given by the paleo diet advocates.
First of all, due to the fact that modern fruits and vegetables are not the same as our ancestors ate. Early vegetables and fruits were often bitter, much smaller and more difficult to harvest, and many were poisonous. Over time, when breeding, we gave the plants the necessary properties: larger fruits, smaller seeds, sweeter pulp with less natural toxins. We have also increased the diversity within individual plant species – created new varieties with a common origin (for example, hundreds of potato or tomato varieties from several of the original varieties).
In addition, most modern animal products are not what they used to be. Beef steak (even grass fed) is not the same as bison steak or deer meat. This does not make modern produce or modern meats good or bad in nature. It’s just that meat is different from almost anything available in the Paleolithic.
Therefore, the assertion that we should eat vegetables, fruits and meats because we are evolutionarily adapted to eat these foods is somewhat suspicious.The foods we eat today did not exist during the Paleolithic!
Cereals and cereals
Paleo proponents argue that our ancestors’ diet could not have included many grains, legumes, or dairy products. They also believe that the past 10 thousand years of agriculture is not enough to adapt to these “new” products.
The argument is compelling, but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny:
- Recent studies of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, using more flexible methods of analysis, have shown that ancient people may have started consuming cereals and cereals before the beginning of the Paleolithic era – more than 91,183 three or even four million years ago!
- Further research discovered granules of grains and cereals on stone chairs at least 91,183 105 thousand years ago.
- At the same time, grain granules on grinding tools from all over the world show that Paleolithic people widely practiced turning grains into flour more than 91,183 30 thousand years ago.
In other words, the idea that people of the Paleolithic never ate grains and cereals seems to be somewhat exaggerated.
Are beans really bad for you?
Cereals aren’t the only plant species that the paleo diet restricts.Paleo adherents also recommend avoiding legumes (beans, peanuts, peas, lentils) for the same reasons.
But the idea of limited availability of legumes or low consumption in the Paleolithic, like the argument that humans did not eat grains, is false. A 2009 survey found that our Paleolithic ancestors not only consumed legumes, they were an important part of their diet! (Even our primate “cousins”, including chimpanzees, are seen consuming beans.)
Legumes are found in Paleolithic sites around the world, and in some cases are recognized as the dominant type of plant food available.In fact, the evidence for the consumption of wild legumes by Paleolithic humans is as strong as for any plant food.
What about antinutrient substances?
Paleo proponents have suggested another reason to avoid grains and legumes: they are high in anti-nutrients, which supposedly make their nutritional value negligible. There is only one problem with this argument. He’s wrong.
Research shows that the benefits of legumes far outweigh the effects of anti-nutrient substances, especially when you consider the fact that cooking eliminates most of the anti-nutritional effects.
In particular, the content of lectins and protease inhibitors is significantly reduced during cooking. When prepared, these chemicals can be beneficial to us. Lectins are able to reduce tumor growth, while protease inhibitors have anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects.
Grains, nuts, and legumes are abundant in antinutrients that can form compounds with minerals such as zinc and iron and interfere with their absorption.Is this reason enough to avoid grains and legumes?
While phytic acid can be toxic if consumed with significant consumption, it provides the following benefits in moderation:
- exhibits antioxidant activity
- protects DNA from damage
- probiotic (food for bacteria)
- has an antitumor effect
- reduces the bioavailability of heavy metals such as cadmium and lead.
And with a blended diet that includes other nutrient-rich whole foods, phytic acid is unlikely to cause problems.
In fact, almost all foods contain both nutrients and anti-nutrients – especially plant foods. For example, “extremely” healthy foods such as spinach, Swiss chard, many berries, and dark chocolate are sources of oxalate, an antinutrient that inhibits calcium absorption.Green tea and red wine contain tannins – also antinutrients that inhibit the absorption of zinc and iron. Etc.
In general, phytic acid and other so-called antinutrients are likely to have a sweet spot (like most nutrients):
- Limiting intake or low intake of a nutrient can cause deficiency.
- Consuming in moderation is more likely to be beneficial.
Excessive consumption can be dangerous (
see more about phytates).
Cereals and inflammation
Another argument of the Paleo diet is that eating grains can cause inflammation.
The claim may be true for people with celiac disease (about 1% of the population) and for gluten-sensitive but non-celiac patients (estimated at about 10%, if such a phenomenon exists at all), but in general, research does not seem to support the argument about the effect antinutrients.
In fact, the review study concluded:
- whole grains can reduce inflammation
- processed grains can increase inflammation.
In other words, the handling appears to be the problem, not the crops themselves. Meanwhile, controlled studies consistently show that eating grains, whether processed or whole, does not affect inflammation at all!
