What Foods Can You Have with The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet allows foods that were available to our ancestors, who lived during the Paleolithic era. That means no grains or legumes including peanuts, beans, and soy products. No dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or cheese are allowed unless they are consumed raw or fermented.
Learn about the paleo diet and its characteristics.
Among the foods that are allowed in the paleo diet are fish and seafood, meats and poultry, eggs, fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as well as oil or fat from healthy sources.
Fish and Seafood in The Paleo Diet
Fish and seafood are good sources of protein. Fatty fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, etc.) is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Seafood (e.g. clams, oysters, mussels, crabs) and fish are also high in vitamin B12. Below are some examples of fish and seafood that you can have:
Meats, Poultry, and Eggs in The Paleo Diet
Meats and poultry should be from healthy sources, i.e. grass-fed or pasture-raised, or wild game. Always go for lean cuts or trim off extra fat. Cook the food in healthy ways, such as roasting, baking, broiling, stewing, steaming, etc. without too much fat added, and skim off any extra liquid fat after cooking. Eggs are another great source of protein. Go for omega-3-enriched or free-range eggs and limit yourself to 6 eggs a week. Below are the examples of meats, poultry, and eggs in the Paleo diet:
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in The Paleo Diet
Fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, vitamin C, vitamin A as well as dietary fiber. They are the main sources of carbohydrates in the Paleo diet. However, since fruits are high in sugar, you should consume them in moderation if you’re actively losing weight. Limit yourself to a maximum of 3 servings a day. If you are eating unsweetened dried fruits, limit them to 2 oz (57 g) a day.
Nuts, Seeds, and Healthful Oils in The Paleo Diet
Nuts and seeds are rich in calories and omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid eating excessively as it will make the ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 unbalanced. Walnuts are recommended as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. To avoid gaining excess weight or making the ratio unbalanced, limit the consumption of nuts and seeds to 4 oz. (113 g) a day.
Oils from olive, coconut, flaxseed, walnut, avocado, macadamia, etc. are among the healthful oils that are on the paleo food list. Always consume oils in moderation. The recommended daily limit is 4 tablespoons if you are actively losing weight with the paleo diet.
Check out the roasted cashew nuts recipe from our recipe site.
Beverages in The Paleo Diet
Among the refreshing drinks that you can have are such as plain water, cucumber water, lemon water, and coconut water. Besides, you can also have black coffee, black tea, green tea, or herbal tea. For milk, go for dairy-free milk such as coconut milk and almond milk.
Types of Non-Paleo Food To Avoid in The Paleo Diet
With the Paleo diet, you are NOT allowed to have:
- Cereal grains and their products
Examples: amaranth, corn, millet, quinoa (what is quinoa), buckwheat, rice, sorghum, oats, barley, wheat, rye, etc.
- Legumes and its products
Examples: beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, soybean, lupin, mesquite, etc.
- Dairy food and its products
Examples: milk, cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, butter, creamer, dairy spreads, etc.
- Starchy vegetables and tubers
Examples: sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, tapioca, cassava root, etc.
- Processed foods
Examples: canned food, processed sauces, processed meat, smoked salted food, pickles, fruit preserved, fruit jam, etc.
- Refined vegetable oils
Examples: soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, margarine, shortening, etc.
- Sweets, salt, and artificial sweeteners
Examples: refined sugar, syrup, honey, refined salt, sea salt, Equal, Splenda, etc.
- Soft drinks, fruit juice, and alcoholic drinks
Examples: all carbonated drinks, diet soda, fresh or canned juice, beer, wines, etc.