You may have seen the news. The paleo diet is portrayed with cavemen eating meat—lots of meat. Perhaps that is an exaggeration for the sake of news program ratings, but yes, the Paleo diet does include meat. It also includes LOTS of other foods!
So, what does the paleo diet consist of? What is on the Paleo Diet Food List?
Yep, lots of vegetables. Beets, turnips, parsnips, radish, spinach, lettuce, kale, beet top, mustard greens, collard greens, jerusalem artichokes, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, buttercup squash, dandelion, watercress, turnip greens, seaweeds, bok choy, swiss chard, endive, arugula (rocket) , radicchio, rapini, chicory, brussels sprouts, artichokes, okra, avocados, carrots, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, yellow summer squash, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, celery, onions, green onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, eggplants, asparagus, cucumber and cabbage. To name a few.
Grapes, cantaloupe, cherries, apricot, bananas, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, apples, oranges, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, lime, papaya, watermelon, honeydew melon, kiwi, lychee, coconut, mango, figs, dates, persimmon, passion fruit, berries (strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, pomegranates, and pineapple.
Nuts and seeds
Pecans, walnuts, pistachios, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds.
Fresh and dried herbs
Your meals will be far tastier with parsley, thyme, basil, tarragon, chives, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, coriander, lavender, mint, and rosemary.
Spices and other natural flavor enhancers
Add vanilla, garlic, cloves, chilies, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, onions, black pepper, hot peppers, star anise, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, paprika, and ginger.
Go for the earthy yumminess of oyster mushroom, chanterelle, porcini,button mushroom, morel, crimini, shiitake and portabello, among others.
To get the right kinds of fat in your diet, take coconut flesh, nut butters, coconut milk, coconut oil, olive oil, lard, tallow, duck fat, veal fat, lamb fat, fatty fishes (mackerel, salmon, sardines), nut oils (walnut, macadamia), avocado oil and avocados.
Naturally, your Paleo diet would not be complete without a good bit of animal protein.
There’s pork, rabbit, goat, sheep, woodcock, elk, rabbit, reindeer, wild boar, bear, moose, deer, bison/buffalo, veal, beef, lamb, horse and pheasant.
Or try mussels, crab, scallops, oysters, clams, chicken eggs, quail eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, salmon, tuna, sole, haddock, turbot, trout, bass, halibut, cod, flatfish, grouper, walleye, tilapia, mackerel, anchovy, herring, lobster, shrimps, turkey, duck, quail, goose, wild turkey and chicken.
Even bacon, sausage, and smoked meats are fine. Just make sure all of your meats are from appropriately raised animals, and that the packaged meats contain no weird additives like nitrates/nitrites or weird chemical preservatives.
What should you leave off the list?
Most importantly, keep grains and legumes like wheat, rice and soy as far from your mouth as possible. Dairy is “Primal” – not Paleo – and vegetable oils like soy oil and corn oil are inflammatory. Refined sugar is hard on your blood sugar and doesn’t contain any nutrients, so keep it at a bare minimum. Anything in a box is probably not going to be very Paleo, so shop on the outer edges of the grocery store and you should be safe!