So what should we do?
In the worst case, untreated grains are neutral when it comes to inflammation.All about cereals and
Grains of Truth).
And to summarize, a substantial body of evidence from peer-reviewed and controlled studies shows that eating whole grains and legumes improves our health, including:
- improving the ratio of blood lipids
- improving blood glucose control
- reducing inflammation
- lowering the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Eliminating these essential foods from our diet to fit someone’s dietary ideology seems to be a bad idea.
Evolution of the human gastrointestinal tract
In paleo circles, you can sometimes hear that the world has changed in countless ways over the past 10 thousand years, while our genes have changed little. This means that we can thrive in a world with conditions similar to the Paleolithic era.
Quite frankly, evolution and gene expression work differently.If humans and other organisms can only thrive in the circumstances in which their predecessors lived, then life would not last very long.
There are plenty of examples of our evolution over the past 10 thousand years. For example, over the past 8,000 years or so, approximately 40% of us have developed the ability to consume milk for life. As a species, we have developed a mutation that allows us to continue producing the enzyme lactase for much longer than our ancestors could.Studies have shown that even people with poor lactose absorption are able to consume dairy products in moderation, tolerating an average of 12 grams of lactose (the lactose content in a cup of milk) with little or no symptoms. In addition, the recently emerging science of epigenetics shows that the “general plan” is not enough, and genes can be turned on or off using various physiological and environmental signals.
Features of the intestine
Over the millennia, our digestive system has adapted to processing low-calorie, nutrient-poor, and presumably high-fiber foods.Meanwhile, Western food is high in calories, low in fiber and high in fat. Our genes only produce the enzymes needed to break down starch, simple sugars, most proteins and fats. They are not well suited to handle the constant influx of chicken nuggets, Tater Tots, and ice cream.
How is it that we are still able to digest food, albeit sometimes imperfect?
Thanks to the trillions of bacteria living in our gut.These friendly critters interact with our food in a variety of ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, releasing bound phytonutrients and antioxidants, and helping us metabolize many important compounds.
We currently have no direct evidence as to which species of bacteria flourished during the Paleolithic, but we can be pretty sure that microbial communities did not match up exactly to modern ones. The reason for this phenomenon is that bacteria adapt and develop much faster than that of human genes.And that’s good news for us. This helps explain why, even if ancient man did not consume grains, legumes, dairy, and other relatively modern agricultural products, we can still thrive on today’s diet – with at least a little help from our bacterial friends.
Through the Human Microbiome Project and other significant research projects around the world, we now know that trillions of organisms, thousands of different species, inhabit the human body.In fact, the overall genetic makeup of these little creatures is at least 100 times our own! (In fact, we are only 1% human. Think about it.)
This wide genetic diversity ensures that our gastrointestinal tract can quickly adapt to changes in diet and lifestyle. A single meal can change the kind of bacteria that inhabit our intestines. And just a few days of new nutrition can cause significant changes in the bacterial populations of your gastrointestinal tract.
The diversity, complexity, and dynamic nature of our microbiome helps explain why we feel good about one diet, while others will feel better about eating differently, even though we’re 99% genetically similar! Many of us are capable of breaking down more “modern” food compounds that Paleo proponents claim we cannot tolerate simply because our gut contains bacteria that evolved to do the job.For example, some Japanese people have unique bacteria that help them digest algae. Most people will be able to alleviate the symptoms of lactose intolerance by consuming yogurt or other probiotic-rich supplements that will help bacteria digest the lactose. So even if you can’t naturally break down lactose well, perhaps through the right mix of foods and / or probiotic supplements, you can convince your gut bacteria to do the job for you. What’s more, the same strategy can be used for gluten intolerance.Recent studies have shown that some bacteria actually produce enzymes that break down gluten as well as phytic acid, reducing any inflammatory or anti-nutritional effects. And these are, as you know, two main reasons why people are recommended to switch to the paleo diet.
Contemporary studies of paleo
Whatever “evolutionary argument” is used by paleo proponents does not hold water. But this does not mean that the diet itself is necessarily bad.Perhaps the diet is good for other reasons that are not usually talked about. To find out, a number of studies on the paleo diet have been undertaken to test it in a controlled clinical setting. And so far, the results are promising, albeit incomplete.
Paleo vs Mediterranean Diet
The most famous of the researchers on this topic is Dr. Lindeberg, one of those who studied the Kitavan islanders. He and his colleagues conducted two clinical evaluations of the efficacy of the paleo diet.
In their first assessment, they recruited volunteers with diabetes or pre-diabetes and offered them one of two diets:
- “Paleolithic” food with an emphasis on lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, starchy roots, eggs and nuts.
