What You Can Eat on the Paleo Diet – A Beginners Guide

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what can you eat on the paleo diet

The Paleo diet is designed to bring us back to our roots. It’s an all-natural, raw, health-focused eating program that works with human genetics to achieve optimal health, strength, and energy.

Leading health experts and  research has argued that our increased appetite for processed, sugar-loaded, chemically treated foods has a direct impact on the emergence of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, heart disease, and diabetes.

The Paleo diet seeks to offer a simple solution. A diet that follows the rule: if our cavemen ancestors didn’t eat it in the Paleolithic era, then you won’t be eating it.

What you can eat on the paleo diet includes a combination of meat, fish, fruit, plants, seeds and vegetables which work in harmony with the body’s natural abilities and processes.

How much of each type of food to eat is up to you. 

What to eat on the Paleo diet – Basic Do’s and Don’ts

As much as you may love cheese on crackers, or buttered bread, these are amongst many food items excluded from the list on the Paleo diet. Any food item that has in some way been processed or manipulated, even milk that has been partially or fully skimmed, is considered unnecessary and unnatural for the human body to consume.

The caveman did not possess the tools, equipment or chemicals to alter these foods, and so the Paleo diet deems them not allowed.

Grains are strictly banned from the diet. Pasta, cereals and bread of any kind only serve to further complicate internal systems leading to troubled digestion and bloating. Sugar is another no-go area, with sweets, chocolate and even red wine off the menu.

You may be wondering… what’s left?

The wide selection of meat, fish, and vegetables available can offer hundreds of mouth-watering food pairings. From lobster with green leafy vegetables to chicken and broccoli stir fry, there remains a fine number of high protein, energy packed meals available for Paleo followers to choose from.

While it may seem daunting at first, it doesn’t take long to adjust to the new plan, and your body will notice the positive effects almost instantly.


Detailed Paleo Diet Food List

The best way to get started on the Paleo diet is to familiarize yourself with the comprehensive list of foods you can eat.

Instead of focusing on the food you’ll miss, it’s best to rejoice in the wide variety of food choices that are available.

Below is a detailed list to pick and choose from, with some helpful ideas on how to best enjoy meats and fish in your diet.


Meat

• Beef – Packed with protein and energy, beef steaks can come in a variety of sizes and flavors. Beef is great stir-fried with onions and peppers, or grilled and topped with sautéed mushrooms.
• Chicken – A versatile, vitamin packed protein where the breast, leg or thighs can be utilized in most meals.
• Turkey – A roast dinner favorite in most family homes.
• Goat – A rich, flavorsome meat served best with peas and carrots.
• Rabbit – A great source of healthy proteins and fats, great as a basic Paleo inspired stew.
• Lamb – Lamb tastes best when it’s cooked for a long period of time and seasoned with rosemary and mint. It can be served with any root vegetable available on the Paleo diet.
• Pork – An excellent steak or stir fry supplement, full of vitamins and healthy fats.
• Veal – A tender and delicious delicacy paired nicely with asparagus or peas.
• Bacon – An absolute favorite. Everybody loves bacon and eggs for breakfast.
• Ostrich – Ostrich makes a hearty steak, served perfectly with boiled vegetables.
• Duck – A sweet, tender meat that pairs nicely with a variety of fruits such as oranges or plums.
• Kangaroo – This tough meat is best cooked for a long period for a juicer finish.
• Goose – This Christmas bird is perfect for a family roast.


Fish

• Salmon – This classic fish is high in vitamin B12 and vitamin D. It is lovely served with wilted spinach and spring vegetables.
• Mackerel – A mackerel salad makes a tasty high energy lunch.
• Tuna – Tuna steak is high in B Vitamins, calcium, and protein. It can be served with salad or green vegetables for optimal health benefits.
• Swordfish – A delicious meaty fish best served with asparagus and green vegetables.
• Sea bass – Why not stuff your sea bass with parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme and lemon balm for a maximum taste experience?
• Red Snapper – This fish tastes great with a tomato and onion salad.
• Lobster – High in potassium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium, this truly is a healthy, luxurious fish.
• Prawns – These small, tasty fish are fantastic in a salad or stir-fry.


Vegetables

The following vegetables can be served alongside any of the above meats or fish, all of which are high in vitamins and slow releasing energy.

• Asparagus
• Cabbage
• Broccoli
• Peas
• Brussels Sprouts
• Eggplant
• Cauliflower
• Onions
• Celery
• Carrots
• Lettuce
• Yams
• Squash
• Beetroot
• Sweet potatoes


Fruits

Fruit does contain natural sugar, but can still unknowingly put weight onto a person. The Paleo diet recommends no more than three portions of fruit a day. Here are a list of recommended fruits.

• Apple
• Papaya
• Berries
• Bananas
• Oranges
• Figs
• Plums
• Lemon
• Lime
• Watermelon
• Peaches
• Mango
• Grapes


Fats

Natural oils and fats are not bad for you. It is processed foods and carbohydrates that cause weight gain and poor health. The Paleo diet distinguishes between the two. The following fats are permitted within the diet.

• Olive oil
• Coconut oil
• Almond oil
• Grass-fed butter
• Avocado oil


Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of protein and energy. They can be high in natural fat, so it’s best to only eat them on occasion, or integrate them into meals. A list of nuts you can eat is listed below.

• Pecans
• Hazelnuts
• Cashews
• Brazil Nuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sesame seeds
• Walnuts
• Pine nuts


Summary

The Paleo diet focuses on the nutrients and energy food can deliver into our bodies without unnecessary and unhealthy processed elements. The human body requires food to maximize its physical and psychological potential and the Paleo diet emphasizes the importance of obtaining the best quality, organic, natural ingredients.

By eliminating saturated fats, manufactured meats, grains and processed sugar, you can reduce the risk of various diseases, maintain a healthy weight and increase your energy levels on a daily basis.

Paleo diet followers report that it leaves them feeling refreshed, balanced and healthy.

Hopefully this list helps you to start planning your Paleo meals more easily.

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