Avoid: Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
Foods to Eat on the Paleo Diet
Base your diet on whole, unprocessed paleo foods:
Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught whenever possible!
Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries etc.
Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
Healthy fats and oils:Coconut oil, Macadamia Oil avocado oil, olive oil and many others. (A mix of many different oils and fats is always advised!)
Salt and spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
Try to choose grass-fed, pasture-raised and organic if you can find it in your area. If not, just make sure to always go for the least-processed option.
Foods to Avoid on the Paleo Diet
Avoid these foods and ingredients as much as you possibly can:
Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and so on. I think you got a picture - sometimes hard to stay away from, but you'll thank your self down the road.
Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy like butter and cheese).
Some vegetable oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, vegetable oil (mix of various oils blended together) cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, palm oil and others.
Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.
Highly processed foods: Everything labeled "diet" or "low-fat" or that has many additives. Includes artificial meal replacements.
A simple guideline: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don't eat it. One way you can easily detect highly processed foods is, that they tend to have a tonne of certificated printed on the box.
If you want to avoid these ingredients, you must also start to read the ingredients list, even on foods that are labeled as "health foods" or "super foods"
Modified Paleo Diets
Over the past few years, the paleo community has evolved quite a bit.
There are now several different versions of the paleo diet. Many of them allow some modern foods that science suggests are healthy.
These include quality grass-fed butter and even some gluten-free grains like rice.
Many people now think of paleo as a template to base your diet on, not necessarily a strict set of rules that you must follow.
Keep in mind, a healthy life-style and a balanced diet is the best diet-plan in the long run.
The foods and beverages below are perfectly fine in small amounts:
Wine: Quality red wine is high in antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.
Dark chocolate: Choose one that has 70% or higher cocoa content. Quality dark chocolate is very nutritious and extremely healthy if consumed in moderation.
Want to find out more about wines and how they fit your diet? Or even book a wine class or wine tasting ? Checkout SommWine's offers and get ready for a season of online wine tastings (social distancing guaranteed ;-)
Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, parsley, etc.
It is a good idea to clear all these delicious yet unhealthy temptations from your home, including sugary sodas, pastries, cookies, crackers, bread, ice cream and cereals.
The paleo diet is modeled after the diets hunter-gatherers are likely to have followed. While there is no "one fits all" way to follow the paleo diet, the basic idea is to avoid processed foods and focus instead on healthy, small batch, artisanal whole foods.
Paleo-friendly foods include meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies, along with healthy cold-pressed fats and oils. Avoid processed foods, grains and sugar.
You can also base your diet on paleo foods, adding in a few modern healthy foods like grass-fed butter and gluten-free grains.
To get started on the paleo diet, check out the sample menu and shopping list above. Stock your kitchen and pantry with these healthy, paleo-friendly foods.