- Mediterranean food with a focus on whole grains, low fat dairy products, fish, oils and margarine.
After 12 weeks, the Mediterranean food group lost fat and improved their diabetes scores.In four out of nine subjects, blood sugar levels characteristic of diabetes at the start of the study had returned to normal by the end of the experiment. This is a very good result, the participants must be satisfied. But the members of the “paleogroup” were even more fortunate. They lost 70% more fat than the “Mediterranean” group and also normalized blood sugar levels. In fact, all 10 people achieved normal blood sugar levels at the time of the study’s conclusion. In any case, this is an amazing result.
These volunteers currently have mild, initial diabetes.
In a second study involving long-term diabetics, the paleo diet did not cure them, but significantly improved their condition.
Other studies have shown:
- the paleo diet is more satiating on a calorie basis than the Mediterranean diet;
- The paleo diet improves blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and blood lipid profile.
However, there is one caveat: like most low-carb diets, macronutrients (especially protein) have not been matched. The Paleogroup consumed significantly more protein than other dietary groups. A high amount of protein helps maintain muscle density and strength, stay lean, and feel full from food. Thus, we are not just comparing apples to oranges, with differences in protein intake, it is more like comparing grains and goat meat.Literally.
The paleo diet may indeed be the best meal plan, but it’s hard to know without head-to-head comparisons, with similar macronutrients and calories.
Conclusions and recommendations
Is the Paleo Diet Right?
Despite the flaws in the evolutionary rationale, ultimately Paleo is more correct than not.
- Paleostyle nutrition includes whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other healthy fats, which greatly improves the average Western diet.
- The paleostyle of nutrition has been shown to be extremely effective in improving the condition of certain chronic diseases. This in itself is a huge plus.
- The paleostyle of nutrition has increased our awareness of how processed and bad many types of food are in the 21st century.
However, we need to do more rigorous (carefully planned) research before drawing final conclusions.
What are the problems?
Despite its obvious advantages over the typical Western diet, the Paleo diet has some disadvantages:
- Evidence for excluding dairy, legumes and cereals is (yet) insufficient. As a nutritional consultant, I cannot say that there is “one recipe for all.” Of course, some people should avoid dairy and gluten, and reduce their intake of grains and legumes.But for most of us, we can improve our appearance, well-being and performance without completely eliminating these foods.
- Evolutionary arguments don’t hold up. The human body is not just a set of adaptations to life in the Paleolithic era. Each of us is a dynamic set of hereditary traits (and microorganisms) that have been acquired, transformed, lost and regained from the beginning of life itself. Changes have also taken place over the past 10 thousand years and will not stop in the near future.
- More broadly, strictly following a list of “good” and “bad” or “allowed” and “forbidden” foods is generally problematic for most people. This approach often causes anxiety and all-or-nothing thinking. Perhaps this lends false confidence in the short term. But the strategy is less effective in the long run – because, ultimately, self-confidence diminishes.
This explains the evolution of the paleo diet itself that we are observing.
This is evolution, baby
Many paleo proponents have recently come to understand and encourage the addition of starch in moderation (although there are fewer choices than I would prefer), some dark chocolate, red wine, and “non-grain” alcohols (such as tequila), and milk (with provided that livestock are fed with grass). These supplements make life much more enjoyable and healthy eating more attractive and attainable. In fact, this new “leniency” may partly explain why the paleo diet continues to gain traction in the general population.Ultimately, sanity and your personal preference are more important than any specific food list, antinutrient avoidance, or evolutionary theory.
What to do now?
Think about the benefits of the ancestral lifestyle, including fresh food, fresh air, lots of movement, good sleep, and a strong social network. How many of them could you get in the current environment?
Consider moving away from processed life and 21st century foods to a choice that better suits the needs and preferences of your “ancient” body.Find out a little more about your ancestors. Evolution is cool. Dig into Your Roots: Where did your ancestors come from? How did they eat in ancient times? 23AndMe can tell
how much is in your DNA from a Neanderthal.
Keep it simple and think sanely. Making a few good things even better (sleep a little more or eat more fresh vegetables) is much better than trying to make everything “perfect”.
Stay critical and informed. Avoid dogmatic or cultic thinking. Be skeptical. Look for evidence. Keep asking questions. Eating like ancestors is a very good idea and may be more or less correct; just use your later emerging prefrontal cortex (your “thinking” brain) when considering all options.
Help your “old” body (and trillions of little helpers) get the job done. Our bodies are steady.We would not become one of the dominant species on the planet by being finicky and delicate like flowers. However, think about how you can nourish your body optimally, giving it and your microbiome the best chances for survival and prosperity.